What Is Your Approach to Innovation?
Innovation is often thought of as a "Eureka!" moment in a lab -- and sometimes that
happens. But to be consistent and sustainable, a rigorous process of innovation is
I apply a repeatable and scalable process of innovation that transforms knowledge and ideas
into products that succeed in the marketplace. This process begins by documenting the unmet
needs of stakeholders from across customers’ enterprises -- often helping them articulate those
needs when they don't initially have a clear view. I lead face-to-face workshops linking our
company’s functional leaders with their customer counterparts to co-develop product
specifications. With relationships in place across the customers' organizations, we can ask critical questions not
asked by our competitors. For example, what would a customer's Operations chief tell us are among the
most important properties of the new product we're envisioning? Or what would their CFO tell us? Often
the answers are surprising, and it's that information that gives us the edge.
As Engineering develops the product, these joint teams review, revise
and reshape the product through techniques such as Voice-of-the-Customer (VOC), focus groups, and
jointly vetted, iterative prototypes – thus assuring the completed
product “hits the mark” and minimizing much of the risk of New Product Development.
This immersive customer research enables us to win with customers and against the competition.