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

Book 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

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Table of Content
  5. Acknowledgments [This content is currently in development.]
  6. About the Authors
  7. Preface
  8. 1. Introducing Thematic Thinking: Start Seeing the World with Both Eyes
    1. Strategic Opportunity Search
    2. Recognizing Strategic Threats
    3. Avoiding the Innovation Dead End: Reconsidering What’s ‘Distant’ to your Core Business
  9. 2. Behind the Themes: How Thematic Ideas are Motivated
    1. Four Types of Motivation for Thematic Ideas
    2. Improving the Experience
    3. Customer Lock On
    4. Problem Solving
    5. Reaching New Target Groups
    6. Reaching Untapped Customer Groups: Base-of-the-Pyramid Innovation
    7. Insights from the Base of the Pyramid
    8. Redefining the Indian Dairy Industry
    9. Making Do with What is at Hand
    10. Reaching Customers in Rural Areas
    11. Takeaways
    12. Case Overview
    13. Case Study
  10. 3. Kind(S) of Similar: Defining the Basics of Thematic Thinking
    1. Types of Similarity
    2. Themes
    3. Association
    4. Complementarity
    5. Sources of Thematic Similarity
    6. Operation
    7. Evaluation
    8. Effect
    9. Complementarity
    10. Takeaways
  11. 4. Exploring Themes
    1. Different Kinds of Themes (not all themes are created equal)
    2. Creating New Themes (or combining existing ones)
    3. Thematic distance
    4. Abstract Themes
    5. Analogies
    6. Takeaways
    7. Case Study
  12. 5. The Thematic Power of Brands
    1. Extending Brands
    2. Coincidental Thematicness
    3. Brand Alliances
    4. Thematic threats
    5. Thematic Brand Extensions Do Not Work for Everyone
    6. Brands as Themes
    7. Takeaways
    8. Case Overview
    9. Case Study
  13. 6. Thinking Thematic
    1. Why do some think thematically and others don’t
    2. Thematic Thinking at Different Stages in Your Life: Taxonomic at Middle Ages
    3. Thematic Thinking in Different Cultures: East beats West
    4. Thematic Thinking and Mood: Cheer up
    5. How to Create Thematic Ideas -- and don’t worry, everyone can do this
    6. Guided Thematic Thinking
    7. How to recognize a thematic idea when you see one
    8. Takeaways
    9. Fictional Case Studies
  14. 7. Thematic Ideas in the Corporate Environment – Giving Them a Fighting Chance
    1. What Makes a Good (Thematic) Idea?
    2. Turning to Customers for Thematic Advice
    3. Seeing the Whole Thematic Picture
    4. Getting the Message Across
    5. Surviving the Execution Gap
    6. Selling Thematic Ideas
    7. Takeaways
    8. Case Study
  15. 8. Linking Technological Innovation to Thematic Thinking
    1. The New Life of Mobile Phones
    2. Apps
    3. Putting Real Life Online
    4. The Internet of Things
    5. Home Automation
    6. High-tech Healthcare
    7. Takeaways
    8. Case Study
  16. 9. Wrapping Up: Think Thematic
  17. Glossary
  18. Readings
  19. References