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Episode Details – Product Innovation and Jobs to Be Done with Tony Ulwick
Today we are joined by the pioneer of the Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) theory, the inventor of the Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI) process, and the founder of Strategyn, Tony Ulwick. When Tony was working as a manufacturing engineer for IBM in the 1980s, the company launched their PC Junior product. The colossal and expensive flop of this product led to Tony’s interest in product planning and the goal of his career to develop an innovation process that would prevent or mitigate the risk of failure.
As someone who has become a world-renowned expert on innovation, today he joins us to discuss some of the problems companies face in their innovation initiatives. We talk about the challenges of understanding the needs of customers in a B2B context, how different methodologies such as Jobs-to-be-Done, Agile, Lean, and Design Thinking fit into the product life cycle, and the need for a unified innovation language across your company.
Listen in to find out what the three most important things are that a company needs to be in alignment on, as well as Tony’s advice to anyone new to the Jobs-to-be-Done framework. This is an information-packed episode that no product leader should miss, so tune in today!
About Tony Ulwick
Tony is the pioneer of Jobs-to-be-Done Theory, the inventor of the Outcome-Driven Innovation® (ODI) process, and the founder of Strategyn — a leading strategy and innovation consulting firm. Tony has applied his ODI process at many of the world’s leading companies and across nearly all industries to inform breakthrough innovations—achieving a success rate that is 5 times better than the industry average. Philip Kotler calls Tony “the Deming of innovation” and credits him with bringing predictability to innovation. Published in Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review, Tony is also the author of 2 best sellers: What Customers Want and JOBS TO BE DONE: Theory to Practice.
Key points from this episode
- Some background to Tony Ulwick’s impressive career.
- How the flop of IBM’s PC Junior product led to Tony’s interest in product planning.
- How developing an innovation process to mitigate the risk of failure became his career goal.
- Why many of today’s innovation tools don’t work and what makes Tony’s different.
- How the challenge is often not in inventing an innovation process but installing it.
- The challenges of understanding the needs of the customer in a B2B context.
- The differences between the job executor, the buyer, and the product-lifecycle support team in the consumer space.
- How the Jobs-to-be-Done approach offers a way to define the needs of customers.
- How being a component manufacturer complicates the process.
- How different methodologies such as Jobs-to-be-Done, Agile, Lean, and Design Thinking fit into the product life cycle.
- Why using the same toolset for the innovation process and the development process doesn’t work.
- How defining what innovation is can be a roadblock a company may face.
- The three most important things that a company needs to be in alignment on.
- How understanding customer need doesn’t stifle creativity but enhances it.
- Tony’s advice to anyone new to the Jobs-to-be-Done framework.
To learn more about Tony Ulwick
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