Author Archives: Michael Graber

Leading the Charge to Disrupt Your Industry

Richard Jupe, Vice President, Innovative Product Development, Altria: Richard got to the point, fast: Altria’s strategy: reduce risk and expanding choice. “We have a Duel Engine. We are changing our culture with this model, he says.” “Since 1955 our company has been on the Fortune 500. We were Philip Morris. Now we have owned and sold Kraft, Miller. We are ...

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Secrets of a Successful Serial Intrapreneur- Paul Campbell: Chief Innovation Officer, W.L. Gore & Associates

A Keynote presentation from the Back End of Innovation Conference The first slide gave away the four secrets in brief form: Ideation Deconstruct Incubate Scale up Paul began his talk with a metaphor, the new SalesForce building—a new type of structure that is unprecedented in earthquake zones because it was so safe. He claims companies need to re-think their current ...

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Looking at Eric Ries and The Startup Way

With a wry grin, Eric begins his talk by knocking on the idea of certification: “A certified entrepreneur is a certifiable idea.” This was the perfect opening to a cunningly smart talk that cuts straight through the morass of corporate politics. The author of The Lean Start Up and The Startup Way began his talk by saying the most absurd ...

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The Whole System is Rigged Against Innovation

Work in innovation for more than a decade you see familiar patterns. One of the most damning, yet predictable ones is relying on the core business units to commercialize innovations outside of their core. This tendency bruises an innovation effort beyond recognition, undermines the credibility of the professions who did the initial discovery, front-end work in the organizations, and threatens ...

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De-Risking Corporate Innovation by Using Suppliers

In this column we have analyzed why it is nearly impossible for Corporate Innovation teams to successfully commercialize new products, services, and business models both within and outside of their core business at length. The risks alone make Legal and Brand departments quake, quiver, and fight against these innovations. The use of new channels, new materials, or partners makes product ...

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Increased R&D Doesn’t Mean Innovation

A recent PwC study looked at a large rise in global R&D spending in 2018, more than a 17% gain over 2017. Many pundits shared the article as evidence of an innovation revolution despite the warnings in the article. Silly, huh? The piece states, “rising R&D spending is an indication that companies are committing to the future, and should portend ...

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The Long Sleep: Innovative Product Gestation

You could call it hibernation, but that’s too kind. You could call it neglect, yet some are working on it pushing the proverbial boulder up the corporate mountain. To be kind, let’s simply call it The Long Sleep. This condition happens inside organizations when an innovation concept bounces along internally for a long time without launching. Let’s say the concept ...

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More Heart. Less Head. Making Feedback Matter.

The best insights are often stumbled upon. Like happiness, such insights are just naturally-occurring by-products of being curious. Curiosity and courage, coupled with humility, are the root soft skills of successful innovators. You need to be open and vulnerable to excel. In that spirit, professional feedback and performance reviews could be more human and humanizing. Here’s my stumble. Background: I was ...

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