Part 2 – Nature's 10 Simple Rules

Here’s the second half of my thoughts on Nature’s 10 Simple Rules for Business Survival (read Part 1 here). Send me your views on this list. Also, make sure you pin it up on your wall, your company’s survival may depend on it. Nature’s # 6. Integrate metrics. Nature brings the right information to the right place at the right ...

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Two Steps to Innovation

Innovation is a company’s future. Don’t believe me, ask the stock market. “Today, some 70% of the valuation of the top 500 S&P companies is made up of intangible capital, value not on the balance sheet,” according to Mark Van Clieaf, CEO of MVC International. Future growth from innovation is a significant contributor to intangible capital. What to do? Well ...

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Toyota and Innovation by Design

Scion Exile Concept Sketch by Matthew E May I’m fortunate enough to count car designer Kevin Hunter, president of Toyota’s CALTY Design Research, among my board of muses. CALTY (California+Toyota) is one of Toyota’s most influential design centers, located in Newport Beach, CA. CALTY is involved in nearly all of Toyota’s major vehicle design programs. According to Kevin, Toyota wants ...

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Is Operational Excellence the Enemy?

OK I admit it. I’ve grown frustrated by the fact that a capability or insight that proves valuable to an organization – operational excellence – is also such a big impediment to innovation. It’s strange that something that in some regards is so good for an organization can also be so detrimental as well. How, you might ask, is a ...

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Why Edison Was Wrong

The other night I had an enlightening conversation with Alph Bingham, the co-founder of InnoCentive from Eli Lilly. This guy is fascinating! Alph suggested that many people do not like open innovation (external crowd sourcing) because it runs counter to a widely held belief of the R&D community. Researchers often throw around the Edison quote, “I have not failed 700 ...

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When Not to Use Focus Groups

I’m still a fan of focus groups. Yes, they’re mostly qualitative, and at best you’re capturing information from a handful of customers that may or may not be representative. But the richness of information, the multi-dimensional and behavioral feedback is unique to that environment. And with some products (trying on jackets, or testing perfume for example) sending an email survey ...

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Value versus Price

When 2008 came to a close, Nestle looked up and saw that revenues were up ten percent, fueled in part by higher prices. Procter & Gamble reports that its premium products are doing just fine, despite being priced 60 percent (Tide Total Care) or 70 percent (Clairol’s Perfect 10) higher than its base brands. Pepsi is stepping up support of ...

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Creating Innovation Metrics

Measuring innovation is where the rubber meets the road. While it’s very easy to wax eloquent about innovation, I’ve found that for most companies, measuring innovation is quite a tall order. Moreover, even for those organizations that do measure innovation, are they measuring the right metrics, for the right reasons? I’ve authored many previous posts on the topic of innovation, ...

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New Feature – 'Innovation Perspectives'

Thanks to an idea/request from Jeffrey Phillips of OVO Innovation, we are starting a regular monthly feature here on Blogging Innovation called Innovation Perspectives. The idea is to present our loyal readers with different perspectives on a single topic all in one place – from several different authors. This will give our innovation community the opportunity to compare, contrast and ...

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Innovation – Automated

“To avoid the fate of alchemists, it is time we asked where we stand. Now, before we invest more time and money on the information-processing level, we should ask whether the protocols of human subjects and the programs so far produced suggest that computer language is appropriate for analyzing human behavior: Is an exhaustive analysis of human reason into rule-governed ...

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