The secrets to harnessing innovation (notes from presentation @ Proxxima 2008)

March 13, 2008 at 12:34 pm | Posted in Innovation | 2 Comments

Increasing demand for innovation

  • Increased user sophistication – particularly due to new digital content access forms
  • All companies striving to gain a competitive advantage to maximize it’s stock value.
  • Looking to differentiate their product from increasingly similar competition
  • Not just special effects and, new delivery devices e.g.:
    • Process
    • Presentation,
    • Product / service,
    • Geography,
    • Value chain,
    • Industry structure
  • The life-cycle of innovation is accelerating
  • 4 levels of competency
    • Unconsciously Incompetent – Don’t know that they don’t know e.g. Homer Simpson – get hit by innovation / lightning but don’t know what happened
    • Consciously Incompetent – Know they don’t know, don’t want to know e.g. Dilbert – actively watch and avoid lightening complicating their lives
    • Unconsciously Competent – Brilliant talents but undisciplined. Successful using instinct but lack process and can’t teach what they do. e.g. Muttley & Dick Darstardly – generate lots of lightening / ideas but often have trouble managing or harnessing it’s potential
    • Consciously Competent – Innovation is a disciplined process of test, learn, measure, go-forward / discard e.g. Einstein or DaVinci – have lightning in their palms – like a sparkler from a birthday cake or putting your hand on a lightning ball.

Challenging dynamics of innovation

  • Two types:
    • Tactical / evolutionary / incremental. Problem is that often the idea is easily replicated. One hit wonders: Bling Bling
    • Sustainable – 5 pillars of breakthrough innovation:
        • Can’t imitate,
        • Profitable,
        • Departure from existing standard (in your category),
        • Change perception of industry,
        • Charge premium for your product / service (affect stock price)
    • Barriers to successful sustainable innovation
      • There is often a gap between where companies need to be and where they are (called Innovation Gap)
      • There is also a delay in activating innovation that is often proportional to size of a company. This is due to added layers of bureaucracy and resistance to change
      • Process unfortunately can be considered to retard innovation because it gives more opportunities for people to say no and retards agility
    • Risk management
      • Understand the difference between real and perceived risk
      • Most of our effort in innovating is managing acceptance of risk
    • Dimensionalise and define brand need to risk because of pressures from:
      • Stock market
      • Corporation
      • Category disruption
      • Consumer disruption
      • Personal – career
      • Political
    • Risk from different perspectives
      • Client
      • Client marketing
      • Client media
      • Digital
      • Traditional Account director
    • Managing risk
      • Understanding risk from several perspectives:
      • Your risk profile
      • Risk profile of your customer
      • Profile of stakeholder in decision process.
    • Checkpoints & Accountability
      • Controls, checks and balances
      • Gateways for progressive approval at various stages e.g. tough decision points to decide whether to progress or stop and concentrate on another effort
      • Clear, simple measurement metrics
      • Results – because the approval isn’t important – the final result is

    You can innovate through Leadership

    • Understand dynamics. I can help you identify / understand the dynamics of a situation, but I can’t give you the solution to every problem. If you understand the pieces to the puzzle, you can put them together in different ways to solve problems yourself.
    • Create a vision of what could happen to dynamics for your industry (and similar)
    • Increased discipline: FIRE (Focus, Ideation, Rank, Execution)
      • Focus: Ask hard questions, deeper insights for briefs
      • Ideation: Pushing the ideas, metaphors, parallels
      • Rank: Sorting ideas (realistic, ownable, 5 pillars etc)
      • Execution: Checkpoints, measurement metrics
    • Strive for Conscious Competence
    • Connecting the dots in different ways
    Powerpoint available on SLIDESHARE



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