Grounding innovation through convergence on jobs-to-be-done

Discovering intersections are where ideas collide, according to a theory brilliantly put together in a book some years ago by Frans Johansson called “The Medici Effect”. Johansson recommends we step into these intersections and then you can see how different thinking can meet head to head, as in this case from numerous innovation experts, to give you a deeper insight into your own innovation thinking.

I often have a habit of opening up a file on a subject when I feel it needs further exploring and jobs-to-be-done has become one of these. It is the convergence of many experts repeating sometimes their personal mantra has finally given me a growing realisation on how important this understanding of satisfying these jobs-to-be-done becomes too successful innovation.

Now this ‘light bulb’ moment of mine may not come as such a great a surprise to some of you selected few  but I’d argue it might be worth reflecting upon by taking a fresh look at this ‘idea’ of jobs-to-be-done a little deeper in your thinking also. There are many who tell you we should.

The power of many innovation thinkers Continue reading

Business model innovation can really help the VC assessment

I believe the Business model canvas, presented by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur in their book “Business Model Generation”, holds a very powerful way for Venture Capital to use in their assessments of promising ventures they are considering for investment.

Traditional pitches to VC’s are loaded with financial numbers, providing crisp, well written business plans pitched by teams oozing with optimism but much of this is still highly intangible in reality. There is often a decision made on the people chemistry more than anything else. There is nothing wrong with that if you are the lucky one, but tough on the countless thousands that face rejection after rejection for their ideas to attract the necessary funding needed to move their business forward.

Where the Business model canvas can fit in the VC pitch. Continue reading

The case for a more systematic understanding of Business Model Innovation design

Business model innovation is shaping up to be one of the most challenging aspects for leadership of existing business or that aspiring leaders need to fully understand.  The question today being faced by many is how to transform existing business models so as to avoid that race to commoditization and decreasing shareholder value and so to provide improved value.  Equally business model innovation increasingly needs to be able to reduce the threat of new competition that is constantly finding ways to undermine your present business. The Entrepreneur is snapping at your heels like never before.

Leaders need the tools, skills and experience to envision, test and implement new business models more than ever and certainly faster than ever. The worrying aspect today it seems  is that many leaders are still not knowing what it is within their existing  business model that ‘combines’ to make the existing profit engine of the business, those ‘value points’ that really provide the innovation opportunity to sustain or challenge their existing business models.

So what is Business Model Innovation? Continue reading

The Innovation Pathway Curve of Understanding

One of my recent articles outlined a three horizon framework for innovation. Let me extend this a little further. I’m sure we all agree Innovation needs to be worked at, it needs to be understood and often many people do get confused by not taking a more measured approach to the need to break innovation down into its manageable parts. Innovation does not just have a time axis that the three horizons framework refers too but it has a complexity and scope axis in learning as well.

By taking a more systematic approach to any innovation you achieve a greater understanding over time of what is involved.

Firstly you have to ask what you are trying to achieve, is it incremental innovation, distinctive, disruptive or even radical white space innovation? Do you approach innovation differently for each of these? I would argue you need to learn and build from one to another as you learn on the way, this is my going up a curve that increases in complexity and its scope/ outcome. Continue reading

The Three Horizon Approach to Innovation

Thinking through the management of innovation have you ever considered the Three Horizons approach?  It is likely through this approach business leaders can adopt an evolutionary perspective across the entire innovation business portfolio.

If you are using a three horizons type approach to innovation, it becomes clear that you need to continue investing in innovative activities across all three time horizons, even if you’re in the middle of a present day crisis. To do this effectively, you need to have some idea of where you’re heading in the future, and that’s why I think it’s a useful tool for linking innovation to strategy. Continue reading

Drawing fresh innovating oxygen into the body

This must be the time of year for all those innovation reports to resurface for fresh innovation thinking. Recently I went back to the OECD report (opener here. http://bit.ly/buIiv8) and began to breathe in more innovating air. Not bad from the OECD but that is one of their purposes in life I suppose. Why? A number of points stand out and using OECD summary headings, these were:

Policies need to reflect innovation as it occurs today.

We all do get stuck in repeating old ways yet the world and how it explores, experiments and investigates is constantly changing. It has become highly interactive and a multidisciplinary process with so much more need for collaboration across a diverse network of stakeholders. Although it is getting more complex to focus on performance through innovation is very much a today thing.

People should be empowered to innovate Continue reading

Will we ever learn to manage innovation?

I was asking myself when are we ever going to really learn about how to manage innovation? Reading through the latest global survey results from McKinsey entitled ‘Innovation & Commercialization, 2010’ at http://fwd4.me/cRK and you must wonder with all the activity (and hype) surrounding innovation why we do not make the type of positive progress you should expect in innovation management.

There are very positive signs innovation is emerging stronger than ever from the recent bout of economic ‘flu’ we all have been going through. The report starts on the high note “84% of all executives say innovation is extremely or very important to their companies’ growth strategy”- yippee! The darker side is the ‘but’- “little has changed in the way they generate ideas and turn them into products and services plus many other challenges remain remarkably consistent”- oh dear!

Do we ever learn? Continue reading