Five Mistaken Beliefs About Innovation

One of my business school professors, Freek Vermeulen, from my days at London Business School had this to say about innovation – “Innovation has been looked at from every conceivable angle, but we still repeat the same mistakes.”

London Business School has created this slideshare with five mistaken beliefs business leaders have about innovation. Enjoy!


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Braden KelleyBraden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B pull marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He is currently advising an early-stage fashion startup making jewelry for your hair and is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.

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  1. I can’t agree with mistake 5… People usually use Ford’s statement in the wrong way. First of all, there are no markets that do not exist yet. If Mark decided to build Facebook, there was already the “square concept”, a place where people gather to talk to each other (and gossip). He just gave the square a gigantic scale.

    For big companies, it’s all about scale and different business models applied to things that people already do, or to improve things that already exist. Second, yes, you should ask your customers what they want, but not as an interviewer, but as a researcher.

    You can’t consider literally what people say (or make quantitative assumptions), but you must interpret what’s behind those answers. When Ford heard “fast horses”, he built something that people could use to get faster from point A to point B, he did not try to genetic engineer a faster animal.

  2. I can’t agree with mistake 5… People usually use Ford’s statement in the wrong way. First of all, there are no markets that do not exist yet. If Mark decided to build Facebook, there was already the “square concept”, a place where people gather to talk to each other (and gossip). He just gave the square a gigantic scale.

    For big companies, it’s all about scale and different business models applied to things that people already do, or to improve things that already exist (maybe two os these things combined).

    Second, yes, you should ask your customers what they want, but not as an interviewer, but as a researcher. You can’t consider literally what people say (or make quantitative assumptions), but you must interpret what’s behind those answers. When Ford heard “fast horses”, he built something that people could use to get faster from point A to point B, he did not try to genetic engineer a faster animal.

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