Innovation, ecosystems, platforms and the promise of more to come

Digital Transformation

Jeffrey Phillips and I are launching our fourth collaboration together, this time we are exploring innovation ecosystems and the growing impact they are having in the business world through their ‘conecting and collaborating difference’ that can lead to vastly different final customer experiences.

I just want to reaffirm what he has written on this, originally over on his site.

This is what he wrote:

Innovation, ecosystems, platforms and more

“I’m pleased to announce that Paul Hobcraft and I will be working together on a number of posts that relate to some discussions we’ve had about innovation, more specifically how innovation must evolve from creating interesting but incomplete solutions to understanding how customers want to have interesting, seamless experiences.  Over the next few weeks we’ll be writing posts on a new shared website that examine the state of innovation, and provide a reason we think so many innovation outcomes fail to achieve their goals.

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Tackling the Internal Jobs-to-be-done for Improving Innovation

internal-frustration

We are constantly nudged towards understanding the needs of customers through the jobs to be done approach. So why do we still seem to not achieve this ‘higher purpose’ of providing solutions to customers’ needs?

Predictable growth has run its course as we live in unpredictable times; we need a better way to identify ALL those unmet needs that our customers have. That need comes from knowing the “job which needs to be done”. We need to sharp shoot to hit clear targets, we need to become a lot more explicit in our knowledge of a customer’s unmet needs, and they need to make the connection of that need with our product (or service).

Mapping the hierarchy of customer needs

We need to map the jobs and generate desired outcome statements that are specific and of real interest to the customer, not our list of multiple ideas generated based on where we are or what we think we know. We need to build the hierarchy of customer needs.

By even attempting to follow a ‘needs first’ approach we are often left to figure out the unmet needs. The flaw lies in not having these fully understood. All needs can be captured but this requires combining a more rigorous, controlled approach, coupled with astute observations.

The key still requires us to accurately quantify the degree to which a proposed solution will increase customer satisfaction – and that means knowing the job’s they want to complete.

We need to segment by jobs and to do this we need to capture this in clear, precise job outcome given statements. We need to become clearer on the product, service or business model ‘job’ it is intended to perform, measured by a customer’s desired outcome.

I really believe our internal processes are letting us down.

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Building upon four key wealth creating pillars

Wealth creation 1Most rooms we enter have four sides; they provide the structure to build upon. Presently in many of our economies, particularly in the West, we are struggling to find real growth; we are limited on our wealth-creating possibilities. Why is that? Our structures seem to be weak not strong.

We are certainly relying far too much on ‘selected’ pockets of economic activity to keep us going. Technology is clearly one of these. Yet our longer term forces for sustaining growth remain ‘fragile’, our structures remain wickedly  ‘out of kilter’ and we need to find stronger connecting frameworks that reinforce each other, so we can build further upon these to manage our business activities in new ways.

In most of our economic activities technology is playing a significant part in altering our habits, routines and thinking but it alone, is not enough. For technology to really give benefit it needs to be driven by our ability to generate wealth creating activity and that comes from integrating knowledge, gaining experience and being able to articulate this in better ways.

To achieve this, our business structures that we have in the past relied upon are in need of changing. They need different pillars to build upon.

Welcome to my four pillar room……..with a view

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Innovation jobs-to-be-done

I tend to not like offering up checklists as blog posts, you know those one hundred and one ideas for this or that, although I have to admit I like collecting them as a kick-starting resource. Today I decided to change my mind, Why?

Well I think those of us involved in innovation need to keep reminding ourselves to not just work on the days problem that is in front of us but to ‘move along’ all the others, so this is my innovation jobs-to-be-done list that clients and consultants need to work upon. Also these do build towards a possible Chief  Innovation Officer’s agenda and content.

A reminder of what we need to keep tackling and consciously working on. What do you think?

  1. Building innovation capabilities: evaluating and accessing the company’s innovation capabilities, working through the culture, climate and environment that is needed for innovation, removing the barriers to innovation to increase the potential available.
  2. Developing the competencies and capacities to innovate: make innovation everybody’s everyday job; to grow the understanding and organization for innovation and often for the renewal that is needed.
  3. Creating breakthrough strategies: insights and fresh thinking, tools & techniques that enable the creation of new strategic innovation, discovery, exploring white space, extending beyond the existing core to turn thinking into real world solutions.
  4. Developing new business models: exploring different business model design and innovation. Building the business case to accelerate, change and (radically) alter the existing state in greater valued ways.
  5. Finding opportunities for innovation and new growth: create new value, disruptive and radical innovation, disrupting the market to create new growth, identifying and developing new markets and segments, optimizing new products, honing the incremental value, building bigger and better ideas that solve the customer need.
  6. Catalytic thinking: Innovation can be the catalyst to a set of strategic questions and problems, providing a new scope through innovation, shifting perspectives and mindsets, making different connections that lead to growth opportunities.
  7. Knowing the emerging, leading and best practice of innovation: having the latest insights, awareness and understanding of trends and approaches through innovation and what this can possibly bring to existing thinking.
  8. Recognizing innovation lifecycle management: organizing around different platforms, portfolio’s and approaches to enhancing the value of the investments made. Pinpointing, verifying and improving the ‘impact’ innovation can bring to the different stages
  9. Accelerating and bringing change: critically exploring speed-to-market, execution, alignment, stretching and scaling accordingly, more fluid structures, asset utilization, using innovation as the positive change agent/ enabler.
  10. Enhancing the quality of inventive intellectual thinking: leveraging the intellectual assets and the intangibles by enhancing knowledge sharing, transferring and the conversion strategies for improved deliverables and worth.
  11. Strengthening the collaborating effect: through a growing need for greater networking, collaborations and changing relationship management techniques to broaden horizons and possibilities, reducing tensions and accelerating agreement and opening up more informal innovation pathways.
  12. Building innovation resources: access to concepts and theories, tools, templates, techniques and methodologies, research, inspiration, knowledge insights and critically links to related activities that feed off of innovation.
  13. Leading clearly for innovation: insights on the role of top management and how innovation processes can be facilitated, developed and embedded through coaching, championing and facilitating. Turning aspiration into reality.
  14. Management 2.0: is about reinventing innovation management for a new age, management model innovation, and management of innovation activity in general. Building innovation into the very fabric of the organisation.
  15. Longterm innovation:  the ability to embed a ‘sustaining innovation’ mindset, develop the environment for independent thinking and longer-term identification, seeking out tomorrows pathway through a more holistic view, growing more dependency on increased interactivity.

Care to add any I might have missed out, although I must admit this list is long enough as it stands. By the way, they are not in any particular order.