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Innovation + Speed = Responsiveness … For Success

I am always amazed by the success of many organizations and how they make money. Someone had a great idea but they dont really test or quantify it as a need in the market or how it will solve or resolve a particular market need.

Instead they jump into a full blown product launch with high hopes and anticipation and that is where the "Blown" part of the launch surfaces since more often than not it is launched using the Hand Grenade methodology and then scrambling to pick up the pieces after launch and hoping customers remain intrigued and engaged to purchase the product. They should be following a slow but steady and gated Product/Process development and deployment methodology. Of course the process should not stifle innovation.

For many, ‘innovation’ is a steady stream of profitable and successful new products to market in record time, or a flow of winning processes that enables a company to out-compete another when it comes to assembly genius. But being able to innovate is not enough. We must do it faster as the payoffs for speed are mega and include:

Competitive advantageenabling one to respond to customer & market needs quicker and longer

Higher profitabilityrevenue from new product sales - and from hitting time-sensitive marketing windows

Fewer surprisesthe quicker one is, the less market conditions will change during launch

The facts:

a) New products pay off quickly with the average payback 2.49 years

b) New products carve an average target market share of 47%

c) The average ROI for successful new products is a whopping 97%

d) The success rate? Ouch – the failure rate at launch is in the 90% range with Gary Hamel reporting in Fortune Magazine’s July 9th issue, 2001 that “For every 1000 ideas, only 100 will have enough commercial promise to merit a small-scale experiment. Only 10 of those will warrant a substantial financial commitment. And of those only a couple will turn out to be unqualified successes.”

We need the success: We need new ideas that generate products, processes or both. For leaders, the need is real as Gates insists - “Microsoft is always two years away from failure.”

Defining Innovation: “Innovation is how a firm or an individual makes money from creativity -- Innovation demands creativity.” In the book “Innovation@Work” from which this article is drawn, the authors state, Creativity is a skill. It is not something mystical, available only to a few. It can be learned by anyone. Everyone possesses an innate capacity for creativity. But the development of this skill has been thwarted, for the most part by parents, teachers, and bosses who provide rules about what is acceptable behavior.”

The Four Types of Innovation we need – to truly get it all right.

According to creativity expert James Higgins – there are four innovations to be optimized for world-class excellence.

Product Innovation: Results in new products, services, or enhancements to old products or services, and generally delivers competitive advantage thru differentiation.

Process Innovation: Results in improved business processes within the organization, its supply chain & its customers. The focus is on improving effectiveness & efficiency and may include people processes, financial processes, and information processes -- any or all of which help to deliver competitive advantage through lower cost

Marketing Innovation: Relates to the marketing mix: innovative promotion, pricing, distribution, as well as product attributes other than those covered under product innovation. This frequently provides competitive advantage through differentiation and low costs.

Management Innovation: Improves the way the organization is managed and how ‘results are achieved through people’. Innovations in organizational structure, leader-ship, or incentive systems are typical examples. This commonly provides competitive advantage through both differentiation and lower costs.

We love working with organizations who are committed to having a flawless deployment of a new product or service, but it does take a lot of work and you need to progress cautiously through each significant development phases ...

Commercial Viability | Do some market research, canvas and survey your current customers to assess the need for the innovation and potential acceptance and og course are they interested and at what price would they see value. Typically, running a workshop to Capture the Voice of the Customer (VOC) is a definite solid investment.

Product Definition | How will the Product or Process satisfy the needs of your target market, what additional features and accessories should you offer?

Process Definition | How are you going to make your new product, can you leverage your existing technology or invest in new? What kind of training will the team need to support flawless execution? Also place some thought towards scalability should your product become more successful than you anticipated. If you cannot fill the demand, this is when your competitors will emerge.

Validation | Here we get to trial run and put our thoughts into something tangible. This is the time to test our product and process. Many organizations will conduct a PPAP (Pre-Production Part Approval Process) and ultimately a PSO (Product/Process Sign-Off). If you made it to here, you are ready for launch.

Continuous Improvement & Feedback | As you reflect on your launch I am certain you and the team will identify opportunities for improvement.

Whether you are considering a new product or service or even in the process of development it is worthy to pause and go through the developmental process. For that feel free to connect with us for facilitation.


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