“New Boxers” and The Secret To Designing Lucrative Innovation
Elon Musk. Seth Godin. Steve Jobs. Ever heard of those folks? How about Julia Hartz, Alexa von Tobel or Tony Fadell? Do you admire them, or like me, do you sometimes think, “How in the world do they come up with such wonderful ideas, turning them into game-changing products and services?”
Asked a different way, why do these icons consistently think through completely different boxes – maybe on different planes? – causing worshipping masses to remark, “Amazing! How do they do it? Man, I sure wish I could think like that!”
Finally, there are answers.
As you make your way through the list below, you will discover THE Secret to designing, developing and delivering lucrative innovation.
5. Reading. Wait, you might be thinking. That’s all it takes? Of course not. That’s why there’s four other reasons ranked ahead of this one. However, every great “new box” thinker is first a great guzzler of “profound knowledge,” as Dr. Deming would say. Sadly, though, the harsh truth is that some people just don’t have enough horsepower to grasp key intangibles like creativity, especially the breakthrough kind. Please remember that negative self-talk is the great destroyer of possibility.
4. See what others miss. “New Boxers” (cool moniker, right?) determine how their collective experience applies to a particular problem, seeing challenges through a unique lens that others can’t even dream of. As you’ve probably guessed, their lens is influenced by what they read (and watch), which in turn forms a belief system far different and more powerful than others.
3. Hopelessly curious. The New Boxer simply can’t help it – it’s just who they are. They question everything and anything, loathing the seven most destructive words in business: “We have always done it that way.” In fact, the antithesis of curiosity is runaway ego and narcissism – “not invented here” – and that is not who New Boxers are. Ethnographers at heart, New Boxers are highly inquisitive, constantly searching for new truths that benefit humanity.
2. Treasure. Finally, the real secret you’ve patiently waited for. New Boxers possess the one treasure that most people, especially senior leaders, do not possess: TIME. With time comes peace, and with peace comes uncommon clarity. Combined with 3-5 above, a lethal innovation lens (for competitors) is forged. But time is only part of the answer.
1. How “treasure” is used. New Boxers get the hell away from everything – yes, often on company time – and begin to read, contemplate, question, ideate, collaborate, and formulate. In short, they spend more time with the problem, just like Albert Einstein prescribed a century ago. A funny thing happens when this list is actually lived: The UNspoken need becomes clearer, causing a plethora of possibilities and potential new truths. Welcome to Demand Creation nirvana, and kiss traditional (low-ROI) selling and marketing goodbye.
NOTE: If you’d like to learn more about how New Boxers design lucrative innovation, please refer to Chapters 13 and 14 in Clean Slate, now available on Amazon.