The Innovator’s Blindspot: Even Your Best Ideas Will Fail If Your Partners Don’t Innovate Too. The following is an excerpt from The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation.
There is a blind spot that undermines great managers in great organizations even when they identify real customer needs, deliver great products, and beat their competition to market. Philips Electronics fell victim to this blind spot when it spent a fortune to pioneer high-definition television (HDTV) sets in the mid-1980s. Wanna Manage The Innovation Process? Focus On Planning Scenarios, Not Fighting Fires. The following is an excerpt from Relentless Innovation: What Works, What Doesn’t--and What That Means for Your Business by Jeffrey Phillips.
Perhaps one of the biggest myths about innovation is the idea of the “lone” innovator, who works on ideas in the lab or office, without assistance or support. In this myth the innovator or inventor has a flash of insight, generates and manages ideas completely on his or her own, and fights the bureaucracy to overcome all odds to produce a commercially viable product. While these stories about individual innovators overcoming all odds are enjoyable, they are rarely true. In fact, most, if not all, ideas that become new products or services require the involvement of a significant number of people from a wide array of business functions--sales, marketing, legal, manufacturing, and distribution, to name a few. The complexity inherent in developing, testing, and commercializing a new product demands a broad perspective and a diverse set of skills. 3 Ways To Predict What Consumers Want Before They Know It. The insight that sparks innovation appears to occur randomly.
Innovation secrets of Steve Jobs. Learning and the Pursuit of Shibumi. Introducing a Japanese aesthetic that seems to have all the answers.
How being connected, balanced and finding beauty in simplicity translates to a powerful organizational learning method. The Shibumi Strategy : The World. Internet Values Change Org Design. Method: Eight Things Stand-Up Comedy Teaches Us About Innovation. This is the ninth piece in the 10x10 series by innovation firm Method.
Read more from the series here. Comedy, especially stand-up, is widely regarded as the most difficult gig in show business. Similarly, successful product innovation is so difficult, it could be regarded as the stand-up comedy of the business world. E.B. Speed: Revised, Reinforced, and Reiterated. The primary factor in a successful attack is speed.
–Lord Mountbattan Jason Warner has been thinking a lot about speed lately. Since reading his terrific article, so have I. Leadership Innovation. As we start a new year during a slow recovery, innovation will be at a premium as organizations strive to uncover new opportunities for growth.
Yet many leaders have trouble thinking about (let alone driving) innovation when they're focused on managing through the still-challenging present. Five years ago, GE (GE) launched a leadership development program called "Leadership, Innovation and Growth" (LIG) to stimulate growth and innovation from within the organization. The program created new ways to think and talk about innovation simply and practically, so it would grow into part of how leaders operated their business. Leadership teams from across GE's top 60 businesses have since participated in the program, and have learned how to translate innovative ideas and opportunities into initiatives with real results. As GE prepares to launch the next iteration of LIG (focused on global growth), we've spent some time reflecting on what's worked and what needs improvement. Innovation as Crossroads. Donald Merlin, author of ORIGINS OF THE MODERN MIND, felt that it is cultural innovation which sets our species apart from the rest.
In his words (p10): In fact, the uniqueness of humanity could be said to rest not so much in language as in our capacity for rapid cultural change. To that, I would add that innovation is a great intersection for seeing similarities between institutions and individual consciousness. (Beyond this, we can extrapolate connections between institutional functioning and cultural functioning--an emphasis in direct opposition to identity politics.)
In some ways, it is easier to understand the agentic aspects of an entity than the universe of circumstances that any entity inhabits. Group dynamics can stifle a great idea. For most companies, conventional wisdom says that collaborative teams offer the best path to generating compelling innovation.
Behind this notion is that high-performance and diverse groups are best suited to cope with technology complexity, commercialization challenges and as well as stick handle through management gates such as securing buy-in and resources. In fact, I have argued this point in my blog on a number of occasions. A recent Wharton research paper suggests that other innovation strategies could be more effective.
Professors Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich contend that common group dynamics are anathema to developing breakthrough products, unique ways to save money or revolutionary business models. Instead, they believe the next Facebook, Twitter or iPad could best be germinated by an inspired innovator with plenty of time to ponder and experiment. The study concluded that the hybrid process resulted in three times more ideas than the team-based process.