Progress owner

Dr. Adam Tacy PhD, MBA avatar
What we’re thinking

A progress owner is responsible for helping seekers make some specific progress. This means they are responsible for one or more proposition – including:

  • Marketing – understanding seeker’s ever evolving progress sought
  • Developing – creating and updating progress propositions
  • Executing – ensuring propositions deliver on offers to help seeker’s progress

They’re like a supercharged product owner, with responsibility for innovation (improving seeker’s progress)

Editing below here

Progress owner

Progress helpers need to actively manage their offerings. They need to ensure progress offered is executed properly and addresses the observation that progress sought by seekers is constantly evolving

Rephrasing Peter Drucker’s well-known observation about the purpose of a firm, as stated in “The Practice of Management”:

the purpose of a progress helper is to attract maximum equitable service exchange (number and size) with progress seekers – as such a progress helper has three, and only three, functions:

  • marketing – continuous discovery of ever evolving progress sought
  • executing – delivery of progress offered
  • innovating – continuous innovation of progress offered towards progress sought

Many organisations struggle with all three. Too often business as usual becomes focussed on the execution task and driving efficiencies. Innovation becomes a disjoint side affair. Leading to the innovation problem. And what Steve Blank has called innovation theatre.

The innovation problem:

84% of executives agreed that innovation is important to their growth strategy. 
Only 6% of those executives are satisfied with innovation performance.McKinsey (2008) “Growth and Innovation

54% of the companies they surveyed struggle to bridge the gap between business and innovationPWC’s (2017) Innovation Benchmark

very few [executives] know what the problem is, or how to fix itMcKinsey (2008) “Growth and Innovation

The progress economy strongly indicates that enterprises be structured around the progress offered.

  • discovery of progress sought
  • innovation of progress offered
  • successful execution of propositions

And to do that, we propose a progress owner (an evolution of product owner). Someone accountable for: 

  • understanding progress sought
  • ensuring progress offered in progress proposal is delivered
  • helping seekers make progress better
  • helping progress seeker make better progress
  • lowering one or more of the six progress hurdles

The first point addresses marketing as well as learnings from each proposal execution. The second that poor execution leads to value co-destruction, abandoned progress attempts and missed learnings. Although there are alternative learnings on why there was value co-destruction.

And if those last three sound familiar, they are the basis of the progress economy view of innovation. The rest of the organisation should be structured the best way to support the progress owner.

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