Jim Euchner, Innovation in Large and Small Organisations – InnovaBuzz 516
Jim Euchner, Outside Insight Consulting
Our guest in this episode is Jim Euchner, Honorary Professor at Aston Business School (UK) and Editor in Chief of Research-Technology Management, a peer-reviewed journal for practitioners of innovation, technology and research management. Jim was previously Vice President of Global Innovation at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, where he led the development of new businesses and helped launch five businesses on three continents. Prior to his work at Goodyear, Jim held positions as Vice President of Growth Strategy and Innovation at Pitney Bowes, Inc. and Vice President, Network Systems Advanced Technology at Bell Atlantic (now Verizon).
Jim has worked in the field of intelligent systems for over 25 years. In his consulting practice, he helps companies to implement businesses enabled by emerging technologies, including AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), automation, and predictive analytics.
In our conversation Jim talked to me about
- innovation in large vs small organisations, and how each need to be approached differently
- The importance of really getting to know your customers – even literally walking in their shoes!
- What a “lead user” is and how they are immensely valuable for innovation
Listen to the podcast to find out more.
Listen to the Podcast
Creating structure around Lean Start Up helps everybody feel that the process is under control. With checkpoints at each step, gives everybody a sense that it is a managed process. Jim Euchner on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet
Show Notes from this episode with Jim Euchner, Outside Insight Consulting
Key points and takeaways from this episode include:
- Lean Start Up works very well in starting a new business. In a corporate context, though, there is a lot of resistance.
- Creating structure around Lean Start Up helps everybody feel that the process is under control. With checkpoints at each step, gives everybody a sense that it is a managed process.
- Cross-functional teams in an organisation help run Lean Start Up processes.
- Key stages – Discovery phase, Business model,
- Discovery phase – understand what the customer wants; involves prototypes; getting feedback.
- Business model – how to capture value from the innovation; effect on the core business and assets.
- Incubation – testing in the market on small scale; will customers buy; can we make it profitable
- Companies tend to overinvest in the old and underinvest in the new. It’s important to recognise opportunities worth pursuing and commit to those opportunities.
- With new business and disruptive innovation, it’s best run outside of the core business, but not so separate that you can’t leverage assets and know-how of the organisation. It’s a careful balance to maintain enough relationship with the core business to benefit both.
- Identify your “lead users” – they’re responsible for the vast majority of the adoption of novel innovation. Conversations with those lead users gives valuable data to shape the developments.
- Users that have “extreme needs” are likely the ones that will drive innovation in their space.
The Buzz – Our Innovation Round
Here are Jim’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Really focus on the customer and understand them by being there “in-situ” with them. Observe what really happens.
- Best thing for new ideas – The Lean Start Up process – use it in full!
- Favourite tool for innovation – Editing the Research Technology Management Journal; Steve Blank’s Blog, Podcasts.
- Keep project/client on track – Using Lean Start Up with the agile approach with close contact with the customer.
- Differentiate – Focus more on people and keep people at the centre of technology developments.
Develop technology as if people mattered. Think about when you’ve used technology and you felt like it led you astray or was alienating or just frustrating. Do you do that when you’re developing technology? How might you do that differently?
Jim suggested we have a conversation with Futurist, Christian Crews and Tech Strategist, Andrea Kates on a future InnovaBuzz Podcast episodes.
- Website – Lean Startup Biz
- Book: Lean Startup in Large Organizations, Overcoming Resistance to Innovation
- Google Scholar Page – Jim Euchner
- Steve Blank on the InnovaBuzz Podcast
Cool Things About Jim
- He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for the Nissan Autonomous Vehicle program
- He has received several awards for his work in AI, including two selections as Innovative Applications of AI, the Carnegie Mellon University/AMS Award for Managing Information Systems, and the Franz Edelman Award (finalist).