Declaration of Independence from being a Commodity

This past week I met two companies.  Company #1 has grown sales 50% in the past year using the tools they learned at the Innovation Engineering Leadership institute last year.   Company #2 has laid off 50% of their employees. The team at Company #1 are the true decedents of the founding fathers.   They are taking action and responsibility for their future.

When asked what they were going to do about their decline – the team at Company #2 responded “we're hoping to ride out the downturn in our industry.”

New research shows that companies who are focused on innovation are thriving today.  Importantly they are thriving by adapting for new customers and by innovating their product lines.   Today they have 37% of their sales in products or services they didn't have 3 years ago and 43% of their sales are to customers they didn't have 3 years ago.

It's time to declare our independence from commodity products, services, customers and markets.   It's time to reinvent our offering to make it meaningfully unique.  To lead our existing customers and to adapt it for new customers and markets.

Innovation Engineering HOMEWORK for this week

Product/Service Your homework this week is to spark a sustainable profitable future.

Step 1:  Restart Gather together 5 people who are forward thinking.  The kinds of people who have a long term view of the future.  They could be young people with an optimism for the future.  They could be old people who are committed to intense exercise or adventure.  They could be retired people from your company who are now pursuing new careers.

Ask them to help you do two things… 1. Make a list of 20 ways we could reinvent our product, service so to become a long term growth company.  Think of how we could deploy our internal resources and external technologies to restart the organization's growth. 2. Make a list of 20 customers or markets that we could pursue to spark long term growth.  Think hard about your current customers.  Which of them have management that is engaged in the long term survival of their companies.  This is key – because if your customers are stupid – you suffer most.

Step 2: Learn MoreTake your 20 – 20 list and commit to one week of learning.  Ask for help from your team to learn more about what actions could be taken to manufacture a sustainable profitable future for your organization.

WANTED: Business, Government and Education Leaders who want to learn how to INCREASE Innovation Speed (up to 6X) and DECREASE Innovation Risk (30 to 80%).  The first step is the three day Innovation Engineering Leadership Institute.  Public program dates include:

August 23-25 Vermont

September Virginia

October 17-19 Maine

November 14-16 Washington State

Nov 30 – Dec 2 Arkansas

More information is available at  For special pricing and coaching support for teams of 4 or more call Corie Roudebush Spialek at 513.271-9911 or email her at