What really blocks innovation

By

After a week at the beach over the holidays and a lot of time reflecting on innovation work, I thought it would be interesting to start the new year by writing about what blocks innovation.  I think much of what is written and said about the sclerotic nature of innovation activities focus on symptoms and not root causes.  Until we understand the underlying issues associated with innovation, it’s difficult to do innovation well, if at all.  Over the last four months we’ve had great success using the Executive Workmat with executive teams, helping them to understand the components of successful, sustained innovation.  But what’s become obvious as we’ve led workshops and discussions about the Workmat is that there are a number of hidden objections, concerns and disagreements about innovation in executive teams.  Until these issues are resolved, tools and methods won’t matter.  Training and certification are useless.  Even your interaction with third party consultants will suffer.

If there are a number of hidden or unspoken barriers or concerns about innovation, what are they, and how do we address them before trying to start innovation initiatives or projects?  I think there are four issues that block innovation but are often hidden from view:

  1. Executive alignment
  2. Uncertainty about near term and longer term objectives
  3. Resource allocation
  4. Don’t want to “go first” but don’t want to be “left behind”

Alignment

After countless business books, management philosophies, balanced scorecards and other means of obtaining executive alignment, you’d think that every organization is closely aligned to strategic goals and outcomes.  Where innovation is concerned, nothing is further from the truth.  When we talk to executive teams about innovation, its clear that there are very different perspectives, different goals and even different definitions between and among members of many executive teams.  What most executive teams are aligned to is obtaining the next quarter, staying within budget and driving up share price.  Anything that may call any of these objectives into question is anathema to the team.  While executives demand innovation, they hope it will happen in ways that do not disrupt the highly tuned “business as usual” operating models I described in Relentless Innovation.   Further, even when there is some agreement about the need for “innovation”, what is usually described as innovation is really incremental change at best, or continuous improvement.  Executive teams lack a common language and definitions about innovation, and limit their sights and definitions to incremental, internal and product-oriented innovation, rather than the breadth and depth of innovation potentials and outcomes that are possible and necessary.  The vision for innovation is cramped, cautious and serendipitous at best.

Uncertainty about objectives

Which is most important?  Obtaining short term goals or envisioning long term needs and objectives?  And what does “long term” mean anyway?  After years of right-sizing, most organizations have just enough people to accomplish the day to day work.  Pulling the best people from the day to day activities to focus on longer term innovation seems risky and dangerous.  Where should the teams place emphasis?  How much of the existing time, resource and focus should be placed on day to day efficiency?  How much should be focused on longer term objectives with less than certain outcomes?  If resources are reallocated to innovation, what should the team “Stop” doing?  Here lies the rub.  We all have limited resources and far more opportunities than we can pursue.  Which are the most important, and what should we “start” doing, and what should we “stop” doing in order to free up the resources necessary to innovate?  This question is probably the most difficult for many executive teams to answer.  Until there is clarity about objectives and they are placed in the correct balance by the CEO or other senior executives, the management team will revert to what is safe and predictable, and innovation will be starved for attention and resources.

Resource Allocation

As noted above, until the objectives are clear, little focus is placed on innovation, and resources are scarce.  But there’s more to this than simply creating more focus around objectives.  It’s not a matter of simply “more” resources, but a matter of the “right” resources at the right time.  Innovation demands the best people in the organization, not simply the people who are available or who can be freed up from their existing activities.  This is not a case where more bodies are necessary.  Innovation suffers unless the best people are involved.  When the most respected people are involved, the ideas seem less risky, they have the backing of the best people in the organization.  When people who enjoy less respect are involved in innovation, you send the signal that innovation is less important, and the ideas are more easily ignored.  What is the level of investment your team is willing to provide for innovation, not just in the number of people, but the caliber of the people?  You send a very powerful message as an executive team with the choices you make, both in terms of the number of people, as well as the type and caliber of people.  Think of it this way:  who on your team can you least afford to “give up” to an innovation activity?  If innovation is as important as we think it is, can you afford for them to not be on the team?

