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Picking the Winning Innovation

Has your company ever had multiple innovations, but resources to develop just one? How can you pick the right innovation and avoid wasting time and money on the others? The latest issue of Harvard Business School Working Knowledge runs a reprint of a Strategy and Innovation newsletter article that which offers three diagnostics for winning innovation.

The first diagnostic, according to the piece, is the customer diagnostic, which identifies overserved customers or unsatisfied non-customers. You should kill the innovation that invests in products customers already find more than what they need and pick the one that satisfies unmet needs, the newsletter says.

The second one is the portfolio diagnostic, which looks at whether the innovation can be turned into a business model that provides customers with value. And the last diagnostic is the competitor diagnostic, which looks at rivals’ weaknesses and blind spots and fills the void.

These three diagnostics are helpful for individuals as well as companies. Have you ever had trouble juggling multiple projects? Ever wondered which proposal to adopt given limited resources? Try applying these three diagnostics.

Customer: Why am I doing this? What am I getting at? Portfolio: Which one of my projects or proposals helps me to get what I want? And how? Competitor: What are similar projects that are in the works? Anything new that I can bring to the table?

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