Tag Archives: ideas

Innovation can — sometimes, okay, maybe often — be a battle

 

Dr.-Ing. Norbert Reithofer, CEO of BMW AG:

Why BMW started the risky BMW-i3 project?

Because doing nothing was even a bigger risk”.

BMW-i3

When is it last time you…
  • visited start-ups challenging your position.
  • invited a trend watcher to confront you with how quick the world is changing.
  • visited customers who just changed provider to an innovative substitute.
  • went to Tech Universities to see experiments with new technologies.
  • read articles on new successful business models.
  • visit young customers and asked what they think of your brand — and products.
  • visited customers … and simply talked to them while they are at it

 

If you are reading this, your organization is probably less innovative than you are. You have a game-changing role. Build awareness that your company needs to innovate. Top Management will only change their conservative views if they get fresh new insights.
Keep confronting them with signals that your market is changing rapidly: changing customer preferences, new substitutes, a small new Danish start-up, et cetera… until the urgency to innovate will be understood and is top-of-mind.

Present your innovative breakthroughs propositions (bring new business, not new ideas) not as something really extraordinary (and risky) but as the normal next thing to do for the company. Your chances to convince will increase dramatically.

The voice of the Customer (VoC) is your best friend, ever. Use Customer Insights results and enthusiast testimonials to get internal support.

And Oh, one last thing, of course they’ll say no to your innovation. What would you do if someone came up to you out of the blue, saying you have to do the things you do totally differently? Or do totally different things. Innovation is always provocative by definition. So when they say “no” to innovation, don’t take it personally. It is not the end of the battle. It’s only the beginning!

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Filed under 1 – Where To Play

How creativity works

James Adidas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Carnes, Global Creative Director, Senior VP, Adidas

It’s not difficult to generate ideas, to generate something new. What is hard is to find out what resonates to people, so that they have this Ha-Ha moment when they see it, or use it.

For years we went through loads of creativity sessions, brainstorming of all sorts… those workshops never really succeeded. They have not even helped us show the value of creativity. When you let free thinking rule the agenda, nothing comes out of it.

The only thing I truly believe in is Insight – Customer Insight. As simple as that: talk to people. Why things have to be this way? You need to uncover things. You need to think about the benefit they see in things. So go ahead, and spend time with them!

What is a Big Idea?

Do you solve anything? Do you bring anything new to someone’s life?

What’s not??

How to make runners run better? Or run faster?

We were missing the only right question: why are they running to begin with? We just made the assumption for decades that people run because they wanted to be good runners. So they went to buy running shoes. In fact, that is true for way below 10% of the market… and declining.

People want to stay in shape, or they want to socialize, or connect with other people, a way of feeling better about themselves, an escape from work pressure, a confidence builder, … we really need to find out why they run to begin with. Our goal is just to increase the pleasure while they are at it – or reduce the pain, most of our customers hate running.

So it does not happen in a lab. You have to go and visit the locker room. What’s in their mind? What’s the ritual? The ceremonial?

If you – just – listen to what people say (focus group), you will come up with something small and boring. If you want to go for the Big Idea, you need to go beyond and uncover what is it they do not say, what is it they cannot articulate.

So, No, creativity is Not Design Thinking.

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Filed under 2 – How To Win

How Companies Undermine Innovation

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Today, for any organization, innovation is the new El Dorado. Chief Executives and business unit leaders weave the word innovation all around. Something very real is happening here: as it becomes cheaper and easier for startups to upend existing businesses with new offerings, big companies are realizing that they can’t continue to rely on their time-worn methods for cultivating and developing new products, and lumbering into new markets. But  the hulking mass of corporate culture and structure can get in the way… some corporate underbrush need to be hacked through before real innovation can happen.

Moises Norena, global director of innovation at Whirlpool:
“One of the typical flaws I’ve seen in innovation programs is starting without a clear view of strategy”

James Euchner, vice president of global innovation at Goodyear:
“It’s a sign that things aren’t working when there’s a lot of deferring commitment, asking for more analysis and data. Innovation must be instantly apparent and quantifiably demonstrable.”

Julia Austin, formerly VP of innovation at the tech company VMware:
“I can’t tell you how many companies I know that have innovation programs, but no space to foster creativity. Large spaces with whiteboards and comfy places to sit so people can brainstorm ideas are critical.”

Peter Erickson, senior vice president of innovation at General Mills:
“A decade ago, our lab was the world. Today, the world is our lab.”
Every good idea is expected to spring from the hermetically-sealed world of the corporation. Those from outsiders are consistently undercut.

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Filed under 2 – How To Win

Richard Branson’s 3 steps to success:

Sir Richard Branson
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#01: If you win people over, the profits will follow.
The first step in building a customer-focused business is to ask yourself: What can we can offer customers that others aren’t, or won’t, because they are so narrowly focused on profit? If you base your new business on this premise, it will be much easier to find an edge over your competitors.
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#02: Build on your employees’ ideas.
The second step involves encouraging your staff to think like and empathize with customers, and then tell you about any ideas that they may have for innovations to your product or service. Find a way to empower your people to follow up on their ideas.
Many of the best ideas are free – it doesn’t cost much to make someone happy.
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#03: Increase profits by being nice.
In some American classrooms I recently visited, there were signs posted that read: “Work hard, be nice.” That sign should probably be hung in boardrooms too. There is no better way to improve the bottom line than to go the extra mile for your customers.
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Filed under 2 – How To Win