Lead Change from the Top – Part 3 Wrap-Up
In this 3-part series reflecting on my work across universities and organisations, I have discussed the application of Lean / Design thinking, Value Proposition Design and Business Model Design to businesses so that they can stop making the #1 mistake: creating products people don’t want. I’ve also detailed some important research and experimentation tools necessary to inform design.
I have personally facilitated workshops for more than 50 teams, from research institutes and from companies, and I have never seen a team that has not invalidated an assumption and I have never seen a team that has not discovered new information that has formed a new validated assumption. In short, I have never seen a project that has not been de-risked and potential impact enhanced by this process.
Therefore, important questions directors should ask include: Do we use design thinking in our commercialisation process? Is there a value proposition canvas for each project? Have we conducted interviews, or experiments, or both, for our value proposition canvases? Then ask the team to tell you about those stories.
Directors should encourage teams to use design thinking in their commercialisation process. They should encourage teams to use value proposition canvases and business model canvases, and they should encourage teams to conduct interviews and experiments, to understand their target customer more deeply. They should expect that there will be some assumptions validated. There’ll be some assumptions invalidated. However, there will also be new information coming from the interviews and experiments. Expect and be flexible enough for projects to pivot, and expect projects to be killed off. Expect things not to survive the process. The important aspect there is that the learnings are done at a very cheap point in time, where ultimately it’s not going to cost a lot for a project to be killed.
Questions Directors should ask
1. Do we use Lean / Design Thinking in our commercialisation process?
2. Is there a Value Proposition Canvas (VPC) for each project?
– Have we conducted Customer Discovery Interviews for each VPC?
– Have we conducted Customer Discovery Experiments for each VPC?
3. Is there a Business Model Canvas (BMC) for each project?
– Have we conducted Customer Discovery Interviews for each BMC?
– Have we conducted Customer Discovery Experiments for each BMC?
4. What have we validated, invalidated or discovered through our VPC & BMC?
5. Has any project pivoted, or has any project been killed off, tell us about that journey?
Directors should encourage teams to
– Buy a book or two
– Invest in Lean / Design Thinking
– Engage a facilitator to run a series workshops
– Build skills and knowledge