Embrace Good Friction to Stimulate Growth

Good brand friction is said to be any interaction between a customer and a company that creates positive feelings about the company. Examples of good brand friction include providing excellent customer service, offering helpful advice or information, creating engaging content, and using innovative technology to make customers’ lives easier.

According to ChatGPT, brands can do more to embrace the good friction. Takeaways include:

  1. Make sure customers are aware of the value they are getting from your product or service.
  2. Create a seamless customer experience that anticipates and meets their needs, while also providing friction when necessary to ensure safety and security.
  3. Use data-driven insights to inform decision-making around how much friction should be used in different areas of the customer journey.
  4. Leverage technology such as AI, machine learning, natural language processing, etc., to help automate processes where possible and reduce manual effort for customers when applicable – this will create more positive experiences with less effort on their part.
  5. Provide helpful resources like FAQs and tutorials so customers can find answers quickly without having to contact support teams or wait for long phone queues (which creates unnecessary good friction).
  6. Develop an omnichannel approach by offering multiple communication options so customers can choose what works best for them in any given situation. This could include live chat, email, social media messaging platforms, etc.

Keynote: Agitate to Stimulate – How Successful Brands Embrace A Dose of Good Friction

Since the moment the first human invented the wheel, we have been on the hunt to do more with less effort. This has accelerated in recent years with a ruthless focus on creating frictionless experiences. But have we gone too far? Indeed, not all friction is created equal.

In the quest to reduce bad friction, have we neutered all the good friction? Good friction is essential to induce the much needed happy chemicals like Adrenaline, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins (A Dose). Good friction leads to creating Exclusivity, Meaning, Belonging, Rapport, Assurance, Competence, and Engagement (Embrace).

In a Keynote at FEI 2023, author Soon Yu invites participants to come learn how successful companies are developing new insights into the role of good friction in the design of meaningful brand experiences.

Brand Innovation Expertise

Soon Yu is an international speaker, award winning and best selling author on branding, innovation and design, and Forbes contributor who has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine and New York Times.

His latest book, Friction, challenges businesses to consider adding more friction for their customers and employees in order to create greater engagement, meaning, belonging, rapport, assurance, competence, and exclusivity.

His previous book, Iconic Advantage, challenges businesses, from Fortune 500 to venture-backed startups, to refocus their innovation priorities on building greater iconicity, and offers deeper insights on establishing timeless distinction and relevance.

He most recently served as the Global VP of Innovation and Corporate Officer at VF Corporation, parent organization to over 30 global apparel companies, including The North Face, Vans, Timberland, and Supreme. While at VF, Soon commercialized a $2 billion innovation pipeline, established three global innovation centers, and initiated industry-leading design and innovation best practices.

Prior to this, he worked at The Clorox Company and Chiquita Brands, where he won company-wide awards for best advertising, best promotion and best new product, and gained industry recognition from the Webby Award, Favorite Website Award and Dope Award. He has also been a consultant at Bain and Company, and a founder and CEO for numerous venture-backed startups and was recognized as a Northern California finalist for the prestigious Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.

He is a highly sought-after speaker on leadership, branding, innovation, design and entrepreneurship, and has taught at the Parsons School of Design and often guest lectures at Stanford University (where he received his MBA and is active with the GSB Asian Alumni Association).

See Keynote speaker Soon Yu, best-selling author, Friction and Iconic Advantage, at FEI 2023.

Diving Into Humanity-Centric Innovation

AI is already taking shape around us, augmenting and enhancing our everyday lives. Think self-driving car technology, for example. Still, the very concept of AI can be overwhelming to experts and non-experts alike. How can innovators better humanize data and AI? Better comprehension of such data is one goal in and of itself. In deconstructing the data and insights, ultimately, it aids the understanding of the data, thereby supporting the innovation team and whatever its end goals may be.

