Innovation of Business

and the
Business of Innovation™
 
Toolkit - Innovation

Innovation InnoKit™

Strategic Identity

The Innovators’ Edge

Powerful, proactive decisions for

innovation and branding

Scan Down for an example "Synthesis" of Results 

Preview: Imagine you’ve been hired to build a bridge. You go look at the site. What is your next step? Start ordering steel and rivets? Not likely. A better choice is to engineer the bridge by asking and answering an appropriate range of questions. In effect, you’ll develop a practical, actionable vision of the bridge and its stages of design, engineering, acquisition of land rights, funding, tools, equipment, expertise, and stages of construction before you start building.

Effective visions drive business and product innovation. Whether a new idea or change in existing situations, visions enable the leadership necessary for innovation. Without leadership, projects of all sizes founder and waste resources.

InnoKits are to innovation
as engineering is to architecture.

Logical homework to be done before planning or acting.

Market Engineering, Inc. offers a suite of innovation toolKits™ through its Innovators' Edge business Units. InnoKits deliver processes for wealth creation and decision making for all sizes and types of investment. The series includes: Identity (product and business), Strategy, Culture, Concept, Communication, Technology Transfer, and Markets.

A Strategic Identity™ sets the stage for innovation with a multi-faceted perspective of a business or product. “Business” here includes teams, departments, businesses, labs, companies, government agencies, corporations, and professional associations. “Product” includes ideas, technologies, products (tangible or intangible, software or hardware), services, team capabilities, facilities, events, and investment opportunities. Internal products may be as important to the bottom line as commercial products.

To enable discussion of both business and product innovation, we will use the word “stakeholder” to include at least: customers, sources of funding (internal or external), allies, supply chain partners, distribution chain partners, cooperative R&D partners, technology transfer sources, market analysts, shareholders, and the development team itself.

Identity analysis often changes perspectives about innovations. Normal businesses perform functions to create profits. Innovated businesses deliver value to stakeholders in exchange for funding, new opportunities, revenues, and brand loyalty.

Businesses are guided by plans which document decisions – business, strategic, marketing, etc. Normal plans are written top down. Innovation planning stops to ask and answer a broad spectrum of questions about the business. Normal planning makes decisions during planning. Innovation applies formal decision processes before planning.

Normal products are designed around features. Innovated products development are designed to deliver specific value to customers in exchange for purchase and brand loyalty.

The differences at business and product levels is the vision. Normal development teams see only part of the potential of their business or product. Innovation teams know they can make a much greater impact.

Identity InnoKit™: Development of a strong, positive, rich, powerful, and marketable vision of the innovation (business or product) as strategic context for achieving ongoing satisfaction of customers and corporate management. Question clusters analyzed include.

Name: A key link between the business/product and the minds of stakeholders. The most powerful names are those which preempt competition by becoming a symbol of the innovation’s competitive class through positioning and branding.

Functional Focus: Clear statements of what the business is, does, and will do. Definition of the primary competitive class in which the business competes. A compact, carefully designed description that clarifies the business at its core functional level.

Stakeholder Descriptions: Choice of market(s) to serve. Characterization of stakeholders for whom the business and its products/services are or will be designed. Choice of stakeholders is a very strategic decision.

Stakeholder Needs: Urgent requirements for something essential or desirable that are not yet available. Includes the wishes, wants, pains, frustrations, and irritations, that drive stakeholders to find solutions. Needs drive all of business.

Stakeholder Benefits: Results of satisfying needs. Value to stakeholders is the sum of benefits received. Benefits determine value promises which, in turn, are the core of brand concepts. Value justifies stakeholder purchase and/or investment. Development of a brand promise, the core of branding.

Differentiation: Clear understanding of competitive markets. Competitive factors, and alternatives, and unique qualities that influence stakeholder choices. Competing on differentiation implies elevating marketing concepts from ideas to clear competitive factors.

Position: Desired perceptions of the business by target stakeholders. The position statement summarizes desired perceptions. The “slogan” captures the essence of the position. To grow desired perceptions in markets, the business consistently reinforces desired perceptions of both the business and its products.

Value Promise and Brand Concept: A value promise is a durable commitment to stakeholders. It is a commitment so strong that products and entire businesses are designed to honor that promise. A brand concept integrates name and value promise with functional class, slogan, logo, and jingle.

Purpose: The business mission statement is a commitment to deliver consistent value over time by meeting specific needs of specific stakeholders through development and delivery of carefully chosen and designed products and services. A product mission is tightly focused on product value.

