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What are the critical practices that businesses need to apply in their innovation journey from ideas to products generating value in the marketplace?
Our study used our three phase model of the Innovation Journey, an end-to-end conversion of ideas to value (see diagram). Our study found that the innovation practices in our defined innovation journey correlated significantly with the innovation performance of the 25 participating companies – which means that those companies that had superior innovation practices achieved higher innovation performance. We identified three areas where this Leader group were significantly superior to the others in their innovation practice, indicating that these areas were more critical to the achievement of superior innovation performance than the others. Bringing you news, comment and resources on the latest in business re-engineering and innovation. Yet, as critical as great insights are to the future success of any business, the majority of companies continue to bet the future of their business on traditional consumer-based research methods – like focus groups, web surveys, panels, etc.
And I have to wholeheartedly agree with him given that the majority of new product introductions tend to be lackluster at best.
Personally, I believe that you have to “shake things up” by doing things unconventional in both the ways you are finding new insights AND in the way you are evaluating those more revolutionary ideas for the market. Times are definitely changing, and therefore, we too must change and experiment with other ways of discovering deeper insights to identify opportunities that are more emotionally relevant to our customers if we are going to have highly competitive offerings in the marketplace. Finding new insights is always a time investment, but I’ve found that you get more for less with unconventional approaches.
When you take the time to observe, learn and discover, you will make unlikely connections with the various pieces of information. Your traditional research methods have probably identified the top magazines that interest your customers. Get an easel pad, scissors, and some tape and begin to cut out article titles, key words from the ads, symbols and other imagery to create a large collage board. From my experience, questions lead to more questions, so don’t hesitate to ask additional questions, but make sure you get all core questions answered. Facebook, blogs and other social media outlets give everyone the opportunity to have their candid opinions not only heard, but reacted to. Take the time to watch a few sites or blogs over the course of one or two weeks for common themes and insights that can provide a great source of fresh, consumer-inspired ideas for your innovation pipeline. Google is an amazing tool that allows you to search the world for other products in your category. In the search bar, type in the specific product category and the country you are interested in. Don’t underestimate the information you can find simply by devoting a few hours of time a day to these various insight discovery methods.
As school leaders, how do we foster environments of risk-taking and innovation (rather than compliance) for both students and employees? Double Trouble is a Cape Town based, family run company that specialises in prams for twins and singletons.  Following the success of the Double Trouble twin pram, they expanded their product offering to include the Double Trouble single pram.
Both the twin and single prams are available as 3 in 1 travel systems (pram, carry cot and car seat) and they have partnered with market leading international brands such as Maxi-Cosi to ensure that their products carry the highest safety standard from newborn to toddler. They are currently running a Winter Promotion on their Single Pram ending 31st May 2014, which includes a free carry cot (valued at R1 200) when purchasing either the Essential or Essential Delux package! Participating companies will receive a copy of the report and their individual (anonymised) scoring against the other participants and the innovation journey model. A new, provocative or compelling insight around human behavior, pain points, social or industry trends, or even new business models is typically the springboard for which most successful new products, new services and new businesses are created. These incremental innovations are rampant in many categories, but more so in the personal care category where you will discover a new toothpaste or mouthwash flavor or a new shampoo scent versus a truly new product benefit being offered.
Sometimes it is simply impossible to ask potential customers if this is something they want or would purchase.
These methods are more agile, less expensive, and can be completed in compressed time frames.


