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PLANNING
(AND DOING)
INNOVATION
JOHN CAIN & ZACHARY JEAN PARADIS
With contributions from Joel Krieger, Adrian Slobin and P...
OUR PERSPECTIVES
These days, nearly everyone touts the
importance of “innovation,” yet most
companies struggle with how to...
OUR PERSPECTIVES
1
Innovation myths
It’s worth debunking a few of the
common myths about innovation,
starting with the ide...
OUR PERSPECTIVES
2 FIGURE02
Typical release schedules versus a hybrid agile approach
Moving from a typical quarterly relea...
OUR PERSPECTIVES
FIGURE03
Lab-based approach for a partner innovation lab
Lab-based approaches use a traditional top-down ...
Rather than creating a big touch screen
to walk customers through the product
details, Second Story created a series
of fu...
OUR PERSPECTIVES
Inventing something entirely new is
not the only worthwhile output of a lab.
In a retail lab, we examined...
OUR PERSPECTIVES
FIGURE06
Set of concepts and enablers
Venator focuses on exploring “opportunity spaces” – areas or trends...
OUR PERSPECTIVES
Six innovation principles
While each approach is capable
of attacking opportunities with
differing scales...
OUR PERSPECTIVES
Conclusion
Every day, large organizations struggle
with how to maximize innovation, not
realizing that th...
SapientNitro®
, part of Publicis.Sapient, is a new breed of agency redefining storytelling for an always-on world. We’re c...
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Planning (and Doing) Innovation | By John Cain (VP, Marketing Analytics) and Zachary Jean Paradis (Director Experience Strategy), with contributions from Joel Krieger, Adrian Slobin, and Pinak Kiran Vedalankar

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These days, nearly everyone touts the importance of “innovation,” yet most companies struggle with how to replicate it regularly. And the rise of the interconnected and increasingly digitized world has raised even more questions about innovation and agility – questions about how new technologies might be rewriting the rules.

Clients frequently ask us how to produce meaningful innovation in their businesses. Amidst tremendous choice and change, the questions remain: “What is innovation? And how can we use it to deliver results?”

Put simply, innovation is the process of creating value for people through new or improved products or services. And while companies do innovate regularly, many still struggle with the everyday obstacles of using innovation effectively. An understanding of how to support constant innovation systemically through internal processes, culture, methods, and tools is required. This, along with the incorporation of different approaches, can lead many firms to creating stronger
value through innovation.

By John Cain (VP, Marketing Analytics) and Zachary Jean Paradis (Director Experience Strategy), with contributions from Joel Krieger, Adrian Slobin, and Pinak Kiran Vedalankar

Publicado en: Marketing
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Planning (and Doing) Innovation | By John Cain (VP, Marketing Analytics) and Zachary Jean Paradis (Director Experience Strategy), with contributions from Joel Krieger, Adrian Slobin, and Pinak Kiran Vedalankar

  1. 1. PLANNING (AND DOING) INNOVATION JOHN CAIN & ZACHARY JEAN PARADIS With contributions from Joel Krieger, Adrian Slobin and Pinak Kiran Vedalankar
  2. 2. OUR PERSPECTIVES These days, nearly everyone touts the importance of “innovation,” yet most companies struggle with how to repli- cate it regularly. And the rise of the in- terconnected and increasingly digitized world has raised even more questions about innovation and agility – questions about how new technologies might be rewriting the rules. Clients frequently ask us how to produce meaningful innovation in their businesses. Amidst tremendous choice and change, the questions remain: “What is innovation? And how can we use it to deliver results?” Put simply, innovation is the process of creating value for people through new or improved products or services. And while companies do innovate regularly, many still struggle with the everyday obstacles of using innovation effectively. An understanding of how to support constant innovation sys- temically through internal processes, culture, methods, and tools is required. This, along with the incorporation of different approaches, can lead many firms to creating stronger value through innovation. Organizations should consider introducing a portfolio of innovation approaches to maximize agility across the finding and vetting of opportunities, the scaling of responses, and the opti- mization of details. Here we will address a few of the common myths that hinder organizations from integrating mean- ingful and continuous innovation, and recommend a set of approaches for developing your innovation mix.
