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Mark Jacobs


Mark B. Jacobs has spent 30 years in executive leadership successfully guiding major growth initiatives – many starting as turnaround efforts. He has led re-capitalizations, start-ups, and key organizational change agendas that have scaled company growth and performance. He co-authored the SmartScale process which is built on his years of hands-on experience and expertise in Lean Manufacturing, Quality Systems, Sales & Operations Planning, Category Design & Development, Leadership Development, and Technology-Driven transformations.

How to scale – The Basics

Why SmartScale Works:

  1. Growth strategies support category leadership
    1. Why category leadership is important?
      • Effective teams
    2. How to support category leadership - Design and bring to market hyper-relevant products and services that respond in real-time to customers’ changing job-to-be-done/wants.
      1. Designing for job-to-be-done/wants means:
  • Acting on insights derived from advanced customer analytics
  • Developing compelling new experiences
  • Maximizing personalization and contextual relevance of products, services, and experiences.
  1. Understand the core and anticipate the changing wants of community members
    1. What is the core? (Job-to-be-done)
  • it essential to see the world from the customer’s perspective rather than from the vantage of a company that happens to be selling something.
  • a customer-centric perspective
  • it is important to satisfy real jobs. Although this sounds simple, too many companies start with a new idea and then hope that people will realize its inherent appeal. The end result is often a product that solves low-priority jobs or jobs that people don’t really have.
  • By focusing on the job-to-be-done, it becomes possible to know all the customer’s wants and determine which are unmet. It turns out that when customers are executing a job, they have a set of metrics in mind that define the successful execution of that job. These metrics (or desired outcomes) can be captured as actionable customer want statements that replace the customer inputs companies ordinarily capture and use to create new products. Customers typically use between 50 and 150 distinct outcome statements to describe the successful execution of any job. These metrics are uniquely structured statements that describe how customers measure value. They are the perfect input into a process that is aimed at creating valued products and services.
  • Focusing on features makes you lose sight of important jobs.
  • As much as companies may struggle with functional jobs, they typically get more attention than emotional jobs. As competitors find ways to satisfy the same functional jobs at a lower price point, emotional elements can provide a vital way to differentiate your product.
  • The sweet spot lies with jobs that are important yet under satisfied in the eyes of the customer. These jobs will act as your North Star, guiding the rest of the decisions you make when designing the new offering. Then, at a lower level, you can focus on satisfying secondary jobs that allow you to differentiate your product further, as well as on table-stakes jobs that have to be accomplished by any product in the class.
  • Many companies try to innovate by looking backward. They focus on what they are already selling or doing and on how their customers currently behave. By focusing on jobs, you look deeper—at what really drives behavior. This perspective can totally change the innovation landscape, and it ensures that ideas connect with customers’ true motivations rather than with what they happen to be doing today. A Jobs approach sets you up to win both today and into the future.
  • Be wary of getting into feature wars with your competitors.
  • Features are easy to copy, and adding too many can ultimately make for a frustrating user experience. Similarly, focus on satisfying high-priority jobs, looking first to the jobs that are both important and under satisfied in the eyes of the customer.
    1. What are wants and how do you anticipate them?
  1. Fund new growth by optimizing costs elsewhere
    • What is optimization?
    • How do you optimize?

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