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The Importance of Stage-Relevant Teams For An Organization's Success

Bringing a new product to market requires a team of experienced innovators with startup DNA and stage-relevance experience. Stage-relevance, whether through building your own team or partnering with one, is crucial to every company's success.
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The Importance of Stage-Relevant Teams For An Organization's Success

  • Bringing a new product to market requires a team of experienced innovators with startup DNA and stage-relevance experience.
  • Stage-relevant teams innovate faster, cheaper, and quietly in a way that doesn't negatively impact your core business or brand in the process.
  • Stage-relevance, whether through building your own team or partnering with one, is crucial to every company's success.

Innovation planning is not serendipitous. The point of innovation is to create a successful outcome and “winging it” won’t cut it within a company’s strategy. Innovation failure is seldom due to the idea itself. Failure often comes from within the organization and the lack of proper innovation planning. Success happens through purposeful execution of the innovation process. Thinking of innovating? You will need a unique team that can execute planning, preparing, and organizing in a way that will level up your company. New products and markets require a unique approach that is different from simply managing and/or growing an existing product, business, or service. Stage-relevant teams will provide you with the right mindset, experience, and intellect to successfully operationalize innovation. By creating insights that turn into predictable and scalable business models, stage-relevance drives adoption into your market and is key to your organization's success.

What is Stage-Relevance?

Stage-relevance is a human-to-human learning framework. It's about trying to learn quickly what your customers want and how to deliver it to them in a profitable way that will achieve the desired outcomes. These teams innovate faster, cheaper, and quietly in a way that doesn't negatively impact your core business or brand in the process. To do so, your team must:

  • Have the right mindset - a growth mindset
  • Be a learn-it-all, not a know-it-all
  • Have the understanding that learning and curiosity is what drives success
  • Have startup experience with the ability to execute innovation and bring an emerging product to market

It's not about the current stage of your company – stage-relevance applies to new companies and 100-year-old companies alike. Stage-relevance is having the right people, with the right experience, available at the stage of a product going to market and the collective team who can excel your product to market and provide continuous advancements along the way.

Why is Stage-Relevance Important?

Oftentimes, innovation will take a backseat to a company’s day-to-day operations. Leaders will see the money-flow coming from what they are currently doing and simply not see innovation as a top priority within the company. Innovation will easily get put on the back burner in an organization that doesn’t prioritize it. This is because of the hesitance to try something new and not having the proper people to lead the way. Innovating brings about changes that many people cannot identify with and leads to resistance and instability within an organization.

A stage-relevant team ensures your company is maintaining relevance in the market. Having a team that truly understands your customers, their processes and wishes, ensures you are developing products to inspire and gain a competitive edge over the competition. When leveraging your existing markets and ecosystems to learn, you're not trying to sell new ideas or products, or services to your customers. You're trying to recruit partners who not only share your vision, but also understand your current reality, and are willing to go on the journey with you and give you what you need most at this stage, which is not revenue, it is time and truth. Your customer's problems are not unique to them individually. That's how you find predictable, profitable revenue at scale.

Having a stage-relevant team is universal and doesn’t just apply to startups. Large enterprises often have sluggish processes, long decision-making cycles, and communication lapses. All of these are reasons why innovation fails in the absence of stage-relevant teams in large organizations. Innovation-niche teams are easier to collaborate on, have a greater appetite for risk, and an open willingness to change.

How to design your organization for successful innovation with stage-relevant talent

The unrealized commitment, and the lack of support from leaders and stakeholders, for innovation are one of the main reasons why innovations fail. Setting up your organization for successful innovation means placing the right people in the right places. Some of the biggest struggles a company will experience will come from non-stage-relevant people, who are fantastic at managing and growing existing businesses, but lack the experience in taking something somewhere new. When building a stage-relevant team, you need members who will hypothesize and prioritize who the customer is before anything else. The team will be able to account for what problem is being solved for, and what the customer is willing to pay before ever writing a single line of code or starting the build on any type of product or service. An experienced stage-relevant team will hypothesize, then test and iterate until they can pivot, proceed, or stop altogether.

Having a team that imbues startup DNA abolishes risks involved with your ideas and increases your chance of success. Teams can go further with the support of stakeholders and leadership, who can provide a safe space to innovate as well as the ability to integrate the team back into the business in an intelligent way. Stakeholders should provide the protection for stage-relevant teams to work with open access to the organization's ecosystem. This enables the team to leverage the right partners to learn from. Resources can range from executive-level sponsorship, investments, and access to subject-matter experts and those who hold the key to consumer relationships within your organization.

The internal organization, and the implementation process of a new idea, are usually the reason for innovation failure. You must be aware of the weaknesses within your organization and take appropriate measures to succeed in innovation planning. By creating a strong framework, that incorporates stage-relevance, management can strengthen the organization and see higher innovation successes. It doesn’t matter if you build your own team or have a partner with high-expertise in stage-relevance – the bottom line is, if you don't have stage-relevant teams, you are not setting yourself up for success.

How U+ can help you to design your company for successful innovation

The U+ Method can efficiently and effectively lead the development, implementation, and improvement of innovations in any sector. To date, we have used this method to bring 80+ products to market, creating over $1 billion in value for Fortune 1000 companies. Check out our success stories here.

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