Willing to be Great

I recently attended a conference with about 150 other client-side and agency marketers at which we had the pleasure of hearing from Scott Bedbury, who played a key role in the rise of both Nike and Starbucks, and Jeff Hayzlett, who is playing a key role in the resurrection of Kodak. Despite having completely different styles, Bedbury and Hayzlett were both inspiring as they told tales and shared lessons about their experiences marketing iconic brands. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in feeling just a tad bit envious of what they had accomplished. But it got me thinking. What, exactly, was the difference between the two guys who stood at the front of the room and the rest of us who sat in the audience? My sense – and I have a feeling Bedbury and Hayzlett would agree – is that one key reason was that they were willing to be … Continue reading

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Constraining the Possibilities

Working on a client project last week, an unusual constraint was placed on the project. The marketing lead for the multimedia presentation dictated there be no narration on the 3 to 5 minute piece. As each creative team member pointed out how narration would be such a help in getting the message across, he would reiterate his statement, “That’s great. And maybe narration will put it over the top, but it has to work without any narration at all.” While it seemed to be a frustrating and potentially very unnecessary constraint, there was clearly a strategic rationale for his statement. The narration would be the last element within an incredibly time-sensitive project. The voiceover itself would be a highly variable creative element where subjective opinions about its quality or tone could completely undermine the deliverable, i.e., if the CEO didn’t ultimately like the voiceover, the whole project could fall apart … Continue reading

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Innovation Perspectives - Innovation Industry on Display

Social media is exposing the emerging innovation industry to public view This is the final of several ‘Innovation Perspectives’ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on ‘What is the role of social media in innovation? (Either inside or outside the organization)’. Here is the next perspective in the series: by Cynthia Duval I hesitated to write on this month’s Innovation Perspective topic because my view on the role of social media in innovation is from a single perspective, mine. And as an ethnographer, that doesn’t feel particularly comfortable since it is usually my job to see the world from the perspectives of others and communicate those perspectives juxtaposed against my own. So let me offer this blog post as an invitation to you to provide your perspectives as comments on mine. I spent many years working with innovation teams of one sort or … Continue reading

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Innovation Perspectives - Social Media Return Dilemma

This is the sixth of several ‘Innovation Perspectives’ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on ‘What is the role of social media in innovation? (Either inside or outside the organization)’. Here is the next perspective in the series: by Paul Hobcraft I am not alone I am sure but I suffer from Social Media Return Dilemma. There I’ve said it, it is out in the open, “I suffer from SMRD”. To be honest I am struggling on social media in innovation, struggling to get my head around it for my business, for me. It often seems overwhelming, do you feel the same? I can see daily the amazing power that social networking can provide, it is certainly eating into my day more and more. Is this a good thing or bad? The time issue has to increasingly managed, and as yet I don’t … Continue reading

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Blogging Innovation is Moving

by Braden KelleyPardon our dust…Blogging Innovation is moving from the Blogger platform to the WordPress platform today.What does this mean for you?Well, there may be some disruption in the blog. Sometime today you’ll see the whole blog switch over, and for a time there may be some broken links. I’ll try to fix them all up, but it would be a huge help if people could report any broken links that they find.RSS subscriptions to our may or may not need to be updated. If you’re subscribed to the blog via feedburner, then the switch should be automatic, but if you’re subscribed to atom.xml or rss.xml you may have to re-subscribe in the ‘Where to Follow Along’ section of the sidebar when the new site goes live. I will try to forward the old feed urls to the new ones but I’m not sure whether that will work or not.The … Continue reading

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How Many Futures Are You Considering?

Have you ever noticed how when people talk about what lies ahead we always say the future? As if there is one, and only one, immutable future that will come to pass.Fact is, there are an unlimited number of possible futures, and it’s up to us to create the one we want. This is especially true when engaging in strategic planning.Many leaders and managers mistakenly see strategic planning as a process of predicting the future. In reality, it’s a process of creating the future, one that will provide ample rewards to the organization and all its stakeholders. Assuming that only one future exists can lock us into a course of action that may not serve our organizations well.Despite the dangers, it’s easy to see how we fall into the pattern of thinking there is only one future.We start out by investing a lot of time and energy in crafting a … Continue reading

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Will Open Innovation benefit my competitors?

Robert Shelton published an enlightening article about the three levels of open innovation maturity. But for most companies, open innovation raises instinctive fears that their ideas will leak out to their competitors and destroy any competitive advantage they would have hoped to get from their innovation.Three levels of Open InnovationLevel 1: aware & adhoc – Companies are aware of the need to open up to external sources of ideas and to leverage external capabilities. They build adhoc partnerships with suppliers and customers along their tradtional value chain.Level 2: pro-active & systematic – Companies set up an explicit goal that a significant portion of their new developments will come from outside and they organise themselves to attract outside input. P&G’s programme Connect&Develop provides a case in point.Level 3: confident & natural – Companies orchestrate a multilateral collaboration network (Shelton says “an eco-system”) of companies and talent. They are not directly involved … Continue reading

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