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Some business conferences you attend are beneficial because of specific content presented. Other business conferences are beneficial because of all the creative ideas they trigger, irrespective of whether the ideas were actually discussed by presenters. The Innovation Summit presented by Kansas City Kansas Community College last week soundly delivered on triggering ideas for strategic questions for disruptive innovation in markets.

In fact, the free, half-day Kansas City Kansas Community College Innovation Summit was a veritable bonanza since I walked away with a variety of ideas triggered by the presenters. Those ideas included ones for several new Brainzooming creative thinking exercises I’d never before imagined.

To do a little sharing, the presentations from keynote speaker Dean Teng-Kee Tan (of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Bloch School of Business) and several Kansas City innovators suggested eleven strategic questions to ask relative to imagining potential market disruption opportunities:

11 Strategic Questions for Disruptive Innovation

1. What feature can you create that’s missing in someone else’s product?

2. Where can you disrupt significant cost areas in physical goods?

3. How can you digitize a physical element, action, or experience – or digitize all three?

4. What steps can you take to create a service out of your strongest / most prevalent support capability?

5. How can you inject a completely emotional experience into what you do?

6. Ever thought about ways to digitize a service?

7. How is it possible to smooth demand for inefficient / difficult to provide capabilities?

8. What would it take to turn in-person interactions into remote interactions?

9. How can you digitize scarce resources to put them in more places simultaneously?

10. What could you do to help push the biggest player in your desired market to leave the marketplace?

11. If the most prominent player in your market did go away, what opportunities would it open up?

Asking the Right Strategic Question

Again, none of the presenters necessarily mentioned these strategic questions for disruptive innovation. The questions were derived from the various case studies and examples presenters shared and by asking one of my favorite questions:

What strategic question (or questions) could cause someone to come up with the same answer the original innovator did?

And when you land on great strategic questions, you can much more easily generate lots of innovation ideas. – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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17 Responses to “11 Strategic Questions for Disruptive Innovation in Markets”

  1. These 11 so-called strategic questions are all secondary characteristics of some disruptive innovations (not all), and in and of themselves are not predictors or creators of disruption. They are useful questions to ask in brainstorming sessions to stimulate potentially disruptive ideas, but you still have to validate the idea and execute a proper disruptive strategy if that’s your goal. It’s more than a bit misleading to suggest to anyone that if they simply ask these 11 questions, then they’ll be creating disruptive innovation.

    • Mike Brown says:

      I agree with your point, it would be “misleading to suggest to anyone that if they simply ask these 11 questions, then they’ll be creating disruptive innovation.”

      That’s why these 11 questions are suggested to “ask relative to IMAGINING POTENTIAL market disruption opportunities” and that “when you land on great strategic questions (AND NEVER IMPLYING THESE QUESTIONS ARE THE EXCLUSIVE LIST), you can much more easily generate lots of innovation IDEAS.” (My “all caps” emphasis added.)

      So when you find a website that implies something like what you contend, let’s both go make sure people understand that they are being misled!

      • My point is quite simple. The headline of this article, and the subhead above the 11 points, both strongly imply that if you use these 11 questions, you’ll be creating disruption. That’s not true, and there are many other more significant attributes that really are strategic, such as price, positioning, segmentation, the “job to be done”, fulfilling an unmet or underserved need, aiming below the incumbent solutions, and so on, which must be considered.

        These questions are not only not an exclusive list, they are neither necessary nor sufficient for creating disruption. They could be used to target any kind of innovation as creativity sparkers — and that’s a great application in a brainstorming session as I suggested, but if you’re actively trying to engineer disruption, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of what you need to consider.

        • Mike Brown says:

          If that’s your point, I think you’ve made your point, even if it’s a point wrapped in reading into this piece a variety of messages that aren’t suggested.

  2. Thanks, Mike, for bringing these questions back from the Summit. Regardless of a company’s desire to disrupt its market, any one of your 11 questions creates a reason to pause and look at what’s possible.

    If there were an all-in-one cookbook for disruptive innovation, the end result would no longer be disruptive OR innovative.

    Keep serving up the questions. That’s where it starts.

    • Mike Brown says:

      Appreciate your perspective, @twitter-10785032:disqus! I agree that you have to have starting places for innovation – sometimes it’s structural, sometimes it’s inquiry. Sometimes it’s other things. To me, the more innovation prompts in your arsenal, the better!

