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Alain Thys

So You Want To Be Innovative?

A FUTURELAB ACTION GUIDE

May 2011
FUTURELAB

So you want to be innovative?

Prelude
“Chance favours the prepared mind”
Louis Pasteur
Let us start with a few questions:

Why do the space shuttle engines have the diameter they have?

3.

FUTURELAB
Let us start with a few questions:

OK, that’s pragmatic, but why is the tunnel that width?

4.

FUTURELAB
Let us start with a few questions:

That makes sense, but who decided on the width of tracks?

5.

FUTURELAB
Let us start with a few questions:

Remarkable, but why choose this base for trams?

6.

FUTURELAB
Let us start with a few questions:

OK, but then why make the axes this wide?

7.

FUTURELAB
Let us start with a few questions:

So if the ruts lead to the cart, what caused the ruts?

8.

FUTURELAB
Let us start with a few questions:

Standardised imperial chariots? Where did Ceasar get that idea?

9.

FUTURELAB
Let us start with a few questions:

OK, but some Egyptian must have had an original idea!

2000 B.C.

10.

FUTURELAB
Let us start with a few questions:

And so we find the answer: it’s all because of a horse’s ass.
2x

11.

FUTURELAB
Orthodoxies drive our behaviour

We copy and build on what we know to work

12.

FUTURELAB
Orthodoxies drive our behaviour

In fact, it’s in our genes

HUMANS
COPY

13.

... behaviour ...
... ways of working ...
... processes ....
... organisational structures ...

FUTURELAB
Orthodoxies drive our behaviour

It is the secret to human success and achievement

Reading and print

Agriculture

14.

Industrial progress

Apps

FUTURELAB
Orthodoxies drive our behaviour

But there is also a dark side

15.

FUTURELAB
Orthodoxies drive our behaviour

They can fail us if the world around us changes
Music industry

Education

Personal shame
(1994/5)

“Blockbuster CD’s rule.”

“No cheating.”

“Browsing is for geeks.”

Illustration by ~Si2. Print can be purchased at www.deviantart.com

16.

FUTURELAB
Orthodoxies drive our behaviour

They can be based on wrong assumptions
Our actions have always been driven by
assumptions which everyone knows to be true.

It can happen to the best of us:

“God does not play dice with
the universe”
Albert Einstein
on Quantum Mechanics

Earth is flat illustration by ~Si2. Print can be purchased at www.deviantart.com

17.

FUTURELAB
Orthodoxies drive our behaviour

Worst of all, they can close our mind to other options

•
•
•
•

18.

We’ve always done it that way
This is “best practice”
That’s what everyone does
Our world-view is right

FUTURELAB
FUTURELAB

So you want to be innovative?

Part 1: What orthodoxy does to innovation
Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all
classes, our ancestors.
G.K. Chesterton
What orthodoxy does to innovation.

No, I’m not going to talk about orthodoxy versus creativity

Think out of the box!
Wear a green hat!
Find your inner lightbulb!

20.

FUTURELAB
What orthodoxy does to innovation.

I am going to talk about the orthodoxy of innovation itself
Why we make it
harder than it
needs to be?

21.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

Which would be the easiest route to cross this desert?
Over the
mountains?

Through the
valleys?

22.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

Weird, most corporate innovators seem to disagree.

AIRLINES

BANKS

COMPUTERS

UTILITIES

PROCESSED FOOD

PHARMA

Source: The Doblin Group, www.doblin.com

23.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

Weird, most corporate innovators seem to disagree.

Why?

24.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

Innovation is driven by industrial mass production orthodoxies

Industrial revolution
Mass-production logic

More volume
Better & more features
Lower costs

Invention mindset

25.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

This worked fine as long as we had room in our life for “more”

26.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

But our world has changed – the tub is full

27.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

Many of our innovation efforts are wasted
Product parity

Category overload

Hypercompetition

Too much choice actually
reduces the preparedness
of customers to make a
purchase.
Barry Schwartz

28.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

We consider massive failure as the norm (orthodoxy?)

“50-90% percent of innovation projects [are] judged to have made little or no contribution to
Wikipedia, 2011
organizational goals”

29.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

Our response: innovating even more

30.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

Accepting “collateral damage” as it occurs
•
•
•
•
•

31.

