Author Archives: Rowan Gibson

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
Will Your Strategy Kill Your Company?

Many companies once believed – and some of them evidently still do – that business models were essentially immortal. The prevailing attitude was that while product portfolios might need to be refreshed every now and again, successful strategies would remain successful for the rest of time. Shell would suck oil out of the ground, General Motors would make cars, Xerox would make copiers, and that’s the way it would always be. Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Strategy | 2 Comments
Innovation Goal - Growth or Strategic Renewal?

What exactly is the goal of your company’s innovation efforts? “Oh, that’s easy”, senior managers usually reply, “We need to grow the business.” The line of logic here is relatively simple: “Innovation leads to wealth creation leads to growth” – which, of course, is fair enough. Based on this logic, companies of every stripe are now racing to pursue the kind of innovation that generates organic growth, new revenues, and wider profit margins. Continue reading

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Innovation Regeneration

In biology, there’s an old saying: “Growth is the only evidence of life”. A lot of investors on Wall Street seem to echo these words when they evaluate today’s corporations – and business leaders are getting the message. At GE, for example, CEO Jeff Immelt is on the hook to deliver an incredible 8% of organic growth each year. This represents around $15 billion of new revenue – equivalent to the combined annual revenue of America’s entire bookstore industry, or fitness industry, or music production and distribution industry! Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Management, Strategy | 2 Comments