Leadership

The Case for Dual Innovation

The Case for Dual Innovation

The first time I was advocating the idea of a dual innovation approach, here also referred to as organizational ambidexterity, is now more than 5 years ago. At this time it became pretty obvious to me that this concept – academically worn-out but deficiently or not at all put into practice in most organizations – would be of increasing importance in the time to come. ...

Read More »

Key Innovation Lessons from the Nuclear Industry

image of radioactive materials sign

One of my favorite parts about writing about innovation is receiving insightful comments from readers with diverse experiences and perspectives.  Recently, a junior colleague with expertise in organizational research, learning, and performance made a connection between my previous article on the need to de-risk innovation and the key traits of high-reliability organizations (HROs).  HROs, such as nuclear power generation and air traffic control, are ...

Read More »

Leaders Must Inspire AND Shape Networks

Leaders Must Inspire AND Shape Networks

In a classic Harvard Business Review article, Abraham Zaleznick contrasted two very different styles of authority. Managers he argued, take a rational approach and seek order and control.  Leaders, on the other hand, are more emotionally driven and seek to drive change. Every organization needs both.  Managers provide the continuity needed to execute efficiently and leaders drive the kinetic energy needed ...

Read More »

Your New Idea is not Where You Think it is

Your New Idea Is Not Where You Think It Is

In the 1950s, in rural Oklahoma, at a place called Robbers Cave, several researchers performed an experiment we would find unethical today. They invited twenty-two eleven-year-old boys to participate in a three week camp. The researchers advertised a wholesome summer camp experience. The experience they delivered was very different.

Read More »

What if We Listened to All of Our Stakeholders?

listen

For the past year, I’ve been working with a Baptist minister, Rev. Jeffrey Brown, to help fund and scale his proven approach to violence reduction. Rev. Brown has spent the past 25+ years helping Boston and 21 other communities reduce violence. His TED talk tells the story about the The Boston Miracle — a 29 consecutive month period of zero juvenile homicides. As ...

Read More »

Top 20 Innovation Articles of August 2016

Top-20-v2

Drum roll please… At the beginning of each month we will profile the twenty posts from the previous month that generated the most traffic to Innovation Excellence. We also publish a weekly Top 8 as part of our FREE email newsletter. Did your favorite make the cut? But enough delay, here are August’s twenty most popular innovation posts: How Many ...

Read More »

Innovation and Organizational Culture

culture-300x223

Recently, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has published key findings of their latest “Most Innovative Companies 2014” survey. Beside the annual ranking, headed by the top three companies Apple, Google and Samsung, some insightful outcomes with regard to organizational and cultural requirements have striked my eye. According to BCG’s research, successfully innovating companies approach innovation as a system. The system is rooted in experimentation, and, like all adaptive systems, ...

Read More »

The Uncertainty Problem

Businessman falling the Sky into a safty net

Business runs on certainty.  Investors want predictable profits and will punish companies that vacillate up and down.  Managers want accountable employees who they can trust to get things done.  Customers want to deal with firms that they can be sure will be around next week. When things are uncertain, penalties are imposed. Valuations tumble, people get fired, customers flee.  That’s ...

Read More »

Artificial Intelligence and the Consulting Industry

Artificial Intelligence and the Consulting Industry

The same technologies that have led to the growth of consulting companies over the last couple of decades, will begin to lead to a shrinking of those same consulting firms. The increasing diversification of the large global consultancies into other specialties is the first step to what is an inevitable shrinkage forced upon the industry by three factors.

Read More »