Karen Dillon is co-author of Clayton Christensen's new book, Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice” (HarperCollins, October 2016), a groundbreaking book with the potential to reframe industries. It is based on a simple yet profound idea put forward by Christensen in “The Innovator’s Solution”: customers don’t buy products and services; they hire them to do a job. And understanding which jobs your customers need done is key to innovation success.
The former editor of Harvard Business Review (HBR), Karen has long chronicled the successes and failures of businesses and their leaders.
Currently a contributing editor to HBR focused on the topics of leadership, managing people, managing yourself and entrepreneurship, Dillon has worked closely with some of the world’s greatest thought leaders, including Clayton Christensen, Michael Porter, Vijay Govindarajan, Daniel Isenberg and A.G. Lafley.
A talented, award-winning writer, she is also a passionate, engaging speaker – and is especially skilled at personalizing the themes of her books to make them actionable and relevant to each audience.
Dillon is co-author of several best-selling titles, including “How Will You Measure Your Life?” (HarperCollins, May 2012), with Christensen and James Allworth. The book, born out of a series of powerful lectures and seminars by Christensen, began with an article conceived by Dillon for HBR.
- Her new book, “Competing Against Luck”
- What is a ‘job to be done’
- Identifying customer jobs to be done
- “The story of the milkshake!”
- Looking through a different lens, to improve innovation.
- The anxiety of customer switch and buying patterns
- Customer journey mapping and more
- Prioritising jobs to be done ("which jobs should I build a product around?")
1) Competing against luck - Christensen & Dillon (www.amazon.com/Competing-Against…ting+against+luck)
2) The Innovators Dilemma - Christensen (www.amazon.com/Innovators-Dilemm…ess/dp/0062060244)
3) measureyourlife.com - Karen’s story and her first book.
4) Karen's Twitter: twitter.com/kardillon
Note: Interview transcribed automatically with Trint.com and may contain grammatical and/or spelling errors.
Steve Glaveski: [00:03:08] Welcome to the show.
Karen Dillon: [00:03:09] thank you very much glad to be here.
Steve Glaveski: [00:03:12] It's an honor to have you on the program and I imagine you're joining us from Boston is that right.
Karen Dillon: [00:03:18] I am from Boston yes.
Steve Glaveski: [00:03:20] And. So are you caught up in a book tour for competing against luck just yet.
Karen Dillon: [00:03:25] Not just yet although there's as you know a virtual book tour there's a lot one does from the privacy of your own home but communicate with the world in lots of ways and we are doing that.
Karen Dillon: [00:03:35] Yes. Clay Christensen is actually in Mexico at the moment that he is on a book tour but I'm I'm holding down the fort in Boston.
Steve Glaveski: [00:03:43] Fantastic. Well we're glad to be part of your Australian virtual book tour. Congratulations are in order competing against luck did come out earlier this week, a book you wrote with as you've mentioned. Clayton Christensen as well as Taddy Hall and Dave Duncan. So congratulations.
Steve Glaveski: [00:04:09] So Ithe book explores the concept of jobs to be done something which was first highlighted in Clayton Christensen's 1995 epic The Innovators Dilemma and so the book explores the topic at length. So I guess when it comes to market research organizations have a tendency to segment customers along demographic lines. You know , where they live how old they are gender household income and so on. But I guess the question is is that enough?
Karen Dillon: [00:04:39] Well it's certainly not a bad thing to do it's a start. Sort of putting you in the ballpark. What we believe very strongly is that segmenting by finer and finer degrees of those kinds of characteristics and demographics can get you close but it can never actually explain why somebody makes the choices that they make just because of the fact that I'm a white suburban middle aged mother of two teenage daughters it isn't going to tell you why I might choose to hire AirBnb rather than a hotel on any given occasion. You can't know anything about the context in which I make the choices I make to buy something or not buy something buy even as much information as you can possibly gather about me from a demographic or even like a graphic segment.
Steve Glaveski: [00:05:31] And that makes a lot of sense. And I guess that leads me to ask the question around you know what is a job and perhaps you can talk through the story of the milkshake because I think that captures it beautifully.
