The Innovative Lean Enterprise : Using the Principles of Lean to Create and Deliver Innovation to Customers book cover
1st Edition

The Innovative Lean Enterprise
Using the Principles of Lean to Create and Deliver Innovation to Customers

ISBN 9781482203905
Published August 19, 2013 by Productivity Press
315 Pages 139 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Explaining how to use Lean principles to drive innovation and strategic portfolio planning, The Innovative Lean Enterprise: Using the Principles of Lean to Create and Deliver Innovation to Customers outlines simple, yet powerful, visual Lean tools that can enhance idea generation and product development. It starts with a discussion of Lean principles and then identifies the applicable portions of Lean that can drive customer value.

The book discusses customer value in the form of the benefits your customers desire. It walks you through the processes of using Lean techniques to effectively evaluate the quality of any prospective marketing opportunity and includes examples from a variety of industries, including healthcare.

The text discusses value creation, reduction of waste, entrepreneurial system designer, set-based concurrent engineering, and Lean project management. It also includes numerous examples of visual management tools as they apply to innovation to help you develop the understanding required to achieve a competitive advantage for your brand, division, or company through Lean.

Table of Contents

Visual Strategy
The First Parameter of Strategy
The Second Parameter of Strategy
The Third Parameter of Strategy
The Fourth Parameter of Strategy
The Strategy Icon
Chapter Overviews
     Chapter 2: Understanding the Current State
     Chapter 3: Opportunity Identification
     Chapter 4: Idea Generation
     Chapter 5: Delivering Profitable Innovation to Targeted Customers
     Chapter 6: Barriers to Imitation
     Chapter 7: Applications of Graphical Strategy Tools
     Chapter 8: Ranking Offerings
     Chapter 9: The Strategy Transformation Process
     Chapter 10: Strategy Transformation Example
     Chapter 11: Alignment and Position Statements

Understanding the Current State
The 2-D Perceptual Map
The 2-D Map
The Utility Knife Industry
     First Innovation: The Retractable Utility Knife
     Second Innovation: Quick Blade Change
     Third Innovation: Folding Utility Knives
     The Switchback Knife
     Product Features: Lock-Back-Style Folding Utility Knives
     Product Features: Folding Retractable Utility Knife with Blade Storage
     Product Features: Fast-Open Gravity Utility Knife

Opportunity Identification
Must-Be Requirements
One-Dimensional Requirements
Attractive Requirements
Top Portion of Product Fulfillment Map
     Product Use
     Barriers to Use
     Product Robustness
     End of Life
Left-Side Portion of Product Fulfillment Map
     Utility: Product Function Category
     Risk: Category in Which Customers Seek Risk Avoidance
     Simplicity or Convenience
     Emotional Well-Being or Social Well-Being
     Supports the Green Movement
Product Fulfillment Map Example
Opportunity Scores

Idea Generation
Internal Perspective Techniques
     Focus Groups
     One-on-One Interview
     Product User Testing
     Customer Feedback and Complaints
     Ethnographic Research
     Idea Generation
     The Problem Solution Statement
     Job Mapping
Internal Ideation Methods
     Brain Writing
     Brain Walking
     Worst Idea
     Patent Prompts
     Picture Prompts
     White Board Technique
External Perspective Techniques
     Looking to Alternative Industries
     Looking to Alternate Strategic Groups
     Looking at Different Buyer Groups
     Looking to Complementary Product and Service Offerings
     Adding or Removing Functional or Emotional Characteristics
     Identifying New Trends

Delivering Profitable Innovation to Targeted Customers

Barriers to Imitation
Brand Power
Firm’s Knowledge
Customer Relationships
Supplier Relationships
High-Efficiency Operations
Skill of People
Technology and Money
Regulatory Pioneering
Economies of Scale
Switching Cost of the Consumer
Intellectual Property
     Types of Patents
     Patent Claims
     The Power of Patent Pending (a defensive tool)
     Trade Dress as an IP Tool
     Copyrights as an IP Tool
     Trade Secrets as an IP Tool

Applications of Graphical Strategy Tools
SWOT Analysis
Balanced Scorecard Approach
     The Learning and Growth Perspective
     The Business Process Perspective
     The Customer Perspective
     The Financial Perspective
Disruptive Innovation
     New Market Disruptions
     Low-End Disruptions

Ranking Offerings

The Strategy Transformation Process

Strategy Transformation Example

Alignment and Position Statements



Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3


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Anthony Sgroi Jr. is a broadly experienced innovative thinker with a rare combination and proven track record in the disciplines related to customer fulfillment. Mr. Sgroi is highly experienced in the fields of engineering, manufacturing, and law, with a strong understanding of marketing and business strategy. He has considerable experience in defining value-added customer offerings utilizing the principles of Lean product development.

