Is innovation success largely random?
A visual assessment of Breakthrough Winners reveals no telltale markers or outward signs of their high achievement. The drivers of success are not obvious. In many ways, lining up the 2015 U.S. Breakthrough Innovation winners creates somewhat of a cross-section of the average store.
Perhaps, then, managers should mostly keep doing what they’re already doing: trying their best in a game largely of chance in which odds are long and the play is tough. Alternatively, is there a causal mechanism—invisible to the naked eye—that not only unites the Breakthrough Winners but also explains their success?
The beauty of the Breakthrough Innovation Project is that it is an unprecedented study of 20,000 successes and failures, and it’s the study of causality, not correlation.
The answer to the big question is that success is anything but random and unpredictable; it’s a science. There is a causal mechanism that reveals why consumers pull brands into their lives, and it’s a job to be done.