Changing the Game: Innovation beyond products

September 1, 2020 at Lisbon, Portugal

We live in an incredible time.  More change in the next 10 years than in the last 250 years. New technologies transforming the ways in which we live and work.

Yet many products are still seem as commodities – or generics as we call them in healthcare. When products are equal, then it is easy to think the only way to differentiate is by reducing the price. But we all know that this is a game of diminishing returns.

We need a different mindset.

There are so many more ways to “change the game” than to simply play on price. Look at most of today’s disruptive innovators across every different sector – food and drink to fashion, cosmetics to entertainment, finance to travel – they don’t actually create new products, but they do innovate in so many other ways.

Consider some example, basic products that become so much more:

  • Renova – Portugal’s toilet paper is the most colourful in the world. Why does everybody else make white paper, when it could be so much more?
  • Evian – water is the ultimate commodity, but brands add value through packaging, convenience, services, gamification, and much more.
  • Arla – Europe’s largest milk dairy recognised that its milk products could be so much more, segmenting audiences and adding value around specific needs.
  • Juan Valdez – Colombia’s coffee growers earnt around 2c for each cup of coffee, selling their beans to brands. Now they earn 150% more, with their own brands
  • Zespri – New Zealand’s farmers grew more Chinese gooseberries than anyone else, but sold them cheap, but then rebranded their product as the “Kiwi Fruit”
  • Cemex – the world’s largest cement company reframes itself as a builder of cities, communities and infrastructures, adding value through global services.
  • Syngenta – fertilizer is certainly seen as a commodity, but Syngenta’s brands are segmented by need, plus services and mobile apps to enhance forming

These are just a few stories. There are so many more ways to “change the game”, to add value far beyond the product, and avoid diminishing cycle of price.

Smarter innovation, faster growth

The best opportunities for business – to find new growth, to engage consumers more deeply, to stand out from the crowd, to improve their profitability – is by seizing the opportunities of changing markets. The best way to seize these changes is by innovating – not just innovating the product or service, the customer experience or business model – but by shaping the market in your vision – the “who, why, what and where”.

In a digitally-fuelled world, the most successful brand innovators embrace “ideas and networks”  to drive exponential impact – like WhatsApp creating $19bn in three years, Airbnb $40bn in 9 years, Alibaba $476bn in 18 years, Amazon $740bn in 23 days.

In healthcare, look to the disruptions of the likes of 23andMe’s DNA profiling and PatientsLikeMe, Editas’ gene editing through to Infervision’s AI diagnostics, AliveCor’s realtime tracking and Organova’s 3D printed organs. Simple solutions by thinking differently work too, like Narayana Hospitals in India or Aravind Eyecare.

Innovators start from the future back, making sense of change, seeing the new patterns and possibilities, innovation pervades everything they do, rethinking the way the business and the market work, engaging consumers in a world of noise and distrust, to create new value and accelerate new growth.

By starting from the outside world, by looking at other sectors, we create a mindset for change – to believe it is possible, to explore the many ways to add value, and to start the creative journey of being more.

The keynote is 90 minutes, learning from other sectors and applying the ideas to healthcare, ready for participants to work on them in following sessions. It includes a small number of Fast Thinking interactive sessions to kick-start the new mindset.

Summary of keynote

World Changing : Exploring the opportunities of a changing world

  • Relentless change brings new challenges and opportunities
  • New consumers with new dreams and new expectations
  • Applying technology in smarter, human and more distinctive ways
  • Thinking bigger to solve problems, 10x not 10%
  • Fast Thinking: So where are the biggest opportunities for us?

Game Changing : Inspired by other sectors to change the game 

  • The world’s 100 most innovative brands, shaking up the world right now
  • Amazon to Glossier, Nespresso and Tesla, Jio and Maituan Dianping
  • How can you make unusual connections – the power of copy, adapt, paste
  • Being more audacious, networked, collaborative, and intelligent
  • Fast Thinking: What can we learn from them? How could we change our game?

Leading Change: Getting started on the journey to be more

  • Starting from the future back, then delivering practically now forwards
  • Working from the outside in, finding a bigger purpose, more relevance and value
  • Delivering experiences that enable doctors and patients to achieve more
  • Harnessing the power of people, connected through brand communities
  • What will you do? Time to be bold, brave and brilliant
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