Blog Category: Innovation

Seek to be right, not to be proven right

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“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

Is organizational friction slowing your new product development?

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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

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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

Today, barriers to competition look more like invitations to disruption

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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?

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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?

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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

No one steps on a landmine they can see

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A project landmine is something that blows up budgets, schedule and reputations. No one steps on one they can see. So why don’t we look for them harder and earlier in a project life? Because we’ve been conditioned to think that killing our project equates to failure. Instead, we should identify areas of uncertainty as early as possible. Celebrate when you kill your own project swiftly… and celebrate when you try hard and are unable to kill it.

View video, De-risking Transformational Projects

Employ leading growth metrics

The vitality index—percent of sales from new products—is a metric you should keep using. But it’s not predictive, prescriptive or precise. Consider 2 leading-indicator metrics from The AIM Institute: The Commercial Confidence Index (CCI), and the Growth Driver Index (GDI)… both quite easy to run.

Use this free diagnostic to find out your CCI and GDI, and benchmark your growth capabilities.

A good innovation metric should satisfy 4 criteria

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1) It should be leading: Doing more of this will result in growth. 2) It should be actionable: Our employees can make this happen. 3) It should be benchmarkable: We can compare year-over-year and to our peers. 4) It should be high impact: If we improve these things, it will significantly impact growth. These two metrics pass all four tests: The Growth Driver Index (GDI) and the Commercial Confidence Index (CCI).

More in article, Beyond the Vitality Index: Two Metrics to Truly Assess Innovation Potential