Monthly Archives: June 2010

Creatives Take the Lead in Innovation

We’ve been developing a theory of business over the last few years, based on our work with a number of companies. The theory is less about innovation tools and techniques and more about the structure of a firm’s workforce. What’s become apparent is that the mix of skills drives a lot of innovation success. While you can take a fairly ...

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Hope and Sanity at Starbucks

Last spring McDonald’s launched a $100 million salvo in support of its new McCafe line of coffee drinks. I (along with everybody else) was worried about how Starbucks would fend off such an attack, and I wrote about how I hoped the company would be careful in how it responded: “Starbucks isn’t just a coffeehouse, it’s a concept. It’s not ...

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The Complexity Wakeup Call

The world is only going to get more complicated and move faster. Will you be one of the few keeping up? Have you responded to the wakeup call that has been sounding for business leaders? For the past few years I’ve been talking about and sharing with anyone who will listen – clients, seminar and learning session attendees, keynote audiences ...

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How Successful Are You at Change?

The success rate for business change has not materially improved for 20 years in spite of increasing investment in management training and development. I was recently talking to a global multinational that undertook a full review of how good they really were at changing their business – new processes, new products, restructuring, etc. They employed an external company to do ...

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Innovation is Offensive, Not Defensive

Where would we be without a good sports analogy every so often? I was thinking about the challenges of innovation recently and it occurred to me that corporate strategy and innovation is often about making a choice between defending turf and taking or creating turf. Most firms prefer to try to thwart other attackers and defend their turf rather than ...

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Why Hollywood Will Succeed Where BP Has Failed

As efforts to contain the Gulf spill appear to be on the brink of collapse, Costner’s Ocean Therapy device is going to be tested in real life conditions – monstrously larger than life conditions, actually. As a scientist or simply a logical human being can I affirm that the device will work? No, I can’t. But I will. Why? Let’s ...

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3GTV is Going to Change the World

. . . and make Foursquare relevant by Ric Merrifield 3GTV is the brainchild of Automated Media Services, and they are putting little screens in stores right next to products they promote and show commercials for those products. The notion of having what amounts to a tiny TV screen next to the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese would have sounded bizarre ...

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Ownership of Innovation

In order to achieve innovation, a champion within an organization must take ownership – one of Robert’s Rules of Innovation imperatives. The champion, whether an officer or executive manager within the company, has the responsibility of convincing others to work outside their comfort zone, even if they are resistant to change. To take ownership, the champion, ideally somebody that is ...

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The Learning CEO

“The Learning CEO” is a phrase I coined a number of years back to help my clients understand the high correlation between actionable, applied knowledge and success as a leader. As an advisor to CEOs, there is little doubt that I’m passionate about CEO development. There is one simple reason why…it works. Great CEOs are like a sponge when it ...

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Outsourcing Innovation

Over the last 20 years or so, as global barriers fell and telecommunications and information infrastructure increased, it has become easier and cheaper to outsource some functions. In the US this started with NAFTA for manufacturing and then moved to Taiwan and to mainland China. For services it started in the nineties as many firms moved high overhead operations like ...

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