Saturday, March 29, 2008

Innovation …. Customer

The ISCORPIO Metaphor in M21C describes eight petals related to various aspects of a Business; this topic addresses two of the petals, Innovation and Customer. Looking at the ISCORPIO diagram the left pointing (West) facet represents Innovation and the right pointing facet (East) represents the Customer. These are fundamental to a successful business that builds competitive services and wares. As discussed in other entries of this blog, the Customer is the most important since they are the ones that pay money for the solutions of businesses. To stay competitive, Innovation becomes the primary focus.

The diagram shows degrees of freedom of innovation begin wide outward looking, then progressing to critical and then inward as the solution options become narrowly defined. This metaphor of the “Fish – Hook – Fry” was early metaphor thinking that illustrates this narrowing of the degrees of freedom in the innovation development process. Although this is a simple way of looking at the process it illustrates how innovation was part of the thinking phase for anyone wanting to eat. The goal is to eat with several ways of obtaining food such as fishing, hunting and gathering. In today’s society we scout out the grocery stores and choose items we want to have for a meal, purchase and then prepare the meal. You can see the many examples in grocery stores of companies building competitive service and wares. Some of these focus on packaging options to make their products more attractive for the consumer, such as portion sizes or preprocessed to save time in preparation.

On the lower curve we see the Discover, Understand and Focus process that is sometimes used in discussing the creative problem solving process. At the bottom of the diagram are shown the Research, Development, Production and Marketplace domains and the Innovative Team Hats of Scientist, Engineer, Technologist and Customer with the Business Hat managing the process. Try your hand at thinking through product development process where the above concepts are used. I hope this gives you some new ways of thinking inside and outside the box to build competitive services and wares.

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