Where can I find opportunities to innovate in a post-pandemic world?

The first half of 2022 was marked by less than ideal economic conditions brought by global supply chain disruptions, rapidly increasing inflation rates, and rising gas prices, making it seem that there are no opportunities to innovate.

Businesses may focus more on surviving these threats than on innovation, especially because the threats make it seem that there is no room to innovate. 

However, in today’s recovering post-pandemic world there are plenty of business opportunities just waiting to be taken. But how can organizations identify these opportunities and fully take advantage of them?

Masaki Mitsuhashi, head of the Embiggen Institute of Innovation and certified innovation professional, shared some concepts and tools that organizations can apply today to find opportunities to innovate.

Innovation: Creation and capture of new value

Organizations and innovators must first understand what innovation is. 

It is a common misunderstanding that innovation is just the creation of new technology. Innovation actually covers much more than creation.

Innovation is the creation and capture of new value, according to Mitsuhashi. 

While this may come in the form of creating new products, implementing new ideas, improving internal processes, and developing a better value proposition may all be considered innovations. Other examples include fostering a better workplace culture and enhancing customer service.

All of these innovations have the end goal of kickstarting, restarting or sustaining the growth of an organization.

Spotting opportunities to innovate beyond creating a new product, however, may be difficult for the untrained eye. Luckily, there are some tried-and-tested tools that organizations can use.

Mitsuhashi gave an overview of some of the most effective innovation tools.

Using tools to find opportunities to innovate

To scan for opportunities in today’s post-pandemic world, organizations need to sift through relevant and irrelevant factors and make connections between them.

One way organizations can do this is by using a Business Opportunity Map.

Companies plot factors affecting the company, its competitors, the future, the company’s value chain, and other unrelated companies onto a table with the goal of finding connections between them. These factors may include trends, locations, market conditions, products, and services.

Once the map is complete and the connections are made, the organization now has a full picture of the opportunities they can take advantage of. Opportunities may come in the form of technologies an organization can leverage, trends they can take advantage of, processes they can make more efficient, and many more.  

However, not all of these opportunities should be pursued. Mitsuhashi stressed that innovations need to be centered on solving a problem and fulfilling a need.

Organizations need to do further research and evaluate all possible options to find the most attractive opportunities with high chances of returns.

By combining the outcome of the Business Opportunity Map with other tools and concepts such as Environmental Analysis, Design Thinking, Business Model Canvas, and Lean Startup Methodology, organizations can successfully build these opportunities into innovations.

With the right knowledge and tools, anyone can innovate.

Learn how to successfully use these fundamental innovation tools and concepts by enrolling in the Global Innovation Management Institute’s (GIMI) innovation certification program. Embiggen is the exclusive certified training partner of GIMI in the Philippines.

Over 10,000 innovators from corporations around the world, including Pfizer, HSBC, and the Ayala Corporation, have been innovation certified by GIMI.

Learn more about the certifications here.