Make it big
If you’ve had some initial success in implementing your idea, you may want to explore growing it so that you can extend its impact. Innovations do take some time to reach their full potential, so as you develop it you’ll want to make sure you’re organised to take advantage of an upturn in demand.
While in the early stages you may have found yourself eating, sleeping and breathing your new idea, refining your prototype and celebrating your first successes, now your attention will move to:
- developing the business model
- analysing new markets
- attracting funding
- adapting your proposition
- finding the ‘sweet spots’ where demand and supply come together to create the conditions needed for the growth of your innovation.
Before going down this route, you need to consider whether you, your organisation and the market are ready. Demand for specific innovations is often under-developed, so you’ll need to focus as much attention on creating demand as on developing your innovation. A strong, objective evidence base that points to the success of your idea will help attract support.
There are numerous approaches to help you extend the reach and nature of your innovation, and the degree of ownership and control you wish to maintain will determine the most appropriate growth model for you. Options range from organisational growth, through to more rapid and diffused approaches, and each approach has strengths and challenges to consider. The path to growth is rarely as you predicted or planned however, so be prepared to adapt and respond to new developments and information as you move ahead.
Crucially, for your idea to spread, people must be aware of it. Developing platforms to communicate it and raise awareness will help it to spread more widely. As your idea develops, simplifying it and codifying it into toolkits or other frameworks that can be adopted and adapted by others will also encourage its spread.