Market-Driving Checklist

Market-Driving Mind-Set

  • Does our top management continuously reinforce the need for market-driving ideas?
  • Do we actively seek to cannibalize our own products?
  • Is the pursuit of competing emerging technologies permitted?
  • Are new ideas routinely imported from the outside?
  • Are time and resources allocated for curiosity-driven explorations?

Market-Driving Culture

  • Do we tolerate failures when people are attempting something really new?
  • Are processes in place to capture learning from failures?
  • Are people encouraged to share their failures publicly?
  • Do we constrain innovation through too much respect for hierarchy?
  • Are organizational rules and norms enforced too rigidly?
  • Do we tolerate mavericks and allow space for champions to flourish?

Market-Driving People

  • Do we hire people who will increase the genetic pool of our company?
  • Do we mix people on teams to generate creative abrasion?
  • Are novices included on important projects to question assumptions?
  • Do we think our people are entrepreneurial?
  • Are exceptional innovation achievements and efforts recognized and rewarded?

Market-Driving Processes

  • Do we allow for long payback horizons for innovation projects?
  • Do we accept alternative routes to obtain funding and approval for market-driving ideas?
  • Do we have processes that move ideas from the bottom to the top without obstruction?
  • Do we run competitions to generate radical new concepts?
  • Do we ensure that radical ideas do not lose resources to incremental ideas?

The Strategic Role of Marketing
by Manda Salls
HBS Working Knowledge, May 31, 2004
Note: From the book Marketing as Strategy by Nirmalya Kumar

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