Meet the Expert
COO, Final Surge LLC
- COO and a Founding Partner for Final Surge LLC developers of the FinalSurge.com coaching and training platform and apps that empower some of the world's best coaches and athletes to reach fitness and performance excellence like never before.
- CEO and Founder of Best Thinking, Inc., independent digital publishing. Mashable.com rated it as one of the top five best websites for publishers.
- COO and GM for practice management at the LexisNexis Group of Reed Elsevier, one of the world’s largest online publishers of scientific, medical, legal and business journals and websites.
- CEO and Founder of Time Matters Software, one of the most widely used information and document management systems in the U.S. legal market.
- 20-plus years in virtually every leadership position in high-tech innovation from startups to global companies, including building and successfully exiting his own startup, nurturing startups in his accelerator, venture investing, and driving strategy and numerous acquisitions for a major innovation initiative at a large global company.
- Testified before Congress on alternative energy, participated in White House meetings with the VP on economic development, and quoted in the Wall Street Journal on Internet taxation.
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Commercializing Innovation to Drive Growth
COO, Final Surge LLC
- A/B testing
- A method for gathering quantitative data about which of two approaches, designs or other constructs, provides better results when interacting with customers. Simply put, a customer is shown two choices and asked to pick A or B, then they are shown two more choices until they have systematically demonstrated a preference for a process or system. This frequently is used for testing communication or design effectiveness, but also can be applied to testing for selecting between alternate processes or systems. It is a continuous highly granular incremental determination of customer preferences occurring from beginning to end of the development cycle of a new product or service. A/B testing is based on the principle that it is often better when innovating to watch what customers do rather than to listen to what they say. A/B testing is distinct from traditional milestone-based focus group testing usually done in the final stages of product or service development.
- Customer omnipresence
- The customer is always present. The customer must always be represented and part of the discussion when all decisions relating to the innovation effort are being made. Typically this involves a dedicated high-level position reporting in line to the CEO. The intention is to create a position independent of existing departments that will advise managers and advocate for customers across the company. This includes what normally would be considered the facilitative departments, such as HR, finance and legal.
- Failure forensics
- Various versions of "fail fast, fail early and fail often" are an often cited maxim of innovation. But that only applies if what you learned from failure is complete, comprehensive and memorialized within the organization and usable for future innovation. This happens naturally in the mind of a single entrepreneur, but in an organization this only happens if there exists a formal fully-resourced process to debrief participants, review metrics, codify events and so on. Just as the National Transportation Safety Board has a complete protocol in place to investigate the causes of transportation accidents, an innovation initiative must have as one of its fundamental processes, right along with financial, talent, and marketing processes, a complete protocol to investigate innovation failures.
- Goal contention
- Multiple goals that by their very nature mean that progress in one undermines progress in another. Sometimes referred to as mutually exclusive goals. These occur often in innovation and spotting and reconciling these is a fundamental process of innovation.
- Growth innovation
- A process for creating and executing on new products and services with the primary purpose to sustain significant companywide growth. In this sense, innovation can be achieved internally through projects or externally through mergers and acquisitions. In either case, the goal is to move beyond simply adding products, customers or revenue to effect companywide change within the company to drive double-digit growth.
- Innovation acquisition
- New company acquired primarily from M & A resources under an innovation initiative to drive companywide double-digit growth.
- Innovation initiative
- The overall organizational unit set up within the company to direct individual innovation projects and acquisitions that were specifically undertaken to drive companywide double-digit growth. Depending on the size of the company, and the ambition and duration of the innovation initiative, this is a separate department akin to what a "skunk works" is to an engineering and manufacturing department.
- Innovation project
- New products and services originating within the company primarily from company resources under an innovation initiative to drive companywide double-digit growth.
- Used here in reference to highly talented, motivated team members who distinguish themselves through creativity, drive and accomplishments. They are among the best in their fields and are to be nurtured and treated as critical resources, rather than as fungible resources. They are the people that drive innovation.
- Talent brand
- A concept that companies can develop brand-level perceptions about their workplaces and corporate environment that can be valuable in the recruitment and retention of the talent needed to support an innovation initiative.
Commercializing Innovation to Drive Growth: Defined Terms