Monday, May 3, 2010

Some Great Points From the Intuit Session

Posted by Chris Andrews, Forrester Research. FEI 2010

I just attended a description of Intuit’s Lab website. This was a very interesting and engaging discussion about how Intuit developed its own internal innovation capability. While Michelle Makowski did an excellent job here describing the development of the lab site capability, I picked up on some words from Tad Milbourne at the end, about the development of Inituit’s Brainstorm capability. I took down these notes/quotes as fast as I could, because I think he told an interesting and valuable story.

The following is a paraphrase of what I heard (with some bolded parts I found interesting):

“There were five of who were full of gumption and moxy, who wanted something to make a big change [to the innovation process]…But it was not that easy to do. What we realized pretty quickly: Instead of doing technology for technology sake, we needed to focus this on the customer need and enable a process around that. So what you had was a bunch of people working on this process, who did not know any better about what could not be done, and we created a tool."

"What we eventually realized was going on was that we already had a formal innovation process, but the mechanisms were too onerous from the point of view of a typical innovator. For example, they were asking questions like “how much revenue do you expect from your idea in the first 3 years.” Not only could the innovator not answer those questions, but we thought that they were the wrong questions to ask in the first place."

"We wanted innovators to contribute out of their own self-interest. Once we cracked that [by focusing on the consumer] it spread virally throughout the organization….We’ve spend the last year or so focusing on a set of customer needs. We’re taking these learnings to heart and using them as part of our design process and pushing it all the way through to marketing."

Some great points in these few short paragraphs!

Chris

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