Cook’s 5 Ways to Innovate: 1. Mindset Changes

Scott Cook of Intuit recently articulated five principles of business innovation. Each of them can be implemented by using some simple creative thinking tools. Here is the first of the principles.

Cook’s 5 Ways to Innovate
|| 1. Mindset Changes || 2. Learn from Surprises ||

Cook said that innovation comes from “mindset changes”. A mindset is a fixed attitude that dictates our response to a situation. Here are three ways in which mindset change can be achieved and used to spark innovation:

1.Challenge the established business model. Coffee used to be sold in jars and vacuum-sealed pouches in supermarkets. Starbucks challenged this with their freshly brewed “coffee the way you want it” model. What’s the established business model in the FMCG industry? Distribution through retail shops. What about the fast growing model of multi-level-marketing? In some countries, this now accounts for more than 20% of some FMCG categories.

2. Change the dimension on which you compete. For some years now, video game consoles have been competing on the idea of “better, more life-like games and graphics”‘. Faster processors, higher-capacity storage media and Internet hubs are a few of the features that the Sony Playstation and Microsoft X-Box compete to do one better than the other on this dimension. On the other hand, Nintendo has now chosen to compete on the dimension of “engaging experience” with their revolutionary motion-sensitive wand and immersive user interface. It’s still a bit early to tell if they will succeed, but there’s no question that this is the real innovation in the category.

3. Challenge the dominant idea of the business. Edward de Bono talks about the railways, where the dominant idea is to transport people to places they want to go. What if railways took people to places they don’t want to go? De Bono tells the story of Nippon Rail, which bought up a large chunk of vacant land and then connected it to Tokyo by a high-speed railway line. They then made their money by selling the land, which was worth a lot more now that it was connected to Tokyo!

Thanks to Antonella Pavese for blogging about Scott Cook’s ideas.


  1. […] How To Change Your Mind […]

  2. […] Cook’s 5 Ways to Innovate || 1. Mindset Changes || 2. Learn from Surprises || || 3. Focus on Customer Metrics || […]

  3. […] and pretty painful.  One possible method for changing your mindset is explained quite well on Snake Coffee, using a coffee analogy that is entirely meaningful to the intended audience; Challenge the […]

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