Discussion With Pete Dulcamara

Humanity-centric innovation is the idea of solving the biggest problems facing humanity in an economically viable way. Pete Dulcamara, Chief Scientist and Technical Vice President at Kimberly-Clark, is focused on how we as a society can make changes now for a better future for humanity. He recently shared his perspective on how humanity-centric innovation is created. He poses three questions: What are the greatest needs for humanity? What are the business models of the 21st century? What are the exponential technologies that can give you a reason to believe that we can solve those problems?

Humanizing The Data

According to ChatGPT, humanizing data and AI involves making the technology more accessible, understandable, and usable by non-experts. This can be accomplished through designing user interfaces that are intuitive and easy to use, creating natural language processing tools that allow users to interact with machines in a conversational way, and providing visualizations of data that make it easier for people to comprehend complex information. Additionally, humanizing AI requires recognizing ethical considerations such as privacy protection and algorithmic bias.

In a recent article on Forbes on this subject of humanizing the data and AI to create better solutions for humans, it is pointed out that a key goal is to understand the end user. With AI gathering and curating the data, with user consent of course, it is thought that ultimately one will gain more insights, more precisely and efficiently than humans could alone. The Forbes article, “Humanizing AI: A Case For Cognitive Design Thinking And Custom AI,” goes on to point out that AI must anticipate multiple challenges and map consumer touchpoints, and has the advantage of prototyping again and again, scaling its visualizations and customizing its solution with inputs from multiple stakeholders. “The hallmark of a good AI solution is the ability to respond to changing user needs, and AI that can surpass automation to seamlessly blend into users’ everyday lives — and learn from user choices and preferences from an early stage — can enable better ROI and UX,” wrote Sayandeb Banerjee, co-founder and CEO of The Math Company.

All Sights Innovation thought it would be interesting to ask ChatGPT how to humanize AI. The answer it gave points to a possible roadmap for the future:

  1. Use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to provide a more natural and intuitive way for people to interact with AI systems.
  2. Introduce ethical considerations into AI development, such as designing algorithms that are fair, transparent and accountable in their decision-making processes.
  3. Utilize machine learning techniques like reinforcement learning to enable machines to learn from mistakes and adapt over time instead of relying on preprogrammed rules or commands.
  4. Incorporate storytelling elements into the dialogue between humans and AI systems so that the interaction is more engaging and meaningful for both parties involved.
  5. Create personalized experiences by leveraging data about user preferences, history, context etc., which can be used by an AI system to tailor its responses accordingly.

By taking these steps towards developing an ethical framework for AI development, innovation within this field can be accelerated while also enhancing the innovation community’s ability to understand and analyze their valuable data and insights, as well as protecting vulnerable consumers from potential harms caused by automated decision-making processes.

Want to learn more on the “Humanization of data and AI in innovation”? See Nancy Wellott, Digital Innovation and Strategy Leader, Amica Insurance, at FEI 2023

Innovating With Purpose

Measurable Innovation Discussion

Each company has their own KPIs that are important to their specific business in place to progress and be successful. Are people at the forefront of innovation in business? Talent could be the most important KPI. In a recent discussion on measurable innovation, Christian Saclier, Vice President of Design Innovation at PepsiCo, believes that building reliability and trust is what makes innovation thrive. He’s aware of the challenges that can present in 2023, but he’s confident that focusing on what’s most important will bring him through.

Key Takeaways

Going forward, with technology constantly changing how we innovate and go about our daily lives, how can we innovate lifestyle brands with purpose? Five takeaways from ChatGPT include:

  1. Incorporate sustainability into the design and production process: Work with local, sustainable suppliers to reduce your carbon footprint while creating quality products that people can trust.
  2. Create purpose-driven campaigns: Develop campaigns that focus on a specific cause or message to connect customers to something larger than themselves.
  3. Engage in social media marketing: Use social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to promote lifestyle brands with purpose and engage in meaningful conversations about important topics such as environmental issues or social justice initiatives.
  4. Leverage influencers: Partner with influencers who share similar values so they can help spread the message of your brand through their own channels and networks.
  5. Focus on customer experience: Put extra effort into ensuring customer satisfaction by providing excellent service, responding quickly to inquiries, offering rewards for loyalty, etc., which will ultimately build strong relationships with them over time.

