把你的想法轉化為現實

Turn Your Idea into Reality
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史考特.安東尼是創見顧問公司(Innosight)資深合夥人,該公司針對如何進行創新的關鍵早期階段提供建議。

茱莉亞.柯比:嗨,我是《哈佛商業評論》的茱莉亞.柯比。我們今天邀請到史考特.安東尼。他曾擔任創新顧問公司「創見」的執行合夥人,著有《第一英里》。史考特,很高興今天你能過來。

史考特.安東尼:謝謝你邀請我,茱莉亞。

茱莉亞.柯比:所有的經理人現在都已知道,創新是當務之急,但創新仍讓人覺得是不自然的舉動。企業確實尚未弄清楚如何做好創新。你專注在創新流程中的某一點,你認為這個癥結點是很多人無法跨越的。你能解釋一下嗎?

史考特.安東尼:沒問題。這本書的書名已說明一切,第一英里。一個構想的第一英里,就是你邁出寶貴的第一步時,把紙上的東西轉化為現實的那一刻。這對構想來說,是很脆弱的時刻。因為有些東西在紙上看起來很好,但實際上常不是那麼好,你就是不知道該怎麼做。因此,我在書中建議採取的方法,能夠有條不紊地處理策略不確定性,而不確定性正是新構想的特徵之一。

茱莉亞.柯比:擁有傑出構想的人,若要推動構想進入市場,就必須採取很多步驟,把這些步驟做好。你提供一個很棒的口訣:DEFT。他們必須把腦中的想法記下來,然後評估當中的不確定性。他們必須聚焦在關鍵的不確定性,然後測試不同的解決方法。我很喜歡不確定因素在其中的核心角色。你能為我們講解一下嗎?舉個例子,說明一些團隊如何處理不確定性,接受不確定性。

史考特.安東尼:舉例之前我要先說明,這個流程背後的基本想法是,要嘗試使用科學方法,來消除這種策略不確定性。因為現實就是如此。每個構想都有部分正確、部分錯誤。問題在於,你不知道哪個部分正確、哪個部分錯誤。所以你應該盡快學習,開始往成功的方向修正。

書中提到的一個例子,是美敦力公司推出的「全民健康心臟」計畫。他們找出一個非常明顯的問題,值得努力解決。印度罹患心臟病的人數全球第一,但作為美敦力核心產品的心律調節器,銷售額卻相對較低。

印度是個自費市場。這是價值一千美元的產品,很多人負擔不起。很多人甚至不知道自己需要它。你要如何解決這個問題?他們想到一個點子,但接下來你必須想辦法落實這個想法。第一步是進行全面規畫,一定要列出必須做到的所有事情,以便實現那個構想。這很複雜。你必須診斷病患,必須提高病患意識,必須把他們帶到醫院。然後,美敦力做出的轉變,就是推出全球第一個針對植入式醫療裝置的融資計畫。

你列出所有事項,然後開始仔細檢視,進行評估。你說,好吧,其中幾個主要風險是,我們真的可以找到病患嗎?我們可以有效地從大海裡撈針嗎?這是貸款計畫,還是融資計畫,它會成功嗎?然後,你聚焦在那些關鍵的假設,並設計一些實驗和測試,以便快速了解它們。

在美敦力的例子裡,他們最終在印度的三家醫院進行試辦計畫,進行這項業務的小規模版本,以便弄清楚哪些做法有效、哪些無效。一如往常,當他們執行試辦計畫之後,構想就改變了。

在紙上看起來不錯的東西、在理論上有效的試算表,在現實中卻不太有效。目前,這項計畫蓬勃發展,已擴展到全印度,現在是美敦力在新興市場上許多行動的基石。因為美敦力很聰明地因應那個構想背後的不確定性。

茱莉亞.柯比:你提到了科學方法。這似乎是你處理這個問題的基本方式。你還提出所謂的「實驗食譜」,這也是科學方法的一部分嗎?

