Is Open Innovation Replacing Corporate Venturing?

Once upon a time, we had many corporate venture units that invested in external projects as well as in internal projects from the corporate groups that they belonged to. The number of units declined steadily during the last decade and it continues to do so in the aftermath of the financial crisis. One company that I have always admired is Danfoss Ventures, which is the corporate venture arm of Danfoss, a group with 26,000 employees working with refrigeration, air conditioning, compressors and more. Unfortunately, Danfoss Ventures – my role model on corporate venture – is now dead. According to Executive Vice President at Danfoss, Nis Storgaard, this is about prioritizing resources where they make most impact. “The past few years’ development has sharpened our understanding of how important innovation is – but also of how important it is to prioritize investments where they make most difference. And for us this … Continue reading

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Finance, Headlines, Leadership, Management, Open Innovation, Strategy | 1 Comment
Apple and China - Two Unstoppable Innovation Locomotives

It is so fascinating that everywhere I go in China this week, people are trying to sell me the Chinese versions of iPhone, iPad and other iThings that Apple has yet invented. I was really interesting to get my hands on the Apple Skin, the nickname of a Chinese original (yes, original, patent cleared) add on device that turned an iTouch into an iPhone but unfortunately they were taken off the market, so I went for an iHaircut instead. Not bad at all, there is really no risk for me here, it is not like buying an iPhone here in China. You never know what you’ll get. One guy showed me how it works; it was working really well when I used it to make a test call. That’s a real innovation that Apple missed. You can make calls and send text with this silicone rubber case with a SIM … Continue reading

Posted in Apple, Entrepreneurship, Headlines, Innovation | 1 Comment
A Blast of Innovation Oxygen

This must be the time of year for all those innovation reports to resurface for fresh innovation thinking. Recently I went back to the OECD report and began to breathe in more innovation oxygen. Not bad from the OECD but that is one of their purposes in life I suppose. Why? A number of points stand out and using OECD summary headings, these were: Policies need to reflect innovation as it occurs today We all do get stuck in repeating old ways yet the world and how it explores, experiments and investigates is constantly changing. It has become highly interactive and a multidisciplinary process with so much more need for collaboration across a diverse network of stakeholders. Although it is getting more complex to focus on performance through innovation is very much a today thing. People should be empowered to innovate I felt a little like yawning here, I needed … Continue reading

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Innovation Culture Roadmap

Ask the question, “What does a culture of innovation look and sound like?” and you’re likely to get a variety of answers. That’s not a bad thing. It’s probably slightly different – and articulated differently – in each organization. If the person being asked can articulate a definition, that’s major success and a foundation to build from. You may just as likely get blank stares, and responses like, “I know it when I see it, but can’t put my finger on it” or “It’s when people are coming up with new ideas all the time.” Of course, these are not measurable or meaningful … or manageable, for that matter. And many leaders see benefit in building a culture of innovation. So how can such a culture be defined, as an objective, such that it can be nurtured and cultivated? Culture …

Posted in Headlines, Innovation, Leadership, Management, culture | 1 Comment
Launching Open Innovation? So what?

It’s interesting how companies nowadays have taken to Open Innovation nowadays. Even more interesting is the reckless abandon with which they seem to implementing it without real thought as to why people would want to take part in their programs to help them. I mean – why, for the most part, should people outside your company bother to help you solve your problems? What’s in it for them? Sure you’ll get some replies from fanatics in your user base because that’s just what they do – but very few companies are like Apple who have legions of fanatics ready to help at a moment’s notice (be honest with yourselves – no matter how good your services are, and how useful your product is to your end users – how many people are seriously enthusiastic out there about what you do? Especially if you’re not a consumer products company). So many … Continue reading

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Innovation Perspectives

September’s opportunity to contribute your Innovation Perspectives is now here. This monthly feature presents our loyal readers (320,000+ 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 3,750+ people in the Continuous Innovation group on LinkedIn. Here is this month’s topic from Graham Horton for publishing the week of September 27 – October 3, 2010: — Should companies treat innovation management as a core competence? And is so, how? Thank you to Brightidea for sponsoring Blogging Innovation this month. Find out more about Brightidea here. The submission deadline is midnight GMT on September 25, 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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Strategy versus Execution

Strategy without execution is another form of wasting time. If you plan to do something, but don’t do it, what’s the point? Many companies and marketers, however, do a lot of this. Lots of planning, lots of meetings, lots of PowerPoint presentation, but no action. It’s fine to not execute everything you plan for. In fact, that’s a required part of the process. You have to plan and create a strategy, sometimes, to know whether execution is even worth it. But you should also make sure, despite investing time in a good plan & strategy, that you always have a bias for action and velocity towards getting something done to measure, optimize, and drive results. Plans don’t execute themselves. Execution without strategy isn’t a whole lot better. It’s basically guessing. Too often marketers today confuse having a “bias for action” with moving straight …

Posted in Management, Strategy, marketing | 1 Comment