No pioneers but plenty of followers

No one wants to be the first to try out a new activity or methodology when so much is on the line, especially in organizations with highly efficient processes and limited resources.  So it can be very difficult to find an executive on the management team willing to take the plunge and start an innovation activity.  I’ve been fortunate enough to sit in on meetings where the CEO asks his or her team, “who wants to lead an innovation effort?” and the silence is overwhelming.  Everyone in the room recognizes the possibilities and the risks involved.  There’s a palpable sense of fear based mostly on concerns about “failing” to achieve a novel concept and also based on distracting the organization from their day to day activities.  Yet what is also interesting is that every executive wants as much investment and attention as the next one, so while no one wants to go first, most don’t want to go “last” or see another individual gain a lot of credibility because they were successful.  Don’t kid yourself, any executive team is a group of people who are at the top of their game, and who want every last resource they can obtain and every last opportunity they can pursue.  While innovation is risky, these executives don’t necessarily want to be the first to the plate, and definitely don’t want others to gain an inordinate about of credit for the success they may achieve.

Clarity, alignment, resourcing, leadership

Before asking your teams to innovate, examine the commitment and alignment of the executive team.  Sustained innovation can only occur when there is clarity about goals, alignment within the executive team to the goals, deep commitments to appropriate staffing and resource allocation, and the willingness to lead into risky or uncertain initiatives.  When these factors are present, innovation can flourish.  When any one is absent, innovation will suffer, because we tend to revert to safer, more familiar activities when we feel threatened.

Source: http://innovateonpurpose.blogspot.com/2013/01/what-really-blocks-innovation.html

The Global Innovation 1000: Making Ideas Work

The early stages of innovation can be challenging. But Booz & Company’s annual study of R&D spending reveals that successful innovators bring clarity to a process often described as fuzzy and vague.

by Barry Jaruzelski, John Loehr, and Richard Holman

Every economic downturn comes with the same refrain: The world, we’re told, is losing its creative capacity, hurting our chances for a speedy recovery. Yet inevitably, when worries about innovation erosion surface, some company rises up with a great new product, technology, or service to prove the naysayers wrong. And all too often, observers simply fail to pay attention to the many companies that make successful innovation part of their regular practice — indeed, their operating model — in ways that don’t necessarily make big headlines.

Those companies are the quiet stars of our annual Global Innovation 1000 study of R&D spending. As our study has consistently shown over the past eight years, there is no long-term correlation between the amount of money a company spends on its innovation efforts and its overall financial performance; instead, what matters is how companies use that money and other resources, as well as the quality of their talent, processes, and decision making. Those are the things that determine their ability to execute their innovation agendas. In 2011, corporate spending among the Global Innovation 1000 increased 9.6 percent over the previous year, slightly faster than the 9.3 percent gain in 2010. But because corporate revenues grew by a robust 13 percent last year — even faster than the year before — R&D intensity, or the percentage of sales that companies spend on innovation, actually declined to traditional pre-recession levels.

Of course, some companies get more bang for their innovation investment buck than others. Over the past few years, we have carefully analyzed the innovation strategies, capabilities, and cultural factors that enable some companies to consistently achieve superior financial results. This year, to further clarify those performance drivers, we surveyed nearly 700 companies and interviewed 12 senior innovation executives and chief technology officers at leading companies. Our goal was to gain insights into the early stages of innovation — when companies generate ideas and then decide which ones to develop.

2012 Global Innovation 1000 Study

 Authors Barry Jaruzelski and John Loehr discuss the results of the Global Innovation 1000 study, focusing on the “fuzzy front end” of the innovation process.

The Up-Front Process Revealed

Perhaps the most surprising result of our study of the up-front innovation process is how many companies say they simply aren’t very good at it. Just 43 percent of participants said their efforts to generate new ideas were highly effective, and only 36 percent felt the same way about their efforts to convert ideas to product development projects. Altogether, only a quarter of all respondents indicated that their organizations were highly effective at both. (See Exhibit 1.)

“If you have a creative idea and it doesn’t create value,” says Matthew Ganz, vice president and general manager of research and technology at the Boeing Company, “it’s not technology. It’s art. If you’re all about value creation with no creativity, the accountants are going to take over. You need to prime the pump with creative ideas, and then you need to have rigorous processes in place to turn those ideas into dollars.”

The second critical finding calls into question a common assumption about innovation. It’s often said that the means by which companies seek out and find good ideas tend to be vague, or fuzzy, or highly variable from one company to another. Yet according to our survey, the most successful innovators in all industries have developed a variety of consistent, manageable ideation practices that are well aligned with their innovation strategies. And when moving ideas into the development stage, they tend to depend on an equally consistent set of principles and processes. Indeed, any company in any industry can take advantage of these tools and processes to get the most out of the money they spend on innovation.

