Finance

Unacceptable Face of Innovation

Innovation in medicine, material science and many other areas has made life better for many people. But there is another side to innovation that is rarely discussed. Many innovations are designed to be labor saving. With the world population increasing labor saving innovation can only eventually lead to economic collapse and social unrest.

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Sustaining the Case for Innovation

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A few weeks ago I attended a meeting of Innovation Directors from many different industries, where we shared our experience of making the case for innovation and sustaining the investment with or without having to re-make the case every year. From those discussions, I took away a very simple model – a virtuous circle indeed – to sustain the case for investment in innovation.

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Where's Your Innovation Friction?

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How should firms develop the organizational structure, culture, and incentives (e.g., for teams) to encourage successful innovation? When it comes to creating an innovation culture, often people make it far too complicated. If you're part of the senior leadership team and you're serious about innovation then your job is simple - reduce friction. If you're serious about innovation and you're not a senior leader, then your job is to do what you can to convince senior leadership that innovation is important. Then, gently help your execs see the areas of greatest friction in your organization so they can do something about it.

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Innovation Insights WEF Latin America 2012

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The seventh World Economic Forum on Latin America took place in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on 16-18 April 2012. The meeting, held under the theme “Regional Transformation in a New Global Context”, convened a record number of participants for this regional gathering, with close to 900 top regional and global leaders from 70 nations.

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Would You Roll The Dice?

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Let’s play a game. It costs you $1 to play. We then roll a dice once. If it comes up 6, I pay you $10 otherwise you lose. Do you want to play? Most likely you will agree to play. You have a one in six chance of winning $10 for a $1 bet. Now let’s make it $1 million to play.

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Irresistible Innovation meets Immovable Object

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I'm going to let you in on a secret. Doing innovation isn't really all that hard, once you get the hang of it. Yes, there are dozens of methodologies and approaches. You can tap into your employees and/or your customer base for ideas. You can search for interesting technologies in research labs and universities. You can prototype, test and tweak ideas based on customer pilots. In fact, you can do just about anything in innovation. That is, if you can get it started.

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The Jolt to Best Buy

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Poor financial performance is a shock to the system; it rumbles marketing plans and shakes the innovation strategy and pipeline. Best Buy retail and web sales fell 2.4% versus last year and shareholders have lost more than half of their value over the past five years. The company is now in the throws of reinventing how it goes to market as fast as it can.

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The Evaluation Metric that Kills Innovative Ideas

I was speaking with a client recently who reminded me of the metrics her CEO had set out for innovative new ideas. While I think it is important to have clear goals and quantifiable metrics for innovations, I was a bit apprehensive about these measurements. Take a look at them and see if you can guess which one gives me the most concern:

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