Author Archives: Deborah Mills-Scofield

P&G's Lessons from a Century of Open Innovation


Suffice it to say I was honored my friend Chris Thoen would agree to talk about P&G‘s Open Innovation history at the 3rd Open Innovation (OI) Summit at Baldwin Wallace College‘s Center for Innovation & Growth: Practical Challenges of Global Open Innovation.  Chris has been interviewed, quoted, written about extensively as a leader in OI, including on these pages, and for good reason. ...

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Living Well through Collaboration


(This post continues the summary of fabulous stories and interactions at the 3rd Open Innovation Summit at Baldwin Wallace College’s (BW) Center for Innovation & Growth: Practical Challenges of Global Open Innovation featuring P&G on April 21st.) Craig Vogel, President of Live Well Collaborative (LWC), talked about being an Open Innovation partner of P&G, focusing on the over 50 population. ...

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Paradox of Innovation and Intellectual Property


Being involved in Open Innovation (OI), one of the most cited stumbling blocks is, yes, lawyers – Intellectual Property (IP) attorneys specifically.  To most business and R&D folks, IP counsel are viewed as deal killers.  So I was anxious to hear Kelly McDow, Associate General Counsel for P&G‘s Connect+Develop, speak at the 3rd Open Innovation Summit at BW’s Center for Innovation & Growth*.  Kelly started ...

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The Art of the Dumb Question


When I was a child, my parents always answered a question with an answer that led to another question.  So early on, I learned to just keep asking questions.  It drove my teachers nuts (don’t get me started on education!) and drives my husband nuts (like that’s the only reason!).  Just to bug my husband further,  I’ve taught our kids to do the ...

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Innovation Best Practice is a Verb not a Noun


One of the central tenets of 20th Century business has been ‘best practices’.   Let’s dissect this veritable oxymoron: Best: highest quality, standing (at a point in time, place and context) Practice: a habit or custom (noun) or to do repeatedly to acquire proficiency Admittedly, and importantly, there are things to learn from others successes and failures.  But, one of the big mistakes companies ...

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Raising Innovation


Humans are one of the few mammals whose babies are not fully developed at birth.  Unlike horses, whales, etc., human babies can’t stand, walk, or forage on their own at birth.  They are totally dependent upon adult humans for constant, continual support just to live.  We are used to this, we accept it, we don’t expect anything different. Yet, when we discuss the ...

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Are You Pursuing Innovation or Extinction?

Invention without Commercialization = Extinction, not Innovation by Deborah Mills-Scofield My job at Bell Labs was to invent and create.  We dreamed up all sorts of wonderful solutions to problems that did and didn’t exist.  But how did we learn about these problems? Some we just thought up.  Some came from AT&T corporate product management & marketing. But few came from seeing customers firsthand, so ...

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Lens Shifting – Leading Indicators for Innovation


Recently, my friend Jackie Hutter and I did a workshop on Leading Indicators for Innovation from two aspects: 1) how can you look around you for leading indicators of areas ripe for innovation; and 2) what are leading indicators in your innovation process itself. Both are important, the first is more ‘fun’ so we’ll discuss it first and save the ...

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Return on Failure


One of the key issues in innovation is learning from failure. These applied learnings create a new type of intellectual asset few companies acknowledge or appreciate. How do we measure this asset? I propose creating Return on Failure (ROF). After all, we measure the return on other types of assets, why not this one? Perhaps a way to measure ROF ...

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HR's Strategic Role in Innovation


Historically, Human Resources (HR) has not played a very strategic role in innovation. This needs to change. HR needs to support the culture change to enable innovation; and the upcoming generation isn’t going to settle for an ‘administrative-only’ role. Innovation is primarily a social thing. Really. While processes are important, ideas come from interactions between and among humans. At the ...

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