Seth Kahan's Getting Innovation Right is the companion book to his bestseller, Getting Change Right. It lays out what it takes to succeed at innovation. And innovation is nothing if not successful.

Leaders have great ideas all the time. They are knowledgeable and regularly have insights into their customers’ predicaments. They are great at spotting areas for improvement. But, great ideas are not enough to get you through the obstacles new ideas, products, and services inevitably confront on their way to successful delivery.
Here are some of the common ways leaders fall short when it comes to innovation.
  • They don’t invest in the leadership talent required to successfully develop new products and services.
  • They don’t do market research to ensure circumstances are conducive to their new offering.
  • They don’t take advantage of market disruptions.
  • They don’t think through value from the customers’ point-of-view, taking the time to discover what customers are compelled to buy.
  • They don’t drive the required uptake to increase and accelerate market acceptance.

These are the tactics and strategies Getting Innovation Right addresses. The book provides templates, step-by-step instructions, techniques, tools and practical guidance on how to do the very things that maximize your innovations chances of success in the market. Successful innovation creates something people are compelled to acquire, getting it into their hands in a form they can put to use, all the while moving ever more firmly into the black while you grow.

Since 1998, Seth has worked hand-in-hand with over a hundred leaders and their organizations, large and small. He has been part of innovation initiatives in $20 billion organizations and $10 million enterprises. He has worked in the private sector, public sector, and among associations. From that work he has distilled seven key activities that lead to successful innovation. Leaders who carry them out put themselves ahead of their peers and the competition. As a result they are able to consistently pursue, create, and leverage inflection points in the market for great impact.

The vast majority of executives do not practice any one of these with discipline or emotional intensity. By simply taking just one and putting it into practice you are putting the odds on your side. When you combine them, bringing them all to bear on your efforts, the result is an advantage that stacks many variables in your favor.

These seven real-world pursuits are what make the difference between those who are haphazardly shooting in the with good ideas and those who consistently and systematically uncover potential, capitalize on opportunity, and generate traction that drives success in the marketplace.

Successful leaders do these Seven Key Activities:

  1. Pursue and Leverage Inflection Points
    A positive inflection point is a game change that shifts circumstances decisively in your favor. Expert innovators are able to sense their potential before they take place and then drive offerings to stimulate the events that lead to these dramatic shifts. When harnessed they are like waves of activity that can propel you forward, growing your base, increasing the offerings your customers buy, generating loyalty, and moving you up-market.
  2. Build Innovation Capacity
    The systematic development of new products and services relies on your ability to contain and channel innovation’s inherent stresses. Strong innovation leaders recognize this and intentionally cultivate the people and the environment that provide the necessary foundation of leadership, talent and idea management.
  3. Collect Intelligence
    The best innovation rises from a sea of information about products, services, customers, competitors, market conditions and internal capabilities. Use my eight steps of an effective business intelligence effort to collect the information you need to make the right strategic decisions.
  4. Shift Perspective
    In order to see new opportunity you must be able to get out of your own box. There are proven techniques and tactics capable innovators use to question their own assumptions. This allows them to see the world through alternative and helpful points of view. You can learn to apply those techniques and tactics to your business.
  5. Exploit Disruption
    Disruption is part of business life today. Successful leaders know how to identify the opportunity embedded in adverse conditions. They identify windows of opportunity in which they can turn turmoil to their advantage.
  6. Generate Value
    Value is what causes people to reach in their pockets and separate from their hard-earned cash. It is what drives investors to invest, shoppers to shop, and people to fly around the world just to trade with each other. Skillful innovators understand what drives value, what it looks like to customers and any number of stakeholders, and how to generate value by delivering something more, better, or new.
  7. Drive Innovation Uptake
    Every stage of this process holds opportunity to introduce new ideas into the market and engage the community of people who will be most interested in your offerings. Uptake, or market acceptance, occurs through the well-tended generation of mutual value. Innovation leaders intentionally drive this uptake, seeking to control adoption for maximum effect.

Click here to learn more about presenter Seth Kahan.

Recordings from Mr. Kahan's presentation.

Slides from Mr. Kahan's presentation: