At a seminar presented by CNBC TV18, Robert Tucker, President, The Innovation Resources, and well-known guru on innovation, gave insightful tips on how to use innovation as a tool to survive and grow in an environment of intense competition. He also gave several instances of global as well as national companies who have successfully innovated not only products and services, but also strategies and processes. Moreover, Tucker discussed various techniques to innovate, and explored possible hindrances that might prevent companies from taking innovative steps.
Defining the word of the agenda ‘innovation’, Tucker said that it was a method that created value for both customers and companies. “Innovation is not always about original ideas. It is more about capturing your consumers,” explained Tucker. He further explained that innovators should think more on the lines of ‘convenience for customers’. “Evolving ideas around the convenience factor would help your business, be it B2B or even B2C,” he said.
Talking about creating new demands, Tucker cited how until a few years ago, mobile phones were a luxury confined only to the rich, but companies today have managed to make them an absolute necessity.
Tucker further explained the need of creative culture within organisations. He said it was important for companies to be open for creative ideas from anybody and everybody. “It is surprising to know that most of the creative ideas come from the lower level employees who have nothing to do with framing policies,” he pointed out. He cited an example of the most successful search engine ‘Google’, on how it keeps the ground open for sharing ideas in a sophisticate manner.
Tucker pointed that while there was tremendous scope for innovation in the luxury segment, there was also a chance for innovators to look at the lower-income level market as a lot of people in that area were in a transition to become good customers.
Tucker also explained that there was a need to mine the future for customers. “Focus group technique is effective to some extent, but there is a sheer need to identify the unarticulated needs of the consumers and accordingly fill the loopholes,” he explained. Talking about areas where innovators make mistakes, he said, “Companies build ideas, they execute them, and on the launch day, most of them think that their job is done, which I think is a mistake. The main task is after the launch -- in making the consumer aware of the new idea and its value proposition,” he explained.
Tucker opined that reading is a very good stimulus for creative ideas, and those who want to innovate should read rigorously. Further to this point, he said that innovators were like vacuum cleaners, and that they were the ones who replaced conventional idea with that of creative solutions, driving both revenues and customer satisfaction.
He emphasised on identifying areas that could flow in creative juices to the mind, and working on the same regularly to deliver creative solutions. “Mind is the worst place to store creative ideas, and it is important to download all creative ideas in all possible means,” he said.
Exploring the barriers to innovative thinking, and implementing, Tucker’s insightful views came from various perspectives like that of sectors like telecom, electronics, apparels, etc. He discussed various methods of capturing ideas like suggestion programmes, open door policies and innovation centres and departments.
Concluding his presentation, Tucker gave tips to management leaders on managing innovations in big enterprises. Harvesting campaigns, having intranet-based idea management systems, and developing a new venture team model were some points that he discussed.