Monthly Archives: August 2010

Innovation Challenge – When should a product die?

All companies – whether they make cars, electronics, software, etc. – know that there is only so much new life that they can breathe into their existing products by introducing new improved versions. Ultimately any product will reach the end of its life, and a brand new one will have to be launched in its stead. The critical question is: ...

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The Efficient Use of Ideas

Every significant “leap forward” in the span of human consciousness has coincided with a significant change in the efficient use of a significant resource. For example – the transition from nomadic life to farming. This transition came about because people learned to till the ground and grow food that was dependable and sustaining. The fact that people could stay in ...

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Don't Blame the IP Lawyer

I attended the 2nd Open Innovation Summit in Chicago last week. It was a really good event with many interesting presentations. In the pre-conference workshop, and in the main conference, the subject of obstacles to Open Innovation (OI) came up frequently. In many cases, the devil of the piece was the in-house lawyer. One presenter described herself as a “recovering ...

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Why Consensus Kills Team Building

I read an interesting post recently by Dan Rockwell (@LeadershipFreak) entitled “Six ways to make teams work” and found myself in complete agreement with Dan on five out of the six points. Where Dan lost me was on point #4 – Teams Decide by Consensus. In recent months I have observed a decent amount of politically correct discourse on the ...

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Innovating in Times of Austerity

In these times of austerity we need to focus on the innovation dimensions that matter to us. For some, this will still be all about the big breakthroughs, particularly those in the Consumer Goods industry. For everyone, we need to focus on other key areas and balance our innovation initiatives on: Operational & Process Efficiency Resource/Asset Utilization Network & Supply ...

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Essential Skills for 21st Century Survival (Part 1)

Pattern Recognition by Venessa Miemis Over the past few months, we’ve been discussing the various skills needed for effectively operating in a world characterized by information and accelerating change, and I’ve been assembling these ideas into a framework for a new thought architecture. This post will be the first in a 12 part series, and draws its influences from the ...

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Who is an Ethnographer?

Ethnography is hot. Many are quick to claim that they do ethnography by observing people. It is like saying anyone who drives a taxi in NY is a screenwriter. Or anyone who knows how to operate a camera can be a photojournalist. Who is an ethnographer? First an ethnographer needs to have some idea about what he thinks he is ...

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Communication in Open Innovation

Unilever, Cisco, Whirlpool by Andrea Meyer Point: Good communication skills drive open innovation and collaboration Story: At the World Research Group’s 2010 Open Innovation Summit, many presenters stressed the role of communication for both innovation leaders and in promoting open innovation initiatives. Top-notch communication skills with senior executives, peers, partners help drive open innovation success. Stefan Lindegaard, author of “The ...

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10 Questions from the Open Innovation Summit

I really enjoyed the recent Open Innovation Summit in Chicago. You can see a great overview of Day One by Robert Brands here. As I reflect on the many presentations and interactions, I think of the follow-up questions I would ask these big companies that work hard on their open innovation efforts. Here we go… Procter & Gamble: You are ...

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