Author Archives: Rowan Gibson

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

Posted in Innovation, Strategy | 1 Comment
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

Posted in Innovation, Strategy | 1 Comment
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

Posted in Innovation, Product Innovation | 1 Comment
Real Reason Companies Must Innovate

Ask any group of senior executives why they think innovation has become such an imperative, and the answer is invariably, “Because it drives growth.” This is quite a reasonable and obvious way of thinking. Pushed into a relentless and never-ending race to grow earnings faster than the industry average, companies are increasingly turning to innovation as today’s best bet for closing the “growth gap.” Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Strategy | 2 Comments
When Innovation Fails

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, Government, Innovation, Technology, The Economy | 2 Comments
Building an Innovation Nation

Why do some nations and geographic regions seem to be hotbeds of creative entrepreneurship and economic growth, while others remain innovation laggards? In his book The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, Harvard professor David Landis writes, “If we learn anything from the history of economic development, it is that culture makes almost all the difference.” National governments the world over are waking up to this truth as they struggle to improve their countries’ global competitiveness and economic prosperity. Continue reading

Posted in Build Capability, Entrepreneurship, Government, Innovation, Strategy, culture | 3 Comments