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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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MetaMorphic Innovation: a power tool for breakthrough performance
MetaMorphic Innovation™: a power tool for breakthrough performance
Jay L. Abraham and Daniel J. Knight
Abstract The authors present their MetaMorphic Innovation Index. The index combines the three currently accepted market disciplines with three dynamic ways of enabling growth to form nine nodes. Each node unites two ideas that can stimulate creative strategic thinking. Examples from each node are given. Used regularly, the matrix supports the innovative thinking that leads to consistent, breakthrough performance.
Keywords: Strategic management, Performance, Market position, Growth, Organizational behaviour, Innovation
Leaders in top-performing organizations deliberately employ creativity and innovation to access and leverage the underlying capabilities of their organizations and to continuously reinvent their business models for competitive advantage. The explosion of e-business intensifies and exacerbates the need for this kind of strategic leadership.
The power tool
The MetaMorphic Innovation Matrix opens new vistas and brings dormant organizational capabilities to life. The transformative power of this strategic tool allows you to combine various concepts and "morph" them into tangible strategies for enhancing breakthrough performance. Merging two strategic concepts – market disciplines and growth dynamics – creates a matrix that can stimulate new ideas for strategy development (see Exhibit 1).
Exhibit 1 A MetaMorphic Innovation Matrix ™
Market disciplines, on the horizontal axis, represent the three major strategies for achieving market leadership. Conventional wisdom says that successful market leaders select one of these strategies as a primary approach while attempting to perform at acceptable or better levels on the other two. The emergence of e-business models with their related partnerships, alliances, and acquisitions turns this conventional wisdom on its head. Today, strategic leaders are creating integrated, e-business-based alliances to become virtually the best in all three approaches.
Growth dynamics, on the vertical axis, describe the three key ways of ramping up and expanding an enterprise to achieve market scope, speed, and scale. Intersecting the three dynamics with market disciplines creates a matrix with nine nodes. Each node offers an opportunity for creative thinking about strategy.
Sample node strategies
The following examples demonstrate how the matrix can facilitate creative thinking.
Node 1. Capitalize on the three ways to increase sales of existing product and service lines: sell more of the same price-range items from existing lines to current customers; sell higher ticket items from existing lines to current customers; and acquire new customers for existing lines.
Node 2. Become the brand in a market by upgrading existing lines to top quality through technology enhancement and mass customization, and then capture the upscale market.
Node 3. Use process improvement to eliminate non-value-added tasks, replicate processes used by top performers, and streamline remaining processes to provide better value to customers in existing lines.
Node 4. Involve customers and suppliers in the design and development of new lines to shorten time to market and increase value.
Node 5. Apply product lifecycle thinking to anticipate the need to cannibalize old lines, develop new lines, disrupt the competition, and enhance market position.
Node 6. Use data mining to sort out and identify emerging opportunities; build on this analysis to create high quality options for new lines; and then develop, test, and roll out to grow revenue.
Node 7. Identify core capabilities of customers, suppliers, and other potential partners or acquisition targets; and establish mutually reinforcing relationships in which each party takes on value-chain activities that maximize returns and minimize risks for existing and new lines.
Node 8. Unbundle product and service lines from their related knowledge and information to optimize people resources and reduce inventory, e.g. Dell Computer's e-business model allows it to receive customer orders and to request components from suppliers on a just-in-time basis.
Node 9. Form an end-to-end e-business strategy, structure, and process by forming alliances, partnerships, and outsourcing arrangements to realize the highest and best outcomes for all lines.
Using the matrix
The MetaMorphic Innovation Matrix makes strategy generation and execution easier and more effective. The node intersections enable you to combine ideas and think about strategy in new ways. After generating your own strategies, you are ready to select the best ones and begin to focus on the "who," "when," "where," and "how" of expansion, implementation, and measurement. Used on a regular basis, the matrix will enrich your strategic thinking and enable you to achieve consistent, breakthrough performance.