Don’t Let FOMO Drive Your Innovation Strategy

"The company without a strategy is willing to try anything."
Michael Porter

We are living in a social media world filled with constant updates from family, friends, and the media. In this share, post, retweet climate, you're bound to have experienced FOMO (fear of missing out) at least once. FOMO is that longing or yearning feeling you get if you have missed an event such as a family reunion or a music concert. It's human to experience FOMO, and it’s an impulse that a lot of people are dealing with.

The main driver of FOMO is the fear of irrelevance. And it's not just humans that experience it. 

Corporates in Singapore are also suffering from the symptoms of FOMO. Many have a fear of being left out of the conversations happening around innovation. When we ran our “Business Impact Through Collaboration” breakfast workshop, we kickstarted the session by asking our attendees what they want to achieve and why they think their companies should collaborate with startups. In our latest workshop, "we want to do it because everyone else is doing it" was the most common answer. That's another example of FOMO for you. 

Let me say this up front: making decisions based on FOMO is a bad idea. It is leading a lot of corporates to make stupid decisions. Too many corporates are launching open innovation initiatives for the wrong reasons with blurry and unclear objectives. This is also one of the reasons why corporate-startup collaborations initiated by large corporates fail 85% of the time. 

This lack of focus represents a major problem for large organisations as time and resources can go to waste while also potentially discrediting the people leading these innovation plans and discouraging corporates from pursuing them.

"Sound strategy starts with having the right goal." 
Michael Porter

I admit that I was a victim of FOMO in my previous job. I identified a startup that I recommended my company collaborate with because on its technology, not its relevancy to the business. This collaboration got started for the wrong reasons and there were other parameters I should have looked into before leading such an initiative.
  • Disruption Mapping

After having done a proper scoping for a given business unit alongside the BU lead, corporate innovators need to look at the following elements:

- How the value chain and customer journey breaks down;

- How business models are being innovated by startups in that space;

- What the technology applications and trends are;

- Venture capital investment trends for both speed and maturity of disruption.

  • Capability mapping 

The disruption mapping will allow corporate innovators to identify the capabilities needed in their organizations to compete and win where there is value. Capability gaps can then be mapped when compared to existing organisational capabilities, infrastructure and resources.

This will be key for corporate innovators to creating an innovation thesis and a portfolio of growth initiatives to execute. Decision making regarding corporate innovation can’t rely on an impulse and needs to be backed by sound strategic analysis.


We are hosting breakfast workshops on the matter and we would be happy to show you how to proceed!

Don't miss our next corporate innovation workshops in Singapore!

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By David Nosibor

Growth Lead, Singapore

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