During our work with clients we always take time (off the clock) to see the world as they do.

We approach a business condition from a different perspective than our clients, naturally. They’re in it. We’re out here looking at it.

The same thing goes for their customers. They too are outside looking in and at what the company says about itself. Whatever they see, what they hear you say has an effect.

Looking at a product from the perspective of a consumer, then from that of a competitor and from that of a potential partner provides different views of the same opportunity. This is a part of our scenarios planning method.

In a market that is increasingly asked to serve consumers individually and where more personalised solutions are increasingly available, user-centricity is key.

As just one example, let’s consider how people see Tesla cars.

Tax aware, company car owners see them as great financial efficiencies. Greens see them as a good step forward but worry about the global impact of battery production. Family car buyers, like the idea but can’t make the price tag. Drivers of V8 utility vehicles just don’t get it… you get the picture.

We’re pretty sure Tesla has an innovation strategy and it illustrates how much of the complexity involved in forward planning a business is avoided by having one. Not a marketing plan, that attends to the needs of segment, or a sales plan or a capital investment schedule… a discrete and explicit innovation strategy that says what you plan to be, when you will be it, how you will get there and what you will make to sell along the way.

Being explicit makes the marketing, sales and capital plan easier to build and to justify.

Here is a brilliant (but very old) advert. It shows exactly why situations need to be regarded from different angles. Enjoy.

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