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Innovation propels companies forward. It's an unlimited source of new growth and can give businesses a distinct competitive advantage. Learn how to innovate at your own business using Systematic Inventive Thinking, a method based on five techniques that allow you to innovate on demand. In this course, author and business school professor Drew Boyd shares the techniques he's taught Fortune 500 companies to innovate new services and products. Drew provides real-world examples of innovation in practice and suggests places to find your own opportunities to innovate.
In the bonus chapter, Drew shares insights from his own career and answers tough questions on resistance to innovation, innovation and leadership, and the difference between generating vs. executing innovative ideas.
This course qualifies for 3 Category A professional development units (PDUs) through lynda.com, PMI Registered Education Provider #4101.
The SIT method is great for creating exciting new products and services. Now I want to show you how to apply these techniques to digital assets. For example, let's apply the attribute dependency technique to a website. You start by listing the internal and external attribute to the site, like the one here. You list the attributes, and you create a two-dimensional matrix that pairs internal attributes to other internal and external attributes.
Next, select a cell on the matrix and imagine a relationship between the two attributes. For example, location of visitor and graphics, meaning how the information is displayed on your website. As the location of the visitor changes, the information and graphics that you display on your website change. Why would that be valuable? In what situations would it make sense to have that relationship in place? Well, think about it. Imagine if your customer is browsing your website right inside one of your retail stores.
Perhaps you would change the kind of information and graphics you would use to show your products. What if they were browsing your website from one of your competitor stores? Could that change how you display competitive pricing information? What if your customer is browsing within a health care facility or from an airport or inside a restaurant? Would it change the products, the prices, or other service elements that you display? It just might. Applying attribute dependency can make your website responsive and adaptable.
It services your clients better by understanding more about them. Let's apply the same approach to a social media application. For this example, let's use Facebook. Here are the internal and external attributes of a Facebook page, and here is our matrix. Let's imagine a relationship between likes and wall postings. There's no relationship there now, so let's imagine one. For example, as the number of likes increases over a particular period of time, your wall postings change.
Why would that be beneficial? Perhaps you would put different products or special promotions there once you reach a certain level of likes. In other words, you change how you engage with your customers who visit your Facebook page based on how they engage. A relationship between these two attributes would give you a cue to know when it's appropriate to do something different on your page. Let's go further with digital innovation and look at mobile apps and how to apply SIT techniques.
For these, I like to use the task unification technique the same way we did in Chapter Five. In that case, we took a component of a product or service and we assigned it the additional job of addressing a specific business issue. You can do the same thing with mobile apps. We create a virtual product by saying the app has the additional job of addressing this business issue. The trick is to pick an app that has absolutely nothing to do with this issue right now.
That's where you find some surprising innovations. Let's do an example. Imagine your company makes a household product that helps get rid of odors in your home. It's a spray product that you would use to get rid of odors from your cat or dog. Imagine you're the marketing manager for this product and you want to find creative ways to promote its benefits. First, find a list of mobile apps. You can find many on iTunes or on a site like this one, Go2web20.net.
Pick one of these randomly and plug it into the phrase, "The app has the additional job "of promoting my product." Here's an app called Micello. Micello is a provider of comprehensive indoor venue mapping. It's like Google Maps only for indoor spaces, like shopping malls or airports. You imagine this app has the additional job of promoting your spray for pet odors. What would be the benefit? How would it work? And how would it increase brand awareness of your product? Suppose this technology is used to create an internal map of your home.
What if it could also track where your pet spends its time as it moves from room to room? Perhaps the app creates an odor-heat map of where the pet has been so that you know exactly where to spray the product. I love this idea because it's both functional and it reinforces the brand promise. Task unification can help find new uses for existing apps, and it can help you create completely new apps. Your digital assets are just as important as your products and services. Using the SIT method will unlock more value for your customers and find new ways to engage them more effectively through digital channels.
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