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DARE. The Mindset for Successful Innovators in the Digital Age

Henny Portman | 26 maart 2020

strong>DARE - The mindset for successful innovators in the digital age written by Eric de Groot and Matthijs Rosman is a recipe to innovate and grow your business.

DARE stands for defiance, adventure, realism, endurance. It helps those who want to innovate in the ‘digital age’ but are hesitating to take the first steps.

The book is built around ten key more or less connected, frequently asked questions of innovation and growth in the digital age, clustered in three parts (following the three stages of growth initiate, create and scale):

Do I know what I don’t know? Understand trends in technology and culture.
Am I still in business in 5 years’ time? Which value is your company adding in 5 years’ time? To whom? Can I kick it? What is the best approach to reinvent your business?
Who are my growth BFFs (best friends forever) and BEFs (best enemies forever)? What is the profile of ideal innovation partners?
Am I willing to experiment or die? Embed a framework to get organized for exponential growth.
What are the rules of the game? Create a growth culture that helps sustain new ideas.
Do I have the basics in order? Learn how to make room for innovation.
Do I go by facts or fiction? Discover that data is the key element to nurture growth.
How do I turn on the growth engine? Learn best practices on how to successfully scale.
How to achieve full maturity? How to lever for change.

At the end of the chapters a comparison is made with Leonardo da Vinci’s actions, way of working or thinking. The authors see Leonardo as the quintessential DARE practitioner.

And if these ten questions are not enough, every part starts with some rarely asked questions to get you started and keep you going.

To download: QRC (DARE, 200303) v1.0

Initiate captures the first four questions. It is about understanding what is happing around us. It is about situational awareness; trying to figure out how your organization is impacted and what your response should be. The (digital) transformation is not new but a fact of life. Some relevant megatrends which are discussed: changing demographics, globalization & shifting economic power, rise of the global middle class, accelerating urbanization, climate change and resource scarcity, privacy 2.0, unbanked, deep fake, quantum computing and technology. All these megatrends have a profound impact on industries and businesses. Think about customer centricity, shift from ownership to usage, servitization, platform business, connectivity and data, dark commerce and production on demand.

Create covers the next four questions. It deals with the process that puts the customer first in your transformation process. It explores the need for experimenting in ‘controlled’ spaces with a blended approach of design thinking, lean startup and an agile way of working. Managers and employees need to make five fundamental shifts: from control to enable, self-organizing, from individual to team, from long sequential steps to short iterative cycles, from management lead to customer lead and from first time right to celebrate failures (and learn from them). Marketeers should learn the new 5 P’s in marketing: Positioning, Partitioning, Probing, Prioritizing and Participating.

Scale is the last part and answers the last two questions. Scale refers to the making of a true commitment to innovative growth and daring to make decisions with drastic consequences. Scaling is making the next step in new markets – beyond the early adopters – in new customer groups and geographic. As you move from ideation to execution, there are five key areas that you need to focus on in scaling up your new venture: market, product, process, organization and finance. Sustainable growth is about mastering all the stages, deploying the various tactics within with extreme velocity and persistence (awareness, acquisition, activation, retention, revenue and referral).

The book ends with the innovation readiness benchmark. Eight groups with, in total 60 detailed questions: innovation strategy, customer centricity, organizational agility, innovation portfolio management, organization of innovation, innovation skills and competences, innovation performance and disruption of risk.

Conclusion: Definitely not a theoretical book but inspirational and practical with many real-life examples! It helps you to diagnose and innovate your own business. A must read for those who want to survive in this disruptive era.

Over Henny Portman

Henny Portman is eigenaar van Portman PM[O] Consultancy en biedt begeleiding bij het invoeren en verbeteren van project-, programma- en portfoliomanagement inclusief het opzetten en verder ontwikkelen van PMO's. Hij is auteur en blogger en publiceert regelmatig artikelen.

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