Listen to the Idea Incubator podcast. [audio:https://0a11b2.p3cdn1.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/19-Jan-2012-Idea-Incubator.mp3|titles=19 Jan 2012 Idea Incubator]
In this month’s issue of The Village, a newsletter for the global NPD community, we discussed 5 Steps to Identify Your Strategic Capabilities. I think this is an important action to take as individuals, product managers, New Product Development Professionals, and as companies working in innovation.
First, it’s important to know where we’re at today. Steps 2 and 3 to Identify Your Strategic Capabilities, Observing and Connecting and Technology, help us to identify the present case. (We’ll come back to Step 1 later.) In our personal lives, we can assess where we’re at by introspection, meditation, and observations with friends, family, and colleagues. In our roles as New Product Development (NPD) team leaders, we can assess where we’re at by observing and conversing with customers and employees.
Understanding the current state of our technology portfolio sounds easier to evaluate for a so-called “innovative company,” yet it’s not so hard to do as an individual, either. What degrees, certificates, and special training or skills have you attained? More importantly, what skills and activities do you enjoy? And which ones are boring and ho-hum?
This latter assessment of what you do well and enjoy overlaps Steps 4 and 5 of Identifying Your Core Capabilities. Step 4 is utilizing Unique Business Processes and Step 5 is Executing with Superiority. While in firms working on NPD projects, the NPD Process often enforces superior execution via the unique process for innovation. In your personal life, you’ll want to consider special traits and characteristics.
For example, Suzy enjoys working with children (Step 2), speaks three languages fluently (Step 3), and has a unique methodology to learn new words for familiar objects (Step 4). Additionally, Suzy is tenacious and committed to following through on any new projects she starts (Step 5).
After you’ve completed the assessments of where you’re at today and what you’re good at, you’ll want to determine where you want to go. This is Step 1 – Passion and Mission. For a firm working on innovative products and services, this is usually given as a mission statement delivered by senior management. In your personal life, you’ll need to examine your emotional, spiritual, physical, and financial well-being. You might be like me, and agree that the status quo is great – I’m currently utilizing my best skills in a way that brings me joy and provides service to others.
Or you may realize, like Suzy who is working as a financial analyst at a large corporation, that it is time for a change. Where do you go?
Now that you’ve documented what you’re good at, you can lay out a plan that will take you from where you’re at to where you want to be. For Suzy, this involves laying out a specific plan to complete her teaching certification by taking night classes at the local college and writing a business plan to teach children foreign languages using her special skill sets. Suzy’s plan covers the next 90 days with which courses she’ll take at the community college, the next one year with a financial plan to save money for her new business venture, and a 3-year plan to market the new business.
Good luck in 2012. And if you’d like to schedule a one-on-one coaching session to implement the 5 Step process for Identifying Your Strategic Capabilities for yourself or for your innovation team, please give me a call at 281-280-8717 or e-mail at email@example.com.
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© 2012 Global NP Solutions, LLC
Your Strategic Innovation Partner for NPDP Certification