As Executive Leadership Coaches, we see a lot of companies who struggle with developing effective innovation strategies to find new markets, create new products, design new business models, or implement new delivery systems.
One of the leading experts in Innovation today is Clayton M. Christensen a professor out of Harvard Business School. In his new book entitled,
“Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice”, he and his team share a new discovery about what companies who are consistently successful with innovation are doing that others are not.
In his book, he states a specific Disruptive Question that is enabling companies like Ikea to have sustainable success with innovation:
“What job is your client hiring your company to do for them?”
In his book Clayton asks the question: “Why does Ikea not have any major competition?”
There are many other companies that sell furniture, but Ikea is in a league of their own. Clayton responded to this by stating that since Ikea is not focused on bringing products and services to market (they already believe the market will buy their offerings), they instead asked a different question:
“What job are our clients hiring Ikea to do for them?”
The job Ikea is being hired to do for their clients is to fulfill the need for space that is useable tomorrow.
From that insight, Ikea’s management team built a complete logistics system to make it easy for their clients and potential clients to think of Ikea first when the problem or issue of needing space up and useable tomorrow arises in their life.
From his book, Clayton outlined his belief that if you want to become consistent at bringing innovative ideas to market that will differentiate your company, you need to build your foundation on the pursuit of understanding the jobs your customers need filled. Once you have done that, your strategy will no longer need to rely on luck.
When you take the time to ask the right questions, you get access to insights that will support moving your organization forward!
“Understanding customers does not drive innovation success. Understanding customer jobs does.” – Clayton M. Christensen
To get a snapshot of this transformational question, check out Clayton Christensen’s video Understanding the Job that explains his insights about innovation by applying this powerful question.
This Week’s Learning Journey:
Take half an hour and ponder – “What job is your client really hiring your company to do for them?”
Initiate a dialogue with your team about what they believe is the reason your clients are hiring your company.
“Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice” is a great book to go through with your staff to create new future possibilities for your company. We Guarantee It!