史考特.安東尼:沒錯。實驗食譜是14個具體的實驗,可用來挑選關鍵假設。美敦力所做的是其中一個實驗。他們進行了營運試行計畫,這基本上就是在執行小規模的某項業務。但你還可以做很多其他事情,以了解你的關鍵假設。

書中我最喜歡的一個例子,就是執行思想實驗。這是有趣的小型個案研究。幾年前,麥當勞考慮在美國推出有蝦的沙拉。它符合消費者口味偏好,顧客也說很喜歡它,人們想要更健康的食物。一切看起來都很好。

然後團隊中的某人說,如果我們成功了會如何?如果這個產品在全美引發熱潮會如何?我們需要多少蝦?世界上蝦的供應量是多少?結果是,麥當勞將幾乎壟斷蝦市場,推高了成本。這是行不通的。這是發生在某人頭腦中的實驗。它可以這麼簡單。但你想弄清楚的是,我不知道什麼,以及讓我更了解它的最快方法是什麼?

茱莉亞.柯比:你已經制定了推出構想的手冊,可讓一般員工和潛在創新者使用,這些基層人員試圖讓某些構想獲得支持。你有哪些建議,可提供給組織較高層級或最高領導階層?他們可以做些什麼,讓公司更能促成員工推出傑出的構想?

史考特.安東尼:我要用一個詞來回答這個問題,那就是「好奇心」。你若是檢視有關創新者為何表現優異的研究,就會發現很多不同的說法。但我認為,真正的原因在於基本的好奇心。你想知道什麼有效、什麼無效。你想嘗試一些事情。你想探索事物。如果你是領導人,希望讓自己的組織更能夠促進這種工作,你就必須問:我要如何提高組織的好奇心?這看起來會是如何?在我看來,具備好奇心的組織有四個要素。

第一,他們把顧客看成人,而不是事實、數字、市場區隔。他們是真實的人。第二,就像我們之前討論的,他們在市場上打造策略。他們願意去嘗試一些事情,即使不是全都行得通。第三,他們熱愛學習。麗塔.麥奎斯教導我們,每當你做一件事,就會有兩件好事會發生。其一是你在商業上的成功。其二是你可以學到一些東西,為下一次的商業成功做好準備。

許多傑出的構想源自失敗的專案。有好奇心的組織,喜歡從其他組織所謂的失敗中學習。第三,有好奇心的組織處於十字路口,這裡正是傑出構想的來源,不同的心態和不同的技能在此碰撞。有好奇心的組織會引進來自不同背景的思維,讓員工接觸不同的產業,讓神奇的事情發生。

茱莉亞.柯比:史考特,《第一英里》有很多很好的建議。恭喜你出書,非常感謝你今天來分享你的想法。

(劉純佑譯)


Julia Kirby: Hi I'm Julia Kirby with Harvard Business Review. In the studio today, we have Scott Anthony. He's managing partner at InnoSight, the innovation consultancy. He's got a new book. It's called the First Mile: A Launch Manual for Getting Great Ideas into the Market. Scott, thanks for being here today.

Scott Anthony: Thanks for having me, Julia.

Julia Kirby: So all managers these days know that innovation is the imperative, and yet it feels like it's such an unnatural act still. Companies really haven't figured out how to do it well. You're focusing on a particular point in the process that you think is really the sticking point that a lot of people can't get past. Can you explain that?

Scott Anthony: Absolutely. So the title of the book says it all -- the first mile. And the first mile for an idea is when you take that precious step -- when you go from something on paper and begin to turn it into reality. And this is a very fragile moment for an idea. Because something that looks really good on paper often isn't good, and you just don't know exactly how. So what I try to suggest in the book is a way to be structured enough about how you approach the strategic uncertainty that always characterizes a new idea.

Julia Kirby: So someone with a great idea that they want to get out into the market, they have to take a lot of steps here and do them right. You have this great mnemonic, it's DEFT. They need to document the idea that they have in mind. They have to then evaluate the uncertainties that are involved in that. They need to focus on the key uncertainties, and then test various solution approaches. I love that really central role that uncertainties play in that. Can you bring that to life for us a little bit? Give us an example of how some team dealt with uncertainties and came to terms with them.

Scott Anthony: So the basic idea behind the process -- before I give the example -- is to say, let's try to use the scientific method to try to knock off that strategic uncertainty. Because here's the reality. Every idea is partially right and partially wrong. The problem is, you don't know what part is right and what part is wrong. So you want to learn as quickly as you can and begin to course correct towards success.

