Brian Gladden, CEO, Si2Brian Gladden, CEO
The rapid shift in consumer demand brought on by the pandemic has opened many business opportunities. Advocating the need for innovation to increase the probability of success, Strategy & Innovation Institute (Si2) helps firms transform new ideas into business models by mentoring executive teams on strategic and innovative methods. Si2 creates a culture of innovation within the organization while emphasizing a customer-centric approach.

In an interview with Manage HR, Brian Gladden, CEO of Si2, shares his insights on the importance of building a culture of innovation in the strategic planning process to formulate actionable strategic plans in line with the organization’s mission and vision to create uncontested market space by finding new revenue-generating areas.

A quick overview of how Si2 makes a difference in the strategic planning space

Most strategic planning firms follow traditional ways that exclude innovation. Si2 codifies innovation into the strategic process to provide leading strategic methodologies and frameworks to any firm at a reasonable price. We are a certified and experienced firm trained by Strategyzer, LeanStack, and Blue Ocean Global Network. We are proficient in coaching businesses using top methodologies, which include Blue Ocean strategy, LeanStack, Design Thinking, Business Model Canvas, and Testing Business Ideas, to formulate coherent and actionable strategies. Si2 creates actionable processes by integrating top strategic innovation frameworks with current corporate processes, metrics, and planning.

The challenges in the corporate wellness space and their solutions

According to the famous Peter Drucker quote, “culture eats strategy for breakfast” as culture is the key to long term growth and innovation. But most firms we engage with are often confused about where to start in strategic planning process, have no idea how to embed innovation into strategic planning, and only focus on current operations rather than creating innovative offerings.

Si2 begins the process of creating a company culture with an organizational assessment that defines their purpose, mission, and vision. This enables better decision-making, creates a culture of innovation aligned with the organization’s mission, and provides a purpose to engage employees to work toward a long-term vision.

Your business model is how you create, deliver, and capture value. Most firms do not have their business model documented, which is the first step to optimizing it and innovating it. We can then help them with strategic execution by designing and implementing objectives and key results (OKRs) methodology. The key is to integrate corporate goals with new innovation ideas.

Instead of focusing on the internal development of firms, our strategic planning approach focuses on embracing the ever-changing consumer needs and solving customers’ problems. While aiming to find new revenue generating areas, we train companies to “love the problem, not your solution.” Si2 helps firms create new value propositions that solve customers’ problems and jobs-to-be-done.

The Si2 approach to strategic planning and its benefits for clients

Si2’s strategic approach helps organizations become ambidextrous by exploiting core capabilities while exploring for new opportunities. Through examining the customer’s journey, Si2 helps companies understand the triggering events that can cause a change in demand and create new markets, or Blue Oceans.
  • Si2 helps guide companies to create growth, by using strategic innovation frameworks to help find real customer problems and unmet demand

The Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas are one-page tools that depict your business model. By creating experiments and conducting interviews, Si2 can help firms reduce risk by validating the customers’ real problems and jobs-to-be-done. This innovation in the business model ensures the service or product is aligned with customer needs and values.

Customer success stories that highlight Si2’s expertise

We leverage 30 years of sales and business development experience with academic expertise in business model creation and innovation to help companies create uncontested market space. For example, Wall Beds’ n More, a small retail franchise, was unsure about how to grow sales and who their real target customer segment was. We worked together to document their business model and understand how they differentiate themselves from their competitors. By training employees on who the real target customer was, and what Wall Beds n More’s real competitive advantages were, they doubled sales and revenue for their store.

In another instance, a Fortune 500 hi-tech computer firm, wanted help to be more entrepreneurial and nimble in moving from idea to market, like a startup. Si2 integrated lean startup methodologies into the large enterprise processes to map the idea flow while evaluating cross-cutting opportunities across the enterprises. We added a framework to their innovation process that helped them understand their current core capabilities while exploring new market opportunities to efficiently address customers’ problems.

In today’s world, when businesses are in a constant spin, moving at the speed of innovation, Si2 helps move an idea from inception to execution through discovery, validation, and development.