Author Archives: Rowan Gibson

Matching Innovation Possibilities with Needs

Corporate innovation has traditionally been driven from the technology side; from departments like R&D and engineering. It’s an approach that can be very successful. Indeed, it has often led to great breakthroughs. But if a company wants to win in today’s value-based economy, this is no longer the best way of doing things. Continue reading

Posted in Design, Innovation, Product Innovation, marketing | 1 Comment
Innovation Denial

Sometime over the next decade (if it hasn’t happened already), your company will be challenged to change in a way for which it has no historical precedent. Look around the world today and we see entire industries whose business models have gone belly up. The pharmaceutical industry has a fundamentally broken business model. The global grocery business has an imperiled business model. Continue reading

Posted in Business Models, Innovation, Strategy | Leave a comment
When Innovation Goes Wrong

Ever since innovation became the buzzword du Jour, a lot of people seem to have lost their ability to tell smart ideas from stupid ones. Case in point: the financial “innovations” (read: stunningly stupid loan products) that kicked off the trillion-dollar economic meltdown mess we’re currently in. The simplistic notion that “new equals good” has often been a recipe for grand-scale disaster, just as it was in the dotcom debacle at the turn of the millennium. Continue reading

Posted in Finance, Innovation | 7 Comments
Problems - An Opportunity for Radical Innovation

Take a break from all the negative news about the economy. On my speaking trip to India, I was struck by the unbounded optimism in business circles. Sure, growth might be temporarily slowing, which may put the damper on investments for a short while. But, Indians have learned to take the long view. Whether the value of the Dollar, or the price of oil, or even the whole US economy goes up or down, they know the future is still gravitating irreversibly toward Asia. Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Psychology, Social Innovation | 1 Comment
Time to Search for New Strategic Growth Opportunities

It had to happen. After several years of solid growth and blue sky thinking, we now have a big, dark cloud hanging over the global economy. So what do we do next? Many companies are likely to put the brakes on strategic growth initiatives, reasoning that money is getting too tight to invest in innovation. It’s the usual knee-jerk reaction. And it’s totally counterproductive. In a stalling economy, companies need to find new opportunities for pushing up revenues, not just focus on cutting costs. Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Leadership, Strategy, The Economy | 3 Comments
Innovation Czar

It never ceases to amaze me. I’m meeting with the executive committee of a major global company. I’ve just asked if innovation is one of their top strategic priorities. Their unanimous answer is “yes”. I then ask about their individual responsibilities. “Which one of you is the CFO?” “Who is head of HR?” “Where’s the CIO?” One by one their hands go up. Yet when I ask to see their global director of innovation, nobody raises a hand. Continue reading

Posted in Innovation Perspectives, Leadership, Leadership & Infrastructure, Management, Strategy | 6 Comments
New Years Resolutions

Tom Peters once posed this question at a seminar I attended back in the early 1990s. I remember it vividly. Sitting there at one those big round tables in the ballroom at Amsterdam’s Okura hotel, Tom’s question connected with me like a left hook from Mike Tyson. Continue reading

Posted in Strategy | 2 Comments