It takes courage to “read the world” and make mission critical decisions about the future. Decision-makers today operate in conditions plagued by constant uncertainty. How can we reduce this uncertainty so decisions are made based on having the greatest knowledge, with awareness of unknown risks and validated by real evidence?
Today we have a plethora of available business intelligence to utilize. The distillation of huge amounts of data into precise insights, when coupled with intuition, makes it possible to read the world with more certainty.
Signals Intelligence Group is steadfast in providing clients with the a new level of insight – “grounded in evidence” – to help ease the decision-making process. We have found that confidence is built from having a high level view of competition and opportunity space in the market before making that next big step in New Product Development (NPD). Why is this important now, and what can we learn from the Intelligence community that Signals’ came from and how it’s different than the commonly found approach to intelligence in commercial enterprise?
It’s clear that most new products fail. Over the last decade, we have seen a notable transition from knowledge and gut to a much more evidence based decision-making process, fully utilizing the digital space to address New Product Development challenges.
It’s useful to look at a brief comparison between the practices of the intelligence community to those in commercial enterprise.
This comparison is divided into the following three realms: uncertainty, means (support solutions, capabilities), and decisions. It is clear that within the intelligence community, there is plenty of uncertainty, but this is followed by measurements to reduce uncertainty, resulting in an un-biased, decision based on hard evidence that avoids risk.
On the other hand, in the enterprise world, although we see a thorough approach to NPD, it leaves room for hesitation. In most enterprises, there is unstructured decision support, which can lead to missed opportunities and delay or paralysis when trying to advance/launch a product. Courage essentially is making decisions under uncertain conditions.
Making NPD decisions requires courage, and our belief is that if you have intelligence you can confidently make decisions according to the best practice. The intelligence objective for product innovation is having an integral decision support capability for reaching a successful and sustainable launch.
This involves agility (long development cycles needs prototyping during development to ensure market conditions support the hypothesis), risk (early warning indications linked to development stage and making decisions based on observing the ecosystem), sustainability (cross-functional approach to overcome gaps and consolidate knowledge), and actionability (Activate long term missions, target a new opportunity space, evaluate consumer unmet needs and competitive risks, along with focused targeting opportunities.)
So how do we apply what we have learned about the comprehensive approach to using intelligence in the business world?
We view this framework as a model. A framework needs to connect the dots from “random data” into meaningful signals, which are then interpreted into real business significance.
Each step is needed to create an overt view of the next best step to take to bring a new product to the market. This decision making evaluation always entails a Go / No Go process, weeding out insignificant variables after viewing in-depth analyses and deciding whether or not to continue on or choose an alternative path based on presented insights. How is this put to practice?
This is the first in a series of blogs about using intelligence to make evidence based decisions in the New Product Development /Innovation Space.
Next Up: A Case Study on Using Intelligence to Become a Game Changer
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Kobi Gershoni is Chief Research Officer and Co-founder of Signals Intelligence Group, where he oversees Signals’ research methodologies and analytics team. Kobi has conducted research for multi-national corporations and venture capital funds, and has managed the research department and overseen hundreds of Signals client engagements. Kobi has provided consultancy services to hi-tech companies and investors, and served in an IDF intelligence unit as a senior analyst and information officer. He holds a BA in International Relations and an MBA specializing in Finance and Strategy from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Follow @SignalsGroup