Karen Dillon: [00:05:47] Let let me ask I'll tell you our definition and then I'll do the story. So you can think of the definition as I'm talking about it because it is you know we do use these words to capture something that's a little bit complex so so bear with us for a minute.
Karen Dillon: [00:05:59] Our definition of a job to be done to be done is important because it's looking for something you don't yet have right you haven't solved this problem in your life yet a job to be done is the progress that a person is trying to make to achieve something in particular circumstances and all of those words are very important progress and circumstances.
Karen Dillon: [00:06:22] But let me let me back up and tell the story of the milkshake because it is a lovely story. So Clayton Christensen who is a Harvard Business School professor and the primary author of the book is famous for his theory of disruptive innovation which most of your listeners will know.
Karen Dillon: [00:06:38] And he really was focusing three years on what do we know about why really good businesses fail. What do we know about the failure of good businesses?
Karen Dillon: [00:06:46] But as he was continuing to refine and think about the theory of disruptive innovation.
Karen Dillon: [00:06:51] It occurred to him that he didn't understand enough about what we know about how companies know how to grow. . And he was involved in a project that was trying to understand how to improve sales at a fast food chain and understand a curious finding that people who were actually studying people coming and going and looking for the similar demographic and characteristics of customers who were strangely buying a lot of milkshakes in the morning.
Karen Dillon: [00:07:26] So the team stood in the fast food restaurant and studied coming and going and what they had in common.
Karen Dillon: [00:07:33] And they couldn't quite see a pattern. They weren't all a particular age. They were and all seemingly from a particular income bracket based on the cars they drove or you know how quickly they pulled up money or anything they could determine they couldn't find a common denominator.
Karen Dillon: [00:07:48] But for some reason a lot of people were coming in buying milkshakes which is an odd thing to do in the morning. And as they were trying to solve the puzzle of what is making these people buy milkshakes maybe we can sell them more or if we can figure out what it was they asked people well you know how can we make the milkshake better. Which is a question lots of people lots of companies ask about their products to the customers how can we make it better. Should we make them chunkier thicker you know put some fruit in it so feels healthy to you.
Karen Dillon: [00:08:15] You want more chocolate more flavors. They went through a whole series of what characteristics of these milkshakes can we improve so that you'll be even more inclined to buy them. And people kind of scratch their heads and didn't have any one answer. There was nothing consistent. There was no pattern. And then it occurred to them what's let's think about this problem in a really different way. There's a reason that they're coming in to get milkshakes at this prizing time. What if we asked them the question this way. You're obviously trying to achieve something by buying that milkshake. Let's let's use this language and say what job are you hiring that milkshake to do. Now that may seem like a funny question to ask someone in the in the lobby of a faster change but they've started to think of it this way. So let's explain it to you if you didn't come in and buy that milkshake today. What else what were you considering doing or buying at this moment in your day and I've talked to people they realize they were talking to commuters who are on their way to work and maybe had a little bit of a long and boring drive ahead of them. So if you weren't going to come in to get an auction today what were you thinking of doing instead. Well you know what I thought about a banana and I'll use your language I thought about hiring a banana. But you know what a banana. You eat it in like a minute.
Karen Dillon: [00:09:28] If you leave the peel in my car it smells you know your fingers get a little bit sticky. Bananas are gone too quickly. Not a great choice all the time. I was thinking about a bagel but they're a little bit dry. It's hard to spread the cheese on when you are already in the car. Sometimes I actually go get a Snickers bar. . Hey it it's peanuts That's healthy right. And as they started to put the pieces of the puzzle together they realized that the milkshakes weren't competing with other milkshakes and other other fast food chains but they were competing with this strange array of options that people could choose to hire. Again, what will help them get through a long and boring commute being the job to be done.
Karen Dillon: [00:10:09] A milkshake gives them a little bit of entertainment, give them a little bit of something to eat or drink so they wouldn't be starving then they got to work and they wouldn't go straight to the candy machine. It was helping them in the very particular circumstances of being a commuter in a car for a long drive. That was boring.
