Wednesday, June 06, 2007

To innovate, you have to go beyond

Struggling to grow your revenues through differentiation, competitive strategy and line extensions? You're playing on the wrong field, says Erich Joachimsthaler, author of the new book "Hidden In Plain Sight: How To Find And Execute Your Company's Next Big Growth Strategy."

Companies, order to break out of private-label hell, commoditization or outright irrelevance, must break their internal frame of reference (my products, my competitors, my customers) and look at things from an "outside-in" perspective. In other words, what does the customer do and how can we create products that participate?

While the book focuses largely on consumer industries, there are useful B2B examples, including how GE Healthcare broadened its solution for operating-room anesthesiologists by studying them at work and developing an end-to-end solution to address the hassles and difficulties the doctors confronted.

Joachimsthalter outlines the "seven beyonds" of this new innovative thinking:

  1. Beyond existing customers
  2. Beyond existing brands
  3. Beyond the category
  4. Beyond the industry
  5. Beyond silos and functions
  6. Beyond the boundaries of the Strategic Business Unit
  7. Beyond habitual domains