Author Archives: Greg Satell

The 4 Standout Attributes of Truly Great Innovators

The 4 Standout Attributes of Truly Great Innovators - Innovation Excellence

In the process of researching my book, Mapping Innovation, I talked to a diverse group of successful innovators. One underlying premise of mine is that there isn't one “true” path to innovation, so I expected to see a variety of approaches and that’s indeed what I found. However, I also noticed that some remarkably constant themes emerged, and great innovators had four attributes in common.

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The 30 Year Rule – How Long Does Innovation Take?

The 30 Years Rule – How Long Does Innovation Take? - Innovation Excellence

“Agile” has become the mantra for the digital age. If you don’t move fast, so the thinking goes, you can never be any good, because your competitors will get there first and you’ll be left in the dust. In many circles, this notion has become so well established that no one even thinks to question it anymore. While agility is ...

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Don’t Look For A Great Idea, Look For A Good Problem

At the center of every significant innovation is always an idea. Clarence Birdseye’s idea about freezing fish revolutionized the food industry and American diets. Charles Schwab’s idea about flat commissions changed investing forever. Steve Jobs idea about creating a device that could hold 1000 songs in your pocket turned around Apple’s fortunes. Yet we shouldn’t confuse a great idea with ...

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4 Myths About Innovation You Need To Avoid

The unicorn is perhaps unique among myths in that the creature doesn’t appear in the mythology of any culture. The ancient Greeks, for all of their centaurs, hydras and medusas, never had any stories of unicorns, they simply believed that some existed somewhere. Of course, nobody had ever seen one, but they believed others had.  Travelers would go to far ...

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4 Things You Need to Build an Innovative Culture

In the late 1960’s, Gary Starkweather had a serious spat with his boss.  As an engineer in Xerox’s long-range xerography unit, he saw that laser printing could be a huge business opportunity. His manager, however, was focused on improving the efficiency of the current product line, not looking to start another one. The argument got so heated that Starkweather’s job ...

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Platforms are Transforming How We Need to Compete

Four Things You Should Know About Platforms

In 1980, an obscure professor at Harvard Business School named Michael Porter published Competitive Strategy, which called for managers to drive efficiency by optimizing their firm’s value chain, maximize bargaining bargaining power with buyers and suppliers, while at the same time minimizing threats from new market entrants and substitute goods. These concepts launched Porter into the top rank of strategic ...

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