Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want

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Nothing is more important to business success than innovation . . . And here’s what you can do about it on Monday morning with the definitive how-to book from the world’s leading authority on innovation


When it comes to innovation, Curt Carlson and Bill Wilmot of SRI International know what they are talking about—literally. SRI has pioneered innovations that day in and day out are part of the fabric of your life, such as:

•The computer mouse and the personal computer interface you use at home and work

•The high-definition television in your living room

•The unusual numbers at the bottom of your checks that enable your bank to maintain your account balance correctly

•The speech-recognition system used by your financial services firm when you call for your account balance or to make a transaction.

Each of these innovations—and literally hundreds of others—created new value for customers. And that’s the central message of this book. Innovation is not about inventing clever gadgets or just “creativity.” It is the successful creation and delivery of a new or improved product or service that provides value for your customer and sustained profit for your organization. The first black-and-white television, for example, was just an interesting, cool invention until David Sarnoff created an innovation—a network—that delivered programming to an audience.

The genius of this book is that it provides the “how” of innovation. It makes innovation practical by getting two groups who are often disconnected—the managers who make decisions and the people on the front lines who create the innovations—onto the same page. Instead of smart people grousing about the executive suite not recognizing a good idea if they tripped over it and the folks on the top floor wondering whether the people doing the complaining have an understanding of market realities, Carlson and Wilmot’s five disciplines of innovation focus attention where it should be: on the creation of valuable new products and services that meet customer needs.

Innovation is not just for the “lone genius in the garage” but for you and everyone in your enterprise. Carlson and Wilmot provide a systematic way to make innovation practical, one intimately tied to the way things get done in your business.


Teamwork isn't enough; Creativity isn't enough; A new product idea isn't enough

True innovation is about delivering value to customers. Innovation reveals the value-creating processes used by SRI International, the organization behind the computer mouse, robotic surgery, and the domain names .com, .org, and .gov. Curt Carlson and Bill Wilmot show you how to use these practical, tested processes to create great customer value for your organization.


From the Hardcover edition.
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About the author

Curtis R. Carlson is the president and CEO of SRI International, working with leading companies in a wide variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals and health sciences, computers and communications, energy and the environment, and national defense. Dr. Carlson started and led the team that set the U.S. standard for HDTV, for which his team shared an Emmy. He lives in Menlo Park, California.

William W. Wilmot helped create the SRI Discipline of Innovation workshop and is director of the Collaboration Institute, a group specializing in workplace communication and collaboration. Dr. Wilmot, an emeritus professor at the University of Montana, lives in Georgetown Lake, Montana.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Crown Business
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Published on
Aug 8, 2006
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780307347121
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Customer Relations
Business & Economics / Development / Business Development
Technology & Engineering / Inventions
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In the spirit of Steve Jobs and Moneyball, Elon Musk is both an illuminating and authorized look at the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting, unpredictable, and ambitious entrepreneurs—a real-life Tony Stark—and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new “makers.”

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A world-renowned innovation guru explains practices that result in breakthrough innovations

"Ulwick's outcome-driven programs bring discipline and predictability to the often random process of innovation."


-Clayton Christensen

For years, companies have accepted the underlying principles that define the customer-driven paradigm--that is, using customer "requirements" to guide growth and innovation. But twenty years into this movement, breakthrough innovations are still rare, and most companies find that 50 to 90 percent of their innovation initiatives flop. The cost of these failures to U.S. companies alone is estimated to be well over $100 billion annually.

In a book that challenges everything you have learned about being customer driven, internationally acclaimed innovation leader Anthony Ulwick reveals the secret weapon behind some of the most successful companies of recent years. Known as "outcome-driven" innovation, this revolutionary approach to new product and service creation transforms innovation from a nebulous art into a rigorous science from which randomness and uncertainty are eliminated.

Based on more than 200 studies spanning more than seventy companies and twenty-five industries, Ulwick contends that, when it comes to innovation, the traditional methods companies use to communicate with customers are the root cause of chronic waste and missed opportunity. In What Customers Want, Ulwick demonstrates that all popular qualitative research methods yield well-intentioned but unfitting and dreadfully misleading information that serves to derail the innovation process. Rather than accepting customer inputs such as "needs," "benefits," "specifications," and "solutions," Ulwick argues that researchers should silence the literal "voice of the customer" and focus on the "metrics that customers use to measure success when executing the jobs, tasks or activities they are trying to get done." Using these customer desired outcomes as inputs into the innovation process eliminates much of the chaos and variability that typically derails innovation initiatives.

With the same profound insight, simplicity, and uncommon sense that propelled The Innovator's Solution to worldwide acclaim, this paradigm-changing book details an eight-step approach that uses outcome-driven thinking to dramatically improve every aspect of the innovation process--from segmenting markets and identifying opportunities to creating, evaluating, and positioning breakthrough concepts. Using case studies from Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, AIG, Pfizer, and other leading companies, What Customers Want shows companies how to:

Obtain unique customer inputs that make predictable innovation possible Recognize opportunities for disruption, new market creation, and core market growth--well before competitors do Identify which ideas, technologies, and acquisitions have the greatest potential for creating customer value Systematically define breakthrough products and services concepts

Innovation is fundamental to success and business growth. Offering a proven alternative to failed customer-driven thinking, this landmark book arms you with the tools to unleash innovation, lower costs, and reduce failure rates--and create the products and services customers really want.

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