The Outrigger Model

|   Growing Your Business

Roger La Salle

Syndicate Chairman, The CEO Institute

The outrigger model is where a company with a recognised brand wishes to explore new spaces, but does so without risking its brand name by potentially backing a 'dud'.

Exploring new horizons, especially in today's fast moving world is essential. Indeed research has well shown that the rate of innovation or perhaps product 'churn' is a strong indicator of revenue and profit growth. One needs only look at Apple to see this with virtually none of their products more than two years old.

I was reminded of this recently in a conference where KODAK's folly in dismissing digital photography as a 'nothing' was being discussed. It's easy in hindsight, but perhaps a smarter move would have been for KODAK to create a separate entity, divorced from its brand and allow some budding entrepreneurs to explore the opportunity. Then if it works and represents new business, that's the time to bring it home and give if the power of the 'mothership' brand.

There are other benefits as well


The case of IBM using this model to explore the idea of a desktop computer worked perfectly. If it had been a fad, the IBM brand would have been untarnished. Nothing lost there.

However, what IBM claims was another great advantage was that being divorced from IBM, not even telephone connections, the new fledgling business was free of the inertia of big brother! An inertia that would have questioned every step of the way and slowed the development from the 12 months it actually took, to an estimated ten years.

It's essential


Nothing stands still these days. For example, companies that build platforms on 2G, 3G or even 4G technologies will soon be rendered obsolete by the march of technology and ever changing codes and protocols. Change is ongoing and accelerating.

In the world of tangibles things are also changing. Power generation, ever growing and tightening OH&S requirements demanding improved safety apparatus, vehicle designs, digital disruption and technologies in universities we have yet to see but will soon likely emerge are all game changers.

The outrigger model works well, but so too do innovation, design and research centres we are not even aware of that are often buried deep within the walls of major companies. The 3M labs are just one of the few well known such centres.

What's the lesson?


As business managers perhaps there are several things we need to be alert to:

  • Don't be afraid to ditch dying products and ways. Selling obsolescent products is a distraction that damages your brand
  • Forever explore news ways of doing whatever it is you do. Understand your business must evolve or expire, there are no options
  • Fund an entrepreneur in an outrigger to explore a new business initiative. Keen young entrepreneurs will work 24/7 on a shoestring budget

In short, keep moving or somebody will pass you, that’s a given.

Stay tuned for Roger's upcoming video blog series - INNOVATE or Perish - The Why, the how and the where!

 



Roger La Salle, trains people in innovation, marketing and the new emerging art of Opportunity Capture. "Matrix Thinking"™ is now used in organisations in more than 29 countries. He is sought after as a speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and Business Development, is the author of four books, and a Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies, both in Australia and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panellist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the 'Chair of Innovation' at 'The Queens University' in Belfast. For more visit www.innovationtraining.com.au.

Write new comment

3731237678376793768037309 37310 37721
preload 0preload 1preload 2preload 3preload 4preload 5preload 6preload 7preload 8preload 9preload 10preload 11preload 12preload 13preload 14preload 15preload 16preload 17preload 18preload 19preload image 1preload image 2preload image 3preload image 4preload image 5preload image 6preload image 7preload image 8preload image 9preload image 10preload image 11preload image 12preload image 13preload image 14preload image 15preload image 16preload image 17preload image 18preload image 19preload image 20preload image 21preload image 22preload image 23preload image 24preload image 25preload image 26preload image 27preload image 28preload image 29preload image 30preload image 31preload image 32preload image 33preload image 34preload image 35preload image 36preload image 37preload image 38preload image 39preload image 40preload image 41preload image 42preload image 43preload image 44preload image 45preload image 46preload image 47preload image 48preload image 49preload image 50preload image 51preload image 52preload image 53preload image 54preload image 55preload image 56preload image 57preload image 58preload image 59preload image 60preload image 61preload image 62preload Themeimage 0preload Themeimage 1preload Themeimage 2preload Themeimage 3preload Themeimage 4preload Themeimage 5preload Themeimage 6preload Themeimage 7preload Themeimage 8preload Themeimage 9preload Themeimage 10preload Themeimage 11preload Themeimage 12preload Themeimage 13preload Themeimage 14preload Themeimage 15preload Themeimage 16preload Themeimage 17preload Themeimage 18preload Themeimage 19preload Themeimage 20preload Themeimage 21preload Themeimage 22preload Themeimage 23preload Themeimage 24preload Themeimage 25preload Themeimage 26preload Themeimage 27preload Themeimage 28preload Themeimage 29preload Themeimage 30
Like
Love
Haha
Wow
Sad
Angry
Dislike
Not rated yet.
Please confirm
No
Yes
Information
Ok
Previous Next Hide preview images
Close webpage preview
Loading preview ...
Upload photo Upload pdf
Loading preview ...
Preview of your uploaded image Cancel image upload
*: required field
Preview Comment
Close comment preview
Cancel reply
Your comment will be a reply on the following comment:
Data protection and disclaimer
Data protection report - 25.5.2018, 03:18:48
Https is not enabled
Database is on the same server
Cookies can be refused or accepted AcceptRefuseCookies are accepted Cookies are not accepted
Search engines are allowed to index comments
Data protection is low (25%)
1
Software declaration
This software has no known backdoors or vulnerabilities that allows third parties access to your data. More about data protection with this commenting- and rating-system: www.toctoc.ch

No comments