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How far out are you looking out to create significant changes in your business? Through the next six months? The end of the year? How about looking out at least to 2020 with an innovation theme to set priorities?

While you typically hear about an annual theme as the New Year starts, the point here is different: establish an innovation theme for next year NOW. Looking months out sets up completing preparatory work throughout the current year to be ready for strong implementation in the next.

Selecting Your Organization’s Innovation Theme

Reviewing the Fast Company World's Most Innovative Companies issue suggested fourteen potential innovation themes based on the strategies the magazine reported.

Based on this list, think ahead: What you would do NOW to prepare if 2020 were going to be the year of . . .

  1. Turning your company into the ultimate content creator in your market?
  2. Making all your technology elegant?
  3. Predicting EVERYTHING that your customers will do?
  4. Inviting your audience to direct and navigate your brand stories?
  5. Creating all kinds of private-label micro brands?
  6. Doing only ONE thing but doing it at massive scale?
  7. Smashing together your offline and online brand experiences?
  8. Your brand doing one MEGA stunt to attract positive attention?
  9. Turning what you do into a subscription model?
  10. Producing ONLY to demand?
  11. Doing smaller, less complex things to increase the frequency of transactions?
  12. Slight changes with dramatic impacts?
  13. Giving customer 5x more ways to buy & use what you do?
  14. Enabling customers to automatically make small, repetitive, good decisions to benefit themselves?

Do you see any possibilities in this list? Does it inspire you to imagine other innovation themes to focus on for the year AFTER the current year?  – Mike Brown

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