  3. 3. OUR PERSPECTIVES 1 Innovation myths It’s worth debunking a few of the common myths about innovation, starting with the idea that innovation only pertains to the introduction of breakthrough or disruptive products or services. This is not always the case. Incremental innovation (the improve- ment of current products, services, and processes) can be hugely valuable. A second myth suggests that inno- vation requires a focus on key, new products. But ranges and types of innovation can flow from different types of attention to people, business, or technology. Instead of one imagined scale and a single “object,” we see vari- eties of scales and differentiation in the focus of innovation: external to internal, product to system, and incremental to disruptive. With so much innovation present in the innovation process itself, the third myth is that there is a single approach to innovation. As you’ll see, there is actually a range that enables different types of agility to increase the hit rate of innovation at every level. Innovation approaches Along the range from incremental to breakthrough, we see four main appro- aches to innovation in large organiza- tions (see Figure 1): analytics-driven optimization, hybrid agile, labs and pi- lots, and the spinout of a (lean) start-up. Analytics and optimization Analytics and optimization are often seen as necessary evils rather than opportunities for innovation. Driving value from this approach assumes rapid implementation of changes and a team with a test-and-learn attitude. Aggregat- ing a series of apparently minor A/B an- alytics-driven tweaks in a programmatic way can be shockingly beneficial. It’s a tremendous way to evolve your current business and platform to maximize per- formance. SapientNitro’s Global Lead of Analytics, Simon James, calls this the “war of marginal gains.” For a recent client, our analytics teams identified more than 100 potential improvements to digital touchpoints, which we projected to result in a total FIGURE01 Different innovation approaches offer different attributes There is a range of innovation approaches available depending on your objectives. For some, incremental approaches focused on optimization and platform evolution make sense. For others, labs, pilots, and start-ups are a better approaches. Each has different criteria for planning, scaling, and agility. Analytics & Optimization Evolve Platform Hybrid Agile Build/Evolve Platform Labs & Pilots Identify New Platforms (Lean) Start-up Identify New Businesses Incremental Breakthrough Planning Scale Agility Analytics & Optimization Hybrid Agile Labs & Pilots (Lean) Start-up
  4. 4. OUR PERSPECTIVES 2 FIGURE02 Typical release schedules versus a hybrid agile approach Moving from a typical quarterly release schedule to a monthly hybrid agile approach reduces risk and speeds the release of enhancements to the market. Ultimately, this allows more innovation, sooner. Release 2 Release 1 Release 3 Release 2Release 1 Release 4Release 3 Release 6Release 5 Release 8Release 7 Typical Release Schedule Hybrid Agile Release Schedule uplift of over $46 million. For a separate client, we hypothesized that a persistent shopping cart would improve customer satisfaction and increase conversion. The brand actively improved this (and several other original recommenda- tions), driving an additional $25 million in annual revenue. These incremental innovations only come if the analyt- ics-driven approach (along with the team) is understood, valued, and included in the innovation portfolio. Hybrid agile The second approach, “hybrid agile,” seeks to deliver the benefits found in agile development, while also permit- ting the long-term horizons typical in large companies. Unlike more tradi- tional agile (e.g., Scrum), hybrid agile is a better fit for large programs with dependencies across multiple groups. We often see large organizations with heavy planning processes built around quarterly (or even less frequent) releases. Internal teams are doing more in each release, thereby accumulating risk without value with every unreleased change rather than splitting the risk and value introduced over smaller releases. Moving to a hybrid agile approach might break a set of what would originally be three releases over eight months to one release per month (see Figure 2). For a top retailer, we led a program to redesign across the brand’s digital touchpoints, re-platform its core capa- bilities, and move the organization from a quarterly release cycle to a monthly hybrid agile model. The “hybrid” part of hybrid agile allows for the introduc- tion of milestones around each agile delivery release (ADR), which enables reprioritization both within and between ADRs. Key enhancements were intro- duced within a month of re-launch, increasing conversion and sales while simultaneously minimizing risk for later enhancements. The bulk of major enhancements or platform builds that companies execute would be best achieved through a hybrid agile approach. Ultimately, these enhancements can flow from different types of innovation, such as identified customer needs, industry improve- ments in core capabilities, or internal process evolution.
