Step #5: Plan – how to get it done

Step #5: Plan – how to get it done

In Step#4 of the Cycle of Innovation you defined where you wanted to go. In this step you investigate how to get there and make a first draft of your business plan. You define where future revenue is coming from and how costs are built up. You make a gap analysis between your current position and your future one. What will be the focal areas that need to change? And what resources do you need to make it happen? This plan is the last piece of your ‘storyline’ of why you want to innovate, where you want to go and how you are going to get there. Without an overall plan your mission will fail, your results will be limited to scattered successes of separate projects and your organization will not reach the targeted new role in the ecosystem.

Quantify the business opportunity

The plan consists of two parts. One part is focused on the future business. How does your new business model look like? What will future customers pay and for what? What services and products do you offer them? Do they pay per piece, per use or have a subscription? How many customers do you expect to serve over the coming years? What size organization do you need for servicing these customers? What will be the operational cost to deliver these products and services to them? Etc. A Business Model Canvas can be useful in this stage. Altogether this will give you a sense of how big the business opportunity is.

Plan the transformation

The second part of the plan is focused on the activities you need to undertake to change your current organization into one that is fully equipped to fulfill that future role. What do you need to get there and how do you deal with the current business at the same time. What needs to change? What is the gap between the existing organization and the future one? What parts of your organization will get a different role? What is needed to make them shift? How will these changes impact current business over time? What competences does your organization need to be able to fulfill that future role? What investments in technology, marketing, housing, acquisitions etc. are necessary? Together they indicate what the impact is for your organization to get to your future role in your eco-system.

Speed is key

You don’t need to zoom into the details now. Restrict yourself to the bigger picture. The main goal is that you have a logical and credible story of how you are going to meet the primary innovation goals of Step#3 in time. Don’t waste time in perfecting it, because a lot of requests for change are heading your way shortly. Drafting a business and transformation plan means making a lot of hypotheses. Make a list of every hypothesis that you made. This gives you insight in how big the leap of faith is you are about to take and where to focus on when you are going to validate your plan.

Once you drafted the first version of your business plan you can proceed with Step #6: check and validate the underlying hypotheses. Need help? Here’s a checklist that can help you to get it right.

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What are your experiences in how innovation is managed? Can you relate to the steps of the Cycle? Do you know inspiring examples of organizations that are doing it well? Or failing miserably? This autumn the 11 posts of the Cycle of Innovation will be assembled in a book together with the best comments with attribution. As a token of my appreciation you receive a copy of the book per mail just in time for Christmas.


The DOK 5 Cycle of Innovation is an easy-to-use method that helps existing organizations to innovate effectively & efficient. The cycle consists of 10 steps that precede each other logically. They help to envision, plan, focus and deliver results without ignoring the existing business. Read more about the Cycle of Innovation.

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