By Randall S. Wright
Too many executives confuse what an innovation is with what an innovation would do for them if they had one. The solution? Think of innovation as an if-then argument.
ATTEND ALMOST ANY conference on innovation, and one will hear someone in the audience ask, “Yes, but how are you defining ‘innovation’?” Why is there no clear, shared meaning of “innovation”? I believe it is because most executives confuse what an innovation actually is with what an innovation would do for them if they had one. For example, most companies think of an “innovation” as something that wins a sale with a better solution, increases revenue or takes market share from a competitor. But those aren’t definitions of innovation. They’re outcomes executives would like to get from innovation.
The problem is a serious one, not the least because companies send engineers, “technology entrepreneurs” and “technology scouts” in search of innovations when a shared understanding of what they are looking for may not exist across the organization’s people and functions or between “scouts” and managers. More significantly, to “innovate” means to “regenerate” — and most companies decline or fail because they fail to regenerate.
I propose that all true innovations are arguments. By this I mean that all innovations are composed of three elements: a proposition and a conclusion linked by an inference. I further propose that this is not merely a convenient or workable definition that covers most instances of innovation. Far from it: Stating that innovations are arguments is not just stating a definition — it is an identity, an equality. Innovation = Argument.
Let me explain. When the late Steven Jobs went to Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center in December 1979 to kick around the lab to see what was up, he made an argument — an innovation. He stumbled on a proposition — the graphical user interface — and inferred that this interface would be the way that everyone would experience computing. Jobs later told Rolling Stone, “Within 10 minutes, it was obvious that every computer would work this way someday. You knew it with every bone in your body.” Steve Jobs was an innovator because he could make inferences between technology propositions and conclusions about human experience. Seguir leyendo “Why Innovations Are Arguments”
Idea Management Is Key To Your Innovation Strategy
Ideas are the currency in the new creative economy therefore you need tools to manage this valuable asset as part of your overall innovation strategy. Idea management is often overlooked as a crucial component in the overall innovation process. Seguir leyendo “The 6 Features Needed In Your Idea Management System”
posted by Jeffrey Phillips
Clearly, if our highly efficient, productive business models are to become more innovative, they need to believe that innovation risk can be reduced or controlled. Either that or the operating models must become far more comfortable with risk and its costs and variances. I suspect the latter requires far more cultural change than many firms will sustain. If the tradeoff is trying to reduce innovation risk or reduce the resistance of the culture to risk, I think the former is the place to start.
How does a firm reduce or eliminate innovation risk? I think there are at least five actions that can dramatically reduce innovation risk. Note that I didn’t say eliminate risk. I doubt that is possible, but I do believe innovation risk can be dramatically reduced through the following actions… Seguir leyendo “How to reduce innovation risk”
As you may have already guessed, John and I are mentally wiped out right now and are taking a short break from blogging. We’re saving up ideas and posts and will be ready to go again once the new year starts.
In the meantime, here are a few questions to consider. If you’d like to answer them in the comments, it would be fun to have a discussion on these issues:
- What’s the most innovative thing you’ve done this year?
- What will you do next year to build on this year’s success?
- What is your greatest innovation challenge right now? Seguir leyendo “End of Year Innovation Questions”
From experience and ongoing business innovation research, there are fairly common situations blocking business innovation across companies. No company has all of these business innovation roadblocks, but the presence of just a couple of business innovation barriers will scuttle the most modest dreams of implementing a business innovation program to create value for customers.
None of these business innovation NO’s are insurmountable, so it’s important to understand what causes each of them and some steps to navigate around them and get business innovation going.
1. NO Knack for Innovation
There simply isn’t an orientation toward business innovation. It may be a mature industry, a company that’s had success with an intense focus, one that’s grown through M&A, or has been burned on previous formal innovation efforts. Whatever the reason, innovation doesn’t appear to be in the company’s DNA.
What Are Some Things You Can Try?
- Challenge conventional wisdom that says innovation isn’t vital to the company.
- Target introducing small doses of unconventional strategy to begin.
- Introduce ways to look at the business differently.
- Try to borrow and adapt proven ideas from other industries or markets. Seguir leyendo ““Taking the NO Out of Business InNOvation” 10 NO’s Blocking Business Innovation”
One of my highlights was definitely playing with the Spotme networking devices that all attendees received. These hand-held gizmos represent the acceptable face of stalking, enabling you to browse a list of attendees and track relevant people as they move around. It then alerts you every time your target comes within a 25ft radius of you so you can catch them and exchange knowledge. The technology isn’t perfect yet, but it just might be the future of networking.
