The questions for technology from Eli Goldratt’s Necessary but not Sufficient (one of my reviews) - that I like to apply to just about any change effort - are a great way to think through a proposed “solution” to check if it actually solves a problem for the customer and what else they might have to do to take advantage of that solution.
Mike Dalton has been writing a series about “the growth equation” and innovation management at Innovation Week. The last one is The Growth Equation: Upping Your Market Impact (6 Steps for Focusing Your New Product Efforts on High-Impact Opportunities). In it he takes the questions for technology and adds some thinking about how financial measures might be added into the questions. But underneath, I see the same pattern to the questions: What’s so great about your idea? What problem do your (potential) customers have that this idea will remove? What’s the value in removing that problem? And what else needs to change if that problem goes away?
That last question is a tricky one. Maybe the brilliant idea needs to change in order to create even more value. Maybe the customer needs to do things significantly different (policies and practices) if the problem goes away. And those policies and practices are “the way we do things” which is where people often get stuck with “change is hard.”