Monthly Archives: July 2009

Part 1 – The Power of the Question (Shanghai)

Lots of bad stuff happening in China right now. So let’s talk about some good stuff. Like the design coming out of Shanghai. Innovation, no matter where it occurs, always begins with a burning question (or questions), centered around “Is there a better way?” Artist-turned-designer Lu Kun has almost single-handedly put Shanghai on the international fashion map by pursuing three ...

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Innovation Collaboration

How Leading Firms Use Open Innovation Many CEOs see collaboration as key to their success with innovation. They know they cannot achieve their innovation targets using internal resources alone. So they look outside for other organisations to partner with. A good example is Mercedes and Swatch who collaborated to produce the Smart car. When Mercedes wanted to produce an innovative ...

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Innovate Your Way out of a Recession

How on earth can companies compete in a global economy where staff costs in India are a tenth of those in the West and where Chinese companies are now looking to outsource their operations to cut costs further? We can not continuously improve our way out of the current challenges, rather we must fundamentally change what we do and how ...

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The Leadership Rabbit Hole

Recently, I had the dubious honor to work with a senior executive who just doesn’t get it. Rodney was V.P. of Marketing for a leading manufacturer of networking technology. (Or so we’ll say – substitute the leader, politician, or other important person of your choice.) As such, it is Rodney’s job to create demand for his company’s products. And yet ...

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Determining Innovation's Sweet Spot

Now more than ever, companies need great new ideas, great new products and great new businesses. However, innovators often fail to realize just how big the difference is between them. For example: Satellite radio is a fabulous idea, and Sirius is great product, but what a terrible business. Gillette Fusion isn’t a great idea – but is a great product ...

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Radical or Gradual Innovation?

“Radical Innovation” refers to high risk, high uncertainty projects which hold the potential to both influence the marketplace and bring high returns to firms. It’s a kind of “promised land” of differentiation, growth and wealth for businesses and nations. Radical innovation is different from gradual innovation, in which small, incremental changes are made to activities in order to create more ...

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Corporate Innovation – Both Emergent and Managed

Item #1, The Crowd Is Wise (When It’s Focused), New York Times: “Successful projects are typically hybrids of ideas flowing from a decentralized crowd and a hierarchy winnowing and making decisions.” Item #2, Innovation Management an Oxymoron, Paul Golding: “When I get requests for ‘sync up’ and ‘co-ordination’ and ‘alignment’ and all those other management ‘control’ phrases, I know that ...

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Crisis or Opportunity?

No one in their right mind would suggest that an economic collapse was just what we needed, but sometimes, tough times do throw up opportunities we don’t hear when the bulls are roaring. I remember back in the 1970s, New York was a very different city to the one we know now. It had a gritty edge and the sense ...

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Innovation or Extinction?

Adapting your small business or nonprofit during the recession may be difficult – even painful – but it must be done or you risk joining the dinosaur in extinction. At this point, you’ve most likely gotten past being frozen by the depth and breadth of the recession. You’ve cut your budgets and staff to the bone and are lean and ...

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