Blog Category: Product Development

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

Your failed product launch was probably doomed earlier

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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

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

Always separate your divergent and convergent thinking

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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

Do you pursue speed… or velocity?

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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

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

Inertia is not your friend

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Are you Newton’s object continuing in the same direction and speed… or are you the force acting on the object? Your company may think it can keep doing what it’s always done. But if your competitors learn how to understand unmet customers’ needs first, they will be the force that changes your direction (down) and speed (slower)… in their favor. Inertia is not your friend. Learning and change are.

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