Author Archives: Michael Graber

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

Wisdom on Handling the Talent Side of Innovation: Suzan Briganti, CEO & Founder Swarm Vision

With 25 years of experience in research, strategy and innovation, Suzan has grown Swarm Vision from a garage start-up to a trusted solution provider to global Fortune 500 clients.   How do most corporations attract, train, and retain their innovation talent?  Most companies lack a focus on innovation talent, which is a crazy because this talent is a massively important ...

Read More »

Culture Remains the Strongest Innovation Litmus Test

For being members of a discipline that prides itself on discovering the unknown, innovation practitioners have a secret lust of commonplace predictability and yearn for security as much as any human being. Seeing how they too often become the mistaken and hapless scapegoats for lack of core business growth, it is easy to empathize with this longing for belonging and ...

Read More »

Designing Your Culture for High Performance

If you follow this column you know that we live in paradoxical times. While our future depends on digital transformations and disruption in every industry, the future of the workplace is human-centered. This particular paradox presents a unique set of issues. If you embrace the thinking in the popular management book, Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast, and believe that a ...

Read More »

FourSight: Innovation when it works and when it fails

An Innov8ors Miami Keynote by Sarah Thurber Last year Innov8rs embarked on a year-long research project to better understand: who are corporate innovators? What makes them tick? What makes their efforts succeed and fail? We partnered with FourSight, creators of the FourSight Thinking Profile, to assess more than 350 innovators from around the world. We collected data from Europe, Asia, ...

Read More »