When done right internal 'ideation sessions' that are totally outcome based can act as an enabler for growth, or act as a blocker.
However it's rare that internal teams will consciously want to rock the boat that might add to the workload at best, or at worst become a perceived threat to their role.
So how do you ensure they (ideation workshops) can become a 'growth and outcomes' based enablement investment?
Sometimes I'm lucky enough to work with open minded organisations who are highly successful yet struggle to find the time or resource to unlock and identify additional growth opportunities.
Lack of 'ideation' workshops can result in iterative development of what's already delivering your existing growth. Of course this isn't bad thing because if your iterating better than your competitor you are maintaining and growing market share.
But what if other people/competitors are looking at your company and thinking "I know what they're missing" which potentially takes you out of the relevant growth opportunity that should have been yours to own.
I can provide several examples of this but the one of the biggest that comes to mind, and where I have considerable experience is N Brown plc (JD Williams) whose internal obsession with iterations of the existing operating model became the blocker to untold growth.
Without a shadow of a doubt this UK based home shopping that was once the bellwether for home shopping ceded billions of growth and revenue opportunities to the likes of ASOS, BooHoo, SDG (Very), and many, many others - simply because it internalised the eCommerce opportunity as a threat to existing jobs and the operating model - today they class themselves as a 'Digital Retailer' which is like going back in the day and saying 'we're a call centre retailer'?
We are all consumers of someone else's business, every day we make an unconscious bias in our decision to shop with one company/brand over another.
As an international retail brand and business consulting growth practitioner I constantly see brands/companies becoming fixated with logos, mission statements, AI, VR, tech projects, and other such activity - all of which distracts from the real reason the company/brand is struggling or not seeing growth opportunities.
Identifying and delivering outcome based roadmaps to maximise untapped 'growth' opportunities is one of my key areas of expertise, mainly because every business is focused on a combination of the day job and rarely take time out to hold ideation workshops that can explore previously uncovered opportunities.
I do this based on a proven 'leverage and build' strategy and I am very, very, very, good at sniffing these growth opportunities out.
Transformation is first and foremost about being consumer centric, work everything back from your customer.
At the ideation stage it isn't about digital, channels, tech, Apps, websites, operating models or other legacy fixed mindset stuff.
It's about working out how you can add value by leveraging what you have to build the transformation bridges to the new future.
Consumer's don't think in tech silo's, they don't think in channels, they're all very selfish, they just want to learn more about you, and then choose the best way to 'buy' from you.
Your job is to figure out how to do that, and knowing the 'WHY' consumers should choose you over a competitor is one of the biggest and ongoing roles any company/brand can do.
So, when looking for growth opportunities its vital to understand if there's an existing customer base (internal/external) you can leverage, how quickly you can adapt the operating model to support it, and utilise the services of external practitioners expertise.
Consumers are looking for 'hassle free' shopping experiences. Companies have translated this to mean more 'tech/digital' projects, when the answer is something a lot more simple and less cost.