Author Archives: Rowan Gibson

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

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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
What's Next?

It’s not just a good question. It’s THE question. Think about the sheer speed of change in the external world. Think about the intensity of global competition. Think about the bargaining power of today’s customers. Then think about your company. How much of your business model has remained essentially unchanged for, say, five years or more? When was the last time you fundamentally overhauled your competitive strategy? How fast are you currently renewing your products and services? Continue reading

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What exactly is an innovation strategy?

At many companies, the term ‘innovation strategy’ refers simply to an agenda for new product development or a technology roadmap for R&D. This is like picking up a single leaf in the forest and calling it a tree. Innovation strategy is not merely about the next product launch or patent registration. It’s about exactly how your company intends to become (or remain) a world-class innovation champion. Let’s face it, not many organizations have so far managed to build a deep, enduring capability for innovation – one that consistently drives profitable revenue growth and that delivers a strong competitive advantage over the longer term. Continue reading

Posted in Apple, Build Capability, Innovation, Strategy | 4 Comments
Breaking With The Past

For most companies, there comes a moment when the only way to continue growing is, paradoxically, to divest things – to get rid of traditional parts of the business where growth has stagnated and to get into new, more innovative businesses that have the potential to grow faster. In practice, this rarely happens. When most managers are put in charge of an existing business, they… Continue reading

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Beyond Product Innovation

One of the problems with innovation is that, in any given industry, it can get harder and harder over time to come up with the kind of ideas that totally reinvent things in a fundamental and significant way. Take any vector of innovation and you get to some point where you may have just exhausted the possibilities. Look at today’s automobile. It’s essentially based on the same architecture we’ve been using for a hundred years – a wheel at each corner, a steering wheel on one side, an engine at the front or back, a gearbox, and so forth. So innovation in the automobile industry… Continue reading

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