The consistently excellent Innovating to Win blog points out that chess strategy holds a number of important lessons for business innovators. Here are five key principles from chess that are also highly valuable lessons for innovation:
- Be active, not passive. "If you don’t take control of your innovation agenda, you have no hope of breaking the cycle of accidental innovation—not knowing when, or if, the next great innovation will come";
- Know your endgame. "For innovators this means that you need to know where are want to go if you are going to get there";
- Tactics are the tools to implement strategy. "As innovators, we are faced with many different problems to solve. Different problems yield to different techniques. It is essential that innovators have a broad array of innovation best practices in their arsenal";
- Never relax before the game is done. "The innovation game is never over. You must always keep reassessing your strategies and reinventing your offerings. Make yourself obsolete before someone else does it for you";
- Be flexible, conditions can change on a single move. "You must keep abreast of market and technology conditions both within your space and adjacent spaces. This means you need efficient methods for accessing knowledge from outside of your organization and integrating it into your innovation practices. Leverage this information to recognize early signs of a change in the tide so you can make course adjustments early."
[image: The Luzhin Defence]