Author Archives: Michael Graber

Essential Tactics for Innovation Intrapreneurs

For authentic innovation to occur at an organization, you have to craft the culture of a place to accept and embrace new ways of working together and being in the market. More often than not, teams or outsourced agencies follow an innovation method, create many concepts that are new to the market and certain to create new value, but are ...

Read More »

What Drives Your Organization?

As strategy and innovation consultants, we get called in to organizations when they are exhausted from trying to grow significantly and not meeting their goals. In most cases, the organization is trying to do too many things without a way to tie them into a coherent meaning. Most of them need to either discover or rediscover and articulate what we ...

Read More »

The Evolving Role of Design

The role of design evolves at the speed of innovation—the dizzying, dynamic speed of the market. Design now has a seat at executive and board tables across the globe. More than ever, a holistic sense of design is valued as a legal means of significant competitive advantage. But it hasn’t always been this way. The journey from the cubicle to ...

Read More »

Accelerate Growth Through Strategic Integration of Research During the Innovation Process

Stephanie began with crisis, a story about the kitty litter business. Competitive pressures were high. Market share was being lost. They needed a new product, in a hurry. From concept to packaging, they needed it all: RTB, packaging design, product name, name and product fit with top benefits, and fully baked complete concepts to test against legacy products and competitive products.

Read More »

Storytelling, the Brain & Work Culture

I love the quote by the poet Muriel Rukeyser that says “The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” Humans live for stories. We learn from stories at home, school, from friends, and also very compellingly at work. Humans within a work culture are motivated by stories. Look at the famous founding myths of HP and Apple in the garages, of Fred Smith and FedEx, and ...

Read More »

Overlooking the Obvious: Why Innovation Fails

This column was based on a presentation by Scott Jenkins, SVP of Innovation and Product Development of Deckers. Scott began this talk insisting on blending work and play.  His journey into “the sin of corporate innovation” happened eight years ago. At an early age Scott became fascinated with running shoes.  He met an inventor in 1978, when he was 18.  ...

Read More »

Strategic Foresight for Key Projects

Here are notes from the Back End of Innovation conference, 2015, in San Jose. These tips come from a workshop led by Tamara Carleton, Innovation Leadership Board, LLC. This session focuses on strategic foresight, which is the ability to build the future we envision. Strategic foresight is based on choices made today intended to influence future action. The goal is ...

Read More »

Welcome to the New Era of Automation

When Netflix put the Video Rental Retail stores in their coffins, there was still a sizable segment of people who missed the convenience, were suspect of a mail-order or streaming subscription service, or simply didn’t have the connectivity to enjoy it. Enter, RedBox. A new smart-automated adaptation of the Blockbuster model, scaled down to be easy-to-manage, easy-to-implement, and easy to ...

Read More »

Why Less is More: Product Strategy

Anxiety floods the boardroom, the conference rooms, every decision. Costs are rising. Returns are flat. Margins are thinning. Now, private label competitors are beating us in every area: technology, price, placement, design, and sales. Worse, they have turned the category that we invented...

Read More »