What does this functional area cover?
Innovation in Commercial covers a whole host of areas – strategy, product value streams, customer engagement (marketing, sales, service) and distribution. Innovation strategy covers topics such as how a company sets a future-facing agenda, which includes anticipating the intersection of market change and disruptive technologies. It also should cover how to recognise the key business challenges that matter most to solve and how volatile forces in the market, including political reform, policies, and social changes will shape the future. Another topic in this functional area is customer engagement. This topic asks questions such as, is the company aligned with changing customer behaviour and the areas of connectivity, relationships and communication.
What are the new and emerging areas of Innovation in this area?
Innovation in Commercial is a very broad area that has many facets and opportunities, many of which are emerging today. Many functions in this part of the organization have frequent and direct interactions with the end consumers. Commercial Organisations have started to adapt their innovation to a new environment where internal and external collaboration focuses on creating mutually interesting value streams. Network building, open innovation and crowd-sourcing techniques are the new and emerging areas of Innovation that have proven highly cost-effective in delivering breakthrough solutions. While Commercial provides many opportunities, it is also one of the most challenging areas in an organization for innovation to thrive. Constant pressure for revenue generation and growth on an annualized basis heighten the competition for budgets and resources. Most company Innovation functions struggle to keep the future focus needed for long-term commitment and often get shut down, which is the wrong direction to go in.
What new value could Innovation deliver in this area over the next 3-5 years?
The primary value from commercial organisation innovation is to drive a competitively differentiating advantage by achieving better customer engagement by anticipating their future needs and changing behaviors then being first with new, effective solutions. This will result in organization growth, sustainability and longevity. Organisations should also be thinking about how they align themselves with new and innovative business models. Being a first mover, with early exposure is also a step forward as this will give you greater leadership in the industry. Strong networks with new allies is another area that will add value in this area over the next 3-5 years. Building positive relationships with academics, entrepreneurs, scientists, startups, investors and organizations focused on disruptive technologies will serve organizations well.