Value Promise of the Innovation ToolKit: Powerful, proactive decisions for innovation and branding. The statement integrates the two primary drivers of durable wealth in today’s competitive markets. The bonds of stakeholder trust (brands) outlive products, markets, and facilities. Innovation delivers new customers, while brands preserve customer loyalty.

Objectives:

Identity: Clear understanding of what the business is and can become. Understanding that can be conveyed internally to guide performance and conveyed externally to gain revenues, investment, and brand equity.

Nested vision: An Innovation Process that works well at levels from corporations to businesses to product teams to products. Innovation visions influence structure of business, value chains, product development, and communications designed to inform and persuade.

Brand: A carefully chosen value promise, accepted by target markets. Brands cannot be owned. Brands live in the minds of stakeholders.

Benefits to Innovators: Innovation Pre-Planning™ changes perspectives and results. Normal business become agents of change. Normal products become change makers. The innovation process is an exercise in leadership that grows new mindsets, simplifies planning, improves odds of funding, develops leadership, enhances collaboration, and accelerates productivity.

Acceleration: Consistent reduction in the time, risks, and costs required to reach objectives. Consistent parallel momentum on both innovation and branding.

Better business decisions: A foundation of team decisions organized as a Strategic Identity. Details of each decision and priorities set context and deep understating of potentials.

Positioning: Market position and brand focus business and product development, improve product acceptance, enable strong competitive advantage, and dramatically enhance the mental impact of marketing communications.

Brand equity: Brand equity is second only to innovation as a reliable source of durable wealth. The potential results of effective branding, including greater cash flow, faster cash flow, reliable cash flow, lower cost of sales, lower cost of capital, and higher share value. For R&D labs and other internal innovators, brand equity is a source of greater funding, faster funding, more reliable funding, lower cost of funding campaigns, lower cost of capital, and abilities to attract top talent.

Complete scope: Comprehensive, multi-determined, shared requirements for turning a business or product concept into reality. Scope of the desired result that enables specification of business structure and development processes. (This requires also applying at least the Strategy ToolKit.)

Innovation confidence: Assurance that innovations of products and management initiatives have been evaluated and specified well enough to guide effective development actions. Ability to move aggressively because key have been made as a suite, then synthesized into a Strategic Identity.

Next steps: When the team does not have sufficient knowledge for final decisions, Pre-Planning identifies market research and other decision processes needed to complete the identity.

Benefits to Participants: Innovation Pre-Planning™ opens minds to the full complexity of businesses and products. Failures of innovation can often be traced back to misunderstandings of relationships between businesses, customers, and other stakeholders.

Confidence: High awareness of issues to be resolved in innovation

Leadership: Greater capacity to initiate change through influence.

Change agent: New skills and tools for innovating.

Better decision making: Knowledge and experience in making innovation decisions.

Efficacy: Higher likelihood of making an impact.

Aggressiveness: Less hesitation and higher tendency toward action

Tactics – How the Process Works:

Decision making: Facilitated brainstorming to enable clear decisions by an empowered team, coordinated by a facilitator. Facilitator support is the major component of the ToolKit.

Synthesis: Review and augmentation of decisions (team-developed lists, rankings, descriptions, and wordsmithed statements) across the full range of ideas and concepts.

Statement of Identity: Synthesis continues by integrating all results into a compact Summary of Results and then again into a one-page Statement of Identity. See example below.

Confirmation: Team re-assembles to view results and confirm or change the decisions made. Now these decisions can be used in a wide range of business functions.

Application: Use of elements of identity to guide leadership, management, and daily operations.

Timing: Time between original decision and final confirmation may be a week to ten working days.

Process Steps

Travel: Facilitator and/or team members may travel to participate. Timing mentioned here assumes team and facilitator are in-house for the duration of the project. Travel will increase overall time.

Asking: Facilitator introduces concepts and asks a proven list of questions. He/she is guided by a PowerPoint presentation that sets context for the questions. See brainstorming for timing.

Brainstorming: A qualified team brainstorms answers. Facilitator applies processes with each question designed to get complete results and to rank decisions for both accuracy and importance. 1.5-2 days depending on the complexity. Businesses are more complex than products.

Appendices: Facilitator organizes brainstorming results into Word template. 0.5 day.

Synthesis Facilitator reorganizes and focuses the knowledge base of team decisions into a second template designed for presentation. Typically, brainstorming results are limited to the top four ranked results. 1 to 1.5 days. Complexity varies with project.