FEI Keynote: Innovating Lifestyle Brands with Purpose

Christian Saclier, Vice President of Design Innovation at PepisCo, will deliver one of the keynotes at this year’s Front End of Innovation (FEI) conference. Transforming core portfolio and evolving brands to deliver innovation in a successful organization is a journey, and even more so when you’re dealing with lifestyle brands and products people love. This talk covers elements of design thinking, branding and innovation, and more importantly about purpose. It touches on how can emerging technology transform the lives of people in the food industry and beyond.

Saclier is a multifaceted creative design expert, who currently serves as the Vice President of Design Innovation at PepsiCo. His focus is the operationalizing of innovation through design, leading to added strategic business value across PepsiCo’s global brands and businesses. With over 20 years of experience in multiple industries (pharmaceuticals, food and beverages), Saclier has taken the stage to share his unique cross-functional knowledge at design and innovation conferences all over the globe. A respected guest lecturer at highly ranked MBA and design schools worldwide, Saclier is leveraging and extending his vast knowledge in a variety of future-facing industries.

See Christian Saclier, Vice President of Design Innovation at PepisCo, deliver one of the keynotes at this year’s Front End of Innovation (FEI) conference.

Gaining True Value Through The Right Approach To Incrementality

“To be the best company we can be, we sniff out the future of snacking,” Wolf noted. “We seek out companies that are disruptive, that are the next wow in snacking.” Whether that be through such vehicles as venture capital, entrepreneurship, or investing in start-ups, it needs to add value to people’s lives. This can be through simply delighting the customer to adding more functionality or adding value to the brand. And this can further develop from the core of the brand.

The brand stands for something and then added incrementality serves the brand in a certain way. “Maybe there is an adjacency or connection to the brand,” added Wolf. “Or maybe a certain subset of consumers have been ignored for a while such as healthy oriented consumers.”

These emerging needs give rise to alternative opportunities for innovation. And the further out from your core, each time is incremental, and additive to drive growth. “To keep you and your brand relevant, innovation that’s incremental is what drives growth,” noted Wolf.

The incrementality is an extension of your brand, added Wolf. “From your core to breakthrough innovations, there is a brand purpose, a brand promise. But the connective tissue, the way it comes to life is the way you gain incrementality,” said Wolf, using an Oreo chocolate balls recipe as an example of the incrementality of the brand innovation. One takes usage and creativity and adds to it, using the value of recipes, and turning the core into a different functionality.

Join us for more in person at FEI in May and virtually at FEI Continued in June.

“It’s how to innovate on your core,” said Wolf. “Partnerships, fun things, speak to your core and push the envelope. For example, with Oreo Supremes, Game of Thrones, flavor packaging, Lady GaGa, and so on, it was really different ways to have the brand in the universe of playfulness. It’s not totally disconnected, you have to play in that space, or reason out why are you disruptive.”

Incremental Trade

Incrementality can also play into trade, such as different geographies and different retail channels, whether that’s mainstream grocery stores or vast new networks such as the rise of digital retail and the growth of the metaverse. “It’s like Coke. Oreo. You have to be within arm’s reach. There is incremental trade,” said Wolf.

“As a marketer, living in the digital space, you have to identify how to reach consumers and how to serve them. Collaboration. Logistics. To connect random companies together. Make innovation an incremental breakthrough in an incremental way,” said Wolf.

Wolf added, “If you choose the status quo, the brand will die. Disrupting yourself is what must happen. Be choiceful and specific. It’s not overnight. Keep pulse on your market and see where you are going.”

Some change is through necessity, such as the recent COVID pandemic. There was an acceleration. “We can change that radically too. There is the speed of innovation,” said Wolf.

