Innovation X: Why a Company's Toughest Problems Are Its Greatest Advantage

Innovation X: Why a Company's Toughest Problems Are Its Greatest Advantage

Adam Richardson

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0470482192

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A fresh approach to succeeding with innovation, grounded in insights about rapidly changing customers, competitors and technologies

Written by a director at the award-winning global innovation firm frog design, this vital book shows business leaders and managers how to accomplish truly effective innovation in today's disruptive climate. Richardson shows how business is filled with "X-problems"- tough new challenges that present massive innovation opportunities, but also risks. Thriving in a world of X-problems requires harnessing four specific approaches: Immersion, Convergence, Divergence, and Adaption. Combining frog design's approaches with insightful analysis of companies such as Apple, BMW, Clif Bar, Google, Maxtor, and, Richardson illustrates how to envision and realize successful new business ventures, products, and services.

  • Provides a process for translating customer insights into relevant innovations, accompanied by case studies (many of them richly described from frog's own experiences)
  • For the first time, gives real guidance on connecting products, software and services into ecosystems that are actually compelling to customers
  • Shows how to facilitate bringing multiple perspectives to understanding a problem domain, as well as how to manage an innovation portfolio over time

Innovation X is an essential guide for companies seeking to create growth and differentiation in increasingly competitive markets.

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already conducting. The team embarked on a wide-ranging immersion that used many of the tools I have just reviewed. IPC had a number of known challenges going into the development, and in its multi-vector research the team uncovered a few additional ones. By connecting findings across vectors, new insights and design approaches were uncovered that dramatically improved the product and led to strong adoption and demand from end users. Figure 3.2 shows the end result: the IQ/MAX turret. FIGURE

service, efficient order fulfillment, and playful in-house work culture. It is experimenting with extending these toolbox capabilities into some unexpected areas. With “Powered by Zappos” it is syndicating its end-to-end experience system, including product browsing, buying, and post-purchase support, for other online retailers to use. And with “Zappos Insights,” it is disrupting expensive management consulting firms by offering perspective and advice about how to create a

near-term decisions. One company that lived through that lesson is Clif Bar, a maker of energy snacks. The idea for the original Clif Bars came about when founder Gary Erickson was on a long bike ride, for which he’d stocked up on PowerBars, the original energy snack for athletes. Put off by their bland taste and unpleasant texture, he reached a point when he couldn’t stomach another one. He stopped at a convenience store and wolfed down some powdered donuts instead. And then he set about

structured sessions to tease out the variety of perspectives and develop a clearly articulated definition of purpose and the challenges ahead. With this foundation acting as an externalized touchstone, when friction does occur, it can be harnessed rather than turning into frustrating wheel-spinning. Several key pieces of knowledge need to be widely understood throughout the organization to provide the best foundation for responding to X-problems:• Domain scope: Do people at all levels throughout

retrieved from, August 8, 2009; Robert Weisman, “Being a CEO Has Its Perks, but Tenure Isn’t One of Them,” Boston Globe, May 11, 2008; retrieved from, August 8, 2009. 2 Preston G. Smith and Donald G. Reinertsen, Developing Products in Half the Time (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 1998), p. 3. 3 Gary Hamel, Leading the Revolution

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