Innovation Junkies Podcast

BONUS: The Power of Innovation Junkie

The Jeffs reflect on specific ways Innovation Junkie has helped clients. They share how to stay in line with more advanced companies, why organizations should harvest their intellectual property & commercialize it, and what clients can expect from Innovation Junkie in the future.

Jeff Standridge (Intro):
This is Jeff Standridge, and this is the Innovation Junkies podcast. If you want to drastically improve your business, learn proven growth strategies, and generate sustained results for your organization, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the Innovation Junkies podcast.

Jeff Standridge:
Hey guys, Jeff Standridge here. And welcome to another bonus episode of the Innovation Junkies podcast. How we doing, Jeff?

Jeff Amerine:
Doing great. Glad to be here. Happy to talk about all the great stuff that’s going on over.

Jeff Standridge:
Yeah. So, in this bonus episode, we’re talking about some of the more significant ways that we’ve helped some of our clients over the course of 2021, some of the things that we’ve seen there. And why don’t you take the first step, tell us about a specific case study. We’re not mentioning names, we’re just talking about situations and scenarios, to maybe give our listeners a glimpse of some of the things that they can come to expect with Innovation Junkie.

Jeff Amerine:
Yeah, absolutely. So, as I’ll give you one in particular, to kind of get us kicked off. So we’ve got a good-sized financial services company that we deal with, that is very interested in figuring out how to stay in line, and stay up with some of the more advanced Fintechs, financial technology companies that are out there. And they’ve had a longer history, and have been more of a stayed financial institution. So, part of what we did, part of our work there was how do we begin to infuse some of the tools and techniques associated with Lean Startup methodology and with customer discovery, in a group of change agents within the organization, that can then evangelize things like the Lean Canvas, the Lean Startup methodology, and good customer discovery practices, into a larger population of the institution. And so we went through this process of what we called fundamental, sort of startup training, but it was fundamental innovation training.
And as part of that, we really worked on the fundamentals of Lean Canvas, and how that worked. We had them all pick specific problems that they were looking to resolve within the organization, that would have economic impact and consequence. And they went through on project teams, completing a Lean Canvas, and in doing internal and external customer discovery, customer discovery being defined is asking good open-ended questions, trying to learn, and not going into a situation with confirmation bias, where you’re too heavily wedded to a particular solution.
And I think that it was kind of fundamental, and a eye-opening for many of these people that weren’t already in the technology part of the organization. They learned some new tools and techniques, and it put them on a path where they now have in their toolkit, to sort of think like a startup using Lean Canvas and customer discovery, for every new project they would look to run in the future. And it’s just, this sort of fantastic way of taking scientific method that we all learned early in our academic careers, and applying it to how to start a new project that solves a problem that will be important for that business, either a new line of business or a new internal product or service, that will help drive in increased efficiency. But that’s just one example.

Jeff Standridge:
Very good. I’m going to talk more categorically, in terms of a category of companies that we’ve worked with. We’ve perfected our strategic growth diagnostic this year, which is a way to go in, and help come companies look at the six major components of strategic growth, those competency domains within their organization, to look at over 90 best practices, to see how their company’s performing. But also, what that strategic growth diagnostic does, is it helps to predict the potential financial return for taking very specific actions to grow their business more strategically. And, we’ve worked with a number of companies over the course of the last… Let’s call it 18 months, that everything from healthcare organizations, to technology organizations, to technology-enabled companies, where we help them conduct the strategic growth diagnostic. We helped them then step back and look at the output of that, to quantify potential improvements in each of those areas. And then we helped them put together a multiyear plan, a strategic growth plan, to help them figure out what are the things that have the great… What are the greatest levers within their organization, to drive top-line growth, to drive bottom-line net income, to improve cash, in order to put their position, or their company in the best possible position for success.
I had one company, the CEO tell me, you’ve helped us move further, in the last several months, then we’ve moved as an organization in the last 10 years. And, we’ve had others who’ve said, we’ve grown incrementally over the course of the last 10 years, and we now have a plan to grow by 1000%, that would be 10 times or what we call 10X growth. We now have a plan to do that in the next three to five.
So, those are the kinds of experiences that we’re seeing, when we sit down with some of our customers, regardless of the industry. Healthcare, technology, tech-enabled, even some main street businesses, and some services companies, that we’ve helped step back, do the diagnostic, look for very specific surgical interventions to do in their business, and then to put a plan around how to extract the maximum value out of those interventions. So, very excited about continuing to do that in 2022, and beyond.

