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The Gold Left on the Table

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I always feel bad for clients of a full-cycle
innovation project. After the many ideation and co-creation sessions, there are
far too many viable concepts to pursue. In many cases, millions of dollars of
market expansion, new products with tested, validated appeal, and new licensing
opportunities get swept aside just because there are too many possibilities.
While we have formulas for figuring out the right
mix for a product line portfolio, far too many concepts never get their stage
time on the market. 
Sometimes the products would transform the
business from selling in one channel to selling in a different one. Other times
a service brand could enter the market selling a hard product. Yet other times
it is a revolution to a business model with investment risks'for example, a
product-based company had a viable and feasible way to pilot test a
service-based store that sold products. This move could have been the beginning
to a franchising event that would have the potential to more than triple the
growth. In another case a strong licensing partner could have taken a whole
suite of new, branded products to a new market. Product concepts and sell to
others in adjacent markets. 
In all of these cases, gold is left on the table.
All of the examples above hail from the myriad of our client mix, but it could
equally well represent any firm with a serious innovation discipline. 
Here's the question: who is responsible for the
gold left of the table, the aftermarket of valuable ideas? Because if no one
is, they will wither away in a Final Report and your organization will never
harvest the total value of its innovation efforts. 
Should Innovation-centric firms create a new
role? A Gold Sweeper. This person would work with all the various departments
to see that the most viable ideas get the stage time and consideration not
allotted at most organizations. Furthermore, they can formally document all of
the gold left on the table. 
The amount of value that never sees the light of
day can be the catalytic driver of growth, if there is a process and person
dedicated to seeing tested and viable concepts make it to the market. 

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