Strategy

Stop Chasing The Last Big Thing

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Business in the digital age has become a seemingly neverending series of “next big things.” Whether it’s e-commerce, search engine optimization, social media, big data or something else, the pattern of firms struggling to adapt is as predictable as Gartner’s hype cycle. First there is widespread panic, then a rushed effort to get up to ...

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How to Actually Keep a Trade Secret

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I can’t tell you it is a secret – well ok… Trade secrets have a number of fundamental flaws. Probably the most difficult thing about keeping a trade secret is your company has to be able to keep a secret. While the concept of keeping a secret is easy, the implementation can be extremely difficult. With algorithm or process based secrets, ...

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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. ...

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Reversing Your Company’s Shrinking Lifespan

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We are all living longer than we used to but the companies we work for are not. Corporate life expectancy is at a serious decline. Our life expectancy has increased by almost 30% in the last 80 years but corporate life expectancy has fallen by almost 500% in the same period. This rapid rate of decline started in the 60s ...

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Key Innovation Lessons from the Nuclear Industry

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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 ...

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Why Limit Yourself?

Why Limit Yourself?

When consulting with clients in this Memphis area, we often have to deliver the bad news first. This bitter pill usually comes in the form of a Sunset Analysis that details when the client’s once market-leading products will be costing more to keep in production than generating revenue.

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Four Things You Should Know About Platforms

Four Things You Should Know About Platforms

Steve Jobs didn’t want to build an app store.  As Walter Isaacson describes in his biography of Apple’s founder, the famously controlling Jobs was wary of the “bandwidth” needed to police a veritable army of third party developers. At first, he wouldn’t even discuss it. Yet eventually, even Jobs had to relent and the App store has become an enormous success.  Last ...

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Top 20 Innovation Articles of August 2016

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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 ...

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