Demotivation
Stress
Wasted resources
Lost competitive position
Complexity

FUTURELAB
FUTURELAB

So you want to be innovative?

Part 2: Time for an innovation renaissance
Anything that won't sell, I don't want to invent. Its sale is
proof of utility, and utility is success.
Thomas A. Edison
Time for an innovation renaissance

How do these guys do it?

The industrialist’s nightmare:

I sell overpriced, underspec’d
computers and people love them.

33.

I take a traditional industry like finance,
travel or telco and slap a red logo on it.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

On innovation, they lead their people through the valleys

Experience innovation
Business model innovation
Service innovation
…

34.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

They have let go of the old world orthodoxies

“Age of Scarcity”

Innovate for:
More volume
Better & more features
Lower costs

35.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

They have recognised we live in a different era

“Age of Abundance”

In mature markets
It’s hard to get double-digit growth
from finding new customers.

It’s much easier to extend the
relationship with the customers
you already have.

36.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

They innovate for relationships

Enough to keep things fresh
and interesting.

37.

But not too much.

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

Or in business terms
A compass for your consideration

“Age of Abundance”

Innovate for:
Stakeholder Lifetime Value
Better relationships & reputation
Lower costs

38.

FUTURELAB
An innovation renaissance

Some remarkably good practices

•
•
•
•
•
•
•

39.

Hardware
Software
Infrastructure
Hosting
Consulting
Operations
...

One more
thing

FUTURELAB
Time for an innovation renaissance

A “not so best” practice
Every innovation poses a relationship risk.

Innovate to keep your relationships fresh, but don’t overdo it.

DO

DON’T

Innovate
for growth

Risk
relationships

How Planta almost lost me ... and still might.

40.

FUTURELAB
FUTURELAB

So you want to be innovative?

5 Steps to transform yourself
A leader is someone who steps back from the entire
system and tries to build a more collaborative, more
innovative system that will work over the long term.
Robert Reich
5 Steps to transform yourself

Step 1: Listen, Watch and Learn
Take the customer perspective ... all the way.

Choice Drivers

Insights

Recommendation triggers

Key Advice

“Shop your own product”.
By walking in customers’
shoes you understand
how they see the world.

Georges-Edouard Dias
SVP, L’Oréal Group

42
16/11/2013

Obvious? Test yourself:
If you’re in B2C: when was the last
time you really spoke to a consumer?
If you’re in B2B: how actively do you
manage all your stakeholder’s
emotions?

FUTURELAB
5 Steps to transform yourself

Step 1: Listen, Watch and Learn

Asset leveraging
Bad profits
Global inspiration

Co-creation

For most of us
Innovation is not invention.
Most of what you need will
exist in some shape or form.

43.

Internal sensing
Market foresight

FUTURELAB
5 Steps to transform yourself

Step 2: Broaden your innovation horizon
The Innovation Radar

There are 12-15
types of innovation.
Which ones are
your competitors
missing?

Adaptation of The Innovation Radar 2.0 by J.Chen and M.Sawney of Kellogg School of Management, 2008.

44.

FUTURELAB
5 Steps to transform yourself

Step 2: Broaden your innovation horizon
The Innovation Strategy Matrix

High

Areas to
keep up
or stay ahead

Look at
the niches

Customer Engagement

Develop a “portfolio”
of innovation
strategies depending
on the situation.

Opportunities for
meaningful
differentiation

Copy when
proven only

Low
Low

45.

Innovation Intensity

High

FUTURELAB
5 Steps to transform yourself

Step 3: Involve your people

Innovation is a social, not a personal achievement.
It does not belong in a “department”.

•
•
•
•
•
•

46.

Engagement programmes
Digital (open) platforms
Organisational flexibility
Corporate venturing projects
Innovation teams
...

FUTURELAB
5 Steps to transform yourself

Step 3: Involve your people

Only 5% of your workforce
understands your strategy*
So how can they innovate upon it?





Make sure people understand what you aim to achieve
Provide people with the innovation & design knowledge/tools to contribute
Build an innovation movement that rewards initiative rather than ask for instant ROI

* Based on Norton, D. Aligning your Strategy to the Customer Value Proposition, 13/9/2005.
47
16/11/2013

FUTURELAB
5 Steps to transform yourself

Step 4: Make sure you got it “right”

“Failing fast” is no
excuse for being
sloppy.
Implement a simple system that allows people to evaluate their
own ideas and forces cross-functional co-operation.

