🟢 Preparing your innovation department for an economic nuclear winter
Many budget cuts may be underway for innovation departments in the following months. Blame poor visibility of your actions, the abrupt end of a golden age, or the poor example that major tech companies have been lately. The question is, what could you do about it?
Not to be too overdramatic, but my spider sense has been tingling lately. Given the massive uncertainties ahead of us for the next three years and the numerous signals that large tech companies have been emitting while shutting down entire departments to "concentrate on the core business" I believe that many innovation departments will face the possibility of a nuclear winter. And I would extend this warning to our friends in design as well.
This may seem surprising. After all, the logic would be to double down on investment into innovation projects in various ways. In volatile times, restlessly exploring the future of your market should be the equivalent of oxygen masks dropping in your plane's cabin.
In practice? Two things are playing against you if you're leading an innovation department. Firstly, in a crisis, few executive committees manage to keep their eyes beyond the next few quarters. Secondly? Many innovation departments never manage to justify their ROI. And while I cannot simply help you with your executive committee (things can be done nonetheless), I can share some ideas to address the second problem.