Wasted Innovation – Chicken Feet and Oreos

Backwards Innovation - Cookies n Cream Oreos

Backwards Innovation - Chicken FeetNow you might be asking yourself…

What do Cookies ‘n’ Cream Oreos and chicken feet have in common?

In short, both cookies ‘n’ cream and chicken feet involve valuable delicacies that that come from what people previously thought of as waste products from the production of something that was seen as more valuable.

In the United States chicken feet used to be thought of as something that (A) we don’t eat and (B) that American chicken ranchers used to throw away. But in several countries in Asia they are a delicacy, and according to Wikipedia chicken feet sell for more money per kilogram than the chicken breast (the part here in the United States that we think of as the most valuable).

Meanwhile, Cookies ‘n’ Cream ice cream and now Cookies ‘n’ Cream Oreos are now both great ways for Nabisco to take sub par Oreo cookie wafers that might otherwise be thrown away and instead turn them into a valuable product.

In the same way, old fryer oil from places like KFC and McDonald’s used to cost restaurants money to dispose of and now with the demand for BioDiesel, these restaurants can now instead sell their old oil to third parties instead of paying someone to take it away!

So, you have to ask yourself as part of your innovation efforts, are there any waste products or outputs that we don’t think of as valuable that could be turned into something else valuable or that might have value to someone else?

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Braden KelleyBraden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B pull marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He is currently advising an early-stage fashion startup making jewelry for your hair and is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.

Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a Design Thinking, Innovation and Transformation Consultant, a popular innovation speaker and workshop leader, and helps companies use Human-Centered Change™ to beat the 70% change failure rate. He is the author of Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan and Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.

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