Leading & Managing Innovation
Tim Brown May 2013 Video How does a successful company maintain a climate in which new ideas and risk-taking are encouraged? Tim Brown, CEO and president of the design consultancy IDEO, describes how he thinks about innovation and why empathy is an important part of the equation. In markets characterized by rapid change and a ceaseless quest for the faster, better way to operate, one of the most prized corporate attributes is innovation. But many of the natural byproducts of corporate success—hierarchy, routinization, the elimination of risk—can stifle innovation.
The sole purpose of a business is to grow. This can take on many dimensions – profits, revenues, market share, brand or community influence just to name a few. The road to growth is very simple.
When Business Objects acquired Crystal Decisions I was lucky enough to work with Luke Evans (now CTO of Indicee ). Luke and I were kindred spirits focussed on disruptive technology and getting people to adopt new ideas. We used to talk a lot about how to be effective innovators. It was no mean feat inside a 4,000+ person organization. Luke used to use a metaphor of a helium balloon to describe how you could infuse people with an idea.
Customers don’t just adopt innovations; they alter them, adapt to them, and are changed by them. Like economic Charles Darwins, successful innovators strive to observe and understand how their customers evolve. Pick any product or service that matters. Google’s search engine.
Lately I've had this same conversation with several people on this same topic, and it continues to interest me exactly where people draw the boundaries between semantics on the subject. Some may say that it is irrelevant, as it's nothing more than use of words, and some people use them one way, and others another, but I think it's vital to have a common concrete agreement on the meaning of these terms, especially in this industry as it is changing, evolving, and in dire need of a common language. Not only for the sake of those who practice, but also for the clients, who no doubt want to see agreement on the matter, by which they can then determine the good ones from the bad ones. If you don't care to read on, the short version of my opinion on the matter is quite simple. Strategy, is the "what are we trying to do" of the equation, whereas Tactics are the "How are we going to do it" (with Execution being the actual doing of it").
As founder and CEO of Intelius (and its parent company inome) Naveen Jain presides over a successful information commerce company with about $150 million in revenues. Over one million people land on its site to search through some 20 billion records daily. (You know it if you’ve ever tried a Google search on a person’s name and out pops a “Find People Named...” result.) Despite the comfy market position, Jain’s eager to keep iterating and improving technology in order to remain a leader.
by Whitney Johnson | 9:00 AM June 5, 2012 When Clay Christensen, his son Matt, and I first launched Rose Park Advisors, we considered bringing on investors at the GP (general partner) level. During one of these conversations, a prospective investor turned to Clay, and said (paraphrasing), "Love disruptive innovation theory. Love your returns.
by Maria Popova Embracing what is, or how to fail like the world’s most successful creatives. While failure may be an integral prerequisite for true innovation, the fact remains that most of us harbor a deathly fear of it — the same psychological mechanisms that drive our severe aversion to being wrong, only amplified.
Agenda for Conference | Corporate Venturing and Innovation Partnering Conference | February 6-8, 2012Luncheon Reception and Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award IBF*International Business Forum is proud to announce the nominees of the 15th Annual Corporate Venturing & Innovation Partnering Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor is extended by IBF to indivudals who, during their lifetime and career, have made a significant, fundamental contribution to the growth and sustainability of corporate venturing and innovation partnerships through their vision, creativity, leadership, commitment and passion. These contributions have advanced or had a lasting impact on the industry and a lifetime of achievement in intellectual and practical leadership supporting the sustainable growth of the corporate/start-up collaborative ecosystem. 2013 Nominees include:
Most companies sabotage their own innovation processes without meaning to. I've noticed five tell-tale signs of this syndrome, which I recently described during a talk to the Columbia Media Forum . 1. Innovation is episodic.
Photo via Bigstock Ever since I was young I’ve always loved thinking of ways to fix things, build products and make money. And, over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with so many creative and innovative people.
This is a slide that I got from Cesar Hidalgo. He used this slide to explain a concept that I think is key to the way we think about how the Media Lab is evolving. The vertical axis of this slide represents the total stock of information in the world. The horizontal axis represents time. In the early days, life was simple. We did important things like make spears and arrowheads.
In the world of television, networks will launch a new series only after most of the big risks are minimized. This is done by creating a prototype episode—the pilot—shown to test audiences. After the pilot test, the show is either killed, green-lighted, or rewritten and recast. New products and ventures need to be put through an even more rigorous set of pre-market testing. Companies and entrepreneurs rarely lack ideas to create new growth businesses. But an overwhelming amount of evidence suggests that companies entering new markets tend to start with flawed assumptions.
<img alt="Illustration: Cristiana Couceiro, Scientis: Getty Images" src="/magazine/wp-content/images/18-01/fail_accept_defeat_f.jpg" title="Accept Defeat" width="660" height="460" /> Illustration: Cristiana Couceiro, Scientis: Getty Images How To Fail
Photograph: J.R. Eyerman /Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images: Hollywood and Harbor freeways near Pasadena, CA, 1953 Listen to an interview with Rosabeth Moss Kanter.