innovation excellence weekly - issue 17

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We are proud to announce our seventeenth Innovation Excellence Weekly for Issuu. Inside you'll find ten of the best innovation-related articles from the past week on Innovation Excellence - the world's most popular innovation web site and home to 5,000+ innovation-related articles.


  • January 25, 2013

  • Issue 17 January 25, 2013

    1. Got Growth?....................................................................................................... Lou Killeffer

    2. Innovation Fail Milkshake Marketing ......... Tony Ulwick

    3. Wrong Way Innovation ...... Scott Bowden

    4. 15 Reasons Why Daydreamers are Better Learners ................................ William Koch

    5. World Economic Forum Innovation Imperative from Davos . Paul Hobcraft

    6. 5 Important Brand Trends for 2013 . Matthew E May

    7. Sell Microsoft NOW Game over, Ballmer loses ...... Adam Hartung

    8. 2013 Innovation Wisdom Make Mistakes ...... Robert F Brands

    9. How Dreamworks, LinkedIn & Google Build Intrapreneurial Cultures .. John Webb

    10. Big Useful Data ........ Steve Todd

    Your hosts, Braden Kelley, Julie Anixter and Rowan Gibson, are innovation writers, speakers and

    strategic advisors to many of the worlds leading companies.

    Our mission is to help you achieve innovation excellence inside your own organization by making

    innovation resources, answers, and best practices accessible for the greater good.

    Cover Image credit: Hands with Red Frame

  • Got Growth?

    Posted on January 20, 2013 by Lou Killeffer

    Are you, your team, and your company poised for real growth this year? Are you all aligned on how and where to begin to get where you need

    to go? If so, congratulations, regrettably I suspect youre in the minority.

    We all know uncertainty is everywhere. The recession may lift or it may linger; the cliff may rise again or it may fall; ditto the price of oil, the

    strength of Europe, the growth of China, and the global market at large. The persistent discontinuity of the new normal is now so well

    established the phrase itself is little more than a clich as we enter 2013. Happy New Year!

    Still the pursuit of business growth persists. In fact, for many, its becoming urgent. But for all the time, energy and resource it rightly

    commands, there seems to be a pervasive lack of understanding about just how real growth is achieved, much less sustained.

    Of course there are really only two ways to improve ones business; you either address the bottom line or the top line. And for the past twenty

    years, theres been so much focus on the bottom line that most companies today are actually quite efficient.

    Six Sigma, total quality management, and process optimization have all helped CEOs focus on their core and make their business better by

    becoming leaner and more efficient. But you can no longer succeed by focusing exclusively on the bottom line. Todays CEO wont get very far

    blaming the new normal for soft results or a stalled business. No, todays CEOs need growth, not just performance. And its the search for

    top line growth thats driving the intensifying trends toward innovation. But top line growth is hard. Really hard. Game changing growth and

    innovation can be unpredictable. After all most innovation fails, at the staggering rate of 60 80%.

  • Just as efficiency found its champion in Six Sigmas strategies and tools Ive often wondered if there could be a corresponding and

    systematized approach to growth. What if, instead of capturing lightning in a bottle or relying on the spark of individual genius, there were an

    ongoing framework of measurement that showed the way and improved success on the path to growth? Why couldnt there be a defined

    sequence of steps with quantified targets focused not on efficiency and cost reduction but rather on the growth of sales, revenues, and profits?

    What if growth itself could be broken down into its constituent parts; elements and processes that could be replicated and applied again and

    again across an organization? Could such a process be modeled?

    Now, a new company, dedicated to an entirely new and all too timely proposition that like quality performance before it, growth itself can be

    deconstructed, understood, and engineered has stepped forward with just such an offering.

    The Growth Posture Index (GPI), from The Growth Strategy Company at Arlington, Virginia, is a new management tool that measures the

    key competency and readiness factors affecting the future growth of individual companies. The result of two years extensive research, data

    collection, and analysis among the 500 largest companies in the world, The Growth Strategy Companys GPI identifies thirty-three success

    factors across six organizational competencies and two fundamental readiness conditions to gauge growth potential. GPI delves deeper into

    diagnosing the root causes that can be holding a company back, while also suggesting new and often non-traditional avenues to growth.

