Monday, May 28, 2007

Hidden in Plain Sight...

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Sanjay Dalal at Creativity and Innovation Driving Business speaks with Erich Joachimsthaler, author of the new book Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Find and Execute Your Company's Next Big Growth Strategy from Harvard Business School Press.

The book makes a case for the increasing importance of innovation in today's global economy and explains a number of barriers to innovation. It introduces the "Demand-first Innovation and Growth” (DIG) model that encourages an organized and deliberate approach to innovation.

In this interview, the author describes the DIG model like this:

The DIG model is a systematic, systemic and repeatable process to identify and execute innovation and growth strategies. It replaces the existing model of SAV or screwing around vigorously, sometimes also called the fuzzy front end of existing innovation models. In the fuzzy front end, one searches wildly for ideas that then can be put through the classic stage-gate process of new product development. In the DIG model, the focus is not on the product, it is on finding ways of creating a transformational change in consumers’ everyday life.
Also in this interview, the author offers the following essential guidance for companies looking to improve their innovation and growth strategies:
  1. Innovation and growth is not a fuzzy process of screwing around vigorously (SAV) but can be a systematic process,
  2. Innovation and growth is not something that happens in a department like R&D or product development – innovation and growth is a company-wide activity and only if you have a process can you also engage the entire organization,
  3. Innovation and growth is not about products or solutions – it is about creating a transformational change in the way people live, work and play – and in order to achieve that, the innovation can be a product, a solution, a technology and new business model like at Netflix or no product at all. It could even just be a management innovation like brand management at BMW or a better supply chain management process.
This is intriguing to me from the standpoint of the impact the architect has in the innovation process. I just ordered the book, so more to come...

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