I have a secret recipe for Innovation. And i am gone to share it with you. It doesn’t mean that applying this you will innovate for sure and succeed each time. No. This is actually the way I propose to run n innovation process in order to maximize the chance of a success. But what is success in that case? Creating value, for your customer and for you.
A two dimension approach
Most of the time people think that innovation is inventing something. That’s not true, or at least partially. Inventing is one part of innovation. Selling it is the other part. So to innovate wisely one has to ensure both the technical and business side of its project.
Make a little stop here. Just think and try to remember things that was technically perfect, cutting-edge technologies but never sold. Found some. Mee too. The other way round? More difficult because no one is used to look at the business model but I am sure you can find some
So to innovate you have to have something that is innovating on the technical and business sides. Let’s have a look at each of them.
Innovate « technically »
I should have chosen another word but couldn’t (if you have proposition please let a comment). What do I mean when I say « Innovate technically ». Don’t misunderstand me. Do we have to have something brand new to innovate on the technical side? NO. Talking about the technical side, I mean proposing a new solution which could have been invented years before but never applied on our area of innovation. But wait… « a new solution » to what? YESSSS here we are. A solution needs a problem. So to innovate wisely you need to solve a problem. And to solve it in a way that never has been before. To my point of view it means that clients should be at the centre of your consideration. What is their real problem? How can you solve it in a way they value your work? One of the best methodology I have seen in action so far to address those questions is Design Thinking and ServiceDesign.
Design Thinking will help to identify customer needs, values and environment to define a clear vision of their problems to solve in order to come up with good ideas that you will prototype and test. So I would say that in the early stage of your Innovation Process, you should consider Design Thinking and its tools.
Speed is Gold
Once that done, speed is key. You have to iterate as fast as possible collecting the maximum insights and feedback from users and customers to modify your products (your value proposition). At that point of an Innovation project (service or product), the Lean Start-up seems to me the best method to accelerate your development. Lean Start-up allows you to learn on what your customer value and how you can bring this value to them.
We will see later how to implement it with the Design Thinking Approach.
Lean Start-up approach will allow our project to deliver faster and be sure that our value proposition is understood and appreciated by out customers. Moreover it will give us some good insights about what they value in our offer.
Business model innovation
As lean start-up and Design thinking are methodologies that gives us good insights and feedback about what is the good solution for a given problem to solve and what the future customers value in our value proposition, business models can still be very different. Innovating in Business model is also a good way to innovate.
Let’s have a step back. Old products, innovative business models. Some example to share? I am sure YES. Best is new product, innovative business model. Example? Again I am sure you found some. (if not, let me a comment I will give you some example I have in mind). Regarding Business Model Innovation my favour goes to… Business Model Canva and Value Proposition Design of course. thanks to those tools you can define, represent and iterate quickly on Business Model and chose the one that will create the most value. It is really rocket tools that works well (I have really good experience applying those 2).
Innovating in Business Model is the most powerful way to disrupt and create higher value for both clients and your organization.
The secret recipe…
How to mix all those nice tools and methodologies in order to maximize the chance to have at the end an innovative product or service?
That’s the secret. A good mix of those methods incl. other tools (JTBD…) lead to maximize the chance of delivering a good service/product, suited to clients needs and that they value enough to buy at a fair price.