2020 was a unique year in all of our lives – and also in the evolution of every business enterprise. There was not a single organisation that will not have had to adapt, evolve and innovate to cope with a world that was never previously envisaged.

Most enterprises have had to adapt and innovate in three key areas; their products or services, their business processes, and in many cases their fundamental business models. They have had to accommodate and respond to the restrictions placed upon us all, or adapt to changing customer demands and desires brought on by the immense changes to everyday life.

At Sussex Innovation, we understand that having a clear innovation process is critical to the success of any innovation initiative. However, we are also clear that selecting the best innovation process for a given problem is always situational.

Up until the mid-1990s British Airways and Virgin were brilliant innovators, continually outdoing each other to improve the quality of their services and on-board experience. However, it wasn’t until Ryanair and EasyJet (copying the innovations of Southwest Airlines) pursued a low cost model, that the bigger operators realised that they had been innovating down a path that the consumer didn’t particularly care for and certainly were not willing to pay for any longer.

They did manage to survive that industry transformation – unlike the computer industry where every generational change in computer technology led to the almost total annihilation of every single incumbent producer. It is an astonishing fact that as the truly innovative companies in the early years of the computer industry moved from mainframes to minis and minis to PCs, they had a 100% failure rate in trying to continue innovating into the next generation of technology.

In innovation, context is everything.

For a deeper dive into the process of innovation, practical examples from local businesses, and tips on how to build an innovative business yourself, check out our latest white paper How Innovation Drives Growth, which you can download for free here.