‘The 7 Laws of Innovation’ – a behind the scenes look at a client workshop on Zoom

A little story of rediscovery…

More than 20 years ago (yikes) I developed what I grandly called “The 7 Laws of Successful Innovation”.

They were based on what I did to help turn around Red Bull after a disastrous launch into the UK, what I learnt from the brand’s owner Dietrich Matescitz and what I saw developing numerous new brands and products as a brand and innovation consultant. 

Practical, actionable outputs

Some of the 7 ‘Laws’ were original, others the most useful things I picked up from others. They were based on actionable things a new brand – or the team behind it – could do to improve its chances of success. I went on to speak about them at industry events, run innovation workshops based on them and taught them to executives from some of the world’s biggest companies. But along the way life happened, I went in different directions and they were left gathering dust somewhere. 

Still relevant?

A few months ago I was reminiscing with Holly (the poor thing gets a lot of that) and started explaining them to her. Immediately, three interesting and unexpected things happened:

First, they still made sense. I had assumed the internet would have somehow changed everything (it has) and made them redundant (it hasn’t). The 7 ‘Laws’ explained so well why so much that has happened has played out the way it has.

Second, much closer to home, they had immediate relevance to situations we were involved in or were watching closely. They explained certain challenges and frustrations perfectly. 

Third, they quickly stimulated immediate suggestions for making things better. Often these are ideas that quickly seem obvious but had been completely elusive previously. 

Strong, positive reactions

So we tentatively started playing with them and using them to analyse businesses around us. When we mentioned some of the ideas generated, the reaction was extremely interesting and encouraging. 

Anyway, then lockdown happened. But we’ve pressed on and worked with a few people who are developing new products and services and auditing them against the “7 Laws” over Zoom with the intention of finding things they can tweak or change to improve their prospects. In every case, we’ve collectively come up with actionable suggestions that have quickly been implemented.

Behind the scenes video

This video is just a bit of footage from one such online workshop. It was for a not-yet-released new brand so we’ve not revealed anything about it, or the client, but this is us having fun doing our thing…

Stack the innovation odds in your favour

Oh, and full disclosure: they aren’t laws. There are no laws for innovation (especially for the well-resourced). But for the rest of us, the small guys with a dream, the disruptors the people who want to make a difference, they are principles that stack in our favour the odds of our startup or innovation succeeding.

By Tony Harbron...

Tony Harbron of Growth Guides marketing, the Exeter based team helping founders and ambitious companies to scale up

Tony Harbron is a highly experienced strategist, innovator and marketing professional with time spent in both client and agency environments as well as in senior management (to listed company CEO level) and as an entrepreneur responsible for creating, building and selling a number of successful brands and businesses.

Tony was previously involved with numerous world-famous brands and organisations including Red Bull, the BBC, Ofcom, Lynx, Pot Noodle, Ministry of Sound, the FT, the Independent, lastminute.com, Virgin etc.

He is an innovation specialist and has run numerous workshops and seminars on creativity, new product development and idea generation.

His most recent venture saw him guide Lightfoot on their growth journey and he remains an investor in the company. Tony is an Oxford University graduate, an MBA, and a member of the Marketing and Market Research Societies.

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