Seven Attributes of the Most Innovative Cultures

Innovation is culturally agnostic in one sense and highly culture-sensitive in another. While in theory, nothing prevents every country in the world from having its own Silicon Valley (although it would look different from place to place), there are seven cultural “universals” shared by every truly innovative society.

Open Innovation: Collaborating Successfully with Small High-Tech Firms

In the age of big bang disruption, inward-looking growth strategies can be risky. It comes as no surprise then, that there are a large number of companies turning to partnership with small high-tech firms to ensure faster and more effective innovation.

By directly engaging with outsiders – consumers, suppliers, universities and even competitors – large companies have been able to develop highly efficient innovation processes and … [ Read more ]

Hacking Innovation

Hacking does not ascribe a specific intent, and nothing about the skillset itself is right or wrong. In fact, hacking is a tool, an approach. In the same way a knife can be used for evil (to murder) or to heal (a scalpel used to perform a life-saving surgery), hacking can be used to destroy or rebuild. While hacking can clearly be used for wrongdoing, … [ Read more ]

The Smart Way to Open Your Innovation Process

Here’s how to find the ideal external contributors and solutions for your R&D pipeline.

The 30 Things Customers Really Value

Breakthroughs may be worth pursuing, but most companies benefit more from incremental innovation efforts that add new forms of consumer value to their present products and services. The trick is to determine what elements to add in order to boost the perceived value of your offering. You don’t want to expend resources adding features that consumers don’t care about. While what constitutes “value” can be … [ Read more ]

Building Products

Julie Zhuo, Product design VP of Facebook, lists 32 lessons learned about what it takes to build great products.

Choosing the Right Corporate Innovation Strategy

Recently, I’ve been speaking to an increasing number of companies thinking about creating or redefining their innovation strategy. For those discussions, I outlined the following strategies in escalating order of three dimensions:
– level of resource commitment
– visibility & access to new technology
– potential for impact (whether development of transformative technology, new revenue streams or financial investment returns)

Brightening the Black Box of R&D

An all-in-one, one-for-all formula to determine R&D’s productivity can help companies see how well the function is performing.

The Eight Essentials of Innovation

Strategic and organizational factors are what separate successful big-company innovators from the rest of the field.

How Lunatics, Experts and Connectors Help Drive Innovation

Hackers and hipsters may be behind the innovative success of today’s startups, but established companies require a different skillset.

The Cleveland Clinic’s ‘10 Commandments’ of Innovation

A new book about the Cleveland Clinic distills what it has learned from pioneering several medical innovations, including the first hospital-based kidney dialysis unit in the 1950s, the first coronary bypass surgery in the 1960s, the first successful larynx transplant in the 1990s, and the first near-total face transplant in 2008, among others. Innovation the Cleveland Clinic Way, by Thomas J. Graham, MD, shares its … [ Read more ]

Weak Links in the Chain

Flexible, adaptive supply chain management is an overlooked but vital component of a company’s overall innovation strategy.

Where Disruptive Innovation Came From

After a long and successful run, the theory of disruptive innovation has come under attack of late. Disruptive innovation is a parsimonious theory that explains many business failures. But not all. And that is the critical insight getting lost in the cross-fire between the theory’s disciples and its critics.

Innovation Metrics and KPIs: Are You Getting What You Pay For?

Everyone’s pushing hard for innovation in science, technology, logistics and business planning but how do you know you’re getting the best return on your investment?

Putting the Naysayers in the Spotlight

Early adopters get most of the attention from analysts and marketers, but focusing on consumers who are resistant to innovations is another way to bring new products to market.

How to Design (and Analyze) a Business Experiment

While there has been a rapid growth in experiments, especially within tech companies, we’ve seen too many run incorrectly. Even when they’re set up properly, avoidable mistakes often happen during implementation. As a result, many organizations fail to receive the real benefits of the scientific method. This article lays out seven steps to ensure that your experiment delivers.

Why Ask Why?

Innovation often begins with a question. In fact, disruptive innovators ask more questions than non-innovators—and their questions tend to be more provocative. That’s what we found in a recent eight-year research project. Our study unveiled five innovation skills (associational thinking, observing, idea networking, experimenting and questioning) that anyone, including CEOs, can use to discover disruptive new business models, products, services and processes. Of these five … [ Read more ]

Transforming Organisations for Sustained Innovation

“Market-oriented” firms are better able to innovate consistently, but getting there requires complex and demanding organizational change.