Uniqueness: Answers may result in redundant choices of words. Facilitator will build a dictionary of primary answers. By re-ordering into an alphabetic list, double use of key words can be resolved. 0.5 day

Essay: Facilitator develops a roughly one page article  that integrates all top ranked team choices. This is a complex bit of wordsmithing. Facilitator will write, review, edit, and edit again.

Presentation: Facilitator develops a presentation on a PowerPoint Template. Team re-assembles and reviews results. Facilitator specifically notes changes during Essay development. 0.5 day

Result: Final results are presented after second editing. Facilitator is now finished with the ToolKit application. The Team, on the other hand, now has a suite of decisions to integrate into multiple levels of organization. If led by management, results will be disseminated to staff. If staff, presentations are delivery of advice to management. Time commitment cannot be judged.

Overall time: About 5 working days. If travel is involved, overall commitment is larger.

Other ToolKits: If the focus is on a business, most businesses will opt to also develop an Integrated Strategy. If a product ready for market, teams will want the Communications ToolKit.

 

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Recent Example Statement of Innovation. The various answers developed by Parallax team are noted inline by the square brackets and blue font.

Note: The synthesis includes elements of the Operations InnoKit.

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Parallax™ Financial Services

[Business Name]

Market Forecasting Systems

[Functional Class]

 

The 2008 market crash exposed weaknesses in both investment strategy and implementation. Imagine the difference today if the crash was predicted in time. One innovative company with unique software did predict the end of the bull market, then the bounce as some buyers bought low, and then the second fall. Current customers of that firm have outperformed the S&P by over 20% for over seven years. [Context]

Parallax [Common Name] empowers professional investors with a distinct edge through unique market predictors based in high math and presented in clear, trustworthy visualizations. Parallax delivers a suite of stock and commodity forecasting systems. [Desired Position ]The firm focuses on money managers, hedge-fund managers, and strategists in medium to large investment companies. [Target Markets and Characteristics]

To sustain the confidence of their employers and customers, money managers need both new investment strategies and tools for volatility management. Success is measured by growth in ROI and higher levels of assets under management. Investment strategists in the same firms need both better practices and the confidence to push for use of those new methods. Going back to basics, they want insights that come from deep new understanding of how markets function. At every level, the industry wants new technology that can bring back market confidence. [Needs and Benefits]

Parallax is the only company worldwide using chaos theory, fractal geometries, Hurst exponents, and neural-network regressions to predict precise market behaviors, crowd effects, and the fundamental value of every stock, commodity, and derivative offered through U.S. exchanges. Think of these toolkits as ‘high math made friendly.” Customers don’t need to understand theory to apply Parallax systems. [Uniqueness]

The company develops and tests algorithms, incorporates them in practical software, licenses customers, and even delivers alerts just in case customers are not paying attention at critical times. [Business Model] Software is licensed, not sold. Standard installations use TradeStation 2, a platform compatible with current Windows computers. Parallax source code is then downloaded under the unique user identity for TradeStation. [Return on Development] Fees are typically annual contracts paid in quarterly installments. [Exchange of Value]In some cases, fees are negotiated as a percent of profits. In either case, Parallax is a partner in continuous generation of increased customer return on investment. [Commitment to Customers]

Key tools: Price Wizard™ lays a foundation – valuation of stocks and composites based on regression of 34 business factors and 6 economic factors, done monthly. ExtremeHurst™ is the hot business / product – trend-end prediction including crowd effects that only Parallax can predict.  Several other business / products fill out a toolkit that enables exceptional clarity on investment decisions. [Software Business / products and Functions]

Parallax drives software development in two directions: Forecasting and risk reduction – abilities to leverage trends and knowledge to know when to protect earnings. Customers make good decisions because Parallax delivers a powerful investor’s edge through unique market predictors based in high math and presented in clear, trustworthy visualizations. [Desired Position]

Until now, even the best and most experienced investors haven’t been able to wring risk out of the process.  They haven’t had the right tools for consistent risk avoidance. Parallax exposes inherent risks.  Where others guess or intuit, Parallax customers have answers. [Uniqueness]

The Parallax value promise is...

Persistent Wealth Creation

through trusted market predictions.

[Value Promise]

 

Long term goals reflect the firm’s durable commitment. Satisfaction: High client approval of Parallax software systems. Impact: A growing list of licensees creating wealth for themselves and their customers. Knowledge: Ongoing improvement in efficacy and utility of Parallax prediction systems. Effectiveness: Internal capacity for creating and managing growth of the company. Wealth:  Financial successes for Parallax, its owners, and its employees.  The firm intends to be a viable partner for decades to come. [Corporate Goals]

The mission sums it up:  To enable ongoing investment successes via superior market solutions, and to do so at a profit.  They seek durable win-win relationships with their customers.[Mission Statement]

Parallax – Exposing Inherent Risks in Today’s Volatile Markets [Slogan, extended]

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Example Synthesis -

Result of applying the Innovation InnoKit
to to the Innovation InnoKit.
 Topics in blue note result.
 .....

