Overview of our Innovation + Product management discussion – 2nd of May

Our May 2nd meeting on the topic of innovation, attracted a big group of people including a lot of new faces to the Product Anonymous group.    Thanks to everyone who attended!
It was a great session of knowledge sharing and experiences, led expertly by Theresa Saldhana.  Theresa comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the innovation space and the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) industry with over 20 years of experience.  Theresa is the director of Why Not ! Innovate.
There was only 1 FMCG company in the top 10 of last year’s BRW most innovative companies so Theresa looked at what digital is doing to lead the way over an industry that used to be at the front of the pack.
By talking through some of the ways current leading companies lead innovation,  we explored what we as product managers could use to encourage or keep innovation happening at our own companies and with our products.
Theresa’s presentation is attached –  Innovation tools presentation – to Product Anonymous 2nd May 2013 – but I would like to call out some the highlights of the presentation.
As Theresa saw it, the consumer goods area had developed myopia and so she took us through the areas of focus one needs to use to shatter that myopia and encourage innovation.  These areas are:
  • Know thy Consumer
  • Cluster to Collaborate
  • New Tools to shatter Insular Thinking
  • Disruptive beats Breakthrough
  • Incubate, Refine, Evolve…become more Agile
  • New Channels to Market
  • Centres of Excellence
  • A brave ‘NEW’ Marketing
Within the discussion a couple of other items came up as areas of innovation.  Planned obscolence (i.e. Apple iPod versions or home printers) may be frustrating for the consumer but effective. Borrowing with pride (e.g. Samsung) is another approach to innovation.  Other topics or ideas that the group found rang true for them are easiest to just list out:
  • Agile discussion
  • Mash ups
  • Looking outside industry for fresh ideas
  • Getting out of the rut of the daily grind & problems
  • The challenges of innovation
  • Crossing products
  • Obsolescence
  • Innovation associated with different products
  • BRW top innovative companies & what they did
  • Shenzai
  • Customer benefits not equal to product features
  • How to innovate (hackerthons etc.)
  • Lots – great ideas
  • How to test & create an environment to innovate
  • More examples of what innovation is
We finished with a great video from Steven Johnson called ‘Where do Good Ideas Come From‘ encouraging us to connect & talk about our hunches.
See you at the next session on the 30th of May – and if you are interested in presenting a topic at a future meeting, just get in touch!

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