Monthly Archives: December 2009

The Paradox of Innovation from 30,000 Feet

It’s About the Journey, Not the Destination by Robert F. Brands In the C-suites of corporate America, innovation has become a mandate. Executives – from CEOs to marketing officers – believe that to innovate is to embrace the Holy Grail of 21st Century business. But is innovation alone the answer? Is the end – innovation – capable of surviving solely ...

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You're Crowdsourcing Innovation Wrong

ComMetrics is a social media analytics company, a division of CyTRAP Labs GmbH. ComMetrics is well-known in the industry, including its FT ComMetrics Blog Index. The company published a useful piece, Crowd-wisdom fails businesses. The basic premise is that crowds do not innovate. It’s useful, because it contains both truths and misconceptions about the role of communities in the innovation ...

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Will Avatar Spark More Originality?

Avatar, opening in the US tomorrow, has Hollywood holding its breath. The $350 million spectacle by writer/director James Cameron seems destined to one of only two possible fates: spectacular blockbuster or massive bomb. The middle road never seems open to Cameron, who famously drives Tinsel-town bean-counters bonkers with his uncompromising vision and gargantuan budgets. Sigourney Weaver calls him an “idealistic ...

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Now is the Time to Innovate

Have you given up on innovation? MIT’s Michael Schrage says that can be fatal to any company, no matter the industry. Schrage offers an interesting counterpoint to a famous statement by Columbia Business School’s Bruce Greenwald, who said, “In the long run, everything is a toaster.” Schrage disagrees, citing the evolution of two-sided toasting (1919), toaster ovens (1950s) and digital ...

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Live Out a Positive Life

My dad came back from Ed Foreman’s Successful Life Course in the mid 1980s with a new favorite word, “TERRIFIC!!!” as the all-the-time answer to the question, “How are you doing?” Back then, it was bothersome to me because it was clear he wasn’t always TERRIFIC. Years later after listening to some of Foreman’s tapes and seeing him live, I ...

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You Must Innovate Across Silos to Succeed

Vertical integration is becoming a buzz-word in the business world. Wall Street Journal recently had a good article, Companies More Prone To Go Vertical, in which they gave many examples on how companies as diverse as PepsiCo, Oracle, Boeing, Apple, General Motors and ArcelorMittal have chosen vertical approaches. According to the Wall Street Journal, the moves toward vertical integration are ...

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Innovating the Hockey Stick

Ice hockey is big business. But it lags behind other professional sports – soccer, football, baseball, and basketball. As with all industries, the key to growth is innovation. Equipment manufacturers such as Reebok are taking this seriously with the creation of the Hockey Research and Innovation Center. In this month’s LAB, we will focus on the equipment side of hockey, ...

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Innovation is Not Free

One of the most common barriers to innovation is lack of time. People are just too busy doing their day job to spend time trying new things. The common assumption is that working hard and working long hours are good things and sufficient for success. The mantra is “focus on delivering this quarter’s results.” But doing more of the same ...

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My Own Tiger's Tale

“Tiger-gate” is the media focus of the week. Looks like another one bites the moral dust. Another checkmark in the “how the mighty fall” column. A whole new meaning to Nike’s tag line. Skootch over, Kobe. All that. Be that as it may, I have my own Tiger’s tale, and it’s one that has stayed with me for the entire ...

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