With the customer changing, brands need to identify how to add value and find solutions. The incrementality comes into play as brands level it up. “How do you know when to cannibalize or disrupt?,” said Wolf. “Timing. Infrastructure. It’s not an easy answer. You have to see a need in the market. Testing the waters, and how to engage.”

Tapping Into the Innovation Talent Pipeline

So what will the future hold for innovation during this shifting talent and hiring landscape? One thing is for sure, innovators and even in-demand talent will have to be flexible in their working environment, as corporations and recruits grapple with addressing new workplace challenges and future of work strategies. No doubt, diversity initiatives will also continue to move forward.

According to ChatGPT, talent recruitment, development, and retention will evolve significantly over the next decade due to changes in technology and the emergence of new trends. Recruitment is likely to become more automated and reliant on artificial intelligence (AI) to identify potential candidates quickly and accurately. Development programs may be personalized using AI-driven learning platforms that can track individual progress with tailored content. Retention efforts are likely to focus on creating a culture of engagement by offering opportunities for growth, leveraging data-driven insights into employee satisfaction, finding ways to make work meaningful, and providing flexibility around job roles. Additionally, employers may need to focus more on remote working solutions as well as diversity initiatives such as unconscious bias training in order to recruit from a broader talent pool while still ensuring equitable hiring practices.

From Burnout To Breakthrough

Throughout the past two-and-a-half years, the approach to innovation has evolved. While common themes have emerged, different organizations have chosen distinct paths. In this recent Innovation Talent Roundtable, FEI Advisory Board Member Navin Kunde and others in the innovation community shared several thoughts, including, “Innovation success is balancing short and long-term mindsets.”

Igniting innovation talent is fraught with danger as, if you’re not careful, it can lead to burnout. Finding innovation talent that fits within a given organization is, to put it simply, challenging. Good innovation talent itself is elusive. Add to the equation that a given person not only needs to have the specific skill set being sought, but that same person must fit with corporate and innovation culture already established. The search is tantamount to finding a needle in the Grand Canyon.

Once that talent is identified and makes it through the gauntlet of sourcing and onboarding, nurturing must occur. That nurture program must be customized and personalized to the talent and consider from where the talent arrived– either internally or externally. And once the team has accepted that new talent, management must provide a perfect balance so as not to achieve either end of the innovation talent spectrum: burnout or boredom.

Key Takeaways

  • Recognizing innovation talent internally throughout the organization and bringing them in to the innovation function.
  • Mining for innovation talent externally in new and different places.
  • Discovering how to nurture innovation talent holistically.
  • Listening to talent to minimize boredom and burnout while enabling breakthroughs.
  • Creating systems/process for innovation management resilience.
  • Discovering key innovation behaviors and the difference between nature vs. nurture.
  • Understanding what leads to innovator burnout, recognizing and mitigating those factors.
  • Discussing keys for success in driving an innovation culture forward.

See LinkedIn’s Sudha Ranganathan at FEI 2023

The pandemic has already changed the world of work significantly. From remote jobs to a greater emphasis on equity in hiring, from the great reshuffle to “quiet quitting,” the last three years have seen seismic shifts in how work works.

This FEI session, “The Future of Work – How talent recruitment, development and retention will evolve over the next decade,” will be held by Sudha Ranganathan, Director Marketing & Talent Solutions, LinkedIn. The presentation will paint a picture of the next decade with an emphasis on notable trends in talent attraction, sourcing, engagement, and retention that will help us move into an even newer world of work. The session will talk about skills and some interesting talent development frameworks to equip us to move into this new world.

See Sudha Ranganathan, Director Marketing & Talent Solutions, LinkedIn, at FEI 2023

Ignite a Culture of Innovation

Building a culture of innovation is no easy task, yet it’s important to give your team a sense of innovation (through definitions, mission statements and so on) that permeates the entire process, as well as the organization as a whole. Through this atmosphere of innovation, true collaboration can take place, with risk taking encouraged, without fear of failure. Empowering your employees is also key to the process. One must embrace a culture of upskilling and adaptation, and take ownership of the innovation process. Take on challenges and encourage creativity. Reward both success and failure. Create a healthy environment that is filled with curiosity. Enhance an atmosphere where team members are willing to challenge, dissent and question one another and the status quo.

