Innovation Need Not Be Hard

In the workshop I ran at the W.I.N. Conference in Paris early October 2010, one of my key messages was: innovation happens in many different ways and places. It is not necessarily about new technology, it can be about new customers or new business models. It is not necessarily about a world-scale change, it can be very small-scale and localized. I could have added that it does not have to be difficult! Just today, waiting for my (delayed!) flight from Paris Charles De Gaulle airport, I stop by the news agent and see Daniel Radcliffe’s picture on the front-cover of Premiere cinema magazine, with a headline that translates: ‘Harry Potter, the beginning of the end.’ Intrigued by the headline (really, if I had been more of a Harry Potter fan I should not have been intrigued), I grab the mag to browse through it, but before I can do so, … Continue reading

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Innovation and the Renaissance Person

It’s increasingly obvious that good innovators come in all shapes and colors, all moods and forms. What’s also obvious is that many of the best innovators seem to be “Renaissance” people – that is, people with a lot of interests or who are engaged in a lot of different fields. This always poses an interesting chicken and egg question for me: do you have to be a Renaissance person to be innovative, or do all innovators resemble Renaissance people? For me, some of our Founding Fathers are real Renaissance people. Individuals like Franklin and Jefferson immediately spring to mind – people fluent in several languages who were well traveled, who could play music on several instruments and who investigated scientific theories and exchanged ideas on political issues. These men were innovators and resembled much of what we think of as Renaissance leaders today – people active …

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Game Changers

At one time or another all great leaders experience something that is so big, so impactful, that it literally changes the landscape. It’s what I call a “Game Changer.” A game changer is that ah-ha moment that creates an extreme, disruptive advantage or improvement. What’s interesting is that the best leaders proactively focus on looking for game changers. Sure, great leaders never lose sight of their core business, they pay attention to managing risk, etc., but they spend far more energy intentionally searching for opportunity, but not just any opportunity – a game changer. In the text that follows I’ll not only provide you with a blue print for finding game changers, but I’ll also ask you to share your experiences and insights as well. I hope this post is a game changer for you… As most of you know, I spent last week at the World Business Forum in … Continue reading

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Customers Do the Strangest Things

One recent evening, while in my desk chair working on the latest and greatest open-innovation initiative, I was reminded of one of my favorite innovation stories. As the long evening hours stretched before me, a squeak in the chair became progressively worse. What started as barely a mouse squeak morphed into a shrill shriek by late evening. I tried not shifting in the seat to minimize the sound, which only led to cramping in my legs and a stiff back. More decisive action was needed. I stomped off to get the toolbox, and much to my unhappiness it was bereft of oil. Next I pulled down the ladder to the loft where I keep all my additional home tools and equipment. I know I have something up there but between skis, Christmas decorations and now-stored summer clothes I couldn’t find what I needed. I then ventured out to the late-night … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Open Innovation | 3 Comments
Innovation Perspectives

October’s opportunity to contribute your Innovation Perspectives is now here. This monthly feature presents our loyal readers (335,000+ unique visits last month) with different perspectives on a single topic all in one place – from several different authors. It gives our innovation community the opportunity to compare, contrast and discuss them in the comments here on Blogging Innovation and with the 3,950+ people in the Continuous Innovation group on LinkedIn. Here is this month’s topic from Rocco Tarasi for publishing the week of October 25 – October 31, 2010: — Thinking about the future: what big innovation do you expect within 10 years? Thank you to Spigit for sponsoring Blogging Innovation this month. Find out more about Spigit here. The submission deadline is midnight GMT on October 23, 2010 Several contributing authors will be writing articles on this topic, but you are also welcome to submit an article. The process … Continue reading

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Is Management by Consensus Killing Innovation?

In a Vogue magazine article in 1958, Sir Alec Issigonis and University of Wisconsin philosophy professor Lester Hunt are credited with the expression, “A camel is a horse designed by a committee”. One management issue that could be killing innovation efforts is an obsession by many managers that a decision can’t be reached unless a team of people comes to agreement. Teamwork and collaboration are increasingly important in uncovering root causes of business issues, informing insights into finding opportunity areas, and creating a range of potential solutions or new offerings. It seems, however, that there is a pre-occupation by managers of wanting everyone to get along, to come to agreement and alignment, etc. This is the direct opposite of what is needed to generate creative new thoughts and concepts. People on teams don’t need to be nasty to one another, but there needs to be a healthy …

Posted in Headlines, Innovation, Management | 10 Comments
Can You Have Innovation Without Revenue?

Technology innovations are great, but you still need to make money. by Idris Mootee Technology-based companies typically make one common mistake. They get too caught up in technological innovation, particularly developing new technologies, or get too obsessed with the next killer technology and think the world evolves around their latest invention. Even if they find the right applications for their technologies, they often defer the serious effort needed to figure out how they create economic value – or how to make money. They often don’t come up with the answers, but instead sail forward and end up with a business without a business model. I find that funny. A business without a business model should not be called a business in the first place. It is different when a company needs to change their revenue strategy as they move up the value chain or extend their activities in the business … Continue reading

Posted in Headlines, Innovation, Leadership, Strategy, marketing | 2 Comments