What Budweiser Can Teach You About Innovation

Budweiser beers AP

Anheuser-Busch InBev can offer business owners everywhere a model for success.

One area where they’re especially good: innovation.

In a post for Harvard Business Review, Scott Anthony, Managing Director of Innosight Ventures, comments on a few lessons from the corporation’s global director of innovation, Patrick O’Riordan.

In summary:

  • Explain your objectives clearly and simply.  This makes it easy for anyone to understand and innovate according to those standards. “[AB InBev’s] strategic objectives are to increase SOB (share of beer) and SOT (share of throat)… by getting consumers to switch to its products, consume its products in new locations, or attract new consumers.” 
  • Present defined types of innovation to make dialogue more productive. AB InBev has two: “Renovations,” which improve on current products, and “Innovations,” which involve totally new products.
  • Implement an appropriate and effective innovation process. “AB InBev breaks innovation into a front-end process — which involves consumer discovery work, idea formulation, idea qualification, and so on — and a back-end process. The front-end process doesn’t have fixed stage gates given its ‘fuzzy’ and iterative nature. The back-end process is, appropriately, more rigid.”

Read the whole thing over at HBR >

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