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善于创新的公司都有这五大特质

Michael Miebach 2019年11月22日

创新领袖的工作重点不在于推出他们认为消费者想要的产品,而是满足消费者未被满足的需求。


图片来源:Compassionate Eye Foundation/DigitalVision/Getty Images
 

你长大后想干什么?最近有人问我这个问题,回答起来比我想象中要难。七岁的时候,很容易就能够想到一个答案——那时你的邻居街坊就是整个世界,人行道是世界里唯一的高速公路。但是作为一个成年人呢?故事截然不同。

我小时候在德国长大,那时我想成为一名飞行员,探索阿尔卑斯山以外的生活。但随着我们长大,地平线似乎变近了,我们的选择却好像没有那么清楚了。由于找不到更好的词,我只能说,我们的答案变得模糊不清。

很多公司都面临着同样的困境。在这个瞬息万变、竞争日益激烈的世界,你如何定义理想的公司?接下来的问题是:你要怎么实现这个目标?答案很简单,那就是创新。但创新到底是什么意思呢?它对企业高管的意义和对目标客户的意义是否相同呢?

我的公司万事达卡(Mastercard)想要找到答案。因此,我们与《哈佛商业评论》(Harvard Business Review)合作,调查一流企业高管的意见,汇编成报告,这份报告于11月5日发表,名为《成为2020》(Become 2020)。报告中还提出了新的商业创新者指数(Business Innovators Index),该指数探索了创新领袖与同行之间的关键区别。

我们发现了什么?首先,大多数组织都明白创新对于经济成功至关重要。更重要的是,近一半的消费者认为这是他们作出购买决定时优先考虑的事项。

然而,根据我们的研究,只有17%的组织有资格称为创新领袖。

我们发现,脱颖而出的创新领袖有五个普遍特征:行动速度、数据驱动型决策、领导层对创新的重视、创业文化以及对客户的持续关注。

这里的关键词是普遍——不仅因为这些特征是创新领袖最突出的特征,而且因为这些特征是常识。问问你最喜欢的企业高管或天真的实习生,什么对一家成功的企业最重要,他们可能会给出同样的答案。

那为什么只有17%呢?因为这些知识并不总是能转化为行动。创新领袖之所以罕见,因为执行起来很困难。顾客对创新的期待度与日俱增。正如加拿大国家银行(National Bank of Canada)的信用卡和支付解决方案副总裁加布里埃尔?库诺耶尔在研究中告诉我们的那样:“掌握节奏的不再是我们,而是我们的消费者。”

接受调查的高管中有三分之二都认为客户对新技术的期待值增加是最重要的趋势,对他们的客户体验策略产生影响。

创新领袖的工作重点不在于推出他们认为消费者想要的产品,而是满足消费者未被满足的需求。在我们的调查中,72%的高管强烈同意消费者内在需求是创新的载体。这意味着公司需要更好的方法、工具和数据来定量、定性地了解消费者。

我们的报告揭示了一个问题,发现了某种“脱节”:认为创新是他们购买产品和服务首要指标的消费者人数是符合创新领袖标准的公司的两倍。

当然,创新复杂、昂贵、有风险,而且牵涉到大量的利益相关者。但我们发现,创新领袖采用了多种方式战胜了这些挑战。他们不依赖直觉或零零碎碎的改进。他们野心勃勃,敢于冒险——我们发现,超过40%的创新领袖优先考虑那些雄心勃勃、具有探索性和开创性的项目,即所谓的“登月计划”。但他们同时又深思熟虑,有条不紊。

这类公司还支持这样一种文化:通过对一系列的想法进行广泛尝试来拥抱失败,衡量哪些是可行的,消灭那些不可行的,奖励那些敢于冒险的人。

那么我长大后想当什么呢?作为一个成年人,我意识到这个问题并不是最吸引我的。令人激动的是旅途本身以及你在旅途中所做的选择。你准备开多快?去往哪个方向?当生活抛给你一个难题时,你将如何应对?商业创新就和生活一样,相比起目的地,旅程本身给人带来的兴奋感要强烈得多。(财富中文网)

迈克尔·米巴赫是万事达卡(Mastercard)的首席产品和创新官。

译者:Agatha

What do you want to become when you grow up? Someone asked me this question recently and it was harder to answer than I expected. It’s easy to think of a response when you’re seven years old—when the world is your neighborhood and the sidewalk is your only highway. But as an adult? A different story.

When I was a kid growing up in Germany, I wanted to become a pilot and explore life beyond the Alps. But as we grow up and the horizon seems closer, our options seem less clear. Our answers become, for lack of a better word, blurry.

So many companies face these same struggles. How do you define what you want to become in a world that’s changing so rapidly, with competition ever fiercer? And then: How do you actually become it? The simple answer is innovation. But what does that even mean, and does it mean the same thing inside the C-suite as it does to the customers their businesses serve?

My company, Mastercard, wanted answers. So we partnered with the Harvard Business Review to ask leading executives what they thought and compiled them in a report published on November 5, called “Become 2020.” In it, you’ll also find our new Business Innovators Index, which explores key differentiators that separate leading innovators from their peers.

What did we find? First, that most organizations understand the importance of innovation for financial success. What’s more, nearly half of consumers consider it a high priority in their purchasing decisions.

Yet only 17% of organizations qualify as innovation leaders, according to our research.

We found that there are five common traits that distinguish innovation leaders from everyone else: speed to action, data-driven decision making, a commitment to innovation by leadership, an entrepreneurial culture, and a relentless focus on the customer.

The key word here is common—not just because the traits were the most prominent among innovation leaders, but also because these attributes are common knowledge. Ask your favorite business executive or wide-eyed intern what’s most important for a successful business and they’ll likely respond the same way.

Why 17% then? Because that knowledge doesn’t always translate to action. Innovation leaders are rare because execution is difficult. Customers increasingly expect it. As Gabrielle Cournoyer, vice president of cards and payment solutions for National Bank of Canada, told us in the study: “We don’t set the pace anymore. Our consumers set the pace.”

Two-thirds of the business executives we surveyed see increased customer expectations for new technologies as the top trend impacting their customer experience strategies.

Innovation leaders focus less on releasing products they think consumers want and more on meeting unmet consumer needs. Most of the executives in our survey—72%—strongly agree that consumer insight is a vehicle for innovation. That means companies need better methods, tools, and data to understand consumers in quantitative and qualitative ways.

Our report reveals a problematic disconnect: There are twice as many consumers who say innovation is a top indicator for products and services they purchase as there are companies that qualify as innovation leaders.

Sure, innovation is complicated, costly, risky, and laden with stakeholders. But we found that leaders blow past these challenges in many ways. They don’t rely on hunches or piecemeal improvements. They think big and they take risks—more than 40% of innovation leaders prioritize the ambitious, exploratory, groundbreaking projects known as “moonshots,” we found. But they are thoughtful and methodical about both.

They also support a culture that embraces failure in practice by testing a broad pipeline of ideas: scaling what works, killing what doesn’t, and rewarding those who take risks.

So what do I want to become when I grow up? As an adult, I realize that question isn't what intrigues me most. The thrill is in the journey and the choices you make along the way. How fast will you go? In which direction? How will you respond when life throws you a curveball? In business innovation as in life, the destination isn’t nearly as exciting as the trip to get there.

Michael Miebach is the chief product and innovation officer of Mastercard.

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