Chapter 6

Process

How You Use Signature or Superior Methods to Do Your Work

Process innovations involve the activities and operations that produce an enterprise’s primary offerings. Innovating here requires a dramatic change from “business as usual” that enables the company to use unique capabilities, function efficiently, adapt quickly, and build market–leading margins. Process innovations often form the core competency of an enterprise, and may include patented or proprietary approaches that yield advantage for years or even decades. Ideally, they are the “special sauce” you use that competitors simply can’t replicate.

“Lean production,” whereby managers reduce waste and cost throughout a system, is one famous example of a Process innovation. Other examples include process standardization, which uses common procedures to reduce cost and complexity, and predictive analytics, which model past performance data to predict future outcomes—helping companies to design, price, and guarantee their offerings accordingly.

A Process innovation must include a methodology or capability that is substantially different from and superior to industry norms. For example, once lean production has become standardized, as it has in many industries, it can no longer be considered an innovation—unless your signature way of using it delivers unmatched efficiency and cost advantage.

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How to spot potential ...

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