Awkward Reality #196

The Cure for B2B Myopia: Jobs-to-Be-Done

Harvard professor Levitt began the JTBD discussion by teaching that the railroad industry should consider itself as the transportation industry..

Modern “Jobs-to-be-Done” thinking began with the most popular HBR article ever written: Ted Levitt’s “Marketing Myopia.” It begins this way: “Every major industry was once a growth industry. But some that are not riding a wave of growth enthusiasm are very much in the shadow of decline. Others, which are thought of as seasoned growth ... Read More

Awkward Reality #195

Awkward Reality #194

You can only help B2B customers two ways: improving their processes or products.

194-Supplier-and-Customer

You can improve a process anywhere down the value chain, or you can improve the ultimate product. (Mid-stream products don’t count.) Equipment and service providers often have their biggest impact on processes. Component or material makers often have a larger impact on products. In either case, you need to pursue these improvements with passion.

More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B (page 26).

Awkward Reality #193

It’s not so difficult to move from Innovation Maturity Level 1 directly to Level 3.

193-Customer-Interview

In Level 1, you start with your ideas and launch products you think customers will want. In Level 2, you still start with your ideas, but “validate” them with customers. In Level 3, you start with customer needs, using divergent and convergent interviews. You uncover a full range of outcomes and only work on those customers care about.

More in white paper, Guessing at Customer Needs (page 7).

Awkward Reality #192

Awkward Reality #191

It won’t be a great customer interview if you only talk to their summer intern.

191-Summer-Intern

You want to get the right B2B interviewees in the room, but setting up great interviews can be tough. Interviewees may think… “I’m too busy… I don’t want to discuss confidential information… I can’t be bothered by a boring survey… I’ll bet they just want to sell me something.” Knowing how to overcome objections is as important a competitive edge as the interviewing skills themselves.

More in article, 9 Best Practices for Recruiting Customers

Stop stifling growth with second-order effects

What’s the next domino? Why business leaders should think about 2nd order effects

In a complex system—like your business—every action leads to a second-order effect (SOE). Some are unknowable. Others are easily predicted but routinely ignored by business leaders. We’ll explore growth-stunting SOE’s you should avoid… and a 5th order plan for your ultimate business success. A college student studies hard, gets good grades (second-order effect), and begins ... Read More

Awkward Reality #190

Awkward Reality #189

There are three types of growth. You can control one of them.

189-3-Types-of-Growth

The first is inherited growth from products launched long ago, which now “carry” your business. The second is market growth… the tide that lifts all boats. You can only impact the third—earned growth—by doing a better job than every competitor in understanding and meeting the needs of a market. This means it’s easy to be lulled into thinking your underlying growth is greater than it is.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 14).