So one example that's described in the book is a program that Medtronic launched called Healthy Heart for All. They identified a very clear problem worth working on. More heart disease in India than any country in the world, yet the pacemaker product that is the bread and butter of Medtronic had relatively low sales.

India is an out-of-pocket pay market. It’s a $1,000 product. Many people couldn't afford it. Many people didn't even know they needed it. How do you crack that? They came up with an idea. But then you’ve got to figure out how you take that idea and turn it into reality. It starts by mapping out comprehensively, making sure that you spell out all the things that have to happen in order for the idea to come to life. This was complicated. You had to diagnose patients, you had to raise awareness among patients, you had to bring them to hospitals. And then the twist that Medtronic had was the world's first financing program for an implantable medical device.

So you’ve got that all spelled out. You then begin to pick it apart. You evaluated it. You say, Ok, a couple of the key risks are -- Can we really find patients? Can we effectively go and find the proverbial needle in the haystack? Is the loan program, is the financing program, is it going to work? You then go and focus on those key assumptions and design experiment, design tests so you can quickly learn around them.

In Medtronic's case, they ended up running pilot in three hospitals in India, a small-scale version of the business so they could figure out what worked and what didn't. As is always the case, as they executed those pilots, the idea changed.

Things that looked good on paper, spreadsheets that all worked in theory, didn't turn out quite to work in reality. Today, the program is booming. It spread all throughout India and now it's the cornerstone of many of Medtronic's efforts in emerging markets. Because Medtronic was very smart about how it managed the uncertainty behind that idea.

Julia Kirby: You mentioned the scientific method. It's sort of fundamental to the way that you approach this. You also have something called the Experiment Cookbook. Is that part of that scientific method?

Scott Anthony: Absolutely. The Experiment Cookbook is 14 specific experiments that you can run to pick off key assumptions. So Medtronic shows one of them. They ran an operational pilot, which is essentially running a small-scale version of a business. But there are a lot of other things you can do to learn around your key assumptions.

One of my favorite ones in the book is running a thought experiment. It's a fun little case study. A few years ago, McDonald's was thinking about introducing a salad in the United States that had shrimp in it. It fit taste profiles, the customer said they loved it, people wanted healthier foods. Everything looked good.

Someone on the team then said, what if we succeed? What if this actually goes all throughout the United States? How much shrimp would we need? What is the world's supply of shrimp? It turns out McDonald's would pretty much have cornered the market on shrimp, pushing the cost up. And it wouldn't have worked. This was an experiment that took place in someone's head. It can be as simple as that. But what you want to figure out is, what don't I know and what is the quickest way for me to learn more about it?

Julia Kirby: You've created a launch manual that’s really for the rank and file, the would-be innovator that’s sitting in the corporate ranks trying to get something to get traction. What's your advice for the higher level in the organization, the top leadership? What could they be doing to make the corporation more conducive to getting great ideas launched?

Scott Anthony: I'll use one word to answer this, and the word is curiosity. If you look at studies about what makes innovators great, there's lots of different ways to describe it. But in my mind, what it really comes down to is a fundamental curiosity. You want to see what works and what doesn't. You want to try things. You want to explore things. So if you're a leader trying to make your organization more conducive to this work, you have to ask -- how do I make my organization more curious? What does that look like? In my mind there are four components to the curious organization.

The first is, they view their customers as human beings. They’re not facts and figures and segments. They're real people. The second thing is, just like we discussed before, they forged their strategy in the marketplace. They're willing to go try things out, even if not all of them work. The third thing you see is they love learning. Whenever you do something, Rita McGrath teaches us, two good things can happen. One is you have a commercial success. The second is you can learn something that sets you up for the next commercial success.

Many great ideas come out of failed projects. Organizations that are curious love learning from what other organizations would call failures. Finally, a curious organization lives at the intersections. That's where great ideas come from, where different mindsets and different skills collide. A curious organization brings in thinking from different contexts, exposes its people to different industries so they can make that magic happen.

Julia Kirby: Scott, The First Mile is full of great advice. Congratulations on the book. Thanks so much for being here to share your thoughts today.



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