Innovation starts with the employees of an organization. As we know, the people that work for a business are some of its greatest assets. In today’s world –now more than ever – there is a struggle with professional burnout, and Volvo’s Mike Hatrick alluded to the word “resilience” as being an important part of today’s world in a recent discussion on innovation culture. Specifically, he states “I think resilience within the job and after the pandemic is absolutely critical.”

Creating the Culture

To extrapolate on the point of intellectual bravery, as author and CEO Timothy Clark puts it, “Encouraging psychological safety isn’t easy; it requires a high level of emotional intelligence and a highly controlled ego. Arguably, a leader’s most important job — perhaps above that of creating a vision and setting strategy — is to nourish a context in which people are given air cover in exchange for candor. That’s how you create a culture of intellectual bravery.” Clark detailed this and other key points about this subject in his article, “To Foster Innovation, Cultivate a Culture of Intellectual Bravery,” in the Harvard Business Review.

So how can you foster a culture of innovation? According to ChatGPT, there are several ways to enhance your team’s sense of innovation, create a climate of intellectual bravery and streamline communication:

  1. Encourage risk-taking and out-of-the box thinking: Create an environment where employees feel comfortable to take risks, express their ideas without fear of criticism, and are encouraged to think outside the box.
  2. Promote collaboration: Foster a culture of collaboration by encouraging teams to work together on projects and brainstorm new ideas.
  3. Celebrate innovation successes: Recognize successful innovations with awards or other forms of recognition for people who have had an impact in the organization’s success through innovative thinking.
  4. Invest in research & development (R&D): Make sure your organization has enough resources dedicated to R&D initiatives so that employees can focus on developing new products or technologies that could potentially be beneficial for your company’s growth and profitability.
  5. Embrace failure as part of the learning process: Don’t punish mistakes but rather use them as learning opportunities so that everyone can learn from them instead of avoiding riskier projects altogether due to fear of failure.

The FEI 2023 (Front End of Innovation) conference will be held May 16-18, in Boston.

Innovation During A Downturn

Belt tightening is the first instinct of many companies entering a recession, often with deep cuts to R&D and innovation budgets. However, history favors those who invest strategically rather than hold back. Vijay Govindarajan and Anup Srivastava note that recessions are typically short-lived relative to the periods of growth and prosperity thereafter.  For example, the OPEC oil embargo recession (1973 to 1975), the energy crisis recession (1981 to 1982), the Gulf War recession (1990 to 1991), the dotcom bust (2000 to 2002), and the Great Recession (2008 to 2009) were each followed by a longer period of growth.

Aspire and Invest

During economically challenging conditions, the development or review of your innovation strategy is critical.  What is your company’s winning aspiration?  How does innovation align with this goal? By working with top management, find ways in which innovation can support the future vision and leapfrog your competitors.

Furthermore, double down on what’s most important. McKinsey reports that organizations that invested strategically in innovation during the 2009 crisis outperformed the market average by 30% and their growth continued to accelerate the following years as well.

Prioritize and Mobilize

Once there is alignment to the company’s north star, ruthlessly review the innovation portfolio.  Remove off-strategy and zombie projects to free up scarce resources for projects that will align to the business trajectory.  In this context, innovation is not an end to itself; it’s a means to an end.

Once the strategic priorities are clear, deploy resources toward the most important work.  Review these priorities regularly, perhaps quarterly, and move resources dynamically as they change.

Sweat Assets and Experiment

There are many seemingly sleepy product categories that boom in a recession with proper investment.  Consider the performance of Arm & Hammer products during the last recession.  In the 2008 downturn, thrifty consumers responded to an uptick in advertising for household cleaners and laundry products which helped deliver double-digit sales gains over more than 12 months. Moreover, Bain & Company reports nine out of 10 companies that successfully renewed themselves found the solution in mining hidden or underutilized assets.

