Discoveries Newsletter

Volume 9, #6, November 2011
The Not-So-Obvious Truth About Innovation
by Sheila Mello

A major research firm's study supports what we've been saying all along: just pouring more money into R&D doesn't yield results. Strategic alignment and a culture that supports innovation are key.

Volume 9, #5, August 2011
Substitute Alignment for Standardization for More Relevant Measurement
by Wayne Mackey and Sheila Mello

Many professionals see metrics as a necessary evil—something put in place because someone says they should be put in place—rather than what they ought to be, which is an integrated tool for improving business performance. How do you make the shift from evil medicine to valuable tool?

Volume 9, #4, June 2011
Three Essentials for Stepping Into a New Market
by Sheila Mello

A sudden storm, dense underbrush that obscures the trail, the unexpected appearance of large wildlife--any of these can turn a carefree outing into a fight for survival.

Volume 9, #3, May 2011
What gets in the way of finding out what ails your customers?
by Sheila Mello

A friend's seventh-grade son (let's call him Rob) was stumped for weeks by his school's annual "Invention Fair." The fair organizers did a great job of attempting to foster creativity among the you

Volume 9, #2, March 2011
Ditch the justifications and immunize your company against lost opportunity
by Sheila Mello

Over the years I have helped scores of companies develop rigorous voice-of-the-customer programs so they can understand at a deep level what stands in the way of their customers' success and define

Volume 9, #1, January 2011
How tasty pizza and smelly diesel figure into your work as a product developer
by Sheila Mello

We talk a lot about "creating value for the customer" when designing and developing products.

Volume 8, #9, December 2010
Innovation and the Fear Factor
by Sheila Mello

When creating products, a short-term focus only works for so long; tweaking existing market winners and responding incrementally to customer needs is not a recipe for long-term success. Fear of investing in ideas that might fail consigns you perpetually to also-ran status.

Volume 8, #8, November 2010
5 Steps to Banish the Bogeyman
by Sheila Mello

"Scary and unpredictable" is fine for Halloween eve, but not so great for business. These five product development imperatives can help you clearly see what dangers may lurk in the night.

Volume 8, #7, September 2010
Three Common Metrics Missteps―and Where to Step Instead
by Wayne Mackey

You've probably heard the statement, "You can't manage what you can't measure." Unfortunately, many companies approach metrics in a well-intentioned but counterproductive way. Here we describe three common metrics missteps and explain why they are problematic.

Volume 8, #6, August 2010
How to Get to Know Your Customers... Before It's Too Late
by Sheila Mello

The biggest risk to your company right now probably isn't bankruptcy. But losing market share to competitors or being blindsided by other companies doing a better job of capturing their customers' emotions and experiences... those scenarios can become your motivation to take action long before your company runs out of cash and time.

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