Wakeman Consulting GroupWakeman Consulting GroupWakeman Consulting Group
+ 1 917-705-6301
Washington, DC 20008
Wakeman Consulting GroupWakeman Consulting GroupWakeman Consulting Group

10 Commandments of “Innovation Led Growth”


I’ve been doing some noodling on an idea: “The lost art of strategy”. 

I’ll dig into that over the next few months. 

But, this week, I began to hone in on the idea that strategy is about creating “innovation-led growth.” 

Why does this matter? 

  1. Most of the growth we see in the economy is coming from extractive efforts such as increasing prices while slashing staff and value delivered. 
  2. Our economy is short on innovative new ideas. Just look at the number of “me too” products. 
  3. Innovation is where growth happens—new solutions to old and new problems. 

To frame my thinking, I’ve put together 10 Commandments of Innovation Led Growth: 

Thou Must Know Your Customer: 

You have to know the customer. 

Call it Market Orientation. Call it “Inside Out Thinking”. Call it whatever you like. 

You must know your market. 

Thou Will Know That “You Are Not Your Customer”: 

This goes hand-in-hand with knowing your customer. 

But the flip side is often missed. 

You aren’t the customer. 

You don’t see your products, services, events, etc. the same way customers do. 

So your ideas about what a customer values aren’t legit. 

They are likely dangerous because they lull you into a sense of security of belief in your solution. 

Thou Will Not Say, “We Will Cut to Grow”:

This is nonsense. 

You can can cut. 

Sometimes you must cut. 

But innovation and growth demand investment. 

“Cutting to grow” is usually coded language that means you are going to fire some folks and tell the people that remain, “We are all going to have to do a little bit more.” 

Saying you are “cutting to grow” means you aren’t likely to innovate and aren’t likely to grow. 

Thou Won’t Try To Launch With “Introductory Pricing”: 

The market is littered with businesses that went to market with the idea that they would get the customer “hooked” on a great product at an introductory price. 

Then, they’d raise the price to a level that made the business profitable or sustainable. 

This doesn’t work. 

All you’ve done is set the perception of price to value below the level that it would need to be to sustain your business. 

Once that’s happened, it limits your ability to raise your prices sufficiently because the reference price point is so low. 

Raising prices is hard. Most businesses can’t do it well. 

Set the right f@#$%^& price at the start. 

Thou Will Focus on Added Value: 

Innovation and growth are about adding value. 

You must focus on adding value that your market will view as valuable. 

Thou Won’t Be “Everything to Everyone”: 

You have to make a targeting decision. 

You can’t be everything to everyone. 

Even mass-market products pick a target and exclude a portion of the market. 

You can’t be “everything to everyone”. 

Thou Will Know That Change is Constant:

Have I ever told you my favorite Pat Riley story?

In 1995 when he took over as President and Coach of the Miami Heat, Pat Riley did a series of commercials for South Florida TV. 

The team was terrible. 

But the team had Pat Riley, so they had hope. 

The commercial that stuck with me over the years was one where Pat Riley was in a shadow and it was just him, speaking. 

“Change. The only thing that is certain in life is change. And, when she raises her beautiful face, you embrace her. Because change is all that you have.” 

That’s where your attention needs to be. 

Thou Will Focus on Impact: 

How do you make your customer’s life better? 

That’s it. 

Thou Will Know That Disruption is a Verb, Not a Buzz Word: 

Disruption is about action. 

Too often it is a buzzword. This translates to more of the same old, same old. 

You have to know the difference. 

Disruption requires new thinking and new actions. 

Thou Will Keep a Reinvention Mindset: 

Going hand-in-hand with disruption is reinvention. 

You have to always focus on creating your future. 

You can’t just wait for the future to happen to you. 

There they are.

My 10 Commandments of Innovation Led Growth. 

Do these make sense to you? 
Did I spark an idea for you?
Is there a take on these that you’ve been thinking of? 

Let me know.

Hit reply. 


I’m hosting a “Meet-Up” in London on 2 July 2024 at 5 PM at the BrewDog in SoHo.

I’ve re-imagined one of my workshops, “Fans For Life”. I’m hosting a full-day session in NYC on September 4, 2024. You can sign up here

Look at you! 

All the way to the bottom of the page! 

Thank you for reading! 

Do me a solid and share this week’s issue with one friend, co-worker, or colleague that would benefit from my thinking on strategy and growth.