These connections between your traditional and non-traditional information will allow your brain to make “collision points” – the intersection where new ideas develop that will fill your pipeline with profitable business solutions. And if not, then ask someone that is or would be a potential customer which magazines they frequently buy or have subscriptions to and pick up a few of them next time you’re at the store. You will begin to see patterns to help identify your customer’s primary interests, needs and desires.
Grab someone that uses your product or your competitor’s product in your category and take them down the street for a cup of Joe. There are hundreds of thousands of blogs, community sites, forums and bulletin boards consumers relentlessly share their views, experiences, complaints and opinions about products, brands and companies.
Yes, there are paid subscription services like Mintel that could provide a report of all the new products being introduced globally, but these services can be expensive. When it comes to items like anti-aging or cellulite products, I would search for products in Japan, India and a few European countries to get a good look at the product landscape. Keep taking the original monkeys out until you have all new monkeys, Monkeys A through E, in the cage. Jennifer York-Barr, used to note that some schools had what she called 'crab bucket cultures.' In these schools, whenever an enterprising teacher did something new and excellent that also was perceived to be too far beyond the norm, the other teachers would engage in behaviors that were intended to hold her back and instead re-align her to what everyone else was doing (or not doing). Educational risk-taking The point of these three examples is this: organizational norms are powerful shaping mechanisms on individual and group behavior.
As new information environments, economic realities, and learning landscapes form themselves before our very eyes, transitioning our school systems so that they are relevant for today and tomorrow, not just yesterday, is going to require gobs of innovation and experimentation. And what can we do to help teachers and students stop actively reinforcing learned helplessness and self- or peer-limiting behaviors? We are seeking to expand the study database size and also intend to use the assessment tool developed from this study to help businesses improve their innovation effectiveness. What is needed is a personal commitment that involves rolling up your sleeves and being fully immersed in the process to help identify the rich, robust insights necessary to truly lead the market.
Boutique stores tend to be more visually stimulating, boldly depicting the latest fashion, ingredient and technology trends.
What new insights can you identify from the content – are they foodies, weekend warriors, gamers, germaphobes? Keep track of them and then get some reaction to them towards the end of your time together. And that can mean gold to you as a marketer and innovator when you are looking for insights. Let us put a ?-day workshop together to train your team in developing a culture of insights. Monkey A, of course, never has been sprayed with cold water and just sees a tasty banana within reasonable reach. Monkey B experiences the same thing that Monkey A did: move toward the banana and the other four monkeys start beating you up. By this time, the original reason for staying away from the banana has long been relegated to the dustbin of history and none of the current monkeys have experienced an icy spraying. Stated differently, they would pull her back down, just like crabs in a bucket do if one tries to escape.
Yet we have schooling, policy, and leadership cultures that are extremely intolerant of risk-taking and, indeed, will vigorously intervene to reinforce static processes, mindsets, and behaviors. Both prams are practical, versatile, excellent quality, light weight, easy to manoeuvre and, most importantly, affordable.
We have now completed our initial study on 25 medium to large technology businesses based in the UK and Denmark.
This enabled the individual practices with the strongest correlation with innovation performance to be identified. We need to get in touch with our business, our customers, and our retailers at a very basic and personal level.


These impactful insights rarely jump off the pages of a research report while sitting at your desk. They work harder at this versus your traditional mass channel stores, so this is a great place to explore and observe.
It may be beneficial to have your interviewee sign a confidentiality agreement if you are sharing some proprietary ideas. In fact, even if you have a service like Mintel, I believe you should still go through this exercise to identify interesting products in your category that aren’t made by the larger corporate manufacturers. Get a few team members together, brief them on your findings, and begin to kick some preliminary ideas around. However, every time a monkey tries to climb the ladder to get to the banana, the researcher sprays the monkey with freezing cold water, causing him to retreat.
Every time he moves toward the banana, however, the other four monkeys start beating him up.
Monkey A joins in the enforcement even though he doesn't know about and never experienced the original reason that led to the behavior. For example, after years of being told to 'just give us the right answer,' students internalize the idea that there already is one, that someone else already has it, and that to be successful all they have to do is find it and regurgitate it back to those in power. We were greatly aided in this work by our collaborating partners: The University of Exeter Business School, Aalborg University Denmark and Gill Jennings and Every (GJE).
Take note of what they are promoting, how they are promoting it, and the technology or ingredients that are highlighted. You’ll be surprised where these insights will take you – more than likely into some unlikely, unusual and unchartered areas that your customers would actually find exciting. Or, we’d be happy to complete this task for your next project – just call us to discuss your next RFP! Students quickly understand that for nearly every situation, the better they learn to just sit down, shut up, listen to the adult, and do what they're told, the better off they'll be. Often, it is the small nuances like a unique delivery system, bottle shape, or how a product is actually packaged (i.e. It’s also beneficial to check out this website as they have an extensive product list from across the globe.
And isn’t that what innovation is all about – creating new products and services that excite and motivate your customers to buy? Pretty soon, all of the monkeys learn that none of them should go anywhere near the banana because they will all be sprayed with ice water. Similarly, teachers learn from policymakers, administrators, and, yes, their peers that they shouldn't be too innovative or else: significant experimentation and creativity may be allowed elsewhere but not here! We believe that this is primarily an outcome of being an effective innovator – you need to effectively exploit your IP.
What does this mean about your customer (hypothesize some theories) and how can your brand capitalize on this? I also check out the Google images that come up in case I find a specific product that I would like to investigate further.
But, it will definitely be time well-spent as it will pay-off in a return on insights (ROI) in the form of a return on investment (ROI). How could your brand (or a new product) fit into their world (if it doesn’t already), or fill their needs better?
The monkeys not only have been conditioned into a state of learned helplessness but now actively engage in behaviors that reinforce that state. We believe this is key to ensuring that developed products are strongly user-influenced, rather than simply technology-driven.



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