Awkward Reality #239

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

 

Don’t Confuse Concept Testing With VoC

Concept testing vs VoC

If we bring a prototype to a customer, this is “concept testing.” Something different from  voice of the customer research. But when these become conflated,  we fool ourselves into believing that we’re more customer-centric than we really are. This confusion results from how innovation and new product processes have evolved. In an earlier era, we ... Read More

Awkward Reality #238

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)

Awkward Reality #237

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

Awkward Reality #236

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

Awkward Reality #235

No one steps on a landmine they can see

235-Landmines

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

Awkward Reality #234

Inertia is not your friend

234-Inertia-Ball

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

Episode #30

Lead for growth… every day

Do you admire business leaders like Henry Ford, Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos? Why… because they were great at financial reviews or quarterly investor calls? Great leaders march to a different beat, and so must you. Consider these practical leadership tips to build your own legacy as a great business leader.

Benchmark your growth capabilities, and chart a multi-year improvement plan with our free B2B Growth Diagnostic.

Awkward Reality #233