204. Boost Corporate “Curiosity” to Innovate

Observations About Curiosity

  • All kids have it. But, social-conformity pressures reduce it by adulthood.
  • Amongst adults: curiosity about excelling beyond – “things are good enough”- is unusual. Few want to – unlearn “good-enough” to: first get worst; before maybe, achieving a higher level of capability.

  • Adults continue to be curious about needs for: security, conforming and sucking up for political survival.
  • If all reasonable people conform to company and industry groupthink, then breakthrough progress may require – unreasonable, non-conforming, entrepreneurial – curiosity.
  • Curiosity is vital to both: the scientific discovery process; and, then turning insights into sustainable capabilities (an innovative-journey grind).
  • Some of the steps within the messy – science (+) innovation – process:
    a) Proactive, vision questions about change for the better.
    b) Top-down theories and/or bottom-up field research to find new possibilities
    c) Searching for exceptions to the rule as keyholes into: improving existing rule effectiveness; or discovering new, better rules.
    d) Finding the root causes for exceptions-to-the-rule
    e) Designing Experiments to Learn and Fail Forward towards new capabilities
  • For every new insight, there is a new thicket of sub-problems that need invented solutions. A competitive advantage rests on a pile of sub-inventions.
  • Innovations enable:
    a) Faster and more profitable growth than competitors that only fine-tune what is.
    b) Successful leaps into new competitive games.
  • Only about 3-4% of businesses in mature industries are perpetual innovators (David Birch’s “Gazelles”). The rest do not have sufficient curiosity and flexibility to reinvent. They die in the face of existential changes.

Key Assumption/Question:

Digital disruption is affecting traditional distribution channels. Is your company’s Curiosity/Innovation IQ up for the challenges?

Boost Your Corporate Curiosity

See the need for big change. Understand how digital disruptors (Amazon Business) have taught next-generation, B2B buyers to want a better total “customer experience” (CX). And, how digital tools can enable new omni-channel models to happen. These changes will require specific – e-selling, business and channel – models to be co-created with distributors’ key customers and suppliers.

See: “What kills curiosity at companies”. Then, solve those “7 curiosity inhibitors”.

Then, test your curiosity against the – insights, plays and models – that flow from customer net-profitability analytics. For an entire curriculum gratis, do you have the personal curiosity to check out both my:

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