  5. 5. OUR PERSPECTIVES FIGURE03 Lab-based approach for a partner innovation lab Lab-based approaches use a traditional top-down methodology. Hypothesis- driven, they are organized around an open-ended hunt for solutions. Unlike the Second Story approach (see Figure 5, right), this traditional approach starts with the hunt, not the technology. Package Test, Learn, Iterate Idea Generation Opportunity Spaces Context Building Knowledge Artifacts: Basic Knowledge Knowledge Artifacts: Learning & Perspectives Drive Adoption Discovery Ask Driven Self Directed Idea Driven Executable Idea Hunt 3Labs & pilots The next two approaches share similar intents, but assign differing levels of autonomy and responsibility to teams. The lab approach marries a dedicated team to a distinct physical environment, purpose-built with state-of-the-art tools. As an organization, a lab understands opportunity spaces in a usefully ambigu- ous way, organizing explorations around an open-ended hunt with high standards, but loosely defined goals (see Figure 3). This can be a tricky line to walk, and doing it well requires a willingness to “kill your darlings” before the rabbit hole gets too deep. Over the past two years, SapientNitro has invested in a series of labs across five North American offices, building off of capabilities from our acquisi- tion of Second Story. Second Story was, initially, a small interdisciplinary design studio that was tackling critical areas with explicitly lab-based approaches and obsessed with the intersection of digital and environments – blended physical-digital worlds which were becoming ever more prevalent and not well understood. Needless to say, this is a critical new space for those in retail, hospitality, financial services, and sports. With the expansion across North America, Second Story is poised to help a much broader set of our clients innovate. Second Story’s approach is different because it recognizes that there are few, if any, “best practices” which exist in this new world of blended physical-digital environments. They have deep relationships with display and other pertinent hardware manu- facturers, as well as a blend of archi- tects, content strategists, designers, and technologists. Rather than rigidly trying to solve a business challenge, they leverage an understanding of an organization’s mission, and use this to explore how technology and story can be woven together in an environment to ad- dress business problems and provide distinct value. This approach can produce incredible results, but it also forces clients and teams to accept less-bounded problems. For example, Second Story’s lab- based approach for a consumer brand addressed the unique challenge of explaining what technology and benefits exist under the skin of a product in this category. SECOND STORY
  6. 6. Rather than creating a big touch screen to walk customers through the product details, Second Story created a series of functional spike solutions based on the latest capabilities found in the lab. While there were hits and misses, one specific interaction suggested a pattern not just for the specific industry, but also for the future of retail itself. The chosen solution (see Figure 4) embedded gyroscopic sensors in the products (such as an electronic device or jewelry) on wall shelves and connected them to a screen sitting behind the physical display. When no products were touched, the display cycled through videos and ima- gery that activated the space and drew FIGURE05 SecondStory’slab-basedapproachincubatesbycreatingspikesolutionsinareaswherethereareno“bestpractices” Second Story’s lab-based approach starts with technology experimentation – for example laser projection and product scanning – and then links it to an overall experience vision, which ultimately links to a business challenge. This flips the traditional approach of business problem to application on its head, helping to ensure that the chosen vision is achievable, while still being cutting-edge. BUSINESS CHALLENGE (“This may help us combat Amazon by using one of our greatest strengths: the store.”) SPIKE SOLUTION (“Let’s Experiment with Pico Projectors on different surfaces: I bet some will look cool!”) SPIKE SOLUTION (“Laser projection looks awesome. Let’s figure that out.”) SPIKE SOLUTION (“Let’s learn how to scan stuff because scanning is a fascinating technology.”) APPROACHES TO INNOVATION Incubation Focused DESIGN/IMPLEMENT THE EXPERIENCE UNIQUE EXPERIENCE VISION (“We can use these technologies to bring traditional utilitarian e-com- merce paradigms into the physical space as a delightful experience!”) FIGURE04 Second Story’s product-as-Interface proof of concept One specific innovation created in the Second Story lab was a product-as- interface proof of concept. In this exam- ple, the shoe controlled a digital inter- face that highlighted relevant features. customers in. This not-yet-interactive scene then transformed once a customer picked up the product. As he/she turned the product to inspect different aspects of its construction, corresponding infor- mation was displayed on the screen behind it. In this way, the actual product for sale – the electronics device or piece of jewelry – became the primary interface for the interactive experience. This birthed the core in-store design paradigm of “product as interface,” and we’re seeing the relevance of this notion play out in a variety of categories. Second Story’s lab-based conditions for success enable this type of innovation to occur. OUR PERSPECTIVES