Karen Dillon: [00:10:24] So they needed it to be some kind of entertainment. Make them feel a little bit good about starting off their day. So there was nothing they could do to make the milkshake itself better necessarily. It wasn't competing with chocolatier milkshakes at the store down the road it was competing with the Snickers bar or a bagel or a banana. That your car smelly. And when you read frame you're competing within that in that way you'd think of it through the lens of what job they were hiring them to do. It changes completely the way you think about how do I get better and more successful or improve my innovation effort.
Steve Glaveski: [00:11:00] And that captures it beautifully and I love how the story and excuse me if I don't paraphrase this 100 percent but how the story then expands to a say a busy professional who's picked up his son off to school and on the way home he decides to buy his son a milkshake and a job in that in that case is well he hasn't got time to play catch with his son later. So that's potentially the circumstance. But he wants to invest in that father son relationship so he buys his son a milkshake is a great example of the circumstance being being the driving factor there.
Karen Dillon: [00:11:34] Same product milkshake got the same person could be hiring in the morning for one job and in the afternoon for a completely different job and so a dad or mom wanting to feel like a good parent for you know one minute and the hectic day in the milkshake is not competing with a soda is competing with it a stop at the toy store can we shoot a couple of hoops is competing with whatever's going to make that Dad feel like whatever he's going to hire to feel like a good father in the circumstances. And so if you tried to improve the milkshake based on an average of all those people who came in during the day you know the afternoon people in the morning people you would have a product that was kind of one size fits none. Instead of thinking about the particular circumstances that compel people to buy an old bike or hire a milkshake to solve the job to be done.
Steve Glaveski: [00:12:21] So I guess with this concept then I guess for us marketers and product developers to rethink the competition because in this case competition is not just another drink it's everything that the milkshake drink has could have done in that moment to fulfill whatever I guess social emotional functional outcomes are looking for. For example if somebody goes out and spends a few hundred dollars or maybe thousands I don't know.
Steve Glaveski: [00:12:47] I've never bought a Chanel handbag but lets just a young professional has spent $700 on a Chanel handbag because she's had a terrible week and wants some retail therapy. I mean she could have hired say a big chocolate cake and just binged too.
Karen Dillon: [00:13:05] I think for me personally having been working in innovation in the media industry for years and years and years I think the biggest takeaway having worked on this book with clay is that if you if you don't have things in your your competitive set that are really surprising to you like milkshakes and and go into the toy store or play basketball if you simply think of your competition as things that are classically in your category that you can track easily and it's you know Coke or Pepsi or whatever then you perhaps have not understood the job well enough to actually truly innovate and improve on all the things that actually matter to the people choosing to hire it for their own job to be done. I think that's a really important takeaway.
Steve Glaveski: [00:13:48] Yeah. Yeah. That makes a hell of a lot of sense. And I guess the question then is to be honest I'm just a corporate innovator. We are launching a new program.
Steve Glaveski: [00:13:59] How do we first go about identifying said customer jobs well as you mentioned a second ago the definition of a job.
Karen Dillon: [00:14:08] I talked to about the progress of jobs are going to be done as is important but that's actually an important distinction because to be done means there's a gap between all of the available solutions to whatever your job may be but you're not satisfied you know you haven't found a good solution to it yet. If the gap between what's available and what you offer is actually relatively small. Yours is a little bit better or a little bit faster a little bit would. You're probably not going to have enough potential to convince people to switch to jump over to your product or service. So it's really it's quite important that you're looking for a big gap between what they would like to solve their job to be done even if they can't articulate it and what exist with them and that's the first step that you've talked about. But it is actually it's very hard and I think we're very clear that that's not an add water and stir solution nor is it some magical algorithm that will tell you you have to really kind of be a detective you can't.
Karen Dillon: [00:15:01] One thing I know for sure you can't armchair quarterback it let's say let's say you can't you can't sit there in your conference room and brainstorm based on what you the engineer there where you the marketers are were you. In that case the editors assume people would want.
Karen Dillon: [00:15:18] I think that's a really dangerous situation to be in because you've never tried to observe in the context or ask questions in the context of people who are actually struggling to get the job done. You just imagining what you can give them.
