P23 Innovation Lessons That Make You More Successful.

  • Welcome to the Proven, Practical, Profitable Innovation podcast! I am Richard and I thank you very much for taking time out of your busy day to listen to this podcast.
  • My goal is to make sure you get a high return on your time investment listening to this podcast. I want you to immediately be able to use the information in this podcast to help you sell more and make more.
  • Please be sure to listen to the end of this podcast where I give you an exciting preview of future podcasts.
  • If after listening to this podcast you feel a need for more help, please contact me directly—my email is richard@i2ge.com. You can also go to my website—i2ge.com– where you can explore many innovation topics, especially check out the DIY Innovation Training on the menu bar. We customize all the training programs to our clients’ unique needs and circumstances.
  • Information in this podcast focuses on the major innovation lessons for 2015 there were in a Fast Company magazine article on innovation. I add my own perspective to these lessons to make sure that they are practical and help you sell more and make more.
  • Here are some thoughts on the major lessons and insights in the Fast Company article.
    • Inspiration needs execution.
      • Often when people think of innovation they think of the fun of generating new ideas. Make no mistake about it, generating new, big and potentially successful ideas is a tremendous amount of fun.
      • As best I know, no potentially big idea ever written just on a Post-it or a flipchart ever achieved even one dollar in Sales.
      • In the early podcasts on quantum idea generation, the focus is just on generating high potential for success ideas. It is true that if you don’t have big ideas in the beginning and you have nothing worth executing.
      • Having said that, your innovation process needs to have a comprehensive plan from idea generation to marketplace success. Do not think that you can generate high potential ideas and then figure out the rest. You need a comprehensive plan of the steps necessary to create ideas that deliver bottom-line results.
      • Importantly, the innovation process requires many skill sets. In quantum idea generation, you saw the very well-developed and intricate skills required to develop many high potential ideas. The skills to then develop and execute those ideas are very different skills that need the same level of excellence as you had in quantum idea generation if your ideas are to be nourished and flourish.
      • Net, no matter whether you’re using innovation to invent new products or new human relations policies or new manufacturing processes, you need a plan that starts with ideas and ends with successful implementation.
    • Tomorrow is too slow.
      • While it may sound like a cliché, it is one of those clichés that is very, very true – we live in a rapidly changing world.
      • When I work with large national and multinational corporations, I am often surprised at the lack of or very low level of urgency they bring to innovation. I know this condition well having worked in such companies as Procter & Gamble and Gallo. Fortunately I’ve also been an executive coach with entrepreneurs and I am an entrepreneur. What you learn from this experience is time is money and if you don’t have a high sense of urgency you can be run over by your competition in a flash.
      • You will notice that my advice is to focus on urgency, but I’m not advising shortcutting the fundamentals necessary to translate an idea into a marketplace success. I have seen too many people who want to leap from idea to shipping a new product or offering a new service without doing the critical fundamentals in between those two steps.
      • Without doing those fundamentals, you can skip over critical customer feedback at an early stage and produce shoddy quality and wake up to discover that your economic model does not produce profitability.
      • Net, have a sense of urgency to do the right thing the right way. Having a sense of urgency means that sometimes the right thing to do is to temporarily slow down before re-accelerating. Calm, carefully considered thinking coupled with urgency avoids frantic, ill-conceived thinking.
    • Innovative cultures are rewarding.
      • There are many, many studies over decades showing that company culture determines over 95% of a company’s successes and failures.
      • What is company culture? It is the values and beliefs that determine behaviors at all levels of the company. It is often very difficult to determine the specifics of company culture. Company culture is like the computer code that makes a computer operating system work. You cannot see the computer code in the program, but it is determining everything that program will do and not do.
      • If you’re looking at your own company culture, take a peek back at your historical results. If you succeeded with innovation, what is it about the company that created that success? Conversely, if you failed, why? Especially with failure, do not blame a competitor or some external factor. What is it about your company that made it very difficult to succeed?
      • This is a huge topic that can only be touched on in our time together today. Suffice it to say that the tremendous power of company culture to determine success and/or failure means that it deserves your utmost attention when it comes to innovation of any kind.
    • Disruption can be collaborative.
      • Disruptive innovation brings entirely new customer benefits to existing types of products and/or produces entirely new kinds of products. Think of the iPad and Keurig.
      • Doug Hall of Eureka Ranch tells interesting stories about companies that came to Eureka Ranch, developed truly disruptive ideas, and returned to their company headquarters. When they shared their disruptive innovation ideas with unbridled enthusiasm, many departments like manufacturing and supply chain often reacted with shock and disbelief. This was the early sign that moving from the idea stage to the other stages necessary to develop an idea was going to be a long, hard road.
      • In this example, it was often marketing going off-site to Eureka Ranch and creating the ideas. Other functions often felt excluded and unimportant.
      • Avoiding this all too common problem is fairly easily addressed. If you remember the earlier podcast on quantum idea generation, one of the four factors was diversity. In our innovation consulting, we insist in bringing internal diversity into the idea generating process. While this always helps to produce more and bigger ideas, it also is tremendously helpful when you then move to the next stage of starting to develop the ideas for possible marketplace introduction. Everyone has their fingerprints on the ideas, which produces a sense of understanding and ownership. To quote a current MasterCard advertisement, this is priceless.
    • Design is a strategic weapon.
      • Prior to the new products that Apple introduced starting in the early 2000’s, the exceptional value of design was not fully appreciated. Yes, you wanted a new product to look good, but the focus was on functionality and value.
      • Prior to the iPad there were tablet like products. I know you may think the iPad was the first one ever, but it wasn’t. You were unaware of them probably because they did not fully appreciate design is a strategic weapon.
      • Design is not just the physical look of something. To be clear, this is important since it’s often the first thing the eye sees.
      • Design is also functionality. In the iPad design is things like finger scrolling and tapping on application to open it. It’s fun and easy. You did not need a 232 page technical manual to learn how to operate an iPad.
      • The lesson is to always make sure design – especially ease-of-use – is an important part of your innovative thinking. It does not matter whether it’s a new product, a new policy, or a new procedure. Again, the kiss principle is alive and well – keep it simple stupid.
    • Ongoing close.
      • What you can do today with this information. First, make sure you have a complete innovation program starting with idea generation leading to execution and marketplace introduction. Second, make sure that you have a sense of urgency with your innovation program that does not shortcut critical fundamentals that can make the difference between success and failure. Third, never, never forget the power of company culture to determine success and failure. Fourth, if your innovation needs include disruptive innovations that make major changes the current products or produce entirely new kinds of products, create a diverse team so that collaboration begins on day one. Fifth, always look for opportunities for exquisite design – not to win design awards but to win the hearts and minds of your customers.

 

 

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  • If you would like to see the key written points from this podcast, you can find them in my blog – i2ge.com/blog.
  • If you would like to contact me, please email me at richard@i2ge.com.
  • If you would like to create far more robust innovation capabilities within your business, I have a complete portfolio of training programs that we tailor to your unique needs. If you would like to learn more, go to the Innovate2Grow Experts website – i2Ge.com and click on DIY Innovation Training.
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  • PAUSE
  • A preview of some future podcastS.
    • Upcoming podcast focus on specific case studies with broadly relevant innovation insights.
    • The next podcast learns about innovation and creativity from one of Hollywood’s most creative and successful minds. We will learn that what makes him successful is something that you can start doing immediately after you listen to the podcast. In many ways this is a case study of successful innovation and creativity utilizing an exceptional best practice. You will not want to miss this
    • PAUSE
  • Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Please have a great day.

 

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