Author Archives: Jeffrey Phillips

Innovation Becoming the Safe Strategy

I was thinking recently that one of the biggest barriers to innovation is the fear of change. Most businesses are very comfortable operating in markets and interacting with customers that they understand. Changing the parameters of the market, the customers or prospects you work with or the products that you offer risks disrupting the relationships that exist. In this line ...

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Innovation Wants and Needs

I learned about wants and needs in probably one of the best ways possible: through the rapid growth and fiery crash of a startup. There’s no better way to learn to ascertain what people WANT new products and services to do, and what they NEED to live their lives with less pain, less stress and less aggravation. I ran marketing ...

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Innovation and the Peter Principle

By this point in your career, regardless of your length of time in your career, you’ve met someone who demonstrates the description of the Peter Principle. According to the authors of the book, the Peter Principle espouses that “In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence”. Of course any sweeping statement like this one must ...

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No Vision = No Innovation

My son shocked my wife last night by announcing that he didn’t think the space program had anything to offer mankind. He had been assigned a paper in his middle school English class in which he needed to make a provocative point and sustain his argument with facts. He decided to examine space flight and whether or not NASA would ...

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Treating Innovation as an Experiment

Most businesses recognize that they “need” to do innovation, just like I recognize that I “need” more exercise. Unfortunately, while for me more exercise simply means setting aside the time to do it and having the discipline to actually go out and jog, or swim, or bike, innovation takes more than time and discipline. It takes resources, and few firms ...

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8 Ways to Measure Innovation Potential

I’m always a bit skeptical when I read about any definitive list, whether it’s six things to improve my complexion or seven myths of innovation. So I enter with some trepidation a list for your perusal, a checklist of sorts to help you ascertain whether or not your idea can become a a successful innovation. Note that the list below ...

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Stop Disrupting and Solve the Disruptions

It struck me recently that a lot of firms treat their customers as nameless, faceless objects all of whom share the same needs and have the same reactions to products. Of course marketing has taught us over the years to segment our markets and attack the needs of the customers within specific segments. If the segmentation is done well, segments ...

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Relationship between Process and Innovation

There are perhaps few more misunderstood concepts than the idea of support and enabling innovation efforts with a defined innovation process. Let me start by saying that our business exists to help create sustained innovation in larger businesses, which we believe can only happen through the definition of an innovation process. So I admit to “process” bias, but at the ...

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Ambidexterity is a Necessary Innovation Skill

There’s an old joke about a not-too-swift basketball player describing his skills. He told a reporter “I can shoot with my left hand, I can shoot with my right hand. I’m amphibious.” Well, perhaps he is both amphibious and ambidextrous. But what we need now in order for innovation to flourish are managers and workers who are ambidextrous. By ambidextrous ...

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We Don't Need Another Innovation Hero

James Gardner, an innovator, blogger and author whom I respect, has a new post out today that talks about the need for a “new kind of hero“. He’s referencing innovation heroes like Steve Jobs. As you may believe, some Apple supporters and investors are in a bit of a tizzy, wondering if Apple can continue it’s great streak of successful ...

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