Karen Dillon: [00:15:32] That should make their lives better. But that may not at all matter to them and actually get the job that we do give a bunch of possible ways to to just start being a detective to figure out the job to be done. And again really important that you sort of piece it together slowly and not assume anything. We start off by saying you're looking for stories not stuff new you're looking for almost in your mind and maybe in reality shooting almost like a mini video of the person who's hiring a product or service you either hope that they'll hire from you or a competitor in some way. What were they doing before. What were they doing afterwards. What are they struggling with in the moment what are all the circumstances that are going into that moment and there's so much you probably can't see but you could at least infer about. Again we talked you mentioned that there's a really big emotional component to what they're trying to accomplish that may not be obvious at the moment and certainly can't be described you know in a product description really easily. There's a social component to it.
Karen Dillon: [00:16:29] There's a really rich kind of three dimensional context of what they're trying to achieve and why and why it matters to them that you need to piece together sort of story by story before you start deciding that you actually have a pattern a pattern there so that's that's one way to think about it's almost a video experiment in your mind is what can you learn from watching people but then inferring importantly again the progress they're trying to make and the social and emotional components as well as just the functional differently.
Steve Glaveski: [00:16:58] I think you touched on a couple of great points there. I mean the first one you did say that the product has to be solving or addressing your job to be done in a way that's significantly better. It can't just be a little bit better and I think a lot of people in startup circles especially say that hey if you're building something you need to be 10x bit on not just a little bit over a little bit cheaper much because people love and I think the book also alludes to these barriers that people have when it comes to switching to your products such as your habits being used to doing things a certain way even if they are clunky.
Steve Glaveski: [00:17:29] You're used to them all just the anxiety of changing of choosing something you and watching to avoid loss. I mean how how critical is it to be conscious of these barriers to switching your products when designing this. Well we're not identifying jobs to be done.
Karen Dillon: [00:17:48] I think it's a hugely important because I'll just give you an example I think a lot of people can relate to how many of us know that that when we it's time to get a new mobile phone that we could potentially turn the one we have in and get you know get some credit or something for it you know we probably will never need to get right.
Karen Dillon: [00:18:05] But in reality how many of us have those stuck in a drawer someplace where. You know why.
Karen Dillon: [00:18:09] Because I have this anxiety that what if I drop my phone down the software on the day that I have to get on a plane I could come up with these crazy things about getting so used to the fear of the new is so big that you come up with this crazy compensating solution.
Karen Dillon: [00:18:25] I'm going to keep my my phone just in case they ever need it. And we never do that. The anxiety component of that is so big that even though the we call it the push you know the push of the situation I'm in is annoying. And look how fabulous this new possible scenario can be if that is not way more powerful than the inertia. It's hard to make change. I'm not going to bother getting that new mobile phone because I'll have to learn all those things and it's annoying to me. This is fine and I think the big the anxiety of the switch. What could go wrong. I'm used to it. It's those bottom two forces are stronger. People just aren't going to make the switch no matter how fabulous your product your product is and I see it all the time. People who think if I can just communicate better with my customers about all the fabulous features that we have more people are going to that are going to take this or keep it you know I'm going to keep renewing it or whatever it or get it again. But they don't understand that fully. You know the bigger the elephant in the room is the anxiety about losing the devil you know and the comfort with the way you solve the problem now. Those those are really huge factors.
Karen Dillon: [00:19:31] And if you don't understand that that switch is big you're not going to successfully convince customers to do it. And I think the other way to think about it is for a customer or a potential customer to hire your product. They probably have to fire something else.
Karen Dillon: [00:19:47] And by that we mean what are they letting go of or what solution are they willing to say that really wasn't good enough. And if you don't know what they're firing to hire yours again you probably aren't ready for them. They're not going to make that leap to hire you because yours is not a better solution overall with all of those things taking a nap.
Steve Glaveski: [00:20:06] And. I love that you mentioned phones. I mean I've had the guts to go to shift you from Nokia back in 1998 somewhere but I mean Google recently announced pixelation and I think one of the features well was around the ability to easily transfer context data etc etc from say an iPhone which will Google pixel. And for me the anxiety of moving across to an Android phone for the last few years because all my data is on an iPhone its all shakes with my different devices. Its been too much for me to switch even though many of my peers say hey Android it's been blah blah blah blah.
