Management

Finding Opportunities in Fragmentation

Point: If you’re looking for a new business opportunity, look for individually-fragmented but collectively large areas of economic activity, such as where individuals or small business own a large segment of the market Story: A business model that connects small businesses and individuals to markets and automates tedious tasks was common to three of 11 new start-ups seeking funding at ...

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Four Ways Ideas are Selected for Implementation

Most people in the innovation space will tell you that generating ideas is the “easy” part of innovation. For the most part, they are correct. They’ll also tell you that the difficult part of innovation is evaluating, selecting and implementing ideas. That, too, is mostly correct. But I’d argue that this statement masks a fairly important decision. It’s actually not ...

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Your Business is NOT Different

“But my business is different!” Well actually, no it’s not. I cannot even begin to count the number of times I’ve had a CEO tell me that certain immutable business principles just don’t apply to his/her business because, “this business is different.” I don’t dispute that all businesses have certain unique characteristics or contextual differences – I don’t even dispute ...

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Managing Problems You Can't Fix

Problems. Challenges. Opportunities. Whatever you call them at your company, we want them fixed. Our gut reaction is – come hell or high water – to find a solution. However, there are times when there is no fix… You’re stuck with it. For example, your business may be experiencing a challenge with the current “economic condition” in the United States. ...

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What to Tell the CEO About Innovation

A colleague recently asked me an interesting question: If you only had a few minutes to get the CEO’s attention about innovation, what would you say? This is the ultimate condensed message, and it must be made for each individual organization. After reflecting a bit on the question, my main thought would be to say that innovation itself is about ...

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How Can Goals Enhance Creativity?

Over the years, I have written numerous articles on “The Performance Paradox” that show how an obsession with the future reduces performance in the present. And typically, creativity is significantly diminished in the process. But given that businesses are driven by goals, how can we leverage them as a tool for enhancing creativity? One way is to use stretch targets. ...

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Pain and Slack – Two Innovation Drivers

If you want innovation then think about these two words – pain and slack. They can lead you to innovation success. Wherever there is a pain there is a need for innovation. So if you are looking to create new products or services look for the pain points. Study your customers and their everyday activities. Where do they have difficulties ...

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Our Brains Are Out to Get Us!

Andy Grove, the founder of microchip giant Intel, once said, “Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction.” Just look around and it’s hard to argue with him. General Motors. Enron. Washington Mutual. Lehman Brothers. PanAm. The landscape is littered with once-dominant companies that have lost their position of market leadership or gone completely out of business. These companies ...

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Combining Internal and External Innovation

Interview – Stefan Lindegaard I had the opportunity to interview Stefan Lindegaard, author of “The Open Innovation Revolution” recently. Here is text of the interview: 1. Why is open innovation so important for organizations? Open innovation is about combining internal and external resources and to act on the opportunities this creates. More and more companies prove this to be a ...

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