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Making Innovation a Reality – Using Jobs-To-Be-Done

By Dr. Karyn Anjali

Competition in the marketplace is fierce and given the current economy, it is only going to get more difficult to compete. As a result, companies must adapt and innovate in the right direction to remain relevant. However, determining the “right direction” is extremely difficult. Conventional inquiry methods like customer interviews and surveys do not always generate promising ideas, neither do they exhaust the sets of possibilities.

There is another solution … The Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) framework was developed by Tony Ulwick and Clayton Christensen to help companies have an adept understanding of the customers’ needs to create robust, effective and innovative solutions that will drive business growth. Deciphering customers’ needs is quite complex, considering that 95 percent of product teams fail to agree on what it is. The Jobs-to-be-Done Theory provides a framework for defining, categorizing, capturing and organizing customer’s needs.

Jobs-to-be-Done is best defined as a perspective — a lens through which you can observe markets, customers, needs, competitors and customer segments differently, and by doing so, make innovation far more predictable and profitable. This framework is based on classifying customers into three groups — job executor, product life cycle support team and the buyer — and figuring out the kind of jobs each group wants to accomplish.

The job executor is the person that uses the product to get the core functional job done. For instance, in a lubricant plant, the job executors are the plant workers operating the machinery and lab technicians conducting a series of lubricant tests. The core functional job is the end goal; in this case, producing lubricants. This framework’s goal is to find cheaper and better ways to get the core functional job done.

Furthermore, it considers how related jobs can be integrated to make the product more valuable to the job executor. As an example, a company may sell most of their kettles to people who use it to boil water for tea. By thinking about the end in mind (preparing tea), the company can innovate a product that both boils and makes tea, which is more valuable to the job executor.

It also involves understanding the emotions associated with the use of a product. This makes it possible to create a stronger emotional appeal to the job executor, either through a new product or a better marketing message. For instance, Coca-Cola is more than just a soft drink, it’s about “sharing happiness.”

The second category of users, product life cycle support team, are those people that maintain and sustain a product through its use. In the lubricant plant, the product life cycle team consists of people that install, transport, repair, maintain, upgrade, and dispose of the machinery. All these actions are referred to as “consumption chain jobs.”

The final category of user — the buyer — is the person responsible for making the financial purchase decision. In the lubricant plant, management is ultimately responsible for making the purchase. Conversely, people who purchase a toothbrush are typically the buyer, job executor and product life cycle team simultaneously.

Many companies innovate haphazardly and that’s why their products often fail in the marketplace. By understanding the consumers’ needs through the Jobs-to-be-Done framework, it becomes easier for companies to create innovations that will transform into sales. Outcome-driven-innovation has an 86 percent success rate, a five-fold increase over traditional innovation creation methods.

“Understanding the “job” for which customers hire a product or service helps innovators more accurately develop products that align with what customers are already trying to accomplish,’ according to Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen.

Dr. Karyn Mathura-Arthur is an agile implementation leader with experience in Operational Excellence, Continuous Process Improvement, Business Transformation, Process Engineering and Organizational Change Management across multiple industries (banking, insurance, healthcare, telecom, government, retail, etc.). For comments and suggestions, email


Protecting Your Loved Ones with Life Insurance


How much life insurance do you need?

Your life insurance needs will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your family, the nature of your financial obligations, your career stage, and your goals. For example, when you're young, you may not have a great need for life insurance. However, as you take on more responsibilities and your family grows, your need for life insurance increases.

Here are some questions that can help you start thinking about the amount of life insurance you need:

Types of life insurance policies

The two basic types of life insurance are term life and permanent (cash value) life. Term policies provide life insurance protection for a specific period of time. If you die during the coverage period, your beneficiary receives the policy's death benefit. If you live to the end of the term, the policy simply terminates, unless it automatically renews for a new period. Term policies are typically available for periods of 1 to 30 years and may, in some cases, be renewed until you reach age 95. With guaranteed level term insurance, a popular type, both the premium and the amount of coverage remain level for a specific period of time.

Permanent insurance policies offer protection for your entire life, regardless of your health, provided you pay the premium to keep the policy in force. As you pay your premiums, a portion of each payment is placed in the cash-value account. During the early years of the policy, the cash-value contribution is a large portion of each premium payment. As you get older, and the true cost of your insurance increases, the portion of your premium payment devoted to the cash value decreases. The cash value continues to grow – tax deferred – as long as the policy is in force. You can borrow against the cash value, but unpaid policy loans will reduce the death benefit that your beneficiary will receive. If you surrender the policy before you die (i.e., cancel your coverage), you'll be entitled to receive the cash value, minus any loans and surrender charges.

Many different types of cash-value life insurance are available, including:

With so many types of life insurance available, you're sure to find a policy that meets your needs and your budget.

Choosing and changing your beneficiaries

When you purchase life insurance, you must name a primary beneficiary to receive the proceeds of your insurance policy. Your beneficiary may be a person, corporation, or other legal entity. You may name multiple beneficiaries and specify what percentage of the net death benefit each is to receive. If you name your minor child as a beneficiary, you should also designate an adult as the child's guardian in your will.

What type of insurance is right for you?

Before deciding whether to buy term or permanent life insurance, consider the policy cost and potential savings that may be available. Also keep in mind that your insurance needs will likely change as your family, job, health, and financial picture change, so you'll want to build some flexibility into the decision-making process. In any case, here are some common reasons for buying life insurance and which type of insurance may best fit the need.

Mortgage or long-term debt: For most people, the home is one of the most valuable assets and also the source of the largest debt. An untimely death may remove a primary source of income used to pay the mortgage. Term insurance can replace the lost income by providing life insurance for the length of the mortgage. If you die before the mortgage is paid off, the term life insurance pays your beneficiary an amount sufficient to pay the outstanding mortgage balance owed.

Family protection: Your income not only pays for day-to-day expenses, but also provides a source for future costs such as college education expenses and retirement income. Term life insurance of 20 years or longer can take care of immediate cash needs as well as provide income for your survivor's future needs. Another alternative is cash value life insurance, such as universal life or variable life insurance. The cash value accumulation of these policies can be used to fund future income needs for college or retirement, even if you don't die.

Small business needs: Small business owners need life insurance to protect their business interest. As a business owner, you need to consider what happens to your business should you die unexpectedly. Life insurance can provide cash needed to buy a deceased partner's or shareholder's interest from his or her estate. It can also be used to compensate for the unexpected death of a key employee.

Review your coverage

Once you purchase a life insurance policy, make sure to periodically review your coverage; over time your needs will change. An insurance agent or financial professional can help you with your review.


Securities offered through Sage Point Financial, Inc., (SPF), member FINRA/SIPC .  SPF is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of SPF,  Fixed and/or Traditional Insurance Services may be offered through Capital Insurance & Asset Protection LLC, which is not affiliated with SPF or registered as a broker-dealer.

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

Haren Mehta, managing partner of Capital Insurance & Asset Protection in Tampa, can be reached at (813) 679-5204 or email

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