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Leaner Startup Innovation: The 3 Most Important Tools for Innovators Who Must Solve "Wicked Problems"

by Red Ocean Disruptor at ROD University  at /for Bus. Model Gamification; Top 1% Slideshare Contributor - Over 150,000 views (2013) on Sep 12, 2013

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In the world of business, one question that intrigues authors and theorists as well as entrepreneurs, startups, and established businesses is the Radically Successful Business (RSB) question: “How ...

In the world of business, one question that intrigues authors and theorists as well as entrepreneurs, startups, and established businesses is the Radically Successful Business (RSB) question: “How are Radically Successful Businesses (RSB) created and managed?”

The RSB question has flummoxed authors such as Tom Peters and Robert Waterman as well as Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. The selected excellent and Built-To-Last companies of these respective authors have not stood the test of time. In short, RSB prescriptive theories and frameworks in the “In Search of Excellence” and “Built To Last” books have been largely invalidated in reality and found to be inadequate.

To date, the most comprehensive and coherent answer to the RSB question has been provided by Eric Ries in his book, “The Lean Startup.” Ries’s basic premise is that entrepreneurs and organizations use continuous innovation to create Radically Successful Businesses (RSB). Who can argue with that premise? After all, the process of continuous innovation and adaptation accounts for both individual and group differences in a population of living organisms. Also, Ries presents an integrated framework for Strategic Planning, Business Strategy, Product and Business Model Innovation, and Project Implementation.

In his book, “The Lean Startup,” Ries goes on to explain key ideas and principles of a Continuous Innovation and Adaptation (CIA) process that he refers to as “The Lean Startup Method.” The core of the Lean Startup Method is rapid iteration and learning using the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop. Although Ries provides good explanations of other key Lean Startup concepts such as the Vision-Strategy-Product pyramid, Validated Learning, and Innovation Accounting, he does not provide specific tools for systematically organizing, managing, and synthesizing ideas especially for Lean Startup projects. In short, Ries does not provide tools for operationalizing key ideas and principles of the Lean Startup Method. “The Lean Startup” book can be described as a summary of Lean Startup theory that emphasizes a continuous innovation and adaptation process for creating Radically Successful Businesses.

At the moment, there is an explosion of disparate tools to operationalize the Lean Startup Theory and Method. The three most popular tools being the Lean Canvas, Business Model Canvas, and Validation Board. However, these tools ignore many key ideas of the Lean Startup Theory and Method especially at the level of Strategic Planning and Business Strategy. Consquently, “Leaner Startup Innovation” was developed as a methodology that comprehensively covers key ideas, principles, and tools of the Lean Startup Method especially at the levels of business strategy, product and business model innovation, and project management; see http://goo.gl/4E4giA

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  • bogosimatsheka Bogosi Matsheka, Innovation Director (Sub-Saharan Africa) at SilverstoneCIS & Real Africa Media Partners Wow. very insightful. Thank you for sharing. 7 months ago
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  • hudali15 Ali Anani, PhD, Managing Partner at Phenomena Communications @RodKing Rod, you provide a concise response. I agree, but still dare to make a suggestion. In your response you rightly mentioned where to is general; to what to is more specific. I shall re-phrase that to: if you wish to see the forest use where to, but if you want to see the tree use what to. The scope of your approach is truly fractal whereby small changes lead us to different awarenesses. A great thinking and I wish always to ask you Rod for each time I did I learn more from you. 7 months ago
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  • RodKing Rod King, Red Ocean Disruptor at ROD University at /for Bus. Model Gamification; Top 1% Slideshare Contributor - Over 150,000 views (2013) @hudali15: Ali, You asked a great question. Actually, the question of 'Where to pivot?' is covered under the section of Present Reality (What to pivot?) as well as Future Reality (To what to pivot?). In my view, 'where' deals with the more general while 'what' deals with the more specific. Under Present and Future Reality, I could have respectively asked: 'Where to pivot?' and 'To where to pivot?' However, since the focus of the Leaner Startup Plan is on Product (rather than location or a more general area), I considered 'What' to be a better fit. The extended question for Present Reality is actually 'What [product] to pivot?' while for Future Reality, the extended question is 'To what [product] to pivot?' I hope that the foregoing comments clarify my view on the choice of 'what' over 'where.' With regard to the Vision, I asked 'Why pivot?' rather than 'Why NOT pivot?' because the question is presented from a customer's point of view. In general, customers are reluctant to change or pivot so that they are likely to ask, 'Why change?' or 'Why pivot?' In contrast, the business perspective is different. When using a Leaner Startup Strategy, the desirable position would be for the business to pivot. Consequently, under vision, it would be more appropriate to ask, 'Why not pivot?' As I have indicated both perspectives are valid. My preference, however, is for the customer perspective as the business should figure out convincing arguments to overcome a customer's resistance to change or pivot. If the business thinks like a customer and asks, 'Why pivot?', the business is more likely to understand the circumstance of the customer and better facilitate change. I hope this latter argument clarifies my position on the choice of the question, 'Why pivot?' 7 months ago
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  • hudali15 Ali Anani, PhD, Managing Partner at Phenomena Communications Rod,
    I am thoroughly enjoying this presentation even though it is 1 after midnight here. I want to read the presentation again tomorrow and then comment. For now, I have a question. In Slide 10 you mentioned under Vision the question Why Pivot? I am just asking why not where to pivot? You must have a strong reason for that. I wish to read your answer before committing myself to a response;
    Thanks Rod. I am sure I shall learn from you.
    7 months ago
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Leaner Startup Innovation: The 3 Most Important Tools for Innovators Who Must Solve "Wicked Problems" Leaner Startup Innovation: The 3 Most Important Tools for Innovators Who Must Solve "Wicked Problems" Presentation Transcript