You’ll either get familiar with customer outcomes… or with mediocre growth.

All growth-oriented innovation starts with customer outcomes. This is what customers want to have happen, with no understanding yet of how it will happen. Nothing a company does can achieve profitable, sustainable growth unless customer value is created… which comes only by improving these outcomes.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 8).

Product development is a footrace… either a customer-reactive or a market-proactive footrace.

Picture this: A customer tells your sales rep what they want, who hands it off to your R&D. This clever customer tells your competitors the same thing. Terrific. If more than one supplier crosses the finish line, you can forget any price premium. Try this: You choose the race conditions by targeting an attractive market, and exploring its needs better than competitors.

More in article, Are You Squandering R&D Resources?

Fully understanding customer outcomes requires 9 levels of examination.

You begin by uncovering, understanding, defining and setting outcomes’ direction… and end by quantifying their value. Skipping just one level dramatically decreases your odds of a highly-profitable new product. Do you know how many levels are baked into your new product development process? If you don’t, it’s less than nine.

More in article, The Science behind Great Value Propositions (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).

For successful innovation, you need to “get out” more.

It’s risky to incrementalize… but “great hope” projects often absorb huge resources and end with a whimper. What’s the answer? Get out more. Spend more time in customers’ worlds to reduce commercial risk. And reduce technical risk through open innovation, tapping into external technologies. You can’t thrive today without external insight. (Hmmm… “exsight”?)

More in article, The Commodity Death Spiral (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).