Use Driving Insights to Bolster Growth

The lifecycle of an innovation project uncovers far more insights than can be filtered, harnessed or used.

Those new to innovation discipline can get intoxicated from this endless wellspring of insights.

The insights range from deep consumer empathy that augments, validates and deliciously contradicts everything a company thinks it knows about a market segment, customer ritual or product category to a staggering range of myth-busting insights about competitors, novel and new distribution channels, technological possibilities, different revenue opportunities and business models. As stated, the possibilities ferment into a heady brew.

Organizations new to an innovation will codify each insight and seek to find a way to actualize it. The analogy would be a teenage boy they easily falls in love with any girl that is remotely nice to him.

There are real consequences for taking these actions – and the foremost one isOpportunity Bloat. One organization cannot possibly handle the typical influx of insights that spawn from even one innovation project challenge.

Insights are useful only if they are aligned with core strategic growth priorities. Then, you have to sift through the heap and refine the most potent insights.

We call these shape-shifting insights “driving insights.” Inside them resides the ardor that inspires leaps in the market, real growth.

Driving insights sometimes come from consumers, sometimes from the engineering or technology teams, sometimes via rigorous business analysis. Most often, a driving insight is a fertile combination of these lenses: customer experience, science or technology, and commercial sense.

Therefore, a driving insight is a leitmotif that cuts through the dross and doldrums of corporate orthodoxies and market prejudices.

Driving insights provide real competitive advantage that can compound top-line growth while providing a useful, usable product, service or experience new to the world.

Filter all of the insights ruthlessly. Prioritize. Watch out for the ones that show up with the urgent sense of a burning bush, but end up low-watt once the refining fire of initial interest wanes. Work to articulate two to three driving insights and allow them to serve as a compass for your innovation project.

The trick is to not get distracted by the false gold of too many insights. Some may have value; some may not. Using a lens that is part customer-centric, part technology possibilities, part business strategy, your organization can uncover the driving insights.

By finding the driving insights, you can choose where to play, how to win and how to turn these findings into a sustainable leadership position within a given category.