The Innovation InnoKit™[Name]

Innovation ToolKits[Functional Class]

Paths to Impact Slogan

Proactive decisions for ROI(cash flow)

and brand equity (customer loyalty)

 [Brand Promise]

Imagine you’ve been hired to build a bridge. You go look at the site. What comes next? Ordering steel and rivets? Not close! Your job is to ask and answer enough questions to develop a clear vision of that bridge. You would engineer the bridge long before building it. [Introduction]

Strategic InnoKits ares to innovation
as engineering is to architecture…
logical homework to do before planning or acting.

InnoKits deliver strategic, value-driven, stakeholder-centered visions powerful enough to drive all stages of business and product innovation. [Desired Position]

InnoKits™ are now becoming available for license. You can develop your own “bridges” to success.

In use for over 20 years, Innovation InnoKit is the only innovation system proven to accelerate both business innovation (start-up to Fortune 50) and product innovation (priced from one hundred to half a billion dollars). [Uniqueness Summary]

The Innovation InnoKit serve all industries and many branches of government [Clients]. Example technologies include: Air quality, complexity management, control systems, geologic modeling, GPS systems, health effects, mapping, mining systems, musculoskeletal disorders, network operations, oil exploration, oil production, oil refining, portfolio management, renewable energy, seismic modeling, sewage treatment, signal processing, space communications, technology transfer, and virtual collaboration. [Customer applications].

Innovation InnoKits serve distinct segments of innovation, including: Strategic Identity™ The Innovation ToolKit (sixteen elements, businesses and products) Operations InnoKit develops team and corporate strategies, objectives, and plans. Other ToolKits include Culture, Concept Analysis, Technoloyg Transfer, Communications™, and Markets.

Each InnoKit is based on proven innovation processes. Team brainstorming, for instance, develops a wider range of ideas than a top-down approach. A range of proven processes reduce team ideas to practical, manageable actions.

Benefits of the InnoKits include:…

Greater value: Ever better returns on investment for the team, organization, and customers, and other stakeholders.  

A marketing edge: Powerful insights, strategic directions, benefits, and competitive strategies for brochures, websites, sales scripts, and funding presentations.

Strategic focus: – Clarity of direction, how to get there. specially for investment.

Innovation of innovation: – Ongoing process improvement.

Empowered innovators: – Enabled, trusted, and funded by their own success. [Benefits]

Overall, the value promise for the product or business: Proactive decisions for higher ROI and brand equity. [Brand Value Promise]

 Competition for InnoKits is indirect. The seven Toolkits are unique. Barriers to adoption include: In-house expertise and processes, consultant methods and tools, seat of pants innovation (no formal process), and uninformed markets. [Competition]

Uniqueness includes:

Comprehensive decisions: 16 elements for products, 25 for businesses.

Marketing approach: Beyond features to market impact and ROI.

Breadth: Corporate officers to project teams.

Justifying innovation: Investors, customers, allies, value chain (Key to early project funding).

Applications: Formative ideas to product launch. Departmental initiatives to corporate launch.

Consensus tools: Question-based methods for reaching agreements quickly and durably.

Facilitator resources: From theory to practice. [Uniqueness]

To deliver unique benefits, ToolKits contain these elements

Facilitation Guide: PowerPoint slides with detailed leader notes. Enables session handouts.

Report Template: An MS Word document that organizes synthesis of results in text format.

Report Presentation Template: A PowerPoint template for presenting results to the Pre-Planning team and deciding on final adjustments and confirmation.

Sample Reports: Tool-specific examples of deliverables.

The Corporate Actions HandBook: Comprehensive view of marketing and innovation updated annually.

“Science of” Series: Confidential white papers for licensees only.

Dictionary: of Innovation and Marketing, including new editions each September.

Facilitator Training: Via co-facilitation at a consulting fee.

Report Reviews: Market Engineering recommendations, at a fee.

Tool Upgrades: Based on ideas from licensees. [Features]

The mission of these ToolKits is to: Accelerate the value of innovation to both the business and its stakeholders. [Mission] Whether for businesses, in-house projects, or products reaching market, Strategic Pre-Planning truly is

The Path to Impact![Slogan]

 

 





 


 



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