Monday, January 9, 2017

If You Want to be in Front, Lead from Behind

Back End of Innovation Conference Keynote
Tamara St. Claire
CIO: Xerox Healthcare
Three key tools for Xerox Healthcare's innovation efforts:
1.     Lean Start Up model: Based on a non-conventional approach to management to act more like a start up, not assuming you know what the market wants. Build. Measure. Learn—this is the cycle of Lean Start Up. Then, build MVP, minimally viable product, which is a way to test customer reactions. Develop criteria for success. Should you pivot or persevere? This process manages the chaos and uncertainty of new product development. 
2.     Business Model Canvas model: Forget writing business plans, write business canvas models. The vital concept is that it distills down the value on one page, which is all that any executive has time to devote on a new idea. These canvases can be evergreen and dynamic. This tool helps you map, design, and create new business models. You can map out the whole business model on one canvas. 
3.     Getting Out of the Building: Your business plans will never survive your first customer. Take the hypothesis into the market and test. Remember, it’s not a sales call. This is not a Voice of the Customer exercises. This is a What If exploration, an opportunity to both pressure test a model and learn what may make it better.

These three concepts are practices we use everyday in my innovation group, says St. Claire. What I want to share is why Chief Innovation Officer role is important. Having someone who is responsible with real metrics for innovation is critical for innovation to take root.

Five Tools for Innovation:

1.     Strategy: So many organizations do not have strategies; it is staggering. Innovation must be tied to the strategy. Strategy defines the sandbox that innovation can play in. Guardrails of strategy are important. Conversely, innovation can inform strategy. It’s a yin and yang, strategy and innovation. These forces must collaborate.
2.     Ethnography: Many companies have a technology-led innovation. Ethnography keeps the focus on the problem, not the solution. Ethnography is the study of human behavior in a culture. Using real insights from real people can inspire innovation teams to create really necessary and obvious solutions.
3.     Market Timing: Being too early to the market is just as bad as being too late. At PARC they invented the tablet 15 years before the iPad. Gartner’s Hype Cycle is a lifecycle method. Here is the 2016 version:
a.     Technology Trigger: a new technology breakthrough. No practical application. No real viability. 10 or more years will be spent before the technology is widespread.
b.     Peak of Inflated Expectations: you have a few successes and many failures. Here is where the lemmings of VCs jump in. Categories include: autonomous cars, connected home.
c.      Trough of Disillusionment: example, augmented reality.
d.     Slope of Enlightenment: here you see the 2.0s and 3.0s and strategics begin to invest. Example: virtual reality.
e.     Plateau of Productivity: example: Enterprise Cloud.

And yet, there is “no real easy answer to market timing.” There is one view that if you take a niche product to an early-adopter market and get traction, then you may have the ability to scale.

4. Build, Buy & Partner

Often M&A groups, marketing, and RND all have their own silos, all going in various directions. If they can all coordinate and ladder up to a shared strategy, then they can work in sync.

We have a series of formal question to vet whether to build, buy, or partner. You must be able to build a business case that justifies the acquisition. Having these three levers—build, buy, or partner—are critical to get to market effectively and with impact.

5. External Communications: Before we entered the space, we had a two-year plan to establish thought leadership in telemedicine. This “Trojan horse” method works as a powerful tool to socialize ideas and establish a position and point of view around possible areas of exploration.

Innovation cannot happen in a silo. The whole innovation ecosystem is critical to our mission. Bringing relationships with VCs, incubators, and ventures allows us to see the “froth,” the areas that are emerging. We need to all collaborate more, partner deeper, to truly innovate.

1 comment:

ssharmab said...

This is a very nice article, I liked it.

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