Geoff introduced the book by explaining many companies (especially technology) focus on innovation during the start-up phase – to get a product created – and ride the wave from there. But, he added, innovation needs to take place at all the stages in the category life cycle.
Some quotable quotes…
Companies run into trouble when they spend more time in the mind of the business and not enough time in the mind of the customer.
“What is (your company name here) about?” What is your identity? What do you represent to your customers, your employees and to yourself?
This is innovation that truly sets you apart from the your competition… makes you the “preferred choice” in the market place.
This is innovation that catches up to what a competitor is doing, and eliminates the differentiation. An example, when the first airline added an electronic self-check-in kiosk – they became a differentiated airline. But now all airlines have them – so that innovation has been neutralized. In the book he mentions “Citibank achieved differentiation with ATM machines in the 1970s; then all other banks achieved neutralization.” It’s now what’s expected from consumers.
This is the innovation that takes place behind the scenes. The inner operation that isn’t necessarily visible to the customer.
Waste is productivity that doesn’t add value or create additional return. It’s innovation for the sake of innovation. More features were added, but not more value.
He is super smart, down-to-earth, and an awesome presenter. If he’s in your town – I highly recommend listening to him speak. Geoff’s schedule can be found on the TCG Advisor’s website (in the right-hand column).
Look for the continuation “Dealing with Innovation: 2” posting tomorrow.