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  • What is Outside Innovation?
    It’s when customers lead the design of your business processes, products, services, and business models. It’s when customers roll up their sleeves to co-design their products and your business. It’s when customers attract other customers to build a vital customer-centric ecosystem around your products and services. The good news is that customer-led innovation is one of the most predictably successful innovation processes. The bad news is that many managers and executives don’t yet believe in it. Today, that’s their loss. Ultimately, it may be their downfall.

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    Observations

    • LEAD USERS
      Eric von Hippel coined the term "lead users" to describe a group of both customers and non-customers who are passionate about getting certain things accomplished. They may not know or care about the products or services you offer. But they do care about their project or need. Lead users have already explored innovative ways to get things done. They're usually willing to share their approaches with others.
    • LEAD CUSTOMERS
      I use the term "lead customers" to describe the small percentage of your current customers who are truly innovative. These may not be your most vocal customers, your most profitable customers, or your largest customers. But they are the customers who care deeply about the way in which your products or services could help them achieve something they care about.
    • LEAD CUSTOMERS AND LEAD USERS
      We’ve spent the last 25 years identifying, interviewing, selecting, and grouping customers together to participate in our Customer Scenario® Mapping sessions. Over the years, we’ve learned how to identify the people who will contribute the most to a customer co-design session. These are the same kinds of people you should be recruiting when you set out to harness customer-led innovation.
    • HOW DO YOU WIN IN INNOVATION?
      You no longer win by having the smartest engineers and scientists; you win by having the smartest customers!
    • CUSTOMER CO-DESIGN
      In more than 25 years of business strategy consulting, we’ve found that customer co-design is a woefully under-used capability.
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    « Supporting Online Collaboration in Bandwidth-Challenged Areas | Main | Nokia’s Design by Community Phone »

    March 25, 2010

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    Comments

    Patty Seybold

    Calvin,
    I absolutely agree. And that experiment is also underway at URDT--in two ways:

    1. Community Radio outreach educates everyone--boys, and men as well as girls and women--and it's definitely changing attitudes towards women in the region.

    2. The same curriculum that is being used at the Girls School is now being tested in two co-ed community schools in nearby districts. So within a few years, we'll be able to see how the boys and their families do.

    Calvin

    I think it's great that the girls act as change agents. I wonder what would happen if the boys were trained to be change agents too. Perhaps the girls would not be treated as second-class citizens.

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