Validating your hypothesis with customers doesn’t tell you about market needs, just market reaction.

Many companies think they have learned about customer needs when they visit customers to validate their hypothesis or potential solution. They have not. They have learned about market reaction. To a single idea. Their idea. On top of this, it’s likely this customer reaction was distorted by confirmation bias.

More in white paper, Timing is Everything (page 15).

Never rely on Brownian motion for change management.

Some executives expect employees to deliver innovation-driven growth without investing in company-wide tools and skills. Either nothing changes, or employees run off changing things in random (Brownian) directions. Be intentional about what new behavior is needed, and take unwavering steps to drive it.

More in article, 3 Problems with Innovation Metrics (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).

Use FAQS: Separate your Facts, Assumptions, Questions, and Surprises into neat little piles.

Initially, you are aware of the first three, but completely unaware of the fourth—surprises. When you begin your project, list the first three, and try to convert A’s and Q’s into F’s. Then uncover the surprises through customer interviews, tours and observation. Seek to understand the first three, and discover the last one.

More in white paper, Innovating in Unfamiliar Markets (pages 12-13).

Some businesses are led by Builders. Others by Decorators, Realtors or Landlords.

Some leaders are Interior Decorators, trying to make the place look good every quarter… but not building anything. Others are Realtors. Their hearts are in buying and selling… reaping reward when the work of others’ hands changes hands. Others are Landlords, who apply themselves at work, but their hearts are elsewhere. Be a Builder if this is within you.

More in article, Are You a Builder or a Decorator?