Detroit's Decline and Fall

In March 2008, British Airways discontinued its decades-old daily service between London Heathrow and Detroit. Not exactly world-shattering news, you might think. But BA’s decision was quite significant. They made it because passenger numbers had dwindled so pathetically low that the flights were no longer profitable. It’s just one of a whole kaleidoscope of symptoms that signaled the Motor City’s ...

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Does your Innovation have a story?

Imagine if you will, somewhere in the distant recesses of our existence, a group of cavemen huddled around a fire. The wiseman of the group gathers the tribe around the fire and regales them with stories of their ancestors – how they fought the neighboring tribes, how they found the food necessary to survive. The shaman passes on the wisdom ...

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Building an Innovation Engine in China


I recently made another trip to China. My purpose was to meet with innovation leaders in order to build further on my understanding of the Chinese innovation community and thus on my global perspectives on innovation. I had a couple of meetings and I did an improvised session at a company. Having met about 15 people and having spent 5 ...

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Developing an Innovation Culture (the TBX approach)


Having been involved in several efforts on developing the innovation culture within companies, I have learned that you need to work with three organizational approaches. I call this the TBX approach: T (Top Down) Get the executives onboard and make them personally committed to the innovation activities. Without executive support, no change occurs. B (Bottom Up) Value creation begins with ...

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Optimizing Innovation – Dr. Daniel Sturman of Google


We are happy to bring you some of the key points and insights from Dr. Daniel Sturman’s talk at the Optimizing Innovation Conference, which was held October 21-22, 2009 in New York City. Dr. Daniel Sturman, Engineering Director at Google, spoke from an engineer’s perspective, not from an innovation director’s perspective, about the culture at Google. The main key in ...

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Creating an Improved Environment for Innovation

Thomas Alva Edison was a failure. It has been said that he “went back to the drawing board” more than 6,000 times before finding the right plant to produce a carbonized filament for his incandescent light bulb. Six thousand times. Do you have that kind of innovative stamina? It’s been said that: Risk + Experimentation (+ Failure) = Improved Environment ...

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Identifying the Innovators in your Firm


Thanks to Twitter, much of my research is done for me. I found a story linked on Twitter about the key innovation characteristics of leaders in innovative firms. That article was published by HBR. The five attributes the authors identified as relevant for innovation are: associating (making connections across unrelated ideas or problems), questioning (especially focused on “what if” or ...

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Cooking Up Some Innovation


I’ve been thinking for a while about the perfect physical space for innovation. When we work with our clients we often are asked to help design a physical space for the team to work in. This should be a space that is open, colorful, inviting and really different from the regular work environment. The space needs to remind the people ...

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Why can’t your firm innovate?


by Jeffrey Phillips Recently there’s been a debate about why larger firms can’t innovate. Perhaps they are too comfortable. Perhaps they are too afraid to cannibalize their markets. Perhaps they are afraid of risk and uncertainty. Perhaps, Perhaps. Or maybe they operate under a management model that rewards compliance and punishes creativity. Now I think we are getting to the ...

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