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Sustaining Innovation


sustaining innovation

Why improving what you have could be better for your business

Innovation is often associated with a bright idea. Something inventive and ground-breaking that reshapes how we do things. Yet, this isn’t the only form of modernisation. Introducing new methods to improve and build upon what you already have is just as vital! This is what is known as Sustaining Innovation.


Sustaining innovation vs disruptive innovation

Where sustaining innovation improves existing products., it does not create new markets or value markets. But it develops existing ones with better value, allowing companies to compete against each other’s sustaining improvements.

A disruptive innovation helps create a new market and value network. The innovation eventually disrupts an existing market and value network.

Choosing between sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation is not simple. A disruptive business model can generate attractive profits, but organisations shouldn’t neglect sustaining innovation in favour of disruption. Sustaining innovation can help a new business grow through better technologies and products. It can help an established business gain a new edge.


Which is best for me?

If you’ve already established your business, outlined your market and the issues you’d like to address, then it’s sustaining innovation that you’ll be focusing on most! This type of innovation occurs when a business seeks to improve and reshape.


What do businesses want to improve on?

  • Existing capabilities in existing markets
  • Their products/services
  • Expenditure
  • Their marketing
  • Their product lines
  • How they reach their audiences (Marketing)


How do businesses address these problems?

  • Strategic road mapping
  • Traditional research and development
  • Bringing in new resources/skill sets into the company
  • Design thinking methods
  • Develop an Innovation Strategy


For example

A small plant hire firm may be struggling to manage their finances. The business is currently losing unnecessary amounts of money as they don’t have anybody overseeing expenditure and looking at ways to save. By bringing in an account/finance manager, the plant has successfully innovated as they have brought in an employee with a new skill set that addresses their existing financial problems.


Where to start…

As obvious as it sounds, improving on your current business is incredibly innovative. Once you have identified the issues your business is currently facing, you can successfully solve the problem without having to introduce revolutionary measures.


More information

For more information about how we can help your business, get in touch