Author Archives: Jeffrey Phillips

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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Innovator as Storyteller

I've been catching up on some reading, and thinking about my own experiences working with customers who are trying to become more innovative. A pattern is beginning to emerge that has been sitting there in front of me for years, but is only now becoming clear.

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Innovation and Efficiency – Opposing Forces

I'm big on irony, so it's always exasperating yet amusing when my clients realize that attributes or characteristics they've thought of as strengths are revealed as barriers or weaknesses. As organizations grow and mature, they stop trying to evaluate their business models and the factors that sustain those models, and begin to take factors within the business model for granted - or argue in their defense.

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