Incongruity

Incongruity, another one of the sources for innovation discussed by Peter Drucker, can indicate an underlying “fault.”

This “fault” is essentially a discrepancy between “what is” and what “ought to be.”

Incongruity can take place within an industry, a market, and a process.

Sometimes, the incongruity may be visible to the people within or close to the industry, market, or process — the “insiders.”

However, the same insiders often may notice it but treat the status quo as a reason for not initiating change.

Therefore, they miss the great innovation opportunities to exploit these incongruities to the organization’s advantage.

Did you notice any incongruities within a process or your market that you can exploit to your advantage?

揮揮手是免費的

(從我的一個喜歡與尊敬的作家,賽斯 高汀)

當有人停下車讓你把車開進入交通流量,或是把著門讓你進出,或者花一點時間來與你打招呼時,我們可以用微笑並揮揮手做一個響應。

這絕對不會造成你任何的損失。

這通常還會創造了一種有連接的感覺,這是值得的。

這會使我們將來更有可能善對待別人。

這也很可能會讓你的一天變的更燦爛。

當你在經歷一個艱難的一天,最簡單的解藥就是表現慷慨。

揮揮手是免費的,而微笑也是一個不可抗拒的獎勵。

Unexpected Failure

Just like the unexpected success, Peter Drucker advocated that unexpected failure also should be considered a symptom of an innovative opportunity.

Many failures often are nothing but human mistakes, the results of greed, impulsiveness, thoughtless groupthink, or incompetence.

Yet if something fails despite being carefully planned, thoughtfully designed, and conscientiously executed, that failure often can provide hints to under-the-surface change and with it, opportunity.

The underlying changes, often shift in customer values and perceptions, can challenge our assumptions. The failure may show that the assumptions we apply to a product or service in its design or marketing can be outdated.

The unexpected failure demands that we go out, look around, and listen to the customers. Equally, a competitor’s unexpected success or failure should be noticed and studied.

When trying to get the most understanding out of a failure, Drucker suggested we do not only analyze internally but also investigate externally.

Identify the important unexpected failures, both yours or a competitor’s. Identify plausible explanations for the failure and apply these lessons to future activities.

Unexpected Success

Peter Drucker talked about seven sources of innovation opportunities, and unexpected success was one of the sources.

Drucker also indicated that often managements tend to neglect it or actively reject it.

Compared to the other six categories of innovative opportunities, capitalizing on the unexpected success is arguably the least risky and requires the least additional effort.

One reason why we overlook this unexpected opportunity is our tendency to adhere to the status quo, anything that has lasted a fair amount of time must be “normal” and go on “forever.”

Drucker explained the reasoning further by using an example of a major U.S. steel company, rejected the “mini-mill” concept back in the 1970’s.

Management knew that its manufacturing processes were rapidly becoming obsolete and would need billions of dollars of investment to modernize. At the same time frame and almost by accident, the company acquired a “mini-mill.”

The “mini-mill” soon began to grow rapidly and generate profits. Some in the company believed and proposed that available investment funds be used to invest in additional “mini-mills” and to build new ones.

Top management eventually rejected the proposal, citing the belief that the integrated steelmaking process is the only right one with everything being a fad and unlikely to endure.

As history would show, thirty years later the only parts of the steel industry in America that were still healthy, growing, and reasonably prosperous were “mini-mills.”

Drucker taught us that unexpected successes jolt us out of our preconceived notions, our assumptions, and our certainties about the reality. That is why it is such a fertile source of innovation.

Do not overlook or dismiss unexpected success. Identify it, learn from it, and absorb it into your DNA through change management effort.

Systematic Innovation

Peter Drucker described systematic innovation as the process of monitoring seven sources for an innovative opportunity.

The first four sources are internal within the organization:

  • The unexpected events – the unexpected success and the unexpected failure;
  • Incongruity — between reality as it is and reality as it is assumed to be or as it “ought to be”;
  • Innovation based on process need;
  • Changes in industry structure or market structure, especially those that catch everyone unawares in the organization.

The other three external sources involve changes outside the organization or industry:

  • Demographics – population changes or some other macro factors;
  • Changes in perception, mood, and meaning;
  • New Knowledge – both scientific and nonscientific

Drucker observed, “Successful entrepreneurs do not wait until the “the Muse kisses them” and gives them a bright idea; they go to work.”

