The dating game can teach us how to innovate
I’ve been married for nearly 20 years so clearly I like giving others advice on dating. So here’s my simple formula for finding a partner:
2. Lower your standards – kiss a lots of frogs, dating is a volume game and if you’re not in stock no one will buy.
Right now innovators everywhere can learn a lot from these ‘attraction strategies’. When we first started ?What If! nearly 20 years ago innovation was all about extending products and services further into their category, to grab more shelf space, throat share, wallet share. Over the last two decades the pace of change has accelerated and markets have become more blurred. Fuelled by opportunities the internet has provided and stimulated by brands like Virgin - overnight we’ve all become experts at category mental gymnastics.
2. Incubate new relationships: You wouldn't go on a first date to your parent’s house. So too Telefonica subsidiary O2 has pioneered a wide range of partnerships through attracting talent from outside it’s area of expertise and allowing it to flourish away from head office. O2 looks increasingly unlike a mobile phone company and more like an entertainment business. Contrast this with Tesco who acquired banking skills bringing them ‘in-house’. No time or space for a fresh category-busting identity to emerge? Looks like just another bank to me.
3. Be tenacious: Organisations that strive for something beyond current revenue are more likely to develop in unexpected and exciting ways. IKEA’s corporate purpose has always been to improve lives through making good design more widely available. It’s because IKEA don't let go of this ‘higher purpose’ that they now make flat pack houses, in partnership in the UK with LiveSmart@ Home.
So let’s promote Casanova to CIO – sounds like fun to me!