• Carol Read

Building products customers love - Part 1


My Trusty Sunflower cream is a great case study to show innovation in the NHS. The original sunflower cream product was developed to be used by patients who had plastic surgery over twenty years ago. My role was to take the basic non-commercial cream used in hospital, innovate and build a product customers love.


There’s a whole raft of information on the product here which was featured on the BBC One show within a few months of launch because it was unique. The brand is the first NHS skincare range with a percentage of profits are put back into patient care.


What I want to do in this blog is fill in the back story and piece together how innovation can be ignited in the simplest of situations. To deconstruct my work on the My Trusty brand I will use the research of Hal Gregersen, Clayton Christensen and Jeff Dyer “The Innovator’s DNA” . The book is a result of eight years of exploratory study by the authors to identify the key skill set for innovators. Their research identified five “discovery skills” used by innovative leaders that distinguishes them from the ordinary:


Questioning: Posing queries that challenge common wisdom.

Observing: Scrutinizing the behavior of customers, suppliers and competitors to identify new ways of doing things.

Networking: Meeting people with different ideas and perspectives.

Experimenting: Constructing interactive experiences and provoking unorthodox responses to see what insights emerge.

Associating: Drawing connections between questions, problems, or ideas from unrelated fields.


Yet, perhaps the most significant finding in the research was our ability to generate innovative ideas is not just a function of our minds, but of our behaviors. Thus, by changing our behaviors and regularly incorporating the above “discovery skills” in our daily lives, we can improve our innovation aptitude.


The videos and research articles give you an insight into this work and I would recommend the book to anyone who wants to innovate. From a personal perspective, I would like to extend my gratitude to Hal Gregersen who has always shown an interest in my work as an innovator and been generous with his support. This video covers more of the approach.


In my next blog post, I will cover the first discovery skill – Questioning and link to my work with My Trusty.


If you want to find out more about the individuals behind the videos and products by following on twitter:-

@HalGregersen

@CarolLRead