Do Drones Hold the Key to Solving our Healthcare and Deficit Woes?

Do Drones Hold the Key to Solving our Healthcare and Deficit Woes?The feature cover story for this month’s issue of Time Magazine is “Rise of the Drones” and explores the “enormously powerful, disruptive technology” as a breakthrough in modern military doctrine.

Ultimately, the article is speaking about Value Innovation – a strategic concept, introduced by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, that focuses on creating uncontested market space by making leaps in benefits while simultaneously reducing costs.

At The Growth Strategy Co., we define value innovation more broadly as delivering benefits to the customers AND benefits to the company.  In the context of the Drone Wars, that means delivering benefits to “customers” (i.e. the Warfighters, the government writ large and taxpaying citizens) and the “company” (i.e. the Aerospace and Defense companies that manufacture drones or participate in the drone supply chain).  Specifically, drones have substantially increased value by minimizing the need to place precious pilots in harms way. Drones further increase utility by providing a new type of adaptable, 24/7, global reconnaissance and strike capability that is needed for modern asymmetrical warfare. Finally, with a drastically reduced price that can be 75% less than conventional aircraft, drones are delivering increased value and new utility at a much lower cost.

Recognizing the Opportunity, Delivering the Value

For companies, the implementation of value innovation begins with asking the basic question, “Does your offering really provide value?” When this question is asked, companies may find that they are operating on questionable assumptions or outmoded business logic. As in the case of Defense and Aerospace companies, providing offerings that do not reflect the real needs of its customers (e.g. asymmetrical warfare) is a recipe for commoditization, slow growth or decline. Only after companies reexamine the entire value delivery system behind their offerings, can they truly deliver the benefits to customers that lead to sustainability and growth for the company itself.

The unconventional drone example shows how the power of value innovation can be a game changer in almost any scenario or industry. Could other parts of the government use value innovations to break the citizen value and deficit challenge? Can healthcare providers apply the same level of value innovation to break the cost/benefit trade off in the industry?  Could defense and aerospace companies apply the framework to radically change the cost to value structure of our entire national defense?  Ultimately, breaking the value/cost trade-off is a war that companies, and the country, simply cannot afford to lose.

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Growth Thinking - Emerging Markets and GPIWayne Simmons is an accomplished executive, innovator, value creator, and entrepreneur and co-author of GrowthThinking: Building the New Growth Enterprise. As CEO and Co-Founder of The Growth Strategy Company, Wayne leads the vision, strategy and growth of the company. He has worked for global advisory firms Ernst & Young, Deloitte Consulting, and has been a trusted advisor to C-level executives at Fortune 500 corporations, venture capital firms, and small and midsized companies. Wayne was trained in airborne reconnaissance for US Army Intelligence; and is an alumnus and Fellow of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Growth Thinking - Emerging Markets and GPIKeary Crawford is a results-driven executive leader with extensive experience in operations, M&A and finance for start-up, entrepreneurial and middle-market companies. As co-founder and COO of The Growth Strategy Company, she manages the strategic growth and vision, and day-to-day operations; and is co-author of GrowthThinking: Building the New Growth Enterprise. Keary was trained in Behavioral and Social Sciences and is a Fellow and alumna of the Executive Development Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Wayne Simmons and Keary Crawford




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