Do you have underutilized assets that could be working harder for you? Ask yourself the following:

  • Can you sell existing technology/service to a new market?   For example, Groupon, launched during the downturn of 2008, introduced many local companies to new consumers via their prepaid coupon platform.
  • Can you sell your offering in a new channel?  Your consumers may channel switch during a recession.
  • Is there new news, a feature or a claim that is more relevant now?  What about adding a value line, smaller packs, price-fixed service?
  • Is it time to accelerate the patent process for a premium technology in preparation for the next upswing? Does your portfolio include patents that could be out-licensed?

Once opportunities have been identified, experiment strategically and measure outcomes. Consider the HOPE framework to guide your planning – hypothesis, objective, prediction, execution plan.

Share Risk and Reward

Finally, consider this:  The 2008 recession was followed by a sharp rise in transformative startups including Dropbox (2008), Uber (2009), Venmo (2009), and WhatsApp (2009), now well-known brands.  All these former startups disrupted their competitive set, forcing established companies to catch up.  By tapping into start up accelerators now, it may be possible to develop partnering relationships that allow you to share the risk and later reward of offering new, transformative offerings to the market.

Fortune Favors the Prepared

Just when your competitors are pulling back spend, investments in innovation of product, process or partnership could maximize opportunities to increase ROI, market share, or efficiencies now or soon. Take full advantage of the turmoil to reflect on your core business and its north star – this might be the right time to move out of the status quo. As history shows, history rewards the bold and fortune favors the prepared.

Thought Starters

Whether you are in R&D, marketing or another innovation role, here are some thought starters to help you develop your ideas about how to plan during a recession.

  • What would I do differently if I thought that a recession was the best thing that could have happened to the business?
  • What are my consumers doing and thinking that’s different now? Is there an opportunity to simplify or offer a lower cost option?
  • Are there products in my pipeline that could be accelerated to leapfrog my competition?
  • Write your future press release:  When the recession is over, what do I want people to say about how the company acted during a downturn?
  • How did we innovate our process, service, or product offerings to protect the business and accelerate recovery?

Celebrating 20 Years of Front End of Innovation

FEI is the annual meeting place for innovation and R&D executives from Fortune 1,000 organizations responsible for making innovation happen. The conference has a proud history of diverse formats, first-look content, and some of the brightest minds including Steve Wozniak, Malcolm Gladwell, A.G. Lafley and many others, providing its audience with a wide variety of perspectives and unrivaled volume of content and event experience.

For more than two decades, FEI: Front End of Innovation has been the premier event where trends are presented before they become commonplace; becoming the annual, trusted meeting place for innovators to train their teams, upskill themselves, and meet the people they need to know to advance their businesses. To identify just a few core topics, from innovation strategy to creativity and culture, to innovation disruption, human centered design, and open innovation, all were foundations of the first conferences and building blocks that remain to this day. Other pillars include leadership principles and business innovation to lean startups and corporate venturing. Looking forward, how to succeed with transformational innovation is also a key topic.

Welcome from FEI Founder

FEI Founder Peter Koen, who has never missed a single FEI to date. At this year’s FEI conference, Koen, Associate Professor and Researcher, Stevens Institute of Technology and FEI Founder, will share a few of his highlights and some of the innovation lessons learnt over the years.

Register for FEI 2023 (Front End of Innovation) May 16-18, in Boston.

Through the lens of his role as Advisory Board Chair, Koen offers a candid look back over the past two decades of FEI, where countless innovation trends have been introduced. As the country’s premiere innovation knowledge and networking event for corporate innovators and R&D executives, FEI: Front End of Innovation has grown to become the premiere platform for how best to engage transformational innovation.

“It’s been an amazing 20-year journey,” says Koen.

