Strategy

Innovation Needs a Home

Innovation Needs a Home An innovation program needs a home. Many believe it should be as close to the business units or revenue source as possible. While occasionally this works, I have found if the innovation program is placed inside the business unit, typically it results in improvements vs. innovation. Innovation based in the individual business units is generally focused ...

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Why Organizations Fail

A few weeks ago, my little girl came down with a case of strep throat. From there, things followed a predictable pattern.  My wife soon came down with it as well and then I did too. We took turns lying in bed unproductively, woozy from a high fever and struggling to swallow. It was a silly episode when you think ...

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Four Simple Layers to Frame Government Innovation for the Next Presidential Administration and Beyond

Today, the concept of government innovation has rapidly moved to the top of the public policy dialogue with the increasing recognition that, like private industry, government should push itself to innovate and transform how it delivers services to its citizens. Over the past 20 years there has been growing interest in government innovation and the notion of ...

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Innovation Is The Only True Way To Create Value

In The Outsiders, William Thorndike argues that the most essential skill for a manager is capital allocation. To prove his point, he profiles CEOs such as Henry Singleton of Teledyne and John Malone of TCI who, while not household names, achieved outsized returns by wisely deploying their firm’s resources. Thorndike also points out that most CEOs get their jobs not through exhibiting financial ...

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Innovation Misdirection

Sometimes the fact you are keeping a trade secret is well known in the marketplace. Your product may work better than competitors’ products; you may have a price advantage; or others just cannot replicate your product. Competitors may be working hard to reverse engineer or replicate your secrets. If you want to protect your trade secrets you can use Innovation ...

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How I Learned To Hack

How I Learned to Hack

The origins of the term “hack” are unusually rich and expansive.  Originally, it was a wholly pejorative term, meaning to work haphazardly.  When people called you a “talentless hack,” it meant that you were wholly unoriginal, cobbling together mediocre performance from the scraps of others’ work. Yet these same attributes, when applied to technology, came to represent the height of ...

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Rodeo Innovation

If you have ever watched calf roping in the rodeo, you have seen the cowboy ride out after a running calf, rope it, throw it to the ground, loop a rope around its back legs, and throw his hand in the air. Some innovation programs are run in a similar manner. I have been associated with innovation programs in large ...

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