Author Archives: Jeffrey Phillips

The Tyranny of Today Blocks Innovation

The tyranny of today? What's not to like? For innovators the tyranny of today is personified as Lex Luther, superman's alter ego. The tyranny of today as a phrase does more, with less, to describe the barriers to innovation than almost any description I've heard. And I should know, I wrote Relentless Innovation trying to define how to overcome the tyranny of today.

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What is an Innovation Consultant?

So my wife's favorite aunt has arrived for a visit. This sounds like the set up for a vaudeville punch line but actually leads to some great stuff. We sat at dinner last night and she turned to me and asked "So what does your firm with the funny name (OVO) do, anyway?" I love slash hate this question, especially from people who aren't quite sure what "the Google" is, anyway.

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How to Reduce Innovation Risk

Every day when I come to work I scan my Twitter stream and get insights from hundreds of people who have excellent perspectives on innovation. There are people who write about open innovation. There are people who write about business model innovation. There are people who write about new products, innovations in specific industries and topics like reverse innovation. The diversity of insights and range of topics demonstrates how valuable innovation can be. But while there is great diversity of opportunity, there also remains a great distribution of success and failure, which creates innovation risk. And while there are many types of innovation, one common factor in all innovation efforts is risk.

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Why Do We Want Innovations Yet Fear Innovation?

I was thinking about writing a blog post about corporate culture and its resistance to innovation. I even had this snappy analogy ready about how corporate culture is like a wet blanket thrown on the fire of innovation. Other ideas I wanted to explore included how corporations "but" ideas to death. But it won't work, but we don't have the people, but it will distract from our existing products. And so forth.

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Four Key Innovation Contradictions

Why is it that something as important as innovation should be so fraught with contradictions? Today, as I was leading an innovation training class for a client, I stopped to think about the number and variety of contradictions that are embodied in successful innovation. In fact these contradictions are what make innovation so difficult.

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What is the definition of innovation?

As an innovation geek, I always enjoy reading over the latest reports about innovation. Like a kid at Christmas I eagerly await reports on innovation from management consulting firms like PWC or Booz Allen. They provide a yearly assessment of the world of innovation, and especially what CEOs believe to be true about innovation.

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Do We Need an Innovation Profession?

As a person who earns a living as an innovation consultant, of course I'm concerned when anyone seems to cast doubt on my chosen trade. So, perhaps it's a good question to ask - should innovation become a profession - whether inside an organization where innovation titles are appearing with increasing frequency, or should we expect to see more innovation consultants as the importance of innovation creates a potential vacuum of innovation talent?

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Watch Out – Executives Talking About Innovation

I'm upset about all the false promises and hot air I'm hearing right now, and I'm not even talking about the presidential race. I'm talking about all the misguided talk by executives about "innovation". Yesterday's NPR interview with new Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson provides an excellent example. I don't know Scott Thompson and I have no animus toward Yahoo, or for any of its competitors, so what I am about to write should be viewed in the light of a neutral observer trying to wrap his head around some "innovation" claims.

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