48

FUTURELAB
5 Steps to transform yourself

Step 4: Make sure you got it “right”
Simplify, so your business is able to execute. Then simplify again.
The Laws of Simplicity
John Maeda

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

49
16/11/2013

Reduce
Organise
Time
Learn
Differences
Context
Emotion
Trust
Failure
The One

Food for thought:
Can you “appify”
your business?

FUTURELAB
5 Steps to transform yourself

Step 5: Go to market to enhance relationships
Experience
The experience IS
the product.
Peter Merholz

Delight

Loyalty

Profit

How do your
innovations strengthen
your existing customer
relationships?

Racing to market is no excuse for being sloppy.
Align your business as if it were the only innovation
you’ll ever launch.

50

FUTURELAB
FUTURELAB

So you want to be innovative?

Conclusion
Finally, in conclusion, let me just say this.
Peter Sellers
CONCLUSION

Break innovation’s orthodoxies.
STEP 1
Listen, watch and learn.
STEP 2
Broaden your innovation horizon.

STEP 3
Involve your people.
STEP 4
Make sure you got it “right”.

STEP 5
: Go to market to enhance existing relationships.

52
16/11/2013

FUTURELAB
Conclusion

Focus on the valleys that lead to customer success
You can innovate less
Because no one is there, you
make your life easier.

53.

Innovations have more meaning
With the same effort you can
differentiate yourself more.

FUTURELAB
Conclusion

In Summary

Innovate Less

But with More meaning.

54.

FUTURELAB
Alain Thys
Email: ath@futurelab.net
Twitter: @FLB_alainthys

55.

FUTURELAB

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So You Want To Be Innovative ?