Engagement With Koen

Peter Koen is engaged in research directed at optimizing the Front End of Innovation and determining the most effective practices in the Front End. The New Concept Development model, developed with 13 other companies, is being adopted by the industry as a theoretical construct for understanding the front end. Koen is also actively working with Cabot, Dow Corning, Ethicon, ExxonMobil, International Flavors and Fragrances, Rohm and Haas, Valvoline and WelchAllyn under a project funded through the National Science Foundation under the auspices of the Industrial Research Institute to determine the most effective practices in the front end utilized by best in class companies. This work is also determining approaches and organizational structures (i.e. processes, people, strategies, sponsorship, knowledge management, etc.) on how companies manage breakthrough opportunities.

Koen is a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Business. He is currently the director of the Consortium for Corporate Entrepreneurship (CCE), which he founded in 1998, and whose mission is to significantly increase the number, speed and success probability of highly profitable products and services at the “Front End of Innovation,” which is the discovery portion of the innovation process. Current consortium members include 3M, P&G, WL Gore, ExxonMobil and Mondelez.

Click here for more on the commemoration of 20 years of FEI, plus a special interview series with Seth Adler.

Register for FEI 2023 (Front End of Innovation) May 16-18, in Boston.

Striving for Successful Innovation

The Road To Progress

Some innovation experts point to the fact that key to the innovation process is the road to progress. “As an innovator, then, your job is to reframe the product/service-creation process as understanding the progress people want to make and then helping them do that in a more effective, differentiated way than what’s already out there,” writes David Schonthal, Clinical Professor of Strategy, Director of Entrepreneurship, in his article, “What’s the Secret to Successful Innovation?” from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Progress, notes Schonthal, can come in the dimensions of functional, social or emotional aspects. Schonthal further points out that these values enhance the innovation creation process: The functional dimension is about getting something done faster or better. The social component is how a given product makes us appear to others, such as specific brands. The emotional dimension is about how a given purchase makes us feel about ourselves.

By focusing on these functional, social or emotional aspects, and understanding the core beliefs behind the innovation in the first place, it will enhance the innovation creation experience—and contribute to the success of the project. Schonthal further notes, “The secret of successful innovation is focusing more on the progress people seek to achieve than on the product that gets them there. Customers can’t always tell you what they want, but they can most certainly tell you what they are hoping to accomplish.”

Setting Objectives

According to ChatGPT, there are several goals that an innovator, and the entire team, can strive for in their endeavors for their company.

  1. Define Your Goals: Start by clearly defining your innovation goals and objectives, including the desired outcome you’re trying to achieve.
  2. Develop a Strategy: Create an innovation strategy that outlines how you plan to develop, evaluate, and implement ideas to reach your goals.
  3. Establish Processes: Establish processes for idea generation, evaluation of those ideas, implementation of successful ones, and measurement of results so that you can track progress towards your goal over time.
  4. Foster Collaboration: Encourage collaboration among team members throughout the entire process— from ideation through implementation— to ensure everyone’s input is heard and their expertise tapped into as needed.
  5. Embrace Experimentation & Risk-Taking: Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas or take risks in order to push boundaries and come up with more creative solutions for problems at hand; failure often leads to success.
  6. Monitor Progress & Adapt Accordingly: Regularly monitor progress against established metrics so that any necessary adjustments can be made along the way if something isn’t working as expected or there are unexpected obstacles in the path ahead.

Panel: Secrets of Successful Innovation

Innovators will often fail at their innovation attempts but let’s hear stories from successful innovators and hear their lessons learned on what does it take to be a successful innovator. Plus, what metrics do they use when creating or selecting a successful innovation? What are some of your key indicators for successful innovation? What are some of the examples you can share when the success was accelerated?

For this panel discussion at FEI 2023, “Secrets of Successful Innovation,” join Bridgette Wolf, CMO, My Mochi; Tulani Soffin, R&D Director Principal Scientist, Venus/Joy Franchise Products Research, P&G; Cory Sorice, Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, Masonite International Corporation; and Katie Skibinski, Chief Innovation Officer, Planned Parenthood Federation of America.