Jeff Amerine:
And that diagnostic tool has proved to be really instrumental, in making sure that there’s a clear understanding of the current state of their business, through those six planes of evaluation in a way that it kind of shines the mirror. It turns the mirror on them, and shines the light on those things. And it’s not something where we’re coming in as an outside evaluator, it’s really them responding to a set of a pretty well-vetted questions, across categories that really matter.

Jeff Standridge:
And they’re doing it with their entire leadership team, and sometimes the next level beyond the leadership team. So there’s general leadership consensus among the team, in the actions that need to be taken, and the potential return, financial return of those actions. So, other examples you have Jeff?

Jeff Amerine:
Yeah. I mean, there’s a couple more. And one that we kind of set the foundation for large healthcare institution that we’re working with, that’s really interested in harvesting their intellectual property, and figuring out how to commercialize it. Where it makes sense to have a greater impact on patient outcomes and whatnot, and we began to set the stage for creating a venture studio, that will be attached to this organization, a venture studio different than an accelerator, in context, in that the whole goal is to evaluate and harvest ideas and inventions at the earliest possible point, and to kill off as many of those as you can, so you’re efficient with resources. And then to move forward with attracting and recruiting really good management teams with a diverse set of skills, that can move some of these things forward, so that you can ultimately have this… It’s more than incubation, but this creation of new ventures, based on solid embedded intellectual property, with good management teams that can really make a difference for patient outcomes.
So, we set the foundation for that in 2021. We’re going to actually implement that in 2022. But it’s the kind of thing that will work great for a large organization that really wants to have a vehicle for commercialization, and for the creation of new spin-out companies.

Jeff Standridge:
Yeah. And those companies aren’t generating more idea, or that company isn’t generating more ideas, than they were previously generating. Those ideas existed, they just didn’t have an avenue or a forum to actually cultivate the actual creation of intellectual property around it, and then a plan to actually commercialize.
I’ve got two more, and then we’ll wrap this up. Two companies, very similar in size, one in the healthcare space, one in the technology space. One of them was looking at acquisition, the other one was looking at being acquired, particularly being invested in by a private equity firm. And neither of the organizations really had done that before, and really didn’t know how to go about, whether it was an acquisition, or an investment into them. They were acquiring another company for one or were being acquired via private equity for another. And helping them just sit down, their CEOs, sit down and think about those opportunities, and what were the pros and cons? And, where would they get the greatest benefit? And how could they move forward in the best manner possible, in order to generate the greatest benefit?
And in both instances, they ended up with positive outcomes, being able to retain folks within the acquired organization for the one, or the organization that was taking on a very large private equity investment, being able to retain their working staff and to really frame both of those in a way, that had a cogent plan for execution built around them, so that they could extract the maximum degree of success. So, very excited about the strategic growth, the innovation, the leadership, and executive development, things that we’re doing with some of these mid-sized and larger companies, to help them extract maximum value out of what they do.

Jeff Amerine:
Yeah. It’s a lot of fun. I feel like, we’re maybe a small part or Catholic part in helping some of these good organizations go from good to great, to use Clayton, Christensen’s title there. I mean, I think it’s something that we take a lot of satisfaction in, and we’re always eager to take on new clients in that regard.

Jeff Standridge:
Good stuff. Thanks for sharing with me, Jeff.

Jeff Amerine:
Yeah, you too.

Jeff Standridge:
All right. This has been another bonus episode of the Innovation Junkies podcast. See you next time.

Jeff Amerine:
See you next time.

Jeff Amerine (Outro):
Hey folks, this is Jeff Amerine, and we want to thank you for tuning in. We sincerely appreciate your time. If you’re enjoying the Innovation Junkies podcast, please do us a huge favor. Click the subscribe button right now. Please leave us a review, it would mean the world to both of us. And don’t forget to share us on social media.

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