Who do you want your customers to become? According to MIT innovation expert and thought leader Michael Schrage, if you aren’t asking this question, your strategic marketing and innovation efforts will fail. In this latest HBR Single, Schrage provides a powerful new lens for getting more value out of innovation investment. He argues that asking customers to do something different doesn’t go far enough - serious marketers and innovators must ask them to become something different instead.
"A Little Diamond"
What is the best way for a company to innovate? That's exactly the wrong question. The better question: How can organizations get the maximum possible value from their innovation investments? Advice recommending "innovation vacations" and the luxury of failure may be wonderful for organizations with time to spend and money to waste. But this audiobook addresses the innovation priorities of companies that live in the real world of limits. They want fast, frugal, and high-impact innovations.
The billion-dollar OpenAI initiative announced last week by Elon Musk and company recalls DARPA’s Grand Challenge, the X-Prize, and MIT Media Lab’s One Laptop Per Child initiative - innovative institutional mechanisms explicitly designed to attract top talent and worldwide attention to worthy problems. They can work well, and my bet is that the OpenAI will goad a similar competitive response.
A longtime company client effectively told me they wanted to transform their single high-profile global customer forum into a new product sales event. Given management’s declared commitment to customer satisfaction and net promoter scores, I thought this a serious mistake; the move would undermine hard-won credibility and inhibit honest feedback from the firm’s smartest customers.
The Harvard Business Review's annual survey of twenty emerging ideas considers how nanotechnology will affect commerce, what role hope plays in leadership, and why, in an age that practically enshrines accountability, we need to beware of "accountabalism."
From the February 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review.
The same algorithms serious social media marketers use to determine and sway consumer sentiment can easily be turned inward. Stressful projects? Jerk boss? Unresponsive colleagues? “Sentiment analysis” promises not just to identify workplace pain-points, but anticipate them. How employees use tools like Slack, Sharepoint, Yammer, email, blogs, or LinkedIn to share thoughts and coordinate actions invariably yields treasure troves of data worth mining.
Sustainable success requires the right touch; sustainable digital success requires the right touchpoints. Already the fastest-growing mobile game in US history, Pokémon Go’s astonishing popularity highlights how profoundly touchpoints - any interaction between your customer and your offer - define and design user experience. Much of Go’s global appeal comes from an augmented reality sensibility that literally and figuratively transforms real-world environments into digital playgrounds.
Testifying unhappily before America’s Congress, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn adamantly and defiantly identified the true authors of his company’s disastrous “defeat device” deception.
Brainteasers need not apply when it comes to hiring.
Volkswagen’s brazen and bizarre “Diesel-gate” deception beggars belief.
A little data-driven self-knowledge can be a wonderful thing. As Lenore Skenazy points out in her amusing Wall Street Journal review of Laura Vanderkam’s I Know How She Does It, even the most successful super-achievers remain oblivious to where their time really goes.
Yes, there is an “I” in team. But it stands for incentives. Discussing teamwork without identifying its incentives is akin to debating effective diets while ignoring willpower: the most important ingredient may be missing.