Steve Glaveski: [00:20:46] And I'm just like look on my data. I like it this way. So it looks as if Google may have more designs that is New your product. Being quite conscious of the barrier to switching that people have.
Karen Dillon: [00:21:02] That's exactly what they're doing. The whole experience is not just whatever the product is or services the whole experience of purchasing and using that product is a critical part of getting the job to be done right.
Karen Dillon: [00:21:14] And that's a really big component of the experience that you've just mentioned it's taking some of the stress and I mean not all of it away from literally the switch probably once you get used to it you get used to it but the fear of what if what if what if I lose it. My fear what if I dropped down the sewer. It's they're crazy. But they've gone so far to alleviate some of the anxiety. It's a really big step.
Steve Glaveski: [00:21:36] Yeah definitely. And when you were talking about the recording a video of customers essentially or playing a video essentially it sounds like you're talking about you know a customer journey mapping of some of these movements into design techniques. Is that right.
Karen Dillon: [00:21:52] It's a piece of it. And we don't think that we don't think any of those things are bad. It's just our jet. We generally think it has to go further and there's more to know and there's more context where we go in the book we share a technique that the guy that we focus on in the book I call Bob Nestor uses which I think is really good.
Karen Dillon: [00:22:08] I've had him do it to me and it's really interesting he does what he calls a jobs to be done interview where he's looking to just kind of walk through the timeline of how he made the decision that you made.
Karen Dillon: [00:22:20] So he can start identifying what were the big sort of emotional triggers and functional triggers and social triggers.
Karen Dillon: [00:22:25] And it's really interesting if you cross it you know if you chronicle the decision starting with someone who's actually already made the decision so it's not I think I will. And here's why here's I just bought a new phone and I just switched over march through the kind of whole history of how they get to the moment of actually making the decision. And it's almost always obvious that there were multiple critical moments that made a BIG THAT MADE OF play a big role in the decision that may not be or is it all that help tease out the anxieties that were there to overcome or the draw what why the draw was so much better.
Karen Dillon: [00:22:58] So it's again it's partly documentary put together with really truly trying to get at what the causal mechanism what was the true lie that you did and what surrounded that why what was important and making that decision for you to actually go ahead and make the change.
Steve Glaveski: [00:23:12] Yeah. And the book actually does provide an example of I suppose a jobs to be done interview which goes on for about five or six pages which I guess does really capture how deep you need to get it but there's questions on how much probing you really need to do to get to the heart of the job to be done.
Karen Dillon: [00:23:30] We do what we do we are it's a real job to be done interview and we make We've made the choice to run it in that length to show that it's not like one moment of AHA is piecing together everything.
Karen Dillon: [00:23:40] What we did is is interviewed a guy who bought a new mattress. And you might look at the data about the guy and look at his demographics or look at the fact that he bought a new mattress in a Costco and what seemed to be an impulse purchase. But then when you back the story up and get to how did he get to that moment of deciding from touching it and even Leon I guess in Costco they are boxed up in boxes he the sample ad or whatever it is and to making a decision to purchase a mattress. Long story short you realize the guy needs to feel like a better father because he's starting a new business. He's stressed all the time and he somehow attribute and has been.
Karen Dillon: [00:24:17] He's that he's attributed his poor sleep as a big reason why he's not being the father he wants to be and the husband he wants to be. And so he's tried to do other things before but in that moment the new mantra is competing with Rendell to have let me have more energy and is competing with a strange set of things. And so for whatever reason that moment one of the big anxieties was what his wife let him do it when she criticized a beginning. And she's in the store with them and she sort of says you know what you've been you've been sleeping well for a long time I've had it. Are you planning about a find get the new mattress and then the anxiety is really. So he buys a mattress in what you would think is an impulse purchase but it's actually been months and months in the making and all kinds of odds and ends and they'll be Copan and rebel being other things he was trying to hire to help them feel more energetic to be a better dad. It's just interesting piecing together of what looks like there's nothing to examine here and turns out there is something very interesting.
Karen Dillon: [00:25:13] It's interesting and even the feedback you go from is worse in that instance I mean even though she wasn't making a purchasing decision I guess her decision to say it was would you say that's a job to be done with sausage.
Steve Glaveski: [00:25:27] I just she justs want to shut the guy up.
