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Scott Anthony – Building a Growth Factory

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The first step in building a growth factory is to create a growth blueprint. This requires pursuing multiple layers of growth at the same time, identifying distinct types of growth and innovation, and creating a set of common definitions.

Can you walk us through the process of creating a blueprint? Where do you begin, what are the steps, and how do you prioritize growth and innovation types?

The first step is a recognition that you have to approach innovation and the growth that comes from innovation in a structured and strategic way. A lot of times, that is a big shift for a corporation who believes that innovation is about letting a thousand flowers bloom, not put any constraints around it, and trying lots of stuff. So first you have to recognize that you have to approach this strategically and thoughtfully.

take an honest look at what your core business is set to deliver, and what your ongoing growth efforts are set to deliver, and if you’re honest about it in 90% of circumstances you will see a gap between what you are currently doing and investing in, and what your aspirations and your targets are

The second step is to really get grounded in what is the goal of your innovation efforts, and the way that we generally suggest doing this is to calculate what we call the growth gap, which is you might look at 3, 5, 10 years or some cases longer than that; what is our aspiration? What do we want in terms of revenues, profits, whatever factor matters? Then, you take an honest look at what your core business is set to deliver, and what your ongoing growth efforts are set to deliver, and if you’re honest about it in 90% of circumstances you will see a gap between what you are currently doing and investing in, and what your aspirations and your targets are.

The third step then is to come up with a plan to go and address that growth gap, and that plan should identify different types of strategies used to attack it. Like any good investor you’ll want a portfolio. You will want some that involved current today’s business and some that involve creating tomorrow’s business. You will want to think specifically about what involves tomorrow’s business, what are the greatest opportunities for growth. You want to then as precisely as you can set targets and allocated resources for each of those efforts.

So those are the three steps: first recognize the need to approach it strategically, calculate the growth gap, and then begin to come up with a plan to attack it.

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Scott Anthony, Managing Partner at Innosight

Scott was elected Innosight’s Managing Partner in 2012. He has led Innosight’s expansion into the Asia-Pacific region as well as its venture capital activities (Innosight Ventures). In his decade with Innosight, Scott has advised senior leaders in companies such as Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, General Electric, LG, Credit Suisse, Ayala Group, and Cisco Systems on topics of growth and innovation.

Scott has written extensively about innovation. He is the coauthor of the new eBook Building a Growth Factory and author of “The New Corporate Garage,” which appeared in the September 2012 issue of Harvard Business Review, as well as The Little Black Book of Innovation, published by Harvard Business Review Press in January 2012. He is the co-author of the Harvard Business Review article “How P&G Tripled Its Innovation Success Rate.” He co-authored Seeing What’s Next (2004) with Harvard Business School Professor and Innosight founder Clayton Christensen and was the lead author of The Innovator’s Guide to Growth and author of The Silver Lining. He has a regular column at Harvard Business Online.

Scott’s passion is in enabling innovators around the world to realize their untapped potential. In early 2010 Scott and his family relocated from the United States to Singapore to take advantage of the booming opportunities for innovation in Asia. He has spent significant time on the ground in India, Singapore, Korea, and the Philippines, and believes these and other countries are poised to be true innovation powerhouses.

Scott chairs the investment committee for IDEAS Ventures, a SGD 10 million fund In- nosight runs in conjunction with the Singapore government. Scott has served as an active Board member for two companies incubated by Innosight (Village Laundry Service, a laundry service company based in Bangalore, and Guaranteach, a US-based online education company), helping those companies develop and execute their strategy and raise external expansion capital.