Forbes Consults Artisan's Tim Mitrovich on Innovation


In March, Forbes sought out Artisan’s Tim Mitrovich to share insights on innovation. In the article, Mitrovich shares three tips for avoiding an innovation flop based on 25 years of product innovation as a founder, corporate venturer, investor, mentor, and advisor across a wide range of industries, including supply chain fin-tech, automotive, and government.

1.    Listen Intently

Creating change that resonates with customers requires listening. More than conducting customer surveys or focus groups, visionary innovators search for pain points and address them proactively. They are constantly asking questions like What is frustrating our customers or employees? How can we improve this process? How can we surprise the user?

2.    Quantify the Impact Upfront

While listening is important, chasing every customer complaint or idea can drive anyone crazy and will waste valuable resources along the way. The key is determining which innovations are most impactful, both for the customer and the business. One way to ensure this is by requiring teams to compete for funding for projects. The leaders who prove the dollar value of a specific initiative upfront will receive the most allocation, putting healthy pressure on innovators to pursue the solutions that yield the most quantifiable value.

3.    Fail Fast but Empower the Team

Finally, great innovators fail fast. When an initiative proves to be unsuccessful, they move on quickly to the next idea without punishing the team responsible. Instead, they embrace failure, empower their people, and try again. After all, if 95% of all product innovations fail, we cannot waste time polishing failed initiatives, or we will never reach the 5% that actually succeed.

The truth is, a few flops are practically a guarantee when it comes to innovation. What matters most is that you move through the duds quickly and cost-effectively while encouraging that talent supporting the projects. By proving value upfront, smart innovators have a much higher success rate of identifying the types of innovations that move the needle for the business and delight the customer.  

To read the entire article, visit

At Artisan, we work with clients at every stage of the innovation process to help propel their business forward with targeted concept development and rapid experimentation that sets them apart from their peers. If you are interested in discussing your company’s innovation needs, we’d be happy to speak with you to determine if there is a mutual fit.

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