Karen Dillon: [00:25:31] She's a piece of his job. I think it's just part of the context of it. But I mean maybe her. You know I don't know. Maybe her job to be done was partly I need to be more supportive. I need him to see that I'm a more supportive wife. But they they could be doing two different jobs with in the same moment but mostly I saw that as the anxiety of the switch of buying that new mattress is gone the moment you kind of blesses that fantastic.
Steve Glaveski: [00:25:55] So we've gone through this process of performing just to be done interviews and so on and maybe we've come up with say eight to 10 jobs. So I'm familiar with a few different tools obviously Likert scales and the better solution there is a job to be done prioritisation tool. I mean what's your advice for organizations or for product teams who say have identified 10 jobs and I'm quite sure which one to tackle first.
Karen Dillon: [00:26:21] Well that's interesting. I mean 10 jobs that they could be creating products or services to that.
Karen Dillon: [00:26:26] Yeah that's a good question. I mean I guess I would I would look at where where is the gap right where is the biggest gap between what exists now and what their solution is possibly offering.
Karen Dillon: [00:26:38] I mean when you're I think we've talked about this in the book but I think it's true when you identify the competitive set and realize that potentially your biggest competitor is nothing. Meaning people who are doing nothing rather than saw the the job that they're struggling with so they'd rather lump along with work arounds or just dealing with whatever imperfect situation they have. If there is nothing out there that is picked as a better solution to the job that's a really big opportunity. That's been I think your heart should be racing a little bit more as an innovator saying OK no one's solving this problem but we identify it's a pretty gaping problem so let's try it let's try to solve it. That is really a potential for a lot of growth.
Steve Glaveski: [00:27:19] Yeah. So I guess about identifying the gap between how they currently solve the job how are they currently get that job done and how satisfied they are by the existing solution. And yes the big gap. Yeah. That makes sense. So I guess when it comes to disruptive innovation the innovators dilemma for the concept is competing with known consumption where audiences are dramatically say served by existing offerings and therefore don't engage. Sounds like the jobs to be done frame it can help us identify such customers.
Karen Dillon: [00:27:52] It definitely is. It is a really good example of that which would be both disruptive innovation and of jobs through done is into it.
Karen Dillon: [00:28:00] The accounting software company they put their first product that was very successful with Quicken which is a personal financial software and that was a very successful program right away. And Scott Cook who is the founder the co-founder of Intuit told us that for four years he ignored the fact that he learned that a lot of small businesses small business people who run small businesses were kind of jerry rigging the Quicken personal financial software to do the accounting software use it in accounting software for their small business books and he just thought it made no sense because he knew there were better software packages out there that were sort of accounting standard terms in you know high powered and could do everything you know an accountant might be able to do for your business that were out there that weren't super expensive. So for four years he ignored the fact that people had scratched. People keep doing the silly thing with Quicken when they could get this much better product out there for their small businesses until they kind of clicked the job to be done for those businesses was not.
Karen Dillon: [00:29:02] I want my books to look like the highest and CPA did them you know comes in once a week and does them to perfection. The job to be done was I don't want to have to worry about you in my books. I want my bills paid. I want to collect bill money and I want it. I want that not to be a stressful thing in my business.
Karen Dillon: [00:29:19] You're not competing with that software you're competing with throwing all the receipts in shoe boxes and organizing them at the end of them but they're hiring your brother in law to do your books.
Karen Dillon: [00:29:29] So when they realized the competition wasn't this product there were existing products that were out there but it was kind of nothing you know doing the minimal amount of work on your books possible.
Karen Dillon: [00:29:38] They actually created a product that he described Scott Cook describes as half the functionality at twice the price.
[00:29:45] And that became Quick Books which was a gigantic success I think within four months of launch it was the market leader it's because they reassessed what the job to be done was for both people who were really were not happy with all available options. And it turned out to be a very big opportunity.
Steve Glaveski: [00:30:00] Would you would just say that's an example of hearing what customers say.
Karen Dillon: [00:30:06] I think it's a great example and again they were sort of saying it but their behavior but they if you ask because customers are always say yes they want more and better.