  7. 7. OUR PERSPECTIVES Inventing something entirely new is not the only worthwhile output of a lab. In a retail lab, we examined a start-up that claimed its technology could drive a recommendation engine that would radically increase revenue on our client’s massive e-commerce site. The lab was able to quickly create a large-scale, working proof of concept with the technology to determine if the start-up was everything it said it was or if it was too good to be true. Unfortu- nately, it proved to be the latter. The lab protected a tremendous amount of resources by being able to evaluate the new platform. SapientNitro is involved with various sector-focused client labs that are seeking to identify new platforms or adjacent businesses germane to an industry. We’ve helped retailers explore retail, insurers explore health, and banks explore financial services, all with the explicit intent of discovering technology-based platforms or adjacent businesses.The opportunity spaces and hunts explored have been focused on the context of the industries themselves, combined with the latest technology, and applied to the prob- lems and opportunities that we see in people’s behavior. 4Lean start-up The last approach is focused on a sin- gle opportunity space. Lean start-ups are undertaken with the idea of creating both a business and a product. A great example of a successful start-up stemming from a large organization is “giffgaff,” spun out of the UK mobile telecom, O2, in 2009. Leaders at 02 recognized an opportunity for a mobile carrier built on a new business model. Created in late 2009, “giffgaff” is a SIM-only mobile network targeting price-sensitive, digital-savvy customers who avoid traditional networks. The network attempts to reward its customers for doing much of the work normally done by employees – namely, customer service and promotion.1 This customer-driven business model is something O2 could not execute within the company itself given its manage- ment’s focus on incremental growth. As a separate entity, however, it had a definite market impact. And “giffgaff” continues to be successful. Its financial performance was helped by a loyal customer base and it was named Best Telecom Provider in 2014.2 Most major corporations could use this lean start-up approach when they identify a key opportunity within the market, but don’t see a way to pull it off within their current structure. 1 Wikipedia. "giffgaff." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giffgaff. 2 Which? Tech Daily. “Why giffgaff is our Best Telecom Services Provider 2014." http://blogs.which.co.uk/technology/ phone-networks/why-giffgaff-is-our-best-telecom-services-provider-which-awards-2014/.
  8. 8. OUR PERSPECTIVES FIGURE06 Set of concepts and enablers Venator focuses on exploring “opportunity spaces” – areas or trends that we believe will have a substantial impact on our digitally-enabled world. Opportunity spaces are on two levels: Concepts, which are high-level categories that combine different emerging technologies toward a solution, and Enablers (the emerging technologies themselves). Venator is SapientNitro’s internal innovation team. It’s a small, high- ly specialized group that integrates business, technology, user experience, and data science expertise with a core mission to identify, create, and invest in breakthrough innovation. Venator, Latin for “hunter,” focuses on discovering key innovation trends and understanding what impact they will have on the intersection of technology and story. The group is a driving force for steward- ing clients to see around corners toward what’s next. The inspiration behind Venator came from co-running an innovation center with a client. We realized that a similar model, operating independent of any single client, could act as a vehicle in defining our industry’s future. The team focuses on three main areas: • Sourcing and assessing innovative start-ups to discover companies that are solving business problems in new and unique ways, but are likely not on the radar of our corporate clients. • Engaging in research and develop- ment activities that employ emerging technologies to explore key topics of interest that are trending and rele- vant to our clients’ thinking. • Evaluating potential strategic invest- ments in start-ups that SapientNitro should consider. The opportunity areas that Venator focuses on include a set of concepts and enablers that run across our business and clients (see Figure 6). Venator regularly collaborates with leading venture capital firms and the investment community, top universities, and corporate innovation labs. The team will also collaborate internally with other hubs of innovation, such as the Second Story Labs, Instrumented Intelli- gence, and client teams. We see Venator as another key differ- entiator that reinforces our position as a new breed of agency, breaking boundaries where technology and story meet. With the momentum of our recent recognition as a leader in the Forrester Innovation Wave, Venator has become more relevant than ever before. VENATOR CONCEPTS Virtual Reality Digital Augmentation of Physical Worlds Inspiration & Discovery Internet of Things Participatory Economy Alternative Distribution Real-Time Experience Optimization Advanced Analytics/Insights Customizable Products/Services ENABLERS Machine Learning Multisensory Recognition Robotics Non-Conventional Interfaces Sensors Cognitive Science 3-D Printing Wearable Computing Location Detection OUR PERSPECTIVES
