Roadmap to Freedom:
4. Secrets of Positioning in the Market

Posted by Bob on June 1st, 2007

(Listen to the audio for this blog.)

Thanks for signing on. I’m Bob Carkhuff, and this is Freedomblog.

The theme for today is Secrets of Positioning in the Market.

For thinking people, this means that Generative-driven Innovation is the most powerful positioning in the marketplace.

One of the secrets that Jack Kelly, who was head of Development in IBM’s R & D system, told over and over was about the relationships among the Watson Center, the Advanced Systems Design, and the Marketing arm; e.g., the relationships between the Generators, Innovators, and Commercializers which we labeled “The GIC System.”

The relationships between the Generators at the Watson Center and the Innovators at Advanced Systems Design were antagonistic. The Generators viewed themselves as the ruling “thinkers” who had no real responsibility for creating the market. The Innovators, in turn, viewed their roles as making the transfers of generative breakthrough ideas into the real world technological needs which create the market. In the vision of the Generator, the Innovators were “Hijackers” of the ideas of others. In the vision of the Innovators, the Generators were “Lords of the Ideal and Peasants of the Real.”

As antagonistic as were the relations between the Generators and Innovators, the relations between Innovators and Commercializers were still more adversarial—nearly violent. Once the Innovators had ownership of technological transfers, they shepherded them like their children. The Marketers, in turn, were interested only in consumer responsiveness: did the customers embrace the product? Did the customers use the product effectively? The Marketers were tuned-in to the customers, while the Innovators were thrilled with the technologies.

It was a simple step from developing the “GIC System—Generators, Innovators and Commercializers” to positioning in the marketplace (Figure 2). IBM positioned itself as Generative Innovator. This means that they applied and commercialized the breakthroughs that they generated. Basically, they “owned” the customer base that was oriented toward immediate innovation with the prospect of long-term generativity.

The real genius of Tom Watson, Sr., was to relate these otherwise mutually exclusive entities into one system—“The GIC System.” Watson defined the “cellular bonding tissue” for the essential secrets of success. Through continuous interdependent processing, the resolution of technological crises became the foundation for generating new technologies.

During the three decades of the “Golden Age of IBM,” Watson applied his international trade perspective of ongoing “GIC Relations” to his business: “Internal productivity through operational relatedness!”

Sadly, this principle of relatedness is, itself, no longer in operation!

The GICCA Market Curves
Figure 2. Generative Innovator Positioning in the Global Market
Carkhuff, R. R., et al. The Freedom Wars. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 2004.

The issues of globalization, jobs, and education for the 21st century Global Economy converge upon the phases of The GICCA Curve. Succinctly, America resolved all of these issues in continuous and interdependent processing for a bountiful and expanding future with “GIC Systems.”

  • Generative or “breakthrough” research by the likes of IBM’s Watson Center and the old AT&T Bell Labs;
  • Innovative contextual “transfers” of these breakthroughs by laboratory-based industries such as Microsoft and Intel;
  • Commercial applications of these innovations by consumer-responsive businesses such as General Electric and Westinghouse.

These “GIC Systems” sustained and grew the American economy throughout the second half of the 20th century. In this context, the U.S. was the hope—not only for its citizenry—but for the peoples of the world. Indeed, the U.S. is The Multicultural “Experiment for the World:” if things work here, they can work anywhere.

Signing off for Freedomblog, this is Bob Carkhuff.

Remember, We the People, Generative Innovators is the most powerful positioning in the marketplace. Think about it!

We invite your comments. Send to Bob@Freedomblog.com.

“May the road rise to meet you
And the wind be at your back.”

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