Innovation is much more than a succession of grand themes and big ideas.More
It is not at all difficult to turn customer dissatisfaction or even mere indifference into pure delight.More
An innovation blitz can help consumer goods firms build momentum for ongoing innovation.
A 100-day open innovation (OI) blitz is a powerful tool to drive immediate wins, build momentum, and engage employees in ways that instantly begin to break down traditional work constraints. The blitz intensively restages open innovation efforts under a unified program, and it ties the different strands together with a purposeful communication and change management approach. Launching sequential waves of OI tactics and events shapes how the organization approaches innovation going forward.
The tactics and events can range from local to global in scope. They can include everything from innovation summits, to internal or external innovation competitions and dialogues, to online forums.
Following are the main elements:
- Lay out an innovation strategy and OI needs. Start with a strategy that sets out an overall aspiration for innovation, the role that OI plays within that aspiration, and specific, measurable OI objectives.
- Match challenges to tactics. Once the challenges for the 100-day blitz are defined, match them to suitable OI tactics, such as crowdsourcing, key supplier or employee involvement, or even collaboration with companies in other industries facing similar challenges.
- Refine good ideas and drive them into the pipeline. Apply techniques such as rapidly developing business cases to get to those high-potential ideas fast.
- Change the way you work. Allow the space or environment for supporting true OI by integrating innovation into the culture of the organization.
Superior innovation management is a surefire way to outperform the market.
Indeed, innovation is broadly accepted as an important means of value creation. Yet the value that innovation generates often takes time to materialize, and the business case for innovation is inherently fraught with risk and uncertainty. Frequently, markets are slow to recognize successful innovation, and impatient investors don't always afford executives the luxury of waiting until the market prices in their prescience.
A.T. Kearney has been studying innovative companies from across Europe for the past decade. And we've found that innovation leaders consistently outperform their peers not only in share price but also in revenue and earnings growth—arguably more meaningful indicators of value creation at a time when markets have proved to be extremely fickle. The difference is significant.
If innovation, then, is critical to resilience during economic downturns and an unmistakable path to long-term value creation, the question then is: What makes a company a Best Innovator?
- A clear innovation strategy provides a "compass" for innovation.
- A well-rounded approach to innovation goes beyond products to focus on innovation in processes, services, and business models.
- Leaders quickly distinguish high-potential ideas and weed out less promising concepts as early as possible.
- Involving innovation partners from all along the value chain broadens the scope of ideas.
- Best Innovators have simple yet robust innovation development processes to govern all development activities.
- Companies that excel at innovation conduct rigorous portfolio management.
- Best Innovators form interdisciplinary, high-performance teams that work in project mode.
- All innovation leaders emphasize the importance of building and nurturing an innovation culture.
High-growth companies are often ahead of the curve when it comes to IT innovation.
For more than a decade, A.T. Kearney has studied clients and organizations worldwide to determine what drives innovation in IT and how to realize the benefits. Our studies of technological innovation began during the go-go days of the Internet boom and continue to this day. We have seen IT innovation as a standalone industry killer and as an integrated tool that helps orchestrate and enable strategic shifts. One thing that has not changed is the belief among executives that more aggressive technology adoption and investment is a clear path toward growth and profits: A.T. Kearney's 2012 study finds that high-growth companies are frequently ahead of the curve when it comes to IT innovation.
A.T. Kearney defines IT innovation as game-shifting, technology-enabled strategies—the kind that creates sustainable competitive advantage or leads to significant cost reductions. A common goal of IT innovation is the delivery of new solutions to customers, products, or supply chains—for example, analytics that predict customers' needs or off er new ways for customers to find and order products or services. Innovation in products includes how automakers design vehicles to improve lifestyles by integrating cars with drivers' mobile devices, homes, and off ices. Other examples include supply chains that are continually being transformed by IT as forecasting and tracking improves both the delivery of goods and the monitoring of assets.
Our 2012 study yields several noteworthy findings. For one, executives at major global companies continue to recognize the value of IT innovation and believe they should allocate a larger portion of their IT budgets to innovation. Yet most do not, especially when compared with high-growth companies that invest more in technology innovation and do so earlier in the technology life cycle. These companies rely less on large service providers for innovation than their medium- and low-growth counterparts, and instead build internal IT processes and operating structures to develop their own IT innovation capabilities. Indeed, they look to their IT organizations to drive revenue, not just to reduce costs or streamline operations.
What do these findings mean for the average company? That growth and innovation can be generated in the IT organization, but only if the IT organization gets the necessary funding and resources and steps up to the challenge.Close
Talk all you want about strategy and operational efficiency—the truth is, firms succeed because they offer something irresistible.
Companies devote a great deal of time, effort, and resources to achieve success, but the bottom line is this: The product or service offered needs to be one that people want above all others. It can be dangerous to assume you know what the customer wants. That is where capturing the voice of the customer (VOC) comes in.
Traditional VOC methods have shortcomings. For example, the information captured often includes several needs, or types of needs, which makes it difficult to compare and prioritize their importance or translate them into product specifications.
Desired outcome–based VOC adopts a different approach. It uses a framework of customer “jobs-to-be-done” and the “desired outcomes” for these jobs. Proposed by Clayton Christensen in his work on innovation at Harvard University and Anthony Ulwick in his book, "What Customers Want," on outcome-driven innovation, the method is based on the assumption that customers buy a product or service to help them accomplish a specific task. Associated with each job-to-be-done is a desired outcome, which is the customer’s ideal result of the job getting done.
The structure and consistency of the outcome-driven customer-needs framework offers four advantages over traditional VOC approaches:
- Directly identifies underlying customer-value drivers
- Ensures innovation efforts that are more focused with clear articulation of required improvements
- Makes it easier to translate customer language to engineering language
- Provides a clear, supportable connection between future marketing messages and customer-value propositions
- Innovation Management, 19 December 2012
A.T. Kearney's comprehensive approach to innovation helps small and medium-sized enterprises successfully manage their new products or services.
Entrepreneurs, investors, and academics discuss how Mexico can build an innovative business culture.
A.T. Kearney and the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce Northeast Chapter (USMCOCNE) recently hosted a conference to discuss the current platform for innovation and entrepreneurship in Mexico. The one-day symposium provided an opportunity for open dialogue about Mexico’s progress in creating an entrepreneurial culture and environment—one that can become a significant source of wealth creation through improved productivity and economic growth. More than 80 attendees heard from a distinguished group of professionals—entrepreneurs, investors, and academics—who represent the main stakeholders in the Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem. In two panel discussions, the speakers shared their experiences and opinions about opportunities for further advancement of Mexican business.Close
More people today are downloading e-books. As the trend accelerates, it is reshaping the publishing industry.
More people today are downloading e-books, a trend that will only accelerate in the next decade and undoubtedly change the publishing value chain. Core industry participants—printing companies, distributors, and book retailers—will find it difficult to adapt.Close
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