Clients want solutions that deliver as many benefits or as much value as possible, typically for the lowest cost (as many of us might often incorrectly believe, although this is a separate issue). Our ability to develop ideal solutions that offer benefits/value over and above those which are currently available elsewhere, may hold the key to winning more work.
This ties in well with our definition of innovation, which is:
‘Implementing new products, services, processes and systems that solve real problems and/or meet the requirements of customers and markets so that additional benefits are delivered above those that can already be realised. It is also applying new and existing technologies in ways that similarly deliver additional benefits’.
For this to happen effectively, it relies upon two key things. Our ability to:
- Really understand our clients, their business, problems, pressures, priorities, future plans etc.
- Generate high volumes of great ideas and concepts on demand that address a given focus based upon our accurate and complete understanding
I don’t suppose there is any real secret as to how to understand clients but in my experience this is rarely done as well as it could or should be. Sadly, people often genuinely believe that they are good at gaining a thorough understanding of clients, whereas the reality is this is often far from the truth.
But what impact does a heightened understanding of clients have on innovation? Hopefully the answer is obvious. If we develop a greater understanding of our clients (over and above that of our competitors) we can take this additional understanding into account when developing solutions. This creates a tremendous and real opportunity to differentiate by providing additional benefits/value over and above the solutions offered by our competitors.
Generating High Volumes of Ideas/Concepts
Innovation requires an ability to generate great ideas/concepts (fact!) and the better we are at being able to do this rapidly and with ease, the greater our innovations are likely to be.
In a recent study, the findings showed that 3 was the average number of concepts explored early in the design stage of projects while 92% of respondents agreed that they would benefit immensely by exploring more design alternatives during concept design (source: trends in concept design – PTC).
In order to generate more ideas/concepts on demand, in high volumes and with ease requires many things to be considered, these include:
- Ensuring we have the time and discipline to do it
- Careful and well-executed individual and group thinking ‘management’
- The removal of any suppressants that limit our ability to generate ideas/concepts (of which there are potentially many)
- The application of systematic tools and processes that enable the generating of ideas/concepts
It is by combining a heightened understanding of clients and an ability to generate high volumes of ideas/concepts that we create a wonderful opportunity to innovate and develop solutions that will deliver additional benefits/value over and above that which can be realised through any other alternative or potential solution.
Surely this will lead to winning more work.