  9. 9. OUR PERSPECTIVES Six innovation principles While each approach is capable of attacking opportunities with differing scales, time horizons, and concreteness, there are six innovation principles that can be applied in any context: PORTFOLIOS NOT PROJECTS Innovation in large organizations is maximized by understanding which problems align with which approaches. Consider how your set of opportunities aligns to potential teams and approaches. MOVE THROUGH THE INSIGHT MAKE MEASURE CYCLE QUICKLY At every level of innovation, the faster a team can move to drive change and then measure its effect, the better it will perform. INNOVATION MUST BE PEOPLE-CENTRIC (EVENTUALLY) Innovation can be effectively driven by technology and organizational work, but it is ultimately realized by understanding how it solves problems for people. THINK BEYOND THE FOUR WALLS OF YOUR ORGANIZATION Don’t think that a problem has to be solved only within your team. The culture of experimenters in the innovation space lends itself to collaboration and idea-sharing. Creating an innovation network is an important component of creat- ing an internal innovation offering. BEST PRACTICES DO NOT DRIVE LEADERSHIP If your goal is to drive leadership or breakthrough innovation, then perhaps asking your teams or partners to produce best practice reports is not the best solution. Breakthrough innovation comes from focus directed at your customers’ ecosystems and larger journeys, the exploration of new tech- nologies, or the experimentation of new business models. It doesn’t necessarily come from what your competitors are already doing. NOT EVERY TEAM MEMBER IS READY OR WILLING TO MOVE AT LAB PACE Labs may sound exciting, but they can be tremendously difficult. They require constant reprioritization, and ask team members for a level of rigor and focus that many cannot – or do not wish to – invest.
  10. 10. OUR PERSPECTIVES Conclusion Every day, large organizations struggle with how to maximize innovation, not realizing that their struggle stems primarily from the singularity of mindset and process with which they approach problems and opportunities. What they might need, in fact, is a portfolio of approaches that enables different altitudes of investigation and types of agility. Each of the four approaches has its benefits in specific scenarios. Focusing – even obsessing – over analytics and optimization can garner real rewards. The hybrid agile approach can be used to accelerate delivery of complex enhancements more quickly. Labs and pilots are good ways of exploring new technology platforms and collaborating with start-ups. And the ability to spin out start-ups allows for the quick test- ing of entirely new business models. There is no one-size-fits-all to innovation; however, by varying their approaches, companies can maximize the potential hit-rate of their innovation investments.
  11. 11. SapientNitro® , part of Publicis.Sapient, is a new breed of agency redefining storytelling for an always-on world. We’re changing the way our clients engage today’s connected consumers by uniquely creating integrated, immersive stories across brand communications, digital engagement, and omnichannel commerce. We call it our Storyscaping® approach, where art and imagination meet the power and scale of systems thinking. SapientNitro’s unique combination of creative, brand, and technology expertise results in one global team collaborating across disciplines, perspectives, and continents to create game-changing success for our Global 1000 clients, such as Chrysler, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Lufthansa, Target, and Vodafone, in thirty-one cities across The Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit www.sapientnitro.com. SapientNitro and Storyscaping are registered service marks of Sapient Corporation. COPYRIGHT 2015 SAPIENT CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. INSIGHTS WHERE TECHNOLOGY & STORY MEET The Insights publication features the marketing intelligence, trend forecasts, and innovative recommendations of boundary-breaking thought leaders. The SapientNitro Insights app brings that provocative collection – now in its digital form – to your on-the-go fingertips. Download the full report at sapientnitro.com/insights and, for additional interactive and related content, download the SapientNitro Insights app. John Cain Vice President, Strategy and Analysis, SapientNitro Chicago jcain@sapient.com Based in Chicago, John plays an active role in experience and innovation research to increase our understanding of consumer behavior. He provides expertise in advanced analytics and data visualization, data modeling, measurement, and reporting that shapes business innovation and design strategy. Zachary Jean Paradis Director Experience Strategy, SapientNitro Chicago zparadis@sapient.com Zachary is a strategist, professor, and writer obsessed with transforming lives through customer experience. He acts as co-lead for the firm’s Experience Strategy domain, supports the company’s innovation efforts, and teaches at the IIT Institute of Design.

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