R&D

Want To Manage Innovation? Let the Creators Create!

Innovative cross-functional teams in technology companies often depend on individuals with highly technical, specialized skills. They’re on the edge, extending their disciplines where they haven’t been before. Teams like this require upper management support that enables their success. It does not need micromanagement – or its opposite, chaotic management that is no better than neglect. What innovative product teams need ...

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Three Keys To Meeting The Challenge of Multi-Platform Product Development

Scenario: A technology company is creating a consumer electronics solution that involves hardware, software and web components. Three separate teams, located in different parts of the company’s facility, create three platforms. Each platform has its own development team, its own Program Manager and its own Project Manager. There are no clear and distinct processes for integrating these three elements until ...

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Companies Are Failing To Get Value From Innovation

Innovation is something that everyone says they want to do, but it seems increasingly clear that this desire is often rather superficial.  For instance, recently I wrote about a new study from Harvard Business School showing that innovation is rarely a top priority for executives.  Indeed, just 30% placed it in their top 3 issues to focus on in the ...

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Ten Questions to Answer Before Using Social Tools for Product Innovation

Social media is incredibly effective for conveying marketing messages and for receiving rapid customer feedback. The effectiveness of social media for outbound marketing activities, i.e. getting the news out about new products offerings, and interacting with customers, is well known. But social media is also a tool for inbound marketing – for understanding the customer requirements that become inputs for ...

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How To Create a Strategic Planning Process for Innovation

Every innovative product begins as a concept in the mind of someone or some group of people. These concepts are the seeds of your company’s future growth. How is your company cultivating these seeds? How do companies manage this asset, the portfolio of product concepts, even before they enter the pipeline? In our experience, product portfolio management is a missing ...

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Empowering Teams Through Metrics at Apple

Apple is an iconic brand noted for disruptive innovation. In the heat of the digital revolution that it helped spark, Apple’s products became a portfolio of increasingly complex and diverse offerings. At a crucial point in its growth, the company had to reign in its exuberance and created a disciplined, cross-company product development process. The challenge: the lack of a ...

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How Universities Support Recombinative Innovation

The importance of recombination is something I’ve touched upon numerous times over the years.  Indeed, research suggests that innovations today are much more likely to apply an existing innovation in new ways than to invent something truly unique. The study highlights that 40% of all patents submitted throughout the history of the USPTO are refinements of existing works.  What is ...

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The Undeniable Power of the “Garage Experience”

If you’re like me and a lot of other entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs around the world, then you’ve likely romanticized – at least at some point in time – about what it must have been like in great companies like Apple, HP, Google, and Cisco when they were just getting their start – in their founders’ garages of all places (or ...

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When it’s time to think inside the box

It’s a common call – we want more innovation, disruptive innovation, new options.  We need to think outside the box. It often makes sense to think outside the box.  When the usual thinking hasn’t solved the problem, new approaches are needed.  After all, if the same people are sat at the same table trying to solve the same problem in ...

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