  3. Thanks for sharing. Maybe we can also ask:
    What can you learn in your industry from disruptive changes that happened in other industries?
    Laurent (www.bouty.net)

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    […] Startup Advice and Strategy: What questions should be answered to design a marketing strategy for a web start-up? – Quora this.require||function(a,b){function require(a){if(!e[a]){r("loader","required",a);var b,c=d[a];c&&(c.id=a,c.exports=b={},c(function(b){return k(b,a)},e[a]=b,c),c.exports&&c.exports!==b&&(e[a]=c.exports),r("loader","exported",a))}return e[a]}function k(a,b){return require(a=m(a,b))||l(a)}function l(a){throw a}function m(a,b){if(b&&/^./.test(a)){a="/"+b+"/../"+a;while(a!=(b=a.replace(j,"/")))a=b}return a.replace(/^//,"")}function n(a){if(!a.unmet){var b=a+"",c,d=a.unmet={};i.lastIndex=0;while(c=i.exec(b))d[c[1]]=1}return a.unmet}function o(a){if(typeof a=="object")return!0;var b,c={},f=n(a),g;for(g in f)e[g]||d[g]?c[g]=1:b=1;for(g in c)delete f[g];if(b){p("missing modules:");for(g in f)p(g)}return!b}function p(){try{var b=a.console;b&&b.log.apply(b,arguments)}catch(c){}}function q(){if(!h)try{while(f!==g&&o(f.next))h=f,f=f.next,delete h.next,r("loader","flushQueue","start"),f(k),r("loader","flushQueue","finish")}finally{h=0}}function r(){return c[c.length]={time:+(new Date),tags:c.slice.call(arguments)}}var c=[],d={},e={},f={},g=f,h,i=/require(['"]([^'"]+)['"])/g,j=//(.?|[^/]+/..)//;require.install=function(a,b){r("loader","installed",a);var c=typeof b=="object"?e:d;c[a]||(c[a]=b,q())},require.enqueue=function(a){g=g.next=a,f.next===g&&o(a)&&q()},r.dump=function(){return c.slice()},a.rec=r,a.require=require,r("loader","ready")}(this);; require.install("settings", { revision: "beaa89ed4ea306027430eaa195185d4f7a500b63", installTime: rec("settings", "install").time, instance: "main", formkey: "87a3d42697d3871c39bd2449ce6a8f53", uid: null, codebaseType: "production", cookiePrefix: "m", trail: null, actionTrail: null, mobile: false, serverCallUrl: "/webnode2/server_call_POST", pageMode: "post_reload" || "live", feedAnchoring: false, requireBase: "http://qsf.cf.quoracdn.net/-1b2e5683860d7292/", debug: false, componentDebug: false, appURL: null, fbAppId: "136609459636", mobileRedirect: false, enableFrameBusting: true, keyboardShortcuts: false, isParallel: true, }); There are some updates to this page that haven't been applied yet because you've entered some data into a form. You can resume live updates if you want.Trying to regain internet connection…QuoraHomeAboutLoginSign Up Add Question Startup Advice and Strategy:  Marketing StartupsStartup Advice and Strategy: What questions should be answered to design a marketing strategy for a web start-up?Share     Maciej Fita, Founder of http://www.brandignity.com, Bosto… (more) Founder of http://www.brandignity.com, Boston based search marketing firmWell not to state the obvious but I think the first goal is to address who is your ideal target for your product or solution. Keep in mind that all the marketing in the world will not help you if you don't have the proper foundation in place (design & development). Everything from the images you use to the colors you pick for your website will reflect how your audience interacts with your site. Here are some questions to answer:Is your audience local, national or international?Who is your audience? (Small business owner, marketing director or CTO?)Is your audience technical or are they data driven? (maybe it doesn't matter)What vertical is your audience in?Does your current design reflect your audience’s interests?Who on the team can execute certain marketing tasks?Who do I absolutely need to hire for certain effortsDoes your audience like to handle communication online or over the phone?What are your traffic goals for the first 6 and 12 months?What are your conversion goals for the first 6 and 12 months?How will you convert traffic to leads and sales?What are you really selling? A solution? A product? make an emotional connectionHave you identified your sales process?Does your business have a story?Is social media right for your business?Do I have someone to make, produce & edit company videos?Are there any writers on the team?Do you have access to a good designer and developer?Here are a few links that have some great questions as well.http://intrepid-llc.com/2011-marhttp://brainzooming.com/11-strathttp://www.inc.com/jon-gelberg/nhttp://www.stayonsearch.com/formhttp://www.v3im.com/2012/05/mobi…Embed QuoteComment Loading… • Share • Embed • 3m ago  Add AnswerBIU     @  Close UpdateLink to Questions, Topics and People Add Answer Join Quora for free.Connect to FacebookConnected to FacebookConnect to TwitterConnected to TwitterConnecting helps us surface content that is relevant to you. We'll never post without your permission. 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