Chief Innovation Officers Need to Pivot for Disruptive Innovation


Forrester released a new report on value orchestration and the future of work for CINOs.

This year, companies had two choices: adapt or break under the pressure of uncertainty. 

For many organizations, that ability to pivot and rethink the future of work saved their businesses through one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. 

Researchers say 2021 will still require that same versatility and flexible mindset that businesses developed in 2020, but Chief Innovation Officers can make adjustments that make their organizations more prepared for the unknown and more open to business innovation ideas. 

Forrester recently released a report on “The Future Of Services Is Value Orchestration,” with insight on how CINOs need to pivot for the future. Some of the key topics include: 

  • Revising the service model.
  • Focusing on outcomes.
  • Partnering with innovation firms.

While these are just three areas for transformation, Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Ted Schadler, who wrote the report, believes the model for CINOs needs to change entirely if they want to brace for future uncertainty.

As a CINO, this means having a transparent model and system to enable the skills to manage uncertainty. CINOs are responsible for much more than new revenue. Losing a team member or losing a client can be devastating for a company.  

Today, innovation isn’t just about new ideas to create new markets or improve efficiencies. Innovation is about managing the flow of work, information, communication, and stress internally as a company and through your service experience. 

If a company goes to its team and says, “Hold on tight! We are in for a bumpy ride. Give me all your ideas on how to weather this storm!” We as CINOs are required to overcome that hurdle and still maintain team morale after years of rejected ideas. There are mental, structural, and behavioral challenges to moving innovation forward in good times. If  “It’s not my job” was a significant impediment before, “I told you so” or “I knew this would happen” is the battle cry of your people who feel rejected. 

Adoption is about getting over rejection. Understanding the impact on your short and long-term profitability and revenue is critical. 

This is how RIDG’s methodology helps align and scale this environment:

Outcome-focused innovation creates alignment.

Past service models were very centered around price rather than the outcome. What companies seek to achieve with any innovation model is a key result, usually centered around profitability. CINOs can support them by ensuring processes are aligned with clear, tangible goals. 

During times of uncertainty, clients are less likely to take risks, especially when the outcome isn’t clear. Our clients have never had a shortage of innovative ideas, a shortage of desire to solve problems, or a shortage of creativity. They are the best in their industry at what they do. In fact, they are like the Niagra Falls of idea generation. They lack the engineered power station (frameworks, perspectives, systems, and tools) to focus and translate those ideas into the super fuel for lighting up a new value for their clients. Innovators who focus on the outcome will get much farther with clients who are more cautious at this point.

Service providers need to reconstruct their business models.

Enterprise clients are focused on digital transformation and building their own digital skills. This strategic planning requires more capabilities and transparency from a partner. In the past, innovation firms came in to provide a service for a client, offer some tools and frameworks, and leave them to do the rest. Today, organizations are looking for companies that work with them to integrate innovation across all aspects of their business. 

At RIDG, we provide detailed communication, action, and prioritization plans to support the many ups and downs an individual, team, and company experiences during the lifecycle of innovation. Knowing when to abandon an idea or keep investing makes all the difference in keeping your team engaged, clients coming back, and profits growing. 

Partnering with an innovation firm will drive success.

This next year will require CINOs to embrace co-innovation partnerships that pressure traditional business models and ways of working with service providers. Schadler believes traditional sourcing and vendor management practices won’t create the proper value alignment. These partnerships need to be built on trust and transparency and value alignment between both organizations.

Many companies invest in internal strategic planning or flashy innovation sessions used to ignite big-dollar sales. Our Partnership Alignment Workshop allows owners to have honest conversations deep understanding of what is happening in the market, identify critical gaps and strengths, and create realistic commitments with important next steps, transforming $5M in annual revenue to $20M at a 4x return. 

Learn more about RIDG’s customized innovation process, which guarantees scalable product or service design and continuously identifies increased revenue opportunities. From the customer experience journey to inspiring new ways to package everything you already have, we can help your team unlock new business value. 

More to explore

Instant Innovator Training Syllabus

Course Objective Learn and apply a proven outcome focused, framework informed and process driven innovation method. In other words, quickly explore, test