An Effective Leadership Mindset
An effective leadership mindset uncovers weaknesses in skillset by staying engaged and asking all of the right questions. Too often, business leaders make judgments on less than robust data, resulting in wasted development time and misuse of scarce technical resources. Successful innovators have an effective set of tools they use to both identify and confirm the potential real value of their innovation efforts.
An effective operational toolset
- Is determined by what the team needs/requires to deliver success, as well as the company’s culture that defines how they do it, rather than by specific marketing research methodologies
- Includes analytic tools that deliver market learning, value propositions, and the elements to generate business cases that leadership depends on before allowing the project team to enter the development phase
- Produces broader market information that will lead to the appropriate actions in product launch phase
Approaches and methodologies that allow for the broad, robust, and incisive collection of data are selected. The emphasis is on the need for the broad range of differentiating, reliable, and quality information that builds market insights the competition has not uncovered.
A Powerful Support Toolset
In all cases, a powerful decision support toolset is the solid footing required for strategic and tactical marketplace decisions based on fact. Growth teams and marketers use the analytic lenses within the toolset to discern the path to growth and business success by answering these and other critical questions:
- How important are our product attributes to the market and how do the major competitors (including us) perform against those attributes?
- What benefits (outcomes) do the specifying customers in the market want to achieve, and how do they perceive their primary suppliers performing relative to those outcomes?
- How can we distinguish between what customers say is important and how they actually behave?
- How do these attributes and outcomes vary by different segments of the market or what segments are derived from the different responses to attribute and outcome importance questions?
- How will price changes impact competitive shares and how does that impact differ among the segments defined by attribute and outcome importance?
- How would customers value the new product concept we are considering bringing to the market? What would they be willing to pay for the concept?
- How would customers value new offering features we are considering bringing to the market? How does that value differ among customers?
- What new features would provide us with a ‘blue ocean’ of opportunity?
- How do customers perceive our brand vs. competitive brands?
- What are the underlying structural components and attitudes of the market which define where we need to focus for future growth?
Leaders must change their “mindset” to empower and enable the organizational change; provide the right “skillset” for their teams; and give them the “toolset” required for effective market driven learning. In most cases, the core potential already exists, so there is no need to start over, just remold into a learning organization.
About the Author
Ron Sullivan is a Senior Partner at Breakthrough Marketing Technology. He has worked with many businesses on innovation, new product development processes, strategy, building new business models, channels and distribution, and pricing optimization. He has significant expertise in study design, data analysis, and market intelligence.