Using Signal Scouts as a Funnel for New Ideas

By David Nour

When variety goes up, sales may go up a little, but profits often go down.  Conversely, when variety goes down, sales may go down a little, but profits often go way up!  Voilà…

This idea applies to competing priorities as well. Another client of ours reduced the number of improvement projects to a few that people agreed were the real priorities.  In six months, they delivered more benefit to the organization than in the previous two years.

So, how do you focus on the most compelling / pressing opportunities?  How do you maintain and accelerate all three attributes of growth (slope, speed, and profitability)?  Listen to your portfolio of relationships – that’s where Adaptive Innovation™ comes in.  Adaptive Innovation is creating a repeatable, predictable process for doing things differently (true innovation) and not simply better (incrementalism mentioned earlier), through building strong, diverse and value-based relationships in the market into “signal scouts,” who have a vested interest in your success. Ideally, they will share faint signals from key trends in the market with you on a consistent basis; combined with your ability to understand you can act quickly on these trends.

When you use signal scouts as a funnel for new ideas, and collaborate with internal and external portfolio of relationships to nurture these ideas to fruition, you develop a line of sight to not only what the market needs, but on how to fill those needs with true innovation.  In the process, you change your revenue models, business model, and can adapt in a much more agile fashion to changing market demands.

How are you prioritizing your most compelling opportunities?

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