- Managing Partner for Insight, Innovation and Brand Strategy at Consumer Dynamics
- Clients include: Bausch & Lomb, Bayer Healthcare, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, P&G/Gillette, Pfizer, Kellogg's, Kraft Foods, Pepsico, Quaker Oats, Starbucks, Clif Bar, USPS, Pernod Ricard
- VP of Marketing at General Foods (now Kraft Foods)
- Account management at Young & Rubicam
- Creative marketing consulting at Kane, Bortree and Faith Popcorn’s Brain Reserve
- Guest lecturer at Columbia University and teaches innovation at NYU's Stern School of Business
- All 6 Best Practices
- Pre-Meeting Discovery Process
- One-on-One Call with Expert
- Meeting Summary Report
- Post-Meeting Engagement
Disruptive Innovation and Blue Ocean Strategy
- Companies are working much leaner and much more with virtual staff.
Companies are outsourcing a lot of work. Freelancers simply don't have the same passion and commitment as employees do. They're there for a specific project or a defined amount of time, and then they're going to go off. They are not part of your team.
This is why Marissa Mayer at Yahoo said employees could no longer work at home; she was trying to reinforce the idea that the employees are part of a team, which helps feed great ideas.
- Companies want "insight" but don't really know what it means or how to get it.
Everyone says, "I've got to go get insight," but they have no idea where to find those revelations that can lead to big changes in consumer behavior.
You can't find insight from data or conventional research. You have to go out into the real world that is your target and observe. Then you see something that you did not expect – a particular consumer attitude or people using products in a completely surprising way, for example.
I once left videocameras on 24/7 in people's kltchens, and that brought us a huge insight and built a whole business for a company.
- Companies rely on black box models that attempt to predict how big various opportunities will be.
This is a tendency particularly with companies that are risk-averse. The executives believe that you can put a bunch of information into these models and they will provide an answer about the size of potential opportunities. The models are only as good as the assumptions they are built on.
It's also really hard to evaluate disruptive innovations until they get to market. And these models cannot replace judgment.
- A focus on the numbers means good ideas get killed too soon.
The numbers people can take over too early in the innovation process. Then the innovation team spends all of its time answering the questions – "How much is this going to cost? How are we going to make this?" It's usually because upper management needs to get to a certain comfort level. But when you are talking about really disruptive innovation, you need to be uncomfortable.
- Companies are looking globally for insight
This is a positive trend, and something any company looking for innovation needs to do. We live in a culturally diverse society, and you can leverage global insights, analogies and expertise. That's something you can't do reading research reports in your office. Even smaller companies are doing this, because they generally are better than big companies are at looking outward.