From Market-Driven to Market-Driving

Incrementalism is innovation’s worst enemy.

CEOs DEMAND, EXHORT, AND BEG their organizations to innovate. In particular, CEOs stress the value of radical or discontinuous innovation because it helps a company outpace its competition and thus deliver sustained growth. Yet innovation often inches along rather than leaps forward in established firms. Why? Because companies revere the market-driven process that currently dominates business.

Current practice intimates that careful market research of the customers’ needs and creative development of differentiated products or services for a well-defined segment will lead to success. Various strong companies such as Nestlé, P&G, and Unilever effectively employ ...

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