Look for Inflection Points

Innovation is about success. It is not innovation if you come up with something new and it cripples or kills you. If you pour in your effort and are only marginally better off than when you started, you have not achieved innovation.

Innovation is the successful introduction of a market offering that profits everybody involved, both you and your customers. Innovation happens when a new product or service creates a return in the market that far exceeds the time and money it takes to develop and execute. When a new offering is accepted and embraced, generating the resources that make it possible to support and grow its place in the market — that is innovation. That’s a positive inflection point. That is what you must aim for

An inflection point is a game change that shifts circumstances decisively. They can be either negative, indicating a decline in market success, or positive, signifying a rise.

A positive inflection point is an excellent tool to capture the attention of your competitors’ existing customers and stimulate them to make a decision about who they are going to buy from, thus moving them into the front where they become available to you.

When you learn to recognize inflection points, you start to see the world in a different way. You develop a sense for the innovations that will both serve your strategic targets and succeed in market conditions ahead.

Discovering inflection points requires attention to emerging market movements, ability to question basic assumptions, and skill at turning disruption to your advantage. Master those, and you can position your organization to meet an inflection point with a response that pivots its trajectory in your favor.

Summing-up: Looking for inflection points gives leaders a way to see around the curve ahead, and then use them to advantage. Without developing this sense, it is extremely difficult to get innovation right.

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