Curiosity is a muscle, argue innovation and customer experience consultants Andy Fromm and Diane Kander – you use it or lose it. Employing a creative structure, the authors relate the rise and near-demise of a fictional company to reveal why so many successful companies nosedive into irrelevance. By asking four crucial questions, they explain, businesses can keep innovating; discovering and meeting customers’ evolving needs; and maintaining worker engagement.
Success opens the door to unexpected pitfalls.
How did companies like Blockbuster, Toys “R” Us and Kodak – major players within their respective industries – lose their relevance? They became victims of their own success: They assumed they knew what their customers wanted, and became blind to their business shortcomings. Put another way, they stopped being curious.
What makes your business boom today might make it go bust tomorrow. Successful businesses don’t rely on “expertise”: what you know, or, rather, what you think you know about your customers. Customer needs evolve, and so, to keep pace, must your offerings. You can’t remain relevant solely by keeping prices low; you must keep adding value. But you can’t add value if you don’t ask the right questions to keep your curiosity muscle honed.
Cutting costs won’t solve revenue woes, and “innovation theater” doesn’t generate increased value for your customers or company.
Successful companies that find themselves plateauing – or on the decline – tend to make two fundamental mistakes regarding investing in innovation: They waste money on innovation...