Sunday, June 28, 2009

Game-changing Innovation

" The role of the innovator is to meet customers on their terms as human beings.The goal of the innovator is to empower your customers to realize the change they want to see in the world."

Paco Underhill

I like the statement - especially "on terms as human beings" - which I interpret as holistic but simple answers to practises in  their everyday contexts. But with some reservation - as customers rather seldom have asked for the change they afterwards liked so much. Maybe it should say "help your customer to understand that they want change"..

As consumers mostly ask for incremental improvements and do not know what radically different might be offered, there is a danger - especially during recessions -  that game-changing innovation is not getting enough resources - except in exceptional companies.

Decisionmaking in the ordinary company is a challenge as architectural and discontinuos - game changing innovations are easier to kill (running against business models, ROI potential - if big - uncertain) and harder to conceive as they are often found at the margins of core business and may need discovery-oriented activities.

Still they are the way to the future - but business lines have to co-operate, companies have to network and public private partnerships become the norm,  if we want to be competitive and keep the base for welfare solid.

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