  • 1. Alain Thys So You Want To Be Innovative? A FUTURELAB ACTION GUIDE May 2011
  • 2. FUTURELAB So you want to be innovative? Prelude “Chance favours the prepared mind” Louis Pasteur
  • 3. Let us start with a few questions: Why do the space shuttle engines have the diameter they have? 3. FUTURELAB
  • 4. Let us start with a few questions: OK, that’s pragmatic, but why is the tunnel that width? 4. FUTURELAB
  • 5. Let us start with a few questions: That makes sense, but who decided on the width of tracks? 5. FUTURELAB
  • 6. Let us start with a few questions: Remarkable, but why choose this base for trams? 6. FUTURELAB
  • 7. Let us start with a few questions: OK, but then why make the axes this wide? 7. FUTURELAB
  • 8. Let us start with a few questions: So if the ruts lead to the cart, what caused the ruts? 8. FUTURELAB
  • 9. Let us start with a few questions: Standardised imperial chariots? Where did Ceasar get that idea? 9. FUTURELAB
  • 10. Let us start with a few questions: OK, but some Egyptian must have had an original idea! 2000 B.C. 10. FUTURELAB
  • 11. Let us start with a few questions: And so we find the answer: it’s all because of a horse’s ass. 2x 11. FUTURELAB
  • 12. Orthodoxies drive our behaviour We copy and build on what we know to work 12. FUTURELAB
  • 13. Orthodoxies drive our behaviour In fact, it’s in our genes HUMANS COPY 13. ... behaviour ... ... ways of working ... ... processes .... ... organisational structures ... FUTURELAB
  • 14. Orthodoxies drive our behaviour It is the secret to human success and achievement Reading and print Agriculture 14. Industrial progress Apps FUTURELAB
  • 15. Orthodoxies drive our behaviour But there is also a dark side 15. FUTURELAB
  • 16. Orthodoxies drive our behaviour They can fail us if the world around us changes Music industry Education Personal shame (1994/5) “Blockbuster CD’s rule.” “No cheating.” “Browsing is for geeks.” Illustration by ~Si2. Print can be purchased at www.deviantart.com 16. FUTURELAB
  • 17. Orthodoxies drive our behaviour They can be based on wrong assumptions Our actions have always been driven by assumptions which everyone knows to be true. It can happen to the best of us: “God does not play dice with the universe” Albert Einstein on Quantum Mechanics Earth is flat illustration by ~Si2. Print can be purchased at www.deviantart.com 17. FUTURELAB
  • 18. Orthodoxies drive our behaviour Worst of all, they can close our mind to other options • • • • 18. We’ve always done it that way This is “best practice” That’s what everyone does Our world-view is right FUTURELAB
  • 19. FUTURELAB So you want to be innovative? Part 1: What orthodoxy does to innovation Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. G.K. Chesterton
  • 20. What orthodoxy does to innovation. No, I’m not going to talk about orthodoxy versus creativity Think out of the box! Wear a green hat! Find your inner lightbulb! 20. FUTURELAB
  • 21. What orthodoxy does to innovation. I am going to talk about the orthodoxy of innovation itself Why we make it harder than it needs to be? 21. FUTURELAB
  • 22. Time for an innovation renaissance Which would be the easiest route to cross this desert? Over the mountains? Through the valleys? 22. FUTURELAB
  • 23. Time for an innovation renaissance Weird, most corporate innovators seem to disagree. AIRLINES BANKS COMPUTERS UTILITIES PROCESSED FOOD PHARMA Source: The Doblin Group, www.doblin.com 23. FUTURELAB
  • 24. Time for an innovation renaissance Weird, most corporate innovators seem to disagree. Why? 24. FUTURELAB
  • 25. Time for an innovation renaissance Innovation is driven by industrial mass production orthodoxies Industrial revolution Mass-production logic More volume Better & more features Lower costs Invention mindset 25. FUTURELAB
  • 26. Time for an innovation renaissance This worked fine as long as we had room in our life for “more” 26. FUTURELAB
  • 27. Time for an innovation renaissance But our world has changed – the tub is full 27. FUTURELAB
  • 28. Time for an innovation renaissance Many of our innovation efforts are wasted Product parity Category overload Hypercompetition Too much choice actually reduces the preparedness of customers to make a purchase. Barry Schwartz 28. FUTURELAB
  • 29. Time for an innovation renaissance We consider massive failure as the norm (orthodoxy?) “50-90% percent of innovation projects [are] judged to have made little or no contribution to Wikipedia, 2011 organizational goals” 29. FUTURELAB
  • 30. Time for an innovation renaissance Our response: innovating even more 30. FUTURELAB
  • 31. Time for an innovation renaissance Accepting “collateral damage” as it occurs • • • • • 31. Demotivation Stress Wasted resources Lost competitive position Complexity FUTURELAB
  • 32. FUTURELAB So you want to be innovative? Part 2: Time for an innovation renaissance Anything that won't sell, I don't want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success. Thomas A. Edison
  • 33. Time for an innovation renaissance How do these guys do it? The industrialist’s nightmare: I sell overpriced, underspec’d computers and people love them. 33. I take a traditional industry like finance, travel or telco and slap a red logo on it. FUTURELAB
  • 34. Time for an innovation renaissance On innovation, they lead their people through the valleys Experience innovation Business model innovation Service innovation … 34. FUTURELAB
  • 35. Time for an innovation renaissance They have let go of the old world orthodoxies “Age of Scarcity” Innovate for: More volume Better & more features Lower costs 35. FUTURELAB