  • Sorting for the critical conditions the company must prepare for, and the corresponding competencies it must embrace and enable and acting

    on them all are the keys. As such, the GPI is a new enterprise level measurement and management tool that promises a method and process

    that can lead companies to the environmental, structural, and cultural conditions where real growth can be achieved and sustained.

    So much so that it may help us all as the pendulum of management thinking swings from our rapture with efficiency to a renewed passion for

    growth; growth that can be both designed and managed. Its not either/or mind you. The pursuit of one wont replace the other, rather

    companies today need both efficiency and growth to succeed. The insight and, indeed, potential breakthrough is that now they may both be

    investigated, understood, and designed as outcomes through informed process and discipline.

    While my familiarity with this new management tool is superficial at best, and Ive no idea how productive the GPI will prove to be in practice, I

    applaud the companys initiative, believe in the intellectual integrity of the endeavor, and suggest anyone facing the all too common issues

    referenced here might very well benefit from kicking the tires themselves.

    So whats really going on today across your enterprise? How familiar are you with whats necessary to achieve and sustain long-term growth in

    todays marketplace? Where does your company stand in its pursuit of growth? And where do you?

    image credit:; copyright Lou Killeffer November 2012 All rights reserved. Five Mile River Market ing. image

    credit: businesswoman image from bigstock

    Lou Killeffer is a Principal with Five Mile River Marketing. A versatile marketing strategist, Lous passion for

    communications and innovation has made him a trusted advisor to some of the worlds most enduring businesses and

    brands, from AT&T to UPS, where he helps enterprises embrace change, look ahead, and focus on sustaining success.

  • Innovation Fail Milkshake Marketing

    Posted on January 16, 2013 by Tony Ulwick

    Clayton Christensen Doesnt Get the Job Done

    In Clayton Christensens well-publicized milkshake marketing video and HBR article Marketing Malpractice: The Cause and the Cure, he

    proposes doing market segmentation differently: around the job-to-be-done.

    We have the utmost respect for Christensen, who has been a steadfast advocate of jobs-to-be-done thinking for nigh on a decade. However,

    our own two decades of experience with jobs-to-be-done thinking compel us to point out that his milkshake marketing example is fundamentally

    flawed. The flaws show just how hard it is to apply jobs-to-be-done thinking correctly and to launch successful innovations as a result.

    Click here to see the video

    In the video and article, Christensen ponders why, at the beginning of a working day, commuters go into a fast-food establishment and buy a

    milkshake. What job are they hiring the milkshake for? he asks. He concludes that this segment of milkshake consumers are hiring the

    milkshake because they face a long, boring commute and need something to keep that extra hand busy and to make the commute more

    interesting. In other words, the job-to-be-done is to face a long, boring commute. Or perhaps it is to keep that extra hand busy or to make

    the commute more interesting.

    The end result of any market insight should be innovation, but to our knowledge, no restaurant or fast-food establishment has capitalized on

    Christensens insight and introduced a breakthrough breakfast milkshake that garnered skyrocketing sales. Why not? In our view, it is because

    both Christensens view of what the job-to-be-done is in this case and his starting point for the market segmentation analysis are incorrect.

    Consequently, he ends up reaching the wrong conclusions about what the restaurant should do to innovate and grow its revenues.

  • Lets start with the first problem. The jobs Christensen identifies are not jobs-to-be-done. Specifically, they are not outcome-driven jobs, which

    means they are not jobs that can be addressed with products. Nor are they markets. In order to be considered a market, a job-to-be-done

    needs to be the key task or goal the customer is trying to accomplish. Facing a long, boring commute, by contrast, is not a key task or goal. It is

    a context within which you execute a job. Put another way, if the commute is long and boring, then it might be nice to make it more interesting,

    but the commute itself is not a goal you set for yourself, it is only a situation you find yourself in. To define the job-to-be-done correctly, the first

    thing we must ask is, What job are people trying to get done w