Karen Dillon: [00:30:15] Now they want things that you know would you like bay windows in this luxury condominium complex. Sure. Would you like granite countertops. Absolutely. Of course those things all sound good. Their actions and their behavior and what they actually choose to do or where you're going to really find insights rather than what they say it's not that they don't think they mean it it's just you can't really tell a customer's true value code until they've actually made you made a decision that involves their money and their choice and their irrevocable choice. You can see what actually mattered most to them when they had to make a decision once they actually made that decision and you could dissect it backwards. But if you're just anticipating Wouldn't it be nice. Yes.
Karen Dillon: [00:30:54] All those things would be nice. Is that the reason I'm going to make my decision. Probably not. Yeah.
Steve Glaveski: [00:30:59] I guess what becomes of amazed that using the job to be done approach. Companies can avoid the trap of just building Fausta supposedly better products focusing purely on the functional side by honing in on what's really driving that customer. I guess a supports business. Business model innovation when you look at different approaches to solving that same problem and getting the outcome for the customer in the name of the company does escape me but I'll try and edit it in afterwards.
Steve Glaveski: [00:31:31] On the short notes but recently I came across an example where an organization rather than providing better legal services they are using analytic software to determine the likelihood of say an organization going to court every particular topic.
Steve Glaveski: [00:31:49] And this software will say well based on history you're probably 80 percent likely to lose and therefore you shouldn't even contest that in the first place rather than saying hey we're going to get the best lawyers and we're going to get this and that it's basically well you're probably going to lose. So you shouldn't even get tested in the first place.
Karen Dillon: [00:32:08] That's a you know I think that's a really good example. That's a totally different way of thinking about what's the job the job isn't provide me with the best legal services the job is.
Karen Dillon: [00:32:16] I don't want to get involved in the job has helped me I don't want we talk about that there are a lot of jobs that are I don't want to I don't want to be in court. I don't want to spend a lot of money on lawyers. It's a different job.
Karen Dillon: [00:32:26] And it may seem like they're really close and can't you just pick the best lawyers who will advise you that maybe but maybe the job to be done is I don't want to start having myself bound to expensive legal services to make decisions I want to be able to make decisions for myself. They're getting their emotional components of that. So it's like a balance. I want to be seen as a leader who can make good decisions and this tool gives me confidence that I can do it or I want my peers to see me using my judgment or spending the money. Additionally there's a lot that goes into that and it sounds like that product or that service has has targeted a job to be done really well.
Steve Glaveski: [00:32:59] And I guess that resonates with Michael Porter's famous quote strategies distorting what not to do. And I just did it on a personal level. What jobs that people know what to do and how can we help them.
Karen Dillon: [00:33:13] I think that's exactly right. There's a really great example of that. I don't know if you have all your listeners will be familiar with On-Star which is the satellite communications system that GM puts in its car that at least puts it a lot of its cars where you can be driving along and press a button and know OnStar will tell you anything from where is the closest restaurant to any directions to whatever.
Karen Dillon: [00:33:33] A really good example is Astar was created in the beginning years ago as is what the the head of it at the time called the coolest brochure or where ever it was really sort of intended to be just something that sold more cars like make it look really state of the art and cool. And so because its goal was simply to be the coolest brochure or wherever they threw every possible thing into it that that would make it cool and it was really fun to design right.
Karen Dillon: [00:33:58] You want to have the ability to find the nearest restaurant we can. We can do that. You want to get directions we can do that. They came up with a Chinese menu and they had so many things in it that they realized they actually had no idea why some people were choosing to renew it.
Karen Dillon: [00:34:13] And a lot of people weren't. It was just too all singing and dancing until they honed in on what job was a more meaningful one that people were really hiring to do. And it turned out they didn't wasn't hard for them to realize when they thought about it for a little while. People were hiring the On-Star and renewing the OnStar service for peace of mind while driving. And when you know that you've stripped it down to the real essence of that is I want to have peace of mind I don't want to be afraid that I'm in an unfamiliar part of an unfamiliar city late at night. I
Karen Dillon: [00:34:44] want to know that if my daughter is driving to college you know she can she can always have help if something goes wrong with the car that that helps you as the organization make all of the design and innovation choices around that improvement choices through the lens of hey what's the job. And when you know the job is peace of mind you're not going to worry about the best sat nav directions you know it turns out now there's a lot of competition for that you can get it on your phone you can get it done on a GPS you put in your car but peace of mind while driving has a very specific thing in the context that's important and you can make much better choices about what customers will actually care about when you have a thoughtful narrowed lens of what's the real job to be done.
