The Innovation & Growth Leadership Summit (IGL), held in Phoenix AZ, brought together a dynamic group of innovation leaders. Responsible for defining and executing growth strategies, participants shared many similar goals and challenges.

Key takeaways:

Differentiate by offering products that are personalized, premium, and make life better. Whether it’s multi-sensory, intelligent, or ensures health and longevity, innovations that go beyond what’s expected can break the commoditization mold. Sometimes the innovation is not the product, it might be the service, convenience or experience it offers. Product differentiation is not about features, it is about how products and services make life easier, more enjoyable, and perhaps even healthier.

Sharpen your e-commerce and online sales strategy; an Amazon presence is key. This means re-thinking how products are produced, priced, packaged, and marketed. Whether B2C or B2B, your online success will impact long-term competitiveness. Summit attendees heard about projections that indicate doubling of online procurement over the next decade. The time to move is now!

Have a focused vision and communicate it clearly. Share it with employees, partners, and customers; let them know the “why’s” as well as the “what’s.” Be an effective change agent, emphasizing the need for inclusion, collaboration, diversity, and an outside-in perspective. Make sure actions follow words. Too often leadership creates obstacles; be consistent and make people feel secure, confident, and supported.

Leverage your strengths and core assets. This means going beyond adjacencies, it means stepping back and seeing the big picture. What can your company do that is unique? Can you take your business to the next level by combining strengths as Amazon does regularly? Can working with partners further differentiate the value offered?

Others discussed operational excellence and enabling front-end tools and processes, as well as the changing role of R&D. Innovation requires leaps of faith; success is a mindset. When setbacks occur, try re-framing problems – often much larger opportunities emerge.

Since the Summit, we’ve been further exploring the topics of e-commerce, leadership, long-term vision, and game-changing growth strategies. Sign up to be an IE Insider to receive exclusive updates and special invitations. Be on the lookout for 2019 IGL Summit news – exciting plans are in the works!

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