I also saw some great presentations from General Mills, Corning, Coach, Ashland, Mohan Sawhney, Dan Pink and others. Here are a few of my favorite takeaways: Seguir leyendo “6 Key Innovation Insights”
This post was written by Tim.
We’ve written a few posts criticising some of the more common innovation metrics in use, so I thought it would be smart to outline some ways that we can actually develop more effective metrics. Here’s a story that might help:
A while ago I was in charge of managing student recruitment for a tertiary education institution. One of the first things I looked into when I started the job was metrics – how did we measure how well my section was doing? The answer was one number: total number of enrolled students each year. The job that I was given was to increase that number by as much as possible (which begs all kinds of questions about quality, teaching and so on, but let’s set those aside for now…).
The problem was that managing that number as a standalone was hard. Well, impossible, actually. So I looked into what other numbers we had, and I found a that we had measures for total applications received, and total enrolments. I worked with my teams to figure out the path that people took to become students, and we then also figured out a way to measure enquiries. Once we had these numbers, here’s what we did:
We made three metrics: total number of enquiries, the ratio of applications/enquiries, and the ratio of enrolments/applications. Then I made the marketing team responsible for enquiries, the information team responsible for applications/enquiries, and the enrolments team responsible for enrolments/applications. Seguir leyendo “How to Improve Your Innovation Metrics”
Por jabaldaia | //abaldaia.wordpress.com
What do you think?
There you can read …“Thus it’s little surprise that nearly every company now has some sort of experiment or program relating to open innovation. Open innovation means reaching out to take advantage of talent beyond the firm (or responding to such outreach opportunities). It’s a terrific concept, borne out by several oft-repeated examples such as InnoCentive and GoldCorp.
But are companies, with all their good intentions, getting the most from open innovation? We suspect that the initial successes, encouraging as they are, represent only the beginning. What if open innovation were defined more broadly and more ambitiously? Could even greater value be realized? If so, what would the next wave of open innovation look like?” Seguir leyendo “Reflections on Open Innovation”
About the author
I’ve said it before.
Ideas are cheap.
They’re so damn easy to come by that I have difficulty understanding why so many people seem to want to ask me where I get my ideas from. All I do is read widely, and periodically bang a couple of random ideas together until I get a spark. It takes, on average, six to nine months to write a novel; but in brainstorming mode I can come up with half a dozen book-sized ideas in a week.
I have more ideas for books than I have time to write them. Also, some of these ideas are of … dubious, shall we say … commercial value. Seguir leyendo “Ideas Are Cheap”
The people you work with are originating — and communicating — their ideas more often than you realize. In meetings. In hallways. In elevators, parking lots, offices, bathrooms, cars, and lunch rooms. Many of these ideas are very intriguing — or could be — but they rarely take root.
by Mitch Ditkoff
As your organization continues rebounding from the financial meltdown, here are 50 ways to ensure that it becomes increasingly conducive to ongoing innovation. Commit to a few of these today and make some magic. Your next step?
- Remember that innovation requires no fixed rules or templates — only guiding principles. Creating a more innovative culture is an organic and creative act.
- Wherever you can, whenever you can, always drive fear out of the workplace. Fear is “Public Enemy #1″ of an innovative culture.
- Have more fun. If you’re not having fun (or at least enjoying the process) something is off.
- Always question authority, especially the authority of your own longstanding beliefs.
- Make new mistakes.
- As far as the future is concerned, don’t speculate on what might happen, but imagine what you can make happen.
- Increase the visual stimuli of your organization’s physical space. Replace gray and white walls with color. Add inspiring photos and art, especially visuals that inspire people to think differently. Reconfigure space whenever possible.
- Help people broaden their perspective by creating diverse teams and rotating employees into new projects — especially ones they are fascinated by.
- Ask questions about everything. After asking questions, ask different questions. After asking different questions, ask them in a different way.
- Ensure a high level of personal freedom and trust. Provide more time for people to pursue new ideas and innovations. Seguir leyendo “50 Ways to Foster a Culture of Innovation”
In a recent Bloomberg article entitled “Why Companies Need Less Innovation“ Pat Lencioni makes the case that companies should not be asking employees to be innovators. He goes as far as to say that leaders should not even be open to more ideas from their employees and that only a few people really need to innovative. He suggests that rank and file employees should not try to innovate but simply “do their jobs and satisfy customers in the most effective and charismatic way possible, but within the bounds of sound business principles.”
Lencioni has a far too limiting view of innovation. Let’s start with the definition of innovation itself. While this is widely debated, I always fall back to the simple dictionary definition:
Something new or different introduced Seguir leyendo “Companies Need All The Innovation They Can Get”