Author Archives: Rowan Gibson

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

Posted in Innovation, Strategy | Leave a comment
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

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