Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Innovation Memo: Innovation Will Be Just as Important, and Maybe Even More Important, In An Economically Challenging 2009

The temptation in very bad economic times like the present is to hunker down, cut-back and just stay the course. This is true for all companies in the the food and grocery industry, from small natural and specialty foods manufacturer-marketers and single-store retailers, to global food companies and large retail chains.

The problem with taking that approach only is that it tends to shut down innovation, which is something industry companies of all shapes -- suppliers, marketers, distributors, retailers -- and sizes -- small, medium, large and mega -- need to continue doing in an economic recession. In fact, one could argue that although its much more difficult to do, innovating during a serious economic downturn is perhaps the most important time to do so.

Cutting back, hunkering down, trimming expenses -- these are all essential things to do in this global recession. They are survival mechanisms and strategies. But companies and individuals need to do so in a way that preserves, and even encourages, innovation. It can be done. The first step towards making it happen is to recognize it.

2008 has already ended in parts of the world, and will do so in just a few hours in other parts like the United States. So as the new year, 2009, begins -- a time when we all look to changes --one change we won't be seeing is an improved global economy. No indeed. In fact, we, along with many others, see the current global recession lasting through all of 2009, and likely getting worse before it starts to get better.

This does not mean innovation must come to an end though, or even slow down. Rather it just needs to change, to adapt, as all strategic elements must in a super-sour economy.

To this end, we've put together a list of recent articles and reports regarding innovation. All of the articles look forward to innovation in 2009, in a difficult economic environment. It's must reading for the new year. The list: click on the green titles below:

~Innovating in the Great Disruption
By Scott Anthony

~An Entrepreneur's Look at 2009: The End or A New Beginning?
By David Silverman

~Special Report: Making Innovation Work

~Special Report: Slimming Innovation Pipelines to Fatten Their Returns

No comments: