Tactics for Innovation

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How to introduce new ideas, services & products so people will better accept them, by Joel Barker (“Mr. Paradigm”), as inspired by Prof. James Bright

These tactics are not traditional salesmanship steps or clever marketing. By determining how well their innovation fits the end users (customers) needs and how compatible it is with what the customer is already doing or using, the innovator can design their innovation and message to substantially increase their odds of success.

KEY POINTS:  An INVENTION is the creation of a new idea.  An INNOVATION is the introduction of that idea to its customers/users. In the process of inventing, it’s the inventor’s ideas, experience and insight that are important. In innovation (the introduction of the invention to others) it’s the customer/user that becomes important. The innovator must tailor his presentation to his audience if he wishes to succeed.

• In times of crisis, change is more readily accepted.

• Never underestimate the power of social climate (values/behaviors that prevail in our culture at a particular time.)

• If the customers/users change, you must reconsider your tactics.

• Design your ideas, services and products with these tactics in mind from the start; these concepts are not an “add on.”

Applying them from the beginning forces you to think about the potential adopter while developing your innovation. Such a disciplined approach will help pave the way for the acceptance of your new idea, service or product.

 The 10 sequenced questions to ask to increase your probability of success:

1. Upside, YES?  (Is there a clear perceived advantage to/for the user?

2. Downside, NO(Are the consequences minimal if what you’re offering fails?)

(Important: If you haven’t met the first two tactics, it makes no sense to go further, because you haven’t given the customer/user a reason to change. If the potential user won’t benefit from your innovation, or if adopting the innovation means accepting substantial or excess risk, you have to stop and ask yourself, “Why am I trying to get this idea accepted in the first place?”)

3. Seemingly Simple? (Is it easy for the user to understand, to “wrap their mind around?”)

4. Small Steps? (Is your new idea/change implemented through small steps/increments?) 

5. Clear Message? (Is your communication/language clear & familiar to the user?) 

6. Compatible Fit? (Will it feel familiar to what the user currently experiences?)

7. Credible Messenger? (Is the presenter (you) believable & credible to the user? If not, best to align yourself w/ better known/credible person/organization) 

8. Reliable Performance?  (The Reliability/Trust Factor: Does it work dependably?)

9. Easy In? (Relative costliness: How easy/inexpensive is it for the user to try/test it?)

10. Easy Out(Reversibility: How easy is it for the user to get out if they want to?)

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