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How to fast-track innovation

Can scale and innovation coexist? Yes, but legacy companies must be willing to learn from their nimble competitors.


There is such a thing as too big to fail, but not for the reasons you think. For many companies, scale has become the enemy of agile innovation (think legacy companies versus startups). And when the ability to innovate fast is limited, growth is hindered. Accenture Strategy research shows that only 19 percent of organizations have complete confidence in their operating model’s ability to keep pace. The culprits? A host of typical large-company staples, from cumbersome business processes to lethargic product lifecycles. The following moves can spur the creation and creativity of digital innovation hubs throughout your company.

How to fast-track innovation

Explore the four moves below to see how you can hack growth and creativity.

Move 1: From rigid multi-year planning to agile decision-making

Build a flexible roadmap that adapts to a complex array of possibilities and real-time changes.

Real-life innovation hub:

Thanks to its dynamic digital roadmap, a global lubricants business is now able to disrupt its six-month plan every three months—a big leap forward compared to the company’s traditional annual planning cycle.

Move 2: From a perfect prototype to iterative design

Start your product or service development with an experimental mindset by focusing on small batches of activity and using advanced analytics to inform your next step.

Real-life innovation hub:

Growth hacking’s true potential can be unlocked within a company’s internal systems. Google’s People Operations team use an analytics-driven approach to enhance employee experience, one iteration and data point at a time.

Move 3: From static teams to liquid workforce

Bring together cross-functional, multi-disciplinary teams to address a specific customer issue or opportunity.

Real-life innovation hub:

By acting like mini start-ups, Spotify’s scrum teams come together in a loose yet coordinated structure that can be easily scaled without sacrificing autonomy or quick decision-making.

Move 4: From renting capabilities to building an ecosystem

Form strategic partnerships that enable new customer offers for both the organization and its partners.

Real-life innovation hub:

Shell opted out of extensive hardware upgrades at its UK gas stations and instead partnered with PayPal to enable a new fill-up-and-go system. Customers use a mobile app to fuel up and pay.

  • Move 1
  • Move 2
  • Move 3
  • Move 4


Swift, agile and ruthlessly customer focused


Outlook: Accenture’s Journal of High-Performance Business

As a showcase for the most innovative thinking on high-performance business, Outlook focuses on six core themes: Redefining CompetitivenessDigital DisruptionGlobal Operating ModelOpen Innovation, Sustainability and Workforce of the Future. We feature original content devoted to these topics as well as a selection of unique insights offered by professionals throughout Accenture.​​​

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