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Posted July 21, 2010
If there is a takeaway from this book, it is that innovation is not art, it is science. You can learn it, you can be trained how to innovate and you can control the process of innovation. In today's world it is absolutely critical for most organizations to innovate as that is how they create sustainable competitive advantages. As such, you cannot afford to think of innovation as an unmanageable proces, an art form as that leaves your ability to sustain your competitive advantage up to little more than luck. Lance Bettencourt's book provides insight into an extremely practical approach to manage your innovation process and by applying his methodology you can create innovative and competitive services.
One of the key things the book argues is that your customers articulate their needs by communicating solutions or desired solutions, which help you little in creating new services. Ultimately what the consumer wants is not a solution, but rather they have an objective they want to accomplish by using a solution. This objective, Mr. Bettencourt refers to as a job; your customers want to get a job done. For example, people use a credit card because they want to make a payment. For each job there are one or more metrics by which your customers measure how well they do on that job. These metrics the book refers to as outcomes. Outcomes for making a payment may be convenience, accuracy, time it takes to make a payment, etc.
These jobs and outcomes are independent of solutions and independent of technology and do not even change much over time. 100 years ago people wanted to make payments and they cared about the convenience, accuracy and the time it took for such payments to be made.
Lance Bettencourt's book argues that it is this mindset that can enable you to collect the right information from your customers which you can use to come up with innovative solutions. If you deeply understand what jobs your customers want to accomplish and how they measure the success of their ability to accomplish those jobs, you can easily gather information on what jobs are important for them and what those jobs are for which they have inadequate solutions. You will in fact understand how they measure such inadequacy. Once you are equipped with this information you can focus your internal resources on coming up with alternative solutions that address those particular jobs. In some cases your solutions may be completely different than the incumbent solutions (i.e. cars vs horses to get the job of transporting people from point A to point B) and in some cases they will be evolutionary. In all cases, however, you will have a pretty clear map of what you are trying to accomplish with the innovation and by what metrics your customers will judge you.
Lance Bettencourt makes your innovation process predictable. If you are in a decision making capacity about your company's services (or products for that matter), I highly recommend that you read this book. You will be able to use it as a reference for decision making for years to come.
Posted September 16, 2010
No text was provided for this review.