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Innovation-Process and Challenges” Guest Session by Ms.Somasree Bose

As Steve Jobs once said – “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Leaders though, are not born, they are made by a mix of innovation and transfer of wisdom from existing leaders. Leadership series ’17 started with an enthralling session by Ms. Somasree Bose. The theme of the event held on 20th of August 2017 was “Innovation-Process and Challenges”. The session started with talk about advertisement, the impact it has on consumers and the challenges like time availabilityin delivering the message. The session soon progressed with the simple question of “what is innovation?”. The question was explored through a variety of examples from organic vegetables to Steve Job’s Apple. Some of the simple ideas implemented by Godrej, like seek and kill applicator nozzle in its product “HIT”, proved to be a game changer. It reminded us of a marketing analogy to the famous quote from Mother Theresa – “Don’t do everything with love. Do simple things with great love”.

The session progressed to its next question – Why Innovate? The interesting battle of Good Night with its competitor for market share was discussed and how a simplistic idea of a power button in Good Night proved to be a pivotal factor was enlightening. Some cases were also discussed which showed how lack of innovation may lead to a downfall. It set the stage for us to enter the new question-How Innovation helps a brand? Some answers like, the ability to charge a premium and how relevant it is, brought a newer insight. Discussion on situations when you could charge a premiumfor a product and when you should not, gave a managerial insight to the audience.

What enlightened our minds further during the session was the knowledge provided on funnel process in innovation, testing and launch. How innovation can bring in new customers and how a simple thing like packaging can become a game changer were discussed. Innovation is not just bringing in new things but servicing and monitoring the post launch metrics.

Dr. Abdul Kalam once said, a leader is not just the one who comes forward whenever there is a success, but he/she is the one who acknowledges the failures as well. Leadership ’17 was just as candid with our honourable speaker, acknowledging the failures of some product launches. What was more interesting was the identification of factors that lead to those failures and delivering it in a manner understandable to an audience that is yet to touch the battleground of sales and marketing.

Like every fairy tale has a moral, this session had not just one but many.  A handpicked learning we had was to listen and respect even a shop floor worker as ideas for innovation do come from them too. Overall, we can summarise it as – “Give attention to details like a Sherlock Holmes and also view the market with an eagle eye to see the ground reality”. 

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