Continuous Innovation is a mindset change for organizations that have software products. It is a shift to a shared understanding:
We never have perfect knowledge today about what our customers will want tomorrow.
Companies that accept this and make it a part of their operating principles can gain and maintain a significant competitive advantage over those that maintain a fixed mindset and way of operating. In fact, disruptive innovations are one thing that should be keeping business leaders awake at night in today’s environment.
In the book Mindset, Carol Dweck eloquently describes what underlies human success and where it comes from. Her work has already impacted an uncountable number of lives in education, health care and parenting and I believe that we are just beginning to scratch the surface of the impact that her work will have for generations to come. One example, that I am passionate about, is the software product development space. We can run direct parallels between Carol Dweck’s work on human mindsets and on how we develop software products. This article demonstrates that parallel and puts the theory into practical use for this purpose.
In essence, to build software products that find success in their respective markets, we must build them in a way that guarantees them a flexible and unexpected future. Systems and teams that employ a flexible mindset will be more successful than those that are hamstrung by traditional fixed project mindsets.
The following infographic demonstrates the Continuous Innovation Mindset and its approach to failure and learning:
The following principles represent key underlying cultural components that need to be instilled in your product development teams to empower the Continuous Innovation Mindset:
If you are successful at employing these principles for your software products, you will build a product that is much more adaptable, ready for the future and ultimately more successful by every measure.
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