Steve Glaveski: [00:35:24] Makes a lot of sense. Thank you. Karen provided a wealth of knowledge for an audience but we are down to the lightning round. Just when I ask all of my guests three questions two hypotheticals are one to last all that long. You ready. OK. I'm ready also. Yes. Question number one is if you could work for any company any stage of the company lifecycle would it be and why.
Steve Glaveski: [00:35:49] Oh man I am a startup girl at heart even though I haven't worked so closely that I think working for any startup around really smart interesting people is the is the role my guilt.
[00:36:00] It's the fun part of it so maybe maybe an early days of Google or Facebook or even being me as company I admire. Right now I think that would have been really fun to be know employees through 20 something like that.
[00:36:13] I definitely agree with that. Question number two is if you could ask anyone a question or a large would it be and watch what you ask.
[00:36:23] Man having recently visited the thel that he spent you know decades and I probably would like to ask Nelson Mandela how he kept his big picture focus on what the greater mission of his life was in all those hard times.
[00:36:41] I think it's absolutely amazing and I'd really love to know from looking him in the eye how and why did he not let the bitterness eat him alive but instead became the great leader that he did that I would genuinely love to ask.
[00:36:53] And just so very very quick off the mark. I mean just a lot of people take about 30 seconds to answer that one.
[00:37:01] And finally the last question is around lifestyle design. You used to be the editor at HBR. And you've written a couple of books you've obviously kept yourself very very busy and I came to find out from everyone that I interview you now how do you stay on top of your game. Do you have any rituals or routines that you partake in on a daily basis.
[00:37:22] Oh interesting question.
[00:37:25] I guess I try to be as connected to people as I possibly can even though I'm not physically always connected with them. So I am extremely good keep up with my networker. And there's probably not a day that I don't look in the first you know hour at Facebook Twitter e-mail. You know I just in addition to reading and doing what you need to do I just want to kind of be aware of people's lives as much as their professional lives. And I think that's worked really well for staying connected to my you know now very stented tribe over multiple job iterations in multiple locations geographical locations where human or human relationships and networking definitely goes a long way to awaken the audience to find out a little bit more about your current Oh well actually probably the best way to find out more about me is from my previous book we have a Web site called Measure your life dot com and that is there's more about my story there. And the book that probably was the beginning of restructuring my life is working on the book which is called How will you measure your life. So there's a little bit more about me there and be happy to have people follow me on Twitter at our care.
[00:38:38] Dillon scientistic we will make sure you add that to the show in a church. Thank you again Karen. You've been an awesome guests and I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening.
[00:38:47] Thank you so much I appreciate your time and I appreciate your interest.
[00:38:50] Just well that's a wrap.
[00:38:59] I hope he enjoyed our interview with Karen Dillon. I've got a lot of value out of that and I'm sure you did as well. As always if you're picking up what we're putting down take a minute to like share or subscribe to future A-squared on iTunes soundcloud. All stitched up and to find out a little bit more about collective campus. You can head to w w w collective Camp us and download a ton of resources including other podcasts videos blogs innovation resources and so on until next time identify those jobs to be done. Future squid out
Your host and occasional cybernetic organism, Steve Glaveski, is committed to helping people better navigate the growing uncertainty that technology change brings, in order to survive, thrive, create more value for the world and lead more fulfilling lives.
Steve is the CEO and co-founder of innovation accelerator Collective Campus, founder of children's entrepreneurship program Lemonade Stand, author of Amazon best-seller The Innovation Manager's Handbook and the Wiley book, Employee to Entrepreneur, investor in blockchain based fractional property investment platform Konkrete and is a keynote speaker and startup advisor.
When not fighting T-1000s Steve can be found in the gym, hiking, skating at the beach, attempting standup comedy, at a heavy metal show or socially lubricating at a whisky bar.