Are you innovating?

The two minute video in the link shown is well worth watching if you have embraced the concept of innovation but are slow in getting outcomes: 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjKh11jpqfc

Don’t be ‘Innovation Man’

In the linked video, ‘Innovation Man’ confidently states that he innovates and invigorates.

While he’s clearly committed, there is no mechanism for Innovation Man’s goals.

This becomes clear as soon as anyone starts asking questions.

As I always say, one does not innovate by sitting in a darkened room saying ‘invent, invent, invent’, as Homer Simpson in fact did in one episode.

BUZZWORDS: They don't have to be a bad thing. Use keywords to form questions that need to be answered. That way, you can help your ideas flow, and strengthen your innovations. Photo: Shutterstock.

BUZZWORDS: They don't have to be a bad thing. Use keywords to form questions that need to be answered. That way, you can help your ideas flow, and strengthen your innovations. Photo: Shutterstock.

There needs to be a process!

The secret to having outcomes is to have a full body of stimulus words each of which demands a specific answer.  

In fact, properly done there are over 100 stimulus words that can finish the “What if I...” sentence.

If you use these you can guarantee innovations will flow, literally as a river of opportunity.

So too in exploring your customer, in understanding what your customer wants.

One approach is to simply ask but this is not without its issues, including the one we so often encounter where in many cases customers do not really know what they want.

The secret to satisfying your customer lies in observation, what we refer to as “opportunity capture” with more than 40 ways to observe your customer.

But it should not stop there, you should also be exploring your customer’s customer to get to the real source of true opportunity.

Finding new opportunities is the easy part.

The real skill is in evaluating these underpinned by the simple “technology diffusion model” – a numerical score card for new ideas.

None of this is difficult but your endeavours must be backed by sound judgement and proper risk management.

This needs to be coupled with the clear understanding of the single biggest reason for failed innovations, the customer or perhaps better said, Market Risk.

What’s the message?

Now’s the time to review your business strategy and don’t be fooled into thinking that innovation is reserved for the gifted.

We are all users of products and services.

Engineers, scientist, accountants, lawyers, children, indeed everybody and anybody may be your customer. 

Use the right tools and outcomes are guaranteed.

Roger La Salle trains people in innovation, marketing and the new emerging art of Opportunity Capture.