Awkward Reality #249

Some leaders could boost innovation by staying home

249-Innovation

We see three areas where leaders can have a greater negative impact on innovation than positive: 1) organizational friction (travel bans, spending freezes, hiring delays, excessive re-orgs, etc.) that slow innovation to a crawl, 2) spreading too few resources over too many projects so that nothing moves briskly, and 3) short-changing the front-end of innovation, so that a clear picture of customer needs is lacking. Companies pay a heavy price for keeping such leaders in place.

More in article, Accelerate New Product Innovation

Awkward Reality #248

Today’s financial results are the future someone else created years ago

248-Someones-Future

Let’s say you’ve led a business for three years. If this year’s financial performance looks great, it’s likely this is mainly because a) the last business leader put strong growth capabilities in place, or b) you’ve cut costs and taken other short-term measures that will ultimately degrade this business. It takes a long time to build a growth juggernaut, and very little time to “raid” it for short-term gain. Companies should recognize this and reward the “builders” among us.

More in e-book, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth (Lesson 7)

Awkward Reality #247

If your new product isn’t easily findable, it could be “game over”

247-Findable

Research shows that it’s often “game over” for your product if a competitor’s product has a better Google search ranking. The key is good search engine optimization (SEO), and the key to that is predicting which keywords your prospects will search for. Here’s a tip: In your front-end voice-of-customer interviews, capture customers’ comments verbatim. Then use their language—which is unlikely to change—in your SEO strategy.

More in article, B2B Product Launch: How to get it right

Awkward Reality #246

You can thrive in the “suicide quadrant”

246-Suicide-Quadrant

Many refer to the new-market, new-technology quadrant of the Ansoff matrix as the “suicide quadrant,” given its high-failure rate. This need not be the case. With good planning, you can spot potential “landmines” much earlier, and take steps to either kill your project quickly, redirect it, or accelerate success. Do this by rating risk factors for impact and certainty… and then communicate your progress through Certainty Matrices.

More in article, How to Thrive in the “Suicide Quadrant”

Awkward Reality #245

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

Awkward Reality #244

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, B2B Product Launch: How to get it right

Awkward Reality #243

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