表現的有在關心

(從我的一個喜歡與尊敬的作家,賽斯 高汀)

我們都知道你的客戶可以忍受你一些不完美的地方,但有一件事情他們最希望能從你看到的還是你的關心與在意。

營銷人員不斷會做出最完美的承諾,一個機構也會盡力去保持這些承諾。但遲早一天有些無法達到的承諾還是會讓客戶失望。

在那一刻,客戶最想要的還是有人在乎他們的處境。

最基本的是,關心與在意應該是一個機構一貫的作為。

有一個錯誤的想法是關心客戶一定要是完全發自內心。另一個錯誤的想法是如果你不能感受實際上的關心,那意味著你根本不應該去嘗試關心。

當一位天王巨星出現在舞台上時,觀眾都會想要相信她每天都會像第一次開幕式一樣的激動和興奮。她可能會,也許不會。但重要的是我們做觀眾的只看見一個關心我們的人,為她的觀眾做出最精彩的表現。

如果你由衷的關心與在乎,那是在好不過了。如果你沒有那個感覺,至少目前做出一些表面上行動。這對你也許很困難,但是這是你必須要做的工作。

事實上,專業人士一直在做的都是情緒上的勞動。他們永遠提供他們自己專業能力上的最佳版本。

以你的努力和一致性的行為做代表,因為你的客戶需要你。

Organized Improvement

It seems intuitive and logical that continuous improvements in any area eventually transform the operation.

Just about anything an organization does internally and externally can and needs to be improved systematically and continuously.

The performance of marketing, production processes, service management, technology, training and people can all be improved over time with available, relevant information.

However, what constitutes “performance” in a given area?

If performance is to be improved, we need to define clearly what “performance” means.

More importantly, who will benefit from the performance improvement?

By carefully defining the beneficiary of the improvement, the definition allows the organization to apply a targeted effort, instead of a shotgun wide blast approach.

Always be asking, who it is for?

Exploiting Success

Peter Drucker believed that the first — and usually the best — opportunity for successful change is to exploit one’s own successes and to build on them.

No organization can afford to ignore problems, and they need to prioritize with taking care of the serious problems first.

But to bring about changes, organizations must focus on opportunities.

Solving problems are mostly reactive activities.

Capitalizing on opportunities, big and small, are proactive work.

Something suggested by Drucker to try…

Every month, prepare a page that lists opportunities. This list can include areas where results were better than expected, whether in terms of sales, revenues, profits, or volume.

Follow this with another page that lists the organization’s most capable people. Then allocate the best performers to the top opportunities.

Leaders interested in change should starve problems and feed opportunities.

一個觀眾

(從我的一個喜歡與尊敬的作家,賽斯 高汀)

比起以往任何時候,很多人們(大多數陌生人),都可以在網上看到你所做的事情。

他們可以看到你所收藏的照片,閱讀你所寫的文章,還有與你的網路頭像做朋友。

如果你給他們一個機會,他們會來評鑑你,會來決定你是否能夠成功或是有什麼做為。

另一種方法是專注於你所關心的觀眾,與關心你的人打交道與合作。

你的觀眾,是你做的選擇。 也許只有一個人,或許是十個人,但是他們都是需要你的人。

其他人呢?都只是一些無關痛癢旁觀者。

Innovation as Core Competence

Peter Drucker believed that each organization needs one core competence: innovation. The approach is to develop a way to record and appraise its innovative performance.

Most people would probably start by looking at the organization’s own performance, but that might not be sufficient.

It needs to be a careful assessment of the innovations in the entire field during a given period.

Drucker suggested some probing questions to ask:

Which of them were truly successful?

How many of them were ours?

Is our performance commensurate with our objectives? With the direction of the market? With our market standing? With our research spending?

Are our successful innovations in the areas of greatest growth and opportunity?

How many of the truly important innovation opportunities did we miss? Why? Because we did not see them? Or because we saw them but dismissed them? Or because we botched them?

How well do we do in converting an innovation into a commercial product?

Throughout the exercise, it will likely raise more questions rather than answers.

Even more likely, those will be the right questions for the organization to ask over and over again.