  • 36. Time for an innovation renaissance They have recognised we live in a different era “Age of Abundance” In mature markets It’s hard to get double-digit growth from finding new customers. It’s much easier to extend the relationship with the customers you already have. 36. FUTURELAB
  • 37. Time for an innovation renaissance They innovate for relationships Enough to keep things fresh and interesting. 37. But not too much. FUTURELAB
  • 38. Time for an innovation renaissance Or in business terms A compass for your consideration “Age of Abundance” Innovate for: Stakeholder Lifetime Value Better relationships & reputation Lower costs 38. FUTURELAB
  • 39. An innovation renaissance Some remarkably good practices • • • • • • • 39. Hardware Software Infrastructure Hosting Consulting Operations ... One more thing FUTURELAB
  • 40. Time for an innovation renaissance A “not so best” practice Every innovation poses a relationship risk. Innovate to keep your relationships fresh, but don’t overdo it. DO DON’T Innovate for growth Risk relationships How Planta almost lost me ... and still might. 40. FUTURELAB
  • 41. FUTURELAB So you want to be innovative? 5 Steps to transform yourself A leader is someone who steps back from the entire system and tries to build a more collaborative, more innovative system that will work over the long term. Robert Reich
  • 42. 5 Steps to transform yourself Step 1: Listen, Watch and Learn Take the customer perspective ... all the way. Choice Drivers Insights Recommendation triggers Key Advice “Shop your own product”. By walking in customers’ shoes you understand how they see the world. Georges-Edouard Dias SVP, L’Oréal Group 42 16/11/2013 Obvious? Test yourself: If you’re in B2C: when was the last time you really spoke to a consumer? If you’re in B2B: how actively do you manage all your stakeholder’s emotions? FUTURELAB
  • 43. 5 Steps to transform yourself Step 1: Listen, Watch and Learn Asset leveraging Bad profits Global inspiration Co-creation For most of us Innovation is not invention. Most of what you need will exist in some shape or form. 43. Internal sensing Market foresight FUTURELAB
  • 44. 5 Steps to transform yourself Step 2: Broaden your innovation horizon The Innovation Radar There are 12-15 types of innovation. Which ones are your competitors missing? Adaptation of The Innovation Radar 2.0 by J.Chen and M.Sawney of Kellogg School of Management, 2008. 44. FUTURELAB
  • 45. 5 Steps to transform yourself Step 2: Broaden your innovation horizon The Innovation Strategy Matrix High Areas to keep up or stay ahead Look at the niches Customer Engagement Develop a “portfolio” of innovation strategies depending on the situation. Opportunities for meaningful differentiation Copy when proven only Low Low 45. Innovation Intensity High FUTURELAB
  • 46. 5 Steps to transform yourself Step 3: Involve your people Innovation is a social, not a personal achievement. It does not belong in a “department”. • • • • • • 46. Engagement programmes Digital (open) platforms Organisational flexibility Corporate venturing projects Innovation teams ... FUTURELAB
  • 47. 5 Steps to transform yourself Step 3: Involve your people Only 5% of your workforce understands your strategy* So how can they innovate upon it?    Make sure people understand what you aim to achieve Provide people with the innovation & design knowledge/tools to contribute Build an innovation movement that rewards initiative rather than ask for instant ROI * Based on Norton, D. Aligning your Strategy to the Customer Value Proposition, 13/9/2005. 47 16/11/2013 FUTURELAB
  • 48. 5 Steps to transform yourself Step 4: Make sure you got it “right” “Failing fast” is no excuse for being sloppy. Implement a simple system that allows people to evaluate their own ideas and forces cross-functional co-operation. 48 FUTURELAB
  • 49. 5 Steps to transform yourself Step 4: Make sure you got it “right” Simplify, so your business is able to execute. Then simplify again. The Laws of Simplicity John Maeda 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 49 16/11/2013 Reduce Organise Time Learn Differences Context Emotion Trust Failure The One Food for thought: Can you “appify” your business? FUTURELAB
  • 50. 5 Steps to transform yourself Step 5: Go to market to enhance relationships Experience The experience IS the product. Peter Merholz Delight Loyalty Profit How do your innovations strengthen your existing customer relationships? Racing to market is no excuse for being sloppy. Align your business as if it were the only innovation you’ll ever launch. 50 FUTURELAB
  • 51. FUTURELAB So you want to be innovative? Conclusion Finally, in conclusion, let me just say this. Peter Sellers
  • 52. CONCLUSION Break innovation’s orthodoxies. STEP 1 Listen, watch and learn. STEP 2 Broaden your innovation horizon. STEP 3 Involve your people. STEP 4 Make sure you got it “right”. STEP 5 : Go to market to enhance existing relationships. 52 16/11/2013 FUTURELAB
  • 53. Conclusion Focus on the valleys that lead to customer success You can innovate less Because no one is there, you make your life easier. 53. Innovations have more meaning With the same effort you can differentiate yourself more. FUTURELAB
  • 54. Conclusion In Summary Innovate Less But with More meaning. 54. FUTURELAB
  • 55. Alain Thys Email: ath@futurelab.net Twitter: @FLB_alainthys 55. FUTURELAB

Editor's Notes

  1. Image Desi Walls
  2. Image Desi Walls
  3. Image Desi Walls