ideation process

Innovation Drives Marketing Drives Sales


Ken Tencer was recently interviewed on The Business Experience Show about The 90% Rule and how to bring innovation into your company.

Innovation is about bringing new ideas to your customers and keeping them delighted with your business. The 90% Rule book explores the practice of asking ourselves what we are 90% capable of, and what that next 10% will be. We have to think in logical and manageable next steps to determine what that next 10% can be. Highly successful and innovative companies are already doing this, and we should learn from their example.

A few ideas include:

Ask yourself what your company offers its customers. The great companies answer this with customer benefits, not the commodities that they manufacture. Think of Disney which is in the the business of fun, family and entertainment. Or Dove that is about Real Beauty, not selling bars of soap.  Companies need to learn to understand their core business and how what they do impacts the market.

Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Too often, we get stuck in our everyday rut and forget about networking and pushing ourselves to get out and meet new people. We all need to get out there and learn about what others are doing and how it impacts us.

Build a backboard of trusted resources to bounce ideas off. We don’t always have the answers ourselves, and we need to learn to lean on others whenever it becomes necessary.

Don’t forget to weigh and measure new ideas. We have to establish filters and use metrics to discover which ideas we should pursue. Treat those bright new ideas as live projects by assigning a champion to the idea. Task that person to grow and build the idea.

Companies that fail to innovate will ultimately fall behind in the marketplace. Recent examples are Hostess failing to grab hold of the healthy snack trend and Kodak failing to embrace the digital camera era. Whether you are a solopreneur or in the C-suite of a Fortune 500 company, there is no need to fall into this trap.

To learn more about these principles and The 90% Rule, Listen to Ken’s interview at: or buy The 90% Rule book.

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Driving Innovation in Your Organization – The Four Ps of Innovation

Michael Mitchell is president of a Chicago-based Mitchell Innovation + Research. As a consultant in innovation and market research for top corporations, he has had a lot of experience determining what prevents companies from becoming more effective innovators.

In a recent white paper written for the American Management Association, Mitchell identifies four key conditions a company must put in place to achieve results from their innovation efforts. He calls them “The 4 Ps of Innovation”: Priority, Plan, People and Process.

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How to identify innovation opportunities

Innovation is a process that stymies many companies. They’re so eager to find their next big breakthrough that they don’t realize that innovation is a simple process that anyone can learn.

It’s not a matter of waiting and waiting till you hit a home run. Successful innovation is all about getting the basics right every day, and hitting lots of singles.

One innovative-thinking technique we use at Spyder Works is the “Rule or Guideline?” game. We ask clients to write down a list of all the rules at their businesses that they know they mustn’t break. These lists invariably include laws, safety rules and industry regulations, but also lots of conventions, rules of thumbs, best practices and bad habits. We then ask the clients to cross off all the rules that have been legislatively imposed – the rules where an authority can actually punish you for violating. You don’t want to break those rules.

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