Author Archives: Jesse Nieminen

Innovation is Not Supposed to be Fun

innovation isn't supposed to be fun

Gary Pisano, a Harvard Business School Professor, wrote an excellent article in HBR last year on the hard realities of what innovative company cultures actually look like, which I highly recommend every aspiring innovator to read. The bottom line? The inspiring and comfortable attributes, such as freedom, low hierarchy, and tolerance for failure that are associated with innovative company cultures are universally appreciated, accepted, ...

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Breakthrough Innovation – What Are They, and How Do You Create One?

Electric vehicle by Tesla

We’ve recently been breaking down the different types of innovations and explaining their differences in a series of previous articles. This time, we’re looking at breakthrough innovation. It’s a commonly used term, and just like most other innovation terminology, there doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus on what the word means. Still, more and more startups and corporations alike are chasing ...

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25 of the Best Books for Innovators

Best innovation books

Regardless of which stats you look at or believe, innovation is without a doubt difficult. Thus, if you’re looking to succeed in it, you need to invest heavily into continuous learning. There are, fortunately, plenty of great books out there that can help you succeed in innovation, in 2020 and beyond. I actually wrote a list of some of my favorite books on innovation ...

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The Zero Challenge – Becoming Climate Neutral

Using green energy is one way to reduce your carbon footprint

The topic of this post is a bit different from what I write about, but just as important. For as long as humanity’s been around, innovators have always been creating the future. As a result, we’ve made tremendous progress and changed our world for the better in so many ways. However, these innovations have also led to some unanticipated and undesirable ...

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Innovation Maturity Matrix – A Model to Successful Innovation Transformation

With 80% of executives considering their businesses to be at risk for being disrupted in the near future, they are under tremendous pressure to transform their organizations towards becoming more innovative. However, any organizational change, let alone a major transformation, is always very difficult to implement successfully. In this post, we’ll look into some of the lessons we’ve learned from helping our ...

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What Do Top Corporate Innovators Get Right?

Speed of innovation

In our line of work, we get to talk with hundreds of leaders around the globe, and from virtually every industry. Most of them seem to intuitively understand the importance of innovation, but there’s still a lot of fluff, ambiguity and uncertainty regarding innovation as a topic. As a result, most leaders aren’t seeing the results they were expecting for from innovation. Given that ...

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Why Do So Many Innovation Programs Fail?

Whenever we talk to executives and ask how their past innovation efforts have succeeded, we usually get quite a muted response. Most have tried at least some innovation initiatives or programs, and many have had positive experiences from some of them, but overall the end result often seems to be a bit of a disappointment. These executives aren’t alone. According ...

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Innovation is the Means, Not an End in Itself

Innovation is like choosing the right tool

Innovation is all the rage, and for good reason. The most successful innovators outperform other companies by a wide margin. For example, according to the 2018 Global Innovation 1000 study, the sales growth of top innovators was 2.6 times and the operating income growth 2.5 times that of the average of the companies in the study. Even more startling is ...

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Top-down or bottom-up – How do you start building an innovative culture?

When we ask innovation leaders why they haven’t been able to reach their innovation goals, probably the single most common explanation is their company culture. As we all know, company culture is such an all-encompassing concept made up of so many different elements that changing it is extremely hard. Innovation leaders are often put in a very challenging position. They’re ...

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