Blog Category: Awkward Realities

Seek to be right, not to be proven right

245-Seek-to-be-Right

“Proven right” breeds confirmation bias; “be right” inspires a search for truth. In new product development, “proven right” seeks to validate the supplier’s ideas; “be right” explores customers’ worlds seeking what others have missed. “Proven right” results in squandered R&D spending and missed opportunities; “be right” in delighted customers, premium pricing, and pleasant financial review meetings.

More in e-book, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth

Your failed product launch was probably doomed earlier

244-Failed-Launch

Imagine you just launched your new product and the market responded with… one big collective yawn. Was it a poorly orchestrated launch? Perhaps, but it’s more likely your launch was doomed a couple of years earlier by poor front-end work. Our research shows five of six B2B product development teams lack a clear understanding of market needs before conducting B2B-optimized VOC. Without this insight, your launch might be putting lipstick on a pig.

More in article, Your failed product launch was probably doomed earlier

Trust is the ultimate truth serum

243-Trust

Voice-of-customer interviews don’t really work unless the customer trusts you. You’ll tell your doctor, lawyer or therapist everything they need to know so they can help you. But only if you trust them. The same is true for your customers when you seek information to innovate for them. You build trust with your credibility, reliability, and a sincere interest in their well-being.

More in e-book, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth

Is organizational friction slowing your new product development?

242-Organizational-Friction

What’s the net present value of accelerating the launch of a $5 million revenue-per-year product by one month? About $80,000… or $4000 per business day. Yet we often hinder teams’ progress with organizational friction: travel bans, spending freezes, hiring delays, new assignments, re-organizations, new initiatives, frequent changes in strategy. Consider these actions carefully lest you turn exciting innovation into a mind-numbing slog.

More in article, Accelerate New Product Innovation

Problem as given… vs. problem as understood

241-Problem-as-Understood

During the Vietnam war, the US was still using its cold war approach of “problem as given”… applying prescribed responses for a long list of scenarios. This was a disaster in the face of evolving threats. Now their protocol is “problem as understood”… developing solutions only after the problem is well defined. Is your company using “cold-war innovation,” or does it place a high priority on learning what customers truly want before developing products for them?

More in e-book, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth

Always separate your divergent and convergent thinking

240-Divergent-Convergent-Thinking

In new product development, keep your mind open to all customer needs before converging on your solutions. Your brain works better this way. It’s why we don’t “judge” ideas during brainstorming. It’s why you like digital photography better than film: You take as many shots as you like (diverge) and later pick the best (converge). When it comes to customer needs, take lots of shots so you can focus on the best later.

More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B

Today, barriers to competition look more like invitations to disruption

239-Competitive-Barrier

Consider disruptors such as Amazon, Uber, Apple and Airbnb. If you make physical products, someone may “Amazon” you by surrounding their product with amazing services based on the internet-of-things and artificial intelligence. That’s just one example. Stop relying on Porter’s Five Forces (e.g. barriers to competition) to protect you, and begin thinking how you can be the disrupter, not the disruptee. Check out these free FutureScenes® trends sheets for idea-starters.

More in FutureScenes sheets at www.futurescenes.com

 

Are you exploring… or just reading a map?

238-Reading-Map

Both activities involve movement, but only one lets you get lost for a while so you can see what others have missed. When you develop new products based on sales reports and “validating” your ideas with customers, you’re just map-reading. Put yourself in a position to be amazed by new scenery in customers’ worlds. You’ll need to get comfortable off the beaten path… but you don’t want to go where anything is ‘beaten’ anyway, right?

More in e-book, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth (Lesson 15)

Is it time to supplement your Vitality Index metric?

237-Measure-Innovation

Keep using the vitality index… new product revenue as % of total revenue. But understand three limitations: 1) It’s not predictive; it only tells you what has already happened. 2) It’s not prescriptive; it doesn’t suggest how to improve. 3) It’s not precise; is it a new product if we just change its color? Supplement the vitality index with 2 newer metrics: Growth Driver Index (GDI), and Commercial Confidence Index (CCI).

More in Leader’s Guide Videos Lesson 29, Employ leading growth metrics

Do you pursue speed… or velocity?

236-Velocity

The difference between speed and velocity is that only velocity has a direction associated with it. Many in business are focused on going as fast as they can… in any direction. Avoiding solid front-end-of-innovation work because you want to develop your new product faster is a prime example. Sure, you launched your product quickly… but no one bought it, because you failed to first understand customers’ needs.

More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B