Management

Balancing Innovation Supply and Demand

To build and sustain a robust innovation capability, your company needs to carefully manage both the supply side and the demand side of innovation. By “supply” I mean the sheer flow—and the quality—of new ideas entering your innovation pipeline and moving through its various stages. By “demand” I mean the natural, reflexive pull for those ideas within and across the ...

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Escaping Groupthink

How can you break out of the group-think that affects most large organizations? How can you escape from the corporate frameworks that shape discussions and ideas? Philips is moving from a high-volume electronics manufacturer to a design-led, lifestyle technology company. It needs help to get there so it set up a ‘simplicity board’. Philips reckoned it needed a fresh perspective ...

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Random Thoughts on Innovation and Design Thinking

I was watching the film ‘Inception’ on a long flight last week and I remembered one interesting dialogue from the film “How do you translate business strategy into emotion?”. I was not really watching as I was editing the next issue of M/I/S/C magazine, but the line caught my attention. I rewound it back and tried to make sure if ...

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Outside In Innovation at GE

In the past few months I have been getting interested in GE and how it is managing innovation. Often you read a number of negative reports on GE but is this just the big guy being picked upon by more nimble observers that have a limited insight into what is going on behind the walls of GE? What is under ...

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It is Okay to Marry Your Work (Part 2)

Last week I wrote an article for American Express about marrying your work. Unlike the “ball and chain” picture that tends to pop into our heads, I espoused the merits of loving your job, just like you would marry a spouse you love. Be sure to read that article before reading on. I’ll wait. OK, now that you read the ...

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6 Sides of the So-Called Box

Unless you’ve been in a coma for the past 20 years, I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “get out of the box.” It’s everywhere. Whole industries have sprung up around it, including mine. No one can deny that getting out of the box is a good thing to do. Seems like a no-brainer, eh? Kind of like helping little ...

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Stay Agile and Win

Many leaders of small firms focus on making their business work efficiently and on delivering high-quality customer service. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these objectives. They are both essential aims. However, if they lead to rigidity and the exclusion of variation then they can undermine the key advantage that small businesses have over large businesses – agility. If you ...

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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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Resource Allocation in Open Innovation

The “standard” scenario is that companies start small with open innovation. It is often just one guy charged to create some quick, small wins. If this works, more resources are added and a team with several people will be formed. Projects like this are common to companies so there is no reason to worry in the short-term. It is actually ...

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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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