Author Archives: Rowan Gibson

Turning Waste into Value

We have known for some time that game-changing business innovations tend to be born the same way. In my book Innovation to the Core, I use the phrase “combinational chemistry” to describe the process of recombining insights, ideas, half-baked notions, competencies, concepts, technologies and assets to produce radical new breakthroughs. Continue reading

Posted in Design, Innovation, Processes & Tools, Strategy | 4 Comments
Innovation is in the Bag

I’ve always said that you can innovate around literally anything, whether it’s toasters, tires, or paint cans, or a conventional business model like, say, banking, or air travel, or automobiles. All you have to do is use the right methodology to start radically reinventing whatever has gone before. Continue reading

Posted in Consumer Innovation, Customers, Feature Of The Week, Innovation, Sales, marketing | 3 Comments

An Ode to the “Great Man” of Innovation All good things must come to an end. In 1986, after an incredible seven-year relationship with Apple, the brilliant advertising agency Chiat/Day – responsible for such masterpieces as the famous “1984” Super Bowl commercial, and by far the era’s best print ads for the computer industry – was unduly ousted (as Steve Jobs had been one year previously) by Apple’s hapless CEO John Sculley. Instead of complaining, condemning or criticizing his former client, Jay Chiat ran a $40,000 full-page ad in the New York Times with the headline “Thanks, Apple”. I absolutely loved the gesture. Among other things, the ad said: “Thanks for letting us make a little history. Thanks for demanding our best, and then more than our best.” The words, of course, were directed not at Apple in general but at one particular person – Steve Jobs. And they speak … Continue reading

Posted in Apple, Innovation, Leadership, marketing | 1 Comment
Declaration of Innovation

We believe that innovation is not about silos – it happens at the intersections. We therefore commit ourselves to building a global community around innovation that will maximize connection and conversation across the world, helping to create the unique intersections that become the birthplace of big, breakthrough ideas. Continue reading

Posted in Feature Of The Week, Innovation, Leadership, Management, marketing | Comments Off
Balancing Innovation Supply and Demand

To build and sustain a robust innovation capability, your company needs to carefully manage both the supply side and the demand side of innovation. By “supply” I mean the sheer flow—and the quality—of new ideas entering your innovation pipeline and moving through its various stages. By “demand” I mean the natural, reflexive pull for those ideas within and across the businesses. When supply is low, one tends to see a kind of idea inflation, meaning that opportunities are presented (often unintentionally) with an inflated sense of their value. This is simply because there are few other viable growth opportunities in the portfolio to pursue. The inherent risk here is that an organization invests substantially in what are actually quite mediocre ideas—ones that are unlikely to drive any significant revenue growth. Conversely, when demand is low—when the organization is not naturally and reflexively able to respond to, nurture, and act on … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Leadership, Management | 3 Comments
5 Ways to Improve Your Innovation Pipeline

How healthy is your company’s innovation pipeline? Is it already operating at peak performance, helping you pump out a torrent of new growth opportunities across product, market, and industry spaces? Or would it be fairer to say that there is still room for improvement? If so, allow me to suggest five design rules for enlarging and enhancing your innovation pipeline. The first three of these rules are about enlarging the pipeline—building a high-yield process that increases the sheer volume of ideas from across the organization and beyond. The last two design rules are about enhancing the pipeline by improving the quality of those ideas, rather than just the quantity. So let me start with my first design rule, which is to involve many minds across your own organization – and beyond it – in your search for new growth opportunities. What companies seldom seem to recognize is that one of … Continue reading

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Headlines, Innovation, Management, Strategy, collaboration | 4 Comments
E-Tailing and the Net Generation

“Hey Dad, can I have your credit card number? I need to buy something online”. This is not just an annoying question my sixteen-year-old son seems to ask me two or three times a month. It’s a harbinger that e-tailing is set to go ballistic as soon as today’s teenagers get their first paychecks. Let’s face it, most of us came to the Internet when we were already in our twenties, thirties or forties, so the concept of shopping from a personal computer is not something we grew up with. We likely recall the novelty of making our very first purchases on sites like Amazon, eBay and Expedia, and the excitement in those heady days about entering the new “Wired World”. We also remember how the whole bubble burst at the end of the Nineties, leaving us burned, disillusioned and asking ourselves whether the future of retail may have arrived … Continue reading

Posted in Sales, Strategy | 2 Comments