Research

Combining lean startup and agile with a design-led approach reduces business risk

For most corporations, leading in quality means continually pursuing organizational excellence. This means leaders have to make sure that the organization is fit for its purpose, stays that way, and keeps improving over time. Maintaining quality is much easier when the risks involved are lower. Organizations tend to reduce risk by defining things that can be measured and incentivized. The side effect of this, ...

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Companies Are Failing To Get Value From Innovation

Innovation is something that everyone says they want to do, but it seems increasingly clear that this desire is often rather superficial.  For instance, recently I wrote about a new study from Harvard Business School showing that innovation is rarely a top priority for executives.  Indeed, just 30% placed it in their top 3 issues to focus on in the ...

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You Don’t Have an Innovation Problem, You Have a Trust Problem! (Part 3)

In the first part of this article mini-series I demonstrated, based on my original research, that for innovation to exist, you must be able to create a culture of innovation, first. A culture of innovation exists when leaders give their employees autonomy, employees show accountability and are willing to try things (even if it means that they might fail), and ...

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How Universities Support Recombinative Innovation

The importance of recombination is something I’ve touched upon numerous times over the years.  Indeed, research suggests that innovations today are much more likely to apply an existing innovation in new ways than to invent something truly unique. The study highlights that 40% of all patents submitted throughout the history of the USPTO are refinements of existing works.  What is ...

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Once upon a Time, in Business

In business and daily life, we are wired for stories as a species. One creation myth begins by saying God created humans because he needed good stories. Stories bind us together, creating an emotionally connected narrative through which we make sense of the world. I want to share a Here’s What I Love About My Careerstory with you. The background is a co-creation session ...

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How to Build an Innovation and Insights Group from Scratch

Many of you reading this have created or operated innovation or insights programs for organizations of a variety of sizes, or are curious about how to go about it. Operating an innovation program or leading an insights group is definitely much different than creating one. In some ways it is easier, because things are already in place, but inheriting processes ...

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The Undeniable Power of the “Garage Experience”

If you’re like me and a lot of other entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs around the world, then you’ve likely romanticized – at least at some point in time – about what it must have been like in great companies like Apple, HP, Google, and Cisco when they were just getting their start – in their founders’ garages of all places (or ...

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