Peter Drucker famously said, there are 2 functions in any business, marketing and innovation.
I feel this concept guides a business to have a clear guide to work from when we ideate on new ideas or when something comes from higher above in an organisation.
This guidance should help us in pushing back when we already have low effort, high impact projects in the works.
To put a low impact, high effort project on our roadmap is just bad for everyone. It’s not fun, it’s fuelled by someone elses agenda usually and it throws us off the scent of shipping a quality product or service.
Why Name it Innovation Gravity?
The godfather of consulting Alan Weiss main tool for teaching consultants how to market is his idea around ‘Marketing Gravity‘. Where he shapes a planet and a type of marketing activity can have traction in your business, and it’s up to you as a consultant as to choose which type of marketing activity gives the most lift off the planet.
I felt this fit best for the mental model. To get any sort of lift in innovatin requires a bet on another type of innovation (or sorted card).
How Do We Use Innovation Gravity?
With a business case (also called opportunity canvas or lean canvas) as the description of your ‘type of innovation’ we can place this into an Impact & Effort chart (from AJ Smart, who modelled off Harvard’s model), mapped against other ‘types of innovation’ to see how it stacks up.
An emphasis on value must be retained. If you use Innovation Gravity without knowing the level of value strategy and implementation provide you will reach a ceiling.
A ceiling is what we must avoid. How do you remove the ceiling?
I’m going to throw in another analogy. David C. Baker’s 2 rooms approach.
There is one large room with a door and two smaller rooms. Each room, strategy and implementation have entrances, the strategy is the immediate room you enter, the implementation room is through a door you see in the strategy room.
You can only access the implementation door if you have gone through the strategy door. If you immediately run to the implementation door you fail to get the best moonshot possible for your gravity there for lacking in Innovation Gravity.
Who Can Benefit from Innovation Gravity?
Innovation Gravity should be used by all levels of business. It’s a tool to shape your strategy and implementation, then end up in a good place, more successful than you are.
- A Junior Developer can be become Senior by adopting this method because they’ve changed their mental model from implementation to strategy.
- A Senior Designer can ship more valuable work to users.
- A charity worker can acquire more donations if they focus on the correct people that donate.
- A sales person can have a higher closing rate of better leads.
It’s clear everyone needs this to succeed in a better, impactful way.