Entrepreneurial Insight Generator (Video)
Discover Lucrative Innovation Opportunites and Perilous Threats
Customers are continually “hiring” new solutions that they perceive to be the best value out of competing alternatives. This is demand creation. But when a new solution is hired, the solution-in-use is “fired”. This is demand destruction. This means that to attract new customers to your offering, you must move demand from a competing solution-in-use to your product or service. But before this is possible, there must be sufficient dissatisfaction with a solution-in-use. Recognizing changes in customer realities that can trigger these dissatisfactions and then understanding how your company can better satisfy those needs are your demand creation opportunities.
Changing business realities can affect customer priorities and consequently their perception of value. A job that wasn’t a priority before may suddenly become a priority. Obstacles and barriers that did not exist may suddenly appear. Competitive offerings can get better and/or cheaper shifting the best value to a competing solution.
The Entrepreneurial Insight Generator, or Ensight Generator for short, is a customer job-centric ideation tool that reveals your company’s opportunity stream. This includes time-limited opportunities for demand creation and rolling threats that can lead to demand destruction.
It generates entrepreneurial insight by making explicit how changing customer realities can drive dissatisfaction with solutions-in-use, including your own company’s products and services. Dissatisfaction reflects the customers’ important and unsatisfied needs for getting a job done. We call these needs job-to-be-done priorities or simply job priorities.
It also generates entrepreneurial insight by making explicit the changing provider realities that enable your company or a competitor to improve and extend its existing offerings and create new offerings that satisfy customer job priorities better than competing solutions.
There are many different ways to the use the Ensight Generator depending on the observations in hand. It’s not about getting a right answer or a design. Rather, the purpose is to facilitate opportunistic learning around observations from an entrepreneurial mindset. We call this connecting the dots.
The Ensight Generator is non-linear and multi-path, meaning that you don’t need to follow the same step by step process every time. Start from anywhere and begin connecting the dots. Use only the parts of the template, or paths, needed to generate meaningful insights. Insights can be combined with other insights to surface demand creation opportunities.
Begin your ideation by defining a customer’s job to be done — either current or emerging. Specify the particular job action, or specific job steps if you will, that currently is or could be problematic for job executors.
Profile one or more customer groups that are executing the job and describe the customers’ circumstance that makes the job important. Use colored sticky notes to show relationships. Indicate the context that the job is executed.
Describe the customers’ functional, emotional, and social success outcomes. Indicate the extent that these success outcomes are satisfied or can be satisfied by a job solution by placing a number from 1 to 5 on the sticky. One is not at all satisfied and 5 is very satisfied.
Describe the customers’ solution-in-use for getting the job done as well as other competing job solutions that customers could also use to execute the job. Indicate how much better or worse these other solutions are to the solution-in-use via a scale from 1 to 7 where 4 is no difference, 5 to 7 is a plus difference, and 1 to 3 is a negative difference.
Place additional observations in other reality areas to indicate how or why the job action is problematic, what stands in the way of executing the job action perfectly, or how customers can better achieve success outcomes, among other things.
Based on your observations of customer realities, indicate the customers’ job priorities, sometimes called pain points. These job priorities can be roughly characterized as the things customer want more of and the things that customers want less of from a job solution.
As a provider, think about how your company can satisfy the customers’ job priorities better than competitive solutions by improving and extending your existing offerings, or creating a new offering. These are your potential demand creation opportunities.
Evaluate each demand creation opportunity on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is low potential and 5 is very high potential. Some evaluation criteria are suggested, but you may other criteria as well.
Unlike other ideation methods and tools like creative brainstorming and SWOT analysis, the Ensight Generator produces demand creation and demand destruction potentials, not ideas and competitive intelligence. The Ensight Generator was designed to be accessible to the entire workforce with minimal instruction. The tool helps the workforce make sense of the observations that surround them in the trenches of everyday business and to connect these dots from an entrepreneurial mindset. The goal is to continually generate high-potential demand creation opportunities and to surface perilous threat early enough to take effective action.