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Using Thematic Thinking to Achieve Business Success, Growth, and Innovation: Finding Opportunities Where Others Don't Look

By Julia Kathi Froehlich, Martin Hoegl, Michael Gibbert

Published by Pearson FT Press

Published Date: May 7, 2014

Description

Leverage hidden similarities and connections to succeed in new markets and avert emerging business risks! Firmly rooted in the latest cognitive science, Thematic Thinking helps you recognize your great opportunities and grave threats in distant but related industries and markets. If you're an executive, entrepreneur, or strategist, it will help you illuminate blind spots on your strategic maps and innovation processes, by radically redefining what you see as similar to your core business.

 

Using Thematic Thinking to Achieve Business Success, Growth, and Innovation explains why this approach to innovation works so well, and how to successfully apply it in your business. Using realistic business cases, the authors show: 

  • How Thematic Thinking responds to today's radically shifting business environment, and the collapse of traditional market boundaries
  • Why traditional approaches to innovation can often be counterproductive, and how to go beyond them
  • How to systematically uncover deep similarities where most managers only see differences
  • How to understand these similarities as immense new business opportunities – and uncover emerging risks you wouldn't otherwise notice until too late
  • How to explore and combine themes, identify similarities, create and evaluate thematic ideas, organize for Thematic Thinking, and overcome obstacles to success

Which Google manager would have imagined people substituting Facebook for Gmail? Which Nike manager recognizes the huge potential competitive threat now presented by Apple? With Thematic Thinking, linkages like this become clear – and innovative, once-hidden strategic options are revealed!

Table of Contents

Preface    xv

Chapter 1  Introducing Thematic Thinking: Start Seeing the World with Both Eyes    1

Strategic Opportunity Search    4

Recognizing Strategic Threats    6

Avoiding the Innovation Dead End: Reconsidering

What’s “Distant” to Your Core Business    8

Takeaways    12

Chapter 2  Behind the Themes: How Thematic Ideas Are Motivated    13

Four Types of Motivation for Thematic Ideas    14

Improving the Experience    16

Achieving Customer Lock-On    19

Solving Problems    22

Reaching New Target Groups    26

Reaching Untapped Customer Groups:

Base of the Pyramid Innovation    27

Insights from the Base of the Pyramid    30

Takeaways    35

Case Overview    35

Case Study: Safe Cooking    38

Chapter 3  Kind(s) of Similar: Defining the Basics of Thematic Thinking    41

Types of Similarity    42

Themes    45

Association    46

Complementarity    48

Sources of Thematic Similarity    50

Operation    52

Evaluation    54

Effect    55

Complementarity    56

Takeaways    57

Chapter 4  Exploring Themes    59

Different Kinds of Themes (Not All Themes Are

Created Equal)    60

Creating New Themes (or Combining Existing Ones)    67

Thematic Distance    71

Abstract Themes    74

Analogies    76

Takeaways    79

Case Study: Washing Hands the Thematic Way    79

Chapter 5  The Thematic Power of Brands    81

Extending Brands    83

Coincidental Thematicness    87

Brand Alliances    91

Thematic Threats    97

Thematic Brand Extensions Do Not Work for

Everyone    99

Brands as Themes    104

Takeaways    105

Case Overview    105

Case Study: Italians’ Lifestyle on the Road    107

Chapter 6  Thinking Thematic    111

Why Some Think Thematically and Others Don’t    112

How to Create Thematic Ideas—and Don’t Worry,

Everyone Can Do This    119

Guided Thematic Thinking    122

Fictional Case Study 1: TMD Furnishings    123

How to Recognize a Thematic Idea When

You See One    128

Takeaways    130

Fictional Case Study 2: The Coffee Team    131

Fictional Case Study 3: Tematech    132

Fictional Case Study 4: Lighthouse Theaters    133

Fictional Case Study 5: Tema Air    134

Your Task (For All Cases)    135

Chapter 7  Thematic Ideas in the Corporate Environment—Giving Them a Fighting Chance    137

What Makes a Good (Thematic) Idea?    139

Turning to Customers for Thematic Advice    141

Seeing the Whole Thematic Picture    144

Getting the Message Across    147

Surviving the Execution Gap    149

Selling Thematic Ideas    153

Takeaways    155

Case Study: Swedish Design Meets Chinese

Technology    156

Chapter 8  Linking Technological Innovation to Thematic Thinking    159

The New Life of Mobile Phones    162

Apps    167

Putting Real Life Online    168

The Internet of Things    169

Home Automation    170

High-tech Health Care    172

Takeaways    174

Case Study: Teenage Consumption    174

Chapter 9  Wrapping Up: Think Thematic    177

1.) THemes: If there is no theme, it is not thematic    178

2.) INtegration: Entities should be integrated within ideas    179

3.) Keep practicing    180

4.) THematic ideas face great dangers in the corporate context    181

5.) Experience: To understand a theme, you need personal experience    182

6.) Many items make up a theme: Think big    183

7.) Association and cultural awareness matter    184

8.) Taxonomic ideas can be great, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to them    185

9.) Individuals differ in their preferences for ideas and kinds of similarities    186

10.) Customers’ perspectives should be taken    187

Glossary    189

Readings    195

Endnotes    199

Ch. 1    199

Ch. 2    201

Ch. 3    204

Ch. 4    207

Ch. 5    209

Ch. 6    211

Ch. 7    213

Ch. 8    214

Ch. 9    215

Glossary    216

Index    217

 

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ISBN-10: 0-13-344807-X

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-344807-8

Format: Book

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