Mr. Sgroi has worked for many well-known companies in the areas of product development. Mr. Sgroi has developed a multitude of products that are currently on the market today. Mr. Sgroi began his career in the areas of product design and procurement. After successfully launching several products, Mr. Sgroi decided to broaden his skill set by studying business, where he acquired a strong interest in marketing and strategy. This understanding allowed him to better contribute across the various disciplines of business. Understanding the level of importance and to further differentiate himself, Mr. Sgroi successfully passed the patent bar, where he is admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regarding patent matters. Mr. Sgroi is the holder of 40 patents with more than 30 more pending in the areas of compressed butane lighters, hydrogen generating devices for fuel cells, and various inventions related to cleaning tools.

Mr. Sgroi has several forms of hands-on experience and multiple degrees. His degrees are in physics, and mechanical engineering, where he graduated magna cum laude. He also has a master’s in business administration.


Tony Sgroi has developed an innovative approach to making marketing decisions on a lean basis. Everything is done to create value and eliminate waste. He includes an interesting visual system for assessing and communicating the quality of any prospective marketing opportunity.
—Philip Kotler, S. C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

The Innovative Lean Enterprise is an interesting perspective on the planning process. Its approach is both easy to apply and beneficial. A should-read for anyone in any field of business.
Chris Mills, President, North America Consumer Products, BIC USA Inc.

Very rarely does a book get published that can make a huge difference to a Business. The Innovative Lean Enterprise is such a book. The information within this book is a road map to success. Every business reaches a point where they have to innovate or perish. Tony Sgroi has given you the secret to succeed. By implementing each step Tony Sgroi has outlined in each chapter, you will create a building block for success. I really wish I had this book when I was developing my 35 companies.
—Ken Varga, author of How To Get Customers To Call, Buy & Beg for More!

The topic of the book from Tony Sgroi is not only for people who are interested in starting a business, but also for any person involved in management of a business or government agency.
The composition is very clear, and his step-by-step of how-to-do portrayal assists the readers' comprehension. In addition, the numerous diagrams and graphs add to or enhance the meaning and provide a clear and attractive presentation to the reader. In today's economic and global downturn, Tony's view on maximizing value while minimizing waste is essential to business and daily life.
—Dr. Henry C. Lee, Distinguished Chaired Professor, Forensic Science, The Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science

Tony Sgroi has made an important contribution to the discipline of strategic planning. By adapting the visual management tools of 'Lean' to both define ‘the now’ … AND envision new and innovative strategic futures. The Innovative Lean Enterprise makes it easy to discover and exploit unique competitive advantage for a brand, a division, or a company!
Bryan Mattimore, Co-founder of The Growth Engine Company and Author of Idea Stormers: How to Lead and Inspire Creative Breakthroughs

... a great resource for business and technical leaders and entrepreneurs! Tony has laid out his thoughtful insight in a manner that brings the full force of his over 20 years experience as an engineer, manager, and patent agent registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office to bear on the complex topic of developing a winning strategy. As an intellectual property attorney and instructor on business and legal topics, it is my opinion that Tony masterfully melded together these components to help ensure the alignment of the strategies that support your business.
Ned McMahon, Partner at Ohlandt, Greeley, Ruggiero & Perle, LLP

I found Tony Sgroi’s book very educational with graphic examples of how to move projects forward. He explains how complicated decisions can be made by breaking them down into basic elements. A must-read for entrepreneurs of every field.
Don Gringer, Chairman Allway Tools

The Innovative Lean Enterprise is a vital resource for employees at all levels of your business. It presents a unique strategy framework highlighted with engaging examples to demonstrate successful implementation and execution of your business plan.
Evan Anderson, President Allway Tools

After reading Mr. Tony Sgroi’s book The Innovative Lean Enterprise I was struck by the depth of information and knowledge Tony was able to deliver. The book ties together marketing strategy, innovation and lean product development concepts very nicely. The information in the book is powerful and will be important reading for most types of business professionals including General Managers, Brand Marketing Executives, and R&D professionals.  I highly recommend reading The Innovative Lean Enterprise and believe it will be an important addition to the any company training effort focused on delivering customer value and innovation in the marketplace.
Steve O’Brien , Director, Global Human Resources, Unger Global Companies