How to be a better innovator

BETTER and FASTER: Jeremy Gutsche's Top Speech on Innovation (Published on March 5, 2015)

Avoid three traps of a Farmer:

  1. Complacent

  2. Repetitive

  3. Protective

Pursue three Hunter Instincts:

  1. Insatiable

  2. Curious

  3. Willing to Destroy

Six Patterns of Opportunity:

1. Convergence

A key lesson is that it might not be just one big idea that takes your company or success to the next level. Often innovation manifests itself best with the combination of many little ideas that align to the trends in your industry and the ever-changing preferences of your consumer. CONVERGENT innovation includes: creating a winning business or product by combining multiple products, services, or trends. Includes: mixing, product integration, social integration, bringing people together, adding value through layering, drama, multi-functions, and co-branding. Questions to ask yourself: 1. What other SERVICES could be combined with your offering? 2. What dream BRANDS or products could you work with?

2. Reduction

The concept of uncovering opportunity located in an untapped niche market, such as recent divorcees. REDUCTION innovation includes: simplifying a business concept or focusing it more on a specific idea. Includes: specialization, removing layers and steps, fractioning, crowd- sourcing, subscriptions, localization, and efficiency. Questions to ask yourself: 1. What parts of your business do consumers actually CARE about? 2. How many ways could you imagine a SIMPLER start-up?

3. Redirection

Rather than working against a powerful pre-existing ritual, pivoting the momentum to work to your advantage is an ideal way to harness opportunity off of an existing trend. REDIRECTED innovation includes: the art of channeling the power of a trend, behavior, or demonstration of need instead of fighting it. Includes: refocusing, re-prioritizing, rationalizing, reversing, and gamifying. Questions to ask yourself: 1. What big forces or rituals could you RECHANNEL? 2. Where could you OVER-DELIVER to delight your customer?

4. Circularity

People get caught up in their day to day roles that it can be easy to overlook the clues and patterns of predictable opportunity. To find better ideas faster, innovators need to be able to step back to see the whole picture, look for clues and act fast. CIRCULARITY innovation includes: predictably recurring opportunities. Includes: retro, nostalgia, economic cycles, seasonality trends, generational patterns, and repetitive cycles. Questions to ask yourself: 1. Since your last reinvention, how much have styles & culture CHANGED? 2. What do your NEXT customers think about your relevance?

5. Acceleration

The key is that you don’t need to compete against your competitors directly, you need to rethink about what consumers actually want. And THAT’S what you accelerate. ACCELERATED innovation includes: Identifying a critical feature of a business or product and dramatically enhances that element. Includes: perfecting on thing, aspirational positioning icon, exaggerated features, and re-imagined solutions.

Questions to ask yourself:

1. Specifically why should I CHOOSE you?

2. How might you RE-DEFINE your most important feature?

6. Divergence

Diverge away from the traditional can lead businesses to create personalized products geared to untapped customers, marketplaces and opportunities. DIVERGENT innovation includes the innovation of: products and services designed to oppose or break free from the mainstream. This opportunity pattern extends beyond rebellion to include personalization, customization, status, and luxury.” Questions to ask yourself: 1. What do people hate about your INDUSTRY? 2. How could you be more CUSTOMIZED, more unique or different from the mainstream?

Six Success Lessons from Sig Gutsche:

  • Be Insatiable

  • Push Harder

  • Work Smarter

  • Look Deeper

  • Act Sooner

  • Never Give Up

Additional lessons:

  • Chaos creates predictable opportunity

  • Opposing the mainstream fuels success

  • Rules, Policies, Structure, Brand Standards = Predictable

  • Rethink about what people actually want

  • Retro nostalgia economic cycles that are really obvious... in retrospect

  • Increase your odds of winning by aligning to multiple trends

Note: The foregoing is excerpted from

"The daily task is marked by self-improvement and the search for new opportunity." - Amancio Ortega

#Innovation #BetterandFaster #Creativity #Inspiration

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