Sunday, September 26, 2010

10 Steps to Innovation

Posted by Mark Brousseau

In these days of economic dislocation, the concepts of government, business and technical innovation are more important than ever. When it comes to entering, creating, or dominating markets, disruptive innovation is the most powerful tool available. Unfortunately, most companies find disruptive innovation difficult to achieve and virtually impossible to replicate.

In Innovate the Future, renowned innovator and executive David Croslin provides the structure and framework to analyze one's own innovation dilemma, and to beat competitors in generating new ideas and delivering those ideas to market first.

Drawing on his experience leading innovation in organizations ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 20, Croslin explains the top ten steps for optimizing the entire innovation lifecycle:

1.Isolate Drivers of User Value - Function, look, adaptability, price - or all of the above. Focus on triggering a decision to buy versus passive interest.

2.Define Good Enough - A product with more positives than negatives will sell. Focus on this goal before refining for enhanced features and niche crowds.

3.Understand Your Delivery Chain - Separate innovative, value-additive suppliers from passive ones. Focus on suppliers who make your products better.

4.Isolate Delivery Chain Pain Points - Underperforming suppliers may not improve. Find an alternative.

5.Align Viewpoints Within Your Organization - Evaluate team for ability/inclination to increase product potential. Pinpoint inhibitors, plan to minimize their impact.

6.Kill Assumptions - Base evaluation of success or failure upon known facts, not subjective interpretation.

7.Isolate Intellectual Property - Break products into components, so intellectual property behind each can be recombined into new products.

8.Identify New Markets for IP - Coke is not marketed strictly as soda - think Coke Slurpees for 7-Eleven and A&W Root Beer candy for Brach's.

9.Don't Confuse Invention for Innovation - A highly inventive product won't necessarily move markets. A highly innovative one will. Know your market.

10."Cool" Is Not Key - Cost, availability, consistency and ability to integrate within consumers' lives matter much more.

What strategies have worked in your organization?

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