Value-driven innovation requires diversity of experience and insight

Over the course of my career I’ve seen success and I’ve seen failure. My experiences across retail, manufacturing, financial services, and many other diverse industries have revealed patterns of what can work well and what is unlikely to succeed.  When looking at a new challenge, I break the initial concept down to its key elements and decide which elements bring the most value, which elements need to change, which elements need to go, and what needs to be added.  These decisions are based on my exposure to diverse industries and their challenges.  Although each industry presents its own unique challenges, the patterns across them are often similar enough to allow me to reuse solutions and quickly identify potential dead-ends.

For example, at a large US retailer I helped, they had an inventory problem because most of their items did not have a uniform way of tracking them. I previously had designed a server inventory management system for a global technology company that relied on built-in server identification for tracking, so my insight was to use a similar solution to help address a similar problem.  Where machine addresses worked for the tech company, bar-code tags integrated into their manufacturing process  would work just as well for the retailer, and so that solution was implemented to great success.

By focusing on how that any product fits into a wider ecosystem I can then build that ecosystem and create new value around the product.  As needs grow and change, that ecosystem can be continually expanded, creating value substantially greater than the initial product alone.