From Survive to Thrive

Blog 5. Tue 7 Apr 2020
Making a difference by design…

From Survive to Thrive

Welcome to the new world. It does feel like a new world, doesn’t it? My great futurist colleague #Dave Wild, compared this lockdown experience to travelling in a new country where you don’t speak the language.

I vividly remember arriving in Nairobi, Kenia, a country that was new and really foreign to us many years ago. Looking out the taxi window on our way from the airport to our hotel everything was different from what we expected, a city with mud roads and we didn’t see a single other white person. Good luck trying to blend in and go up in the crowd!

Initially we were so spooked I didn’t even dare to leave our hotel room (which although sparse at least had some familiarity with a bed and a bathroom in it). We were so relieved when the friendly hotel concierge knocked on the door and offered to show us to a restaurant that evening. At least that meant day one was ok and we kinda knew what the streets around us looked like, which gave us a bit of a feel of familiarity and a plan for the next morning. Pfew!

The last 2 weeks felt quite similar: After initial moments of panic, I got together with my family, and via phone and web calls with some great friends and thought leaders. It helped greatly to work out a plan. And like when travelling, initially my plan was day by day.

For me, like for many of us, sales have stopped and it’s unclear when it will pick back up. Some sales will now come in from unexpected directions, in new ways and formats. It’s a new world that I’m learning to navigate and it has some quite exciting opportunities for adventure!

There are some beautiful silver linings to this situation. Including the goodness of having 4 weeks of quality time with my teenagers who are growing up way too quick.

I loved my conversation with #Andrew Deering. He shared this picture:

Your journey starts with a decision: What do you want your new world to look like? Do you just want to survive, revive what you already had? That’s easy and not much planning needed. (Which is a bit like going back home, we know what that feels like.)

Or do you want to thrive? And come out of this situation strong, with a plan, an aligned team, processes in place and better products in the making?

I know which one I want. It’s a great opportunity to improve. And we no longer have the excuse of ‘no time’.

And I know what you want. I know you love to do things better. It’s been a common frustration in NPD: “how can I design new products better? Products that are a better solution for our customers, products that our consumers love, with less rework and with better margins….”
And I know your second thought that used to follow quickly: “but I’m already working 60 hours a week… Do I (and my team) have the energy? Can we do this?”

Now, think back to your picture of a new world, one where you come out thriving. And then think of the world we are in right now, working from home, new meeting formats, with family around us, … who would have thought? (even only a month ago!)

A new world is possible. For NPD it takes a few things to fall in place. I break them into 3 main themes: Set up (the company mindset around NPD), System (processes), and Skills. I think of these like dials on a safe – it’s takes a bit of adjusting to get each dial to fall into its right spot to unlock the safe and open a world of goodness – an empowered team that’s ready to thrive!

There’s more detail to this, but that’s a future post. This diagram is the basis that sits behind the process I use to help businesses get from ‘messy NPD’ to ‘structure’, to ‘freedom’ and ultimately ‘mastery’ – leading the world with a consistent stream of profitable new products.

Writing this, I feel a bit like the hotel concierge in Kenia, knocking on your door, offering you an option to show you a way. The choice of course is yours.

It starts with a decision. Revive? Or Thrive? Use this time as an investment in your new world and come out strong with a plan, an aligned energised team, a process in place and the footprint for better products.
If that’s you, give me a ring or flick me an email. It’s easier than you think!

Onwards & upwards,
Saskia

Give me a ring (021-68 49 68) or hit reply here to have chat!

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