Author Archives: Paul Hobcraft

Trends Facing Future Innoivation

Innovation used to be about product, technology and R&D but it is far more now about value and anything that carries value. It is about creativity and entrepreneurship and it is even more tied to a clear vision today than ever, so it does become a vital part of the culture of the company. Continue reading

Posted in Build Capability, Culture & Values, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Leadership, People & Skills, Research, collaboration | 3 Comments
2012 Innovation Resolutions

For many October is the peak month for bringing together their strategic and operating plans for 2012. Meetings get frantic, issues get raised, and plans get drawn up, rejected and redrawn. The period becomes a fever pitch. Where does innovation figure within this? Continue reading

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Mission Critical - Innovation Back-End Delivery

Why is it that for some firm’s innovation seems to be incredibly rewarding yet for the majority it remains at best an unfulfilled promise. Why does innovation present such a stark choice, often fraught with difficulties for many, yet so simple and successful for the few? Innovation delivery is one of those differentiation points. Let me suggest here nine points needing your consideration when it comes to thinking through the innovation back end delivery part. Execution as I have outlined in a previous blog, is the final rugged frontier- the tough one to truly master as it is so variable in its makeup. Just consider: Point one: the key to successful innovation is not idea generation or putting all your creative efforts into the front end of innovation, ideas are always plentiful; it is turning this myriad of ideas into market …

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Knowing the secret Sauce for Innovation Delivery

The secret sauce required for innovation delivery sometimes can be hard to itemize but knowing the ingredients and constantly improving on them will make your ‘sauce’ stand out from others.  For many it seems, execution or final delivery of the innovation is simply not given enough attention inside many organizations and that needs to certainly change and not just left to chance or delegated out as the less important stage. For me, clarifying and committing resources on the innovation delivery part is a critical task to get right. I’ve discussed that elsewhere, but if your final delivery is wrong then all your preparation and effort simply ‘goes out the window.’ It is like a restaurant kitchen – correct delivery of the item makes or breaks all the hard work beforehand and if the final garnish or sauces are wrongly executed, the meal itself …

Posted in Build Capability, Innovation, Leadership & Infrastructure, Management | 1 Comment
Understanding Innovation the W L Gore Way

Once in a while you have to stop and reflect. Why do I keep banging away at innovation, along with countless others? Often I feel we are preaching to the converted, or the ones forced to listen just in case they miss something and are suddenly banished to hell, a non-innovating organization. A place where no one will ever listen to them and this would have been the message to free the shackles and bring them back to innovation salvation. So here I am standing in the innovation pulpit giving the weekly sermon on innovation beliefs and principles, offering this weekly reading on the (next) ten steps to avoid in that particular sin which we all know you are certainly committing! Sometimes at the end of the sermon (or article), someone comes up and leaves an offering (comment) that sustains us …

Posted in Build Capability, Culture & Values, Leadership, People & Skills, Profiles of Innovators, Sustainability | 2 Comments
Renewal

The rewards come through an organization that emerges from today’s ‘uncertainly’ equipped to be more resistant, flexible and agile. It has a greater chance to seize emerging opportunities quicker, at tomorrow’s new innovation speed. Renewal is not an easy journey, but becoming more and more critical to do on a regular basis. Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Leadership & Infrastructure, Op Ed | Leave a comment
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I was looking through some ‘sage’ advice from McKinsey on managing in a crisis, in really hard times, and one really got me thinking, so I thought I’d share this. “Use the hard times to concentrate on and strengthen your competitive advantage. If you are confused about this concept, hard times will clarify it. Competitive advantage has two branches, both growing from the same root. You have a competitive advantage when you take business away from another company at a profit and when your cash costs of doing business are low enough that you survive in hard times.” This challenged my thinking of competitive advantage but then again hard times certainly do questions all our thinking. I always felt it was the uniqueness within, in what you offered, that separates you from your competition. This alters that perspecitve. It seems this piece of advice boils down to the hard dollar … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Psychology, Sales, Strategy, The Economy | 3 Comments