Author Archives: Kevin McFarthing

Innovation – Urgent or Important?

Everybody who works in business is busy. There are deadlines, crises, urgent requests from on high, and email inboxes stuffed to bursting. How many times do you reply “very busy” when asked how things are going? Scheduling meetings is a diary nightmare; it’s easier to seek perfect alignment of the planets than to get eight senior people in the same room within the next month. The personal workload and efficiency challenge is particularly acute these days.

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What is Your Open Innovation Partnering Approach?

Open Innovation is now an accepted methodology for enhancing your new product or service development pipeline.  It is deployed to varying degrees depending on the industry or even the company attitude. There are many different approaches to finding and engaging with external partners, including technology scouting and corporate portals.  But which is the best?  Unsurprisingly, the answer is “it depends”, ...

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Open Innovation in Large Contracting Relationships

The International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) is a successful organization of professionals involved with large contracts, procurement and outsourcing. If you want to know about anything to do with this area, they are the “go to” people, and are very ably led by Tim Cummins. I was delighted when Tim asked me to present at their EMEA ...

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Open Innovation and IP – Protecting Trade Secrets

A lot has been written about Intellectual Property (IP) and Open Innovation. It’s not surprising, because it’s one of the thorniest problems facing collaborators. In a recent blog I talked about the importance of having a flexible approach to IP policy, ensuring that you can deliver the deal that is most appropriate to the partner and opportunity under consideration. Now ...

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Make Innovation Part of Your Routine

We all know the regular diary entries. Write monthly report. Produce monthly numbers. Set annual objectives. Plan summer holiday. Watch favorite TV program. These tasks come around with regularity and frequency and become part of our routine. The routine concept struck me while reviewing Jeffrey Philips’ and Paul Hobcraft’s Collaborative Innovation Reference Framework. Do we make innovation routine? Well, I ...

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Open Innovation and IP – What's your policy?

A lot has been written about Intellectual Property (IP) and Open Innovation (OI). It’s not surprising, because it’s often one of the thorniest problems facing collaborators. Recent research from the IACCM (International Association for Contract and Commercial Management) shows that IP is the fourth most commonly negotiated term in contracts; yet it doesn’t reach the top ten of terms leading ...

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My Idea is a Bad Idea

There seems to have been a lot of discussion around the innovation blogs recently about who is allowed to innovate; tapping into the creativity of everybody; allowing people to run with their ideas; and making sure that idea selection doesn’t just happen at the top of the business.  The implication is that the originators of the idea should “own” the ...

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Directed Serendipity

As each year goes by it gets tougher to buy Christmas presents, as you have to search harder for something original and at the same time desired. There is a strong parallel with Open Innovation (OI). You need to look harder and in new places to find new things. That’s where the concept of Directed Serendipity comes in. It simply ...

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Innovation and Soccer

I’m passionate about innovation. I’m passionate about sport, particularly football – sorry, I should say soccer for a predominantly US audience. I also love sporting analogies and the use of sporting aphorisms in business. For example, when somebody says, “step up to the plate”, or “it’s a slam dunk”, the meaning is clear, even in countries where baseball and basketball ...

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Do challenging targets drive innovation?

Let me first acknowledge the stimulus for this blog post – thank you to Jeffrey Phillips of OVO Innovation and his recent article on innovation and network effects. Jeffrey correctly pointed out that markets with intense competition are more likely to contain innovative companies. It follows Darwinian logic – not survival of the fittest, but survival of those most able ...

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