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Innovation is the catch word for our generation. Everywhere we look at, we find innovation. There was a time in history when invention was innovation. At the brink of inventing all, innovation is invention. The bottle of beverage is redefining its shape. Every communication device is undergoing metamorphosis. 2G to 3G, rectangular to modular technologies, the world is experiencing change through break neck innovation.
We wonder about the soul of innovation! Is it a collective mind frame which innovates? Do innovation leads to more innovation? Or there is an innovator behind every innovation?
Innovation is definitely a social mind frame. If not initiated participated by all. Whenever something new hits the town and if dubbed happening by a group of people, like a shoal of fish, we run after it to part of the experience. That means innovation is started by an innovator and followed by the masses. Innovation leads to further innovation! That is true but there has to be some innovator to start this chain reaction. Thus innovation is all about the innovator.
Innovator is no one but someone among you and me. It is the human brain which innovates. Finding such brains is the real job of our HR Dept. A successful HR professional is always an innovator who identifies the resource who can do trendsetting innovation.
Unfortunately the industry is swarmed by unsuccessful HR techniques which fail to identify the real innovator. What is the relevance of totemistic queries like, “How experienced you are? And tell us about yourself? How about your achievements and breakthroughs? Who are your clients?” And all statistical queries far removed from finding the real innovator with innovation mind. We are not proposing these queries are irrelevant at the time of selecting candidates however we are questioning its relevance in terms of the context of innovation.
An ideal HR professional shouldn’t be task master or recruitment software. Beyond the plastic smile he/she should have a sensibility to understand the processes one practice to understand and implement business techniques. One should delve in detail to understand the outlook of an interviewee when it comes to innovation.
However no HR is born with these skills. An integrated HR innovation package can help them tremendously in recruiting innovative personnel in the managerial wire frame of an organization.
So you think you need a new marketing strategy? Or do you want to make sure your current marketing strategy is solid. Review and answer the following killer questions to help you develop maximum clarity quickly.
- Is there a written strategic plan and/or marketing plan with measurable goals? If not, what is the goal of a new marketing strategy? To achieve what?
- What is driving the new “go to market strategy” and what are the expectations from the corporate view?
- Are the products the same or repositioned?
- Has a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) been formulated and tested?
- Is there a plan for implementing and supporting the sales & marketing through third parties; including: training, allocation of transactions, measurement systems, staffing, etc.?
- If repositioned, have focus groups been used for strategy evaluation? With ultimate customers?
- What is the risk of product cannibalization? For your company and other similar products?
- If products not significantly changed, why the marketing change?
- How does the competition go to market with these or similar products?
- What are the advantages vs. disadvantages of options such as direct selling…different costs, service quality, close rates, margins, training?
- How would these products fit into the company strategy? How would these products, being sold through currently, add value in the eyes of the company customers?
- What marketing vehicles have been explored to assure success…direct mail, solicitation, co-marketed with other products, etc.?
- Are there plans to test market this strategy using a controlled study with market segment variables, such as income, geodemographics, age, penetration by competition, pricing, etc.?
- To what extent has market sizing studies been performed and corresponding budgets developed?
- How have you integrated Social Networking into the strategy?
Option-1: Answer above questions yourself. Distribute the list with answers to your colleagues in your area and outsides your area and in other business units. Ask them to make your answers better (improve) or add new questions and the answers you had not thought of.
Option-2 (4 hours): Run an ideation session. Depending on number of participants, set up working group (round) tables by assigning equal number of participants per table. Assign a question to each table and have them generate ideas using various idea generation Innovation Tools. Give 30 minute per question. Once completed, have each table pick Top 3 ideas and post them on a Top Ideas list at the front of the room. Repeat for each remaining question.