The types of techniques and tools they employ, however, depend in large part on each company’s favored innovation strategy (although these distinctions are more pronounced in the ideation stage). A great deal of the work we have done in the annual Global Innovation 1000 studies over the past several years has involved teasing out the different ways companies approach innovation, and the implications of those approaches. Five years ago, our research showed that nearly every company follows one of three fundamental innovation strategies, each of which has its own distinct way of managing the innovation process and its relationship to customers and markets. We thus categorize companies as Need Seekers, Market Readers, or Technology Drivers.

Need Seekers, such as Apple and Procter & Gamble, make a point of engaging customers directly to generate new ideas. They develop new products and services based on superior end-user understanding. Their goal: to seek out both articulated and unarticulated needs, and then to try to get their new products to market first.

Market Readers, such as Hyundai and Caterpillar, use a variety of means to generate ideas by closely monitoring their markets, customers, and competitors, focusing largely on creating value through incremental innovations to their products. This implies a more cautious approach, one that depends on being a “fast follower” in the marketplace.

Technology Drivers, such as Google and Bosch, depend heavily on their internal technological capabilities to develop new products and services. They leverage their R&D investments to drive both breakthrough innovation and incremental change, in hopes of meeting the known and unknown needs of their customers via new technology.

As in the past, our results this year suggest that following a Need Seekers strategy, although difficult, offers the greatest potential for superior performance in the long term. Fifty percent of respondents who defined their companies as Need Seekers said their companies were effective at both the ideation and conversion stages of innovation, compared with just 12 percent of Market Readers and 20 percent of Technology Drivers. These are the same companies, by and large, that consistently outperform financially.

It is critical to remember, however, that companies can significantly outperform their peers no matter which of the three strategies they follow. A far more critical factor is how well they follow their chosen innovation strategy: Is it tightly aligned with their overall business strategy? Have they put in place the innovation capabilities needed to support their strategy? Do they have the right corporate culture needed to make that strategy work? And are they using the tools and processes that will yield the best new ideas and development projects, consistent with their innovation model? Companies that can coherently align all these aspects of the innovation process, and execute them well, have a distinct advantage in the race for new ideas, products, and services.

The Lightbulb Moment

Where do ideas come from? That seemingly simple question is at the heart of the initial phase of innovation, when companies try to capture the best thinking about how to create breakthrough products and services that might transform their position in the marketplace, as well as the incremental improvements to their current product portfolios that can refresh tired brands. Few companies succeed at innovation without ensuring that adequate processes are in place to generate new ideas, and that those processes are followed in a disciplined fashion. Yes, serendipity will always play some part in the effort, and we’ve heard plenty of stories over the years about great ideas evolving out of chance meetings, sudden flashes of insight, and sheer luck. Large companies, however, simply can’t depend on happenstance, and the most successful ones understand that clearly.

In the past, large companies typically turned to a highly “vertically integrated” innovation model, in which most of their new ideas stemmed from internal sources; an archetypical example is the old AT&T, whose Bell Labs conducted groundbreaking research, and, together with Western Electric, developed many of the ideas and products that now define our networked world. (See “Innovation at Bell Labs,” by Edward H. Baker.) More recently, companies have turned to a wider range of sources for ideas, from suppliers and customers to outright acquisition of companies with good ideas in their own pipeline.

All these laudable efforts have led many companies to say, at least anecdotally, that coming up with new ideas is not as big a problem as selecting and converting them to development projects, and the survey results and interviews validate this hypothesis. Darlene Solomon, chief technology officer of measurement company Agilent Technologies, and CEO Bill Sullivan use the term cloud of innovation to refer to the large number of early-stage ideas available for potential investigation. Most of those ideas, Solomon says, “aren’t yet sufficiently formulated for businesses to decide to take them to product. There are always more ideas we want to invest in than we can realistically move through the life cycle, but it is these fragile ideas that seed future breakthrough products.”

Still, considering that 57 percent of respondents say their company is just marginally effective at idea generation, and a similar proportion say their company’s culture does not support efforts to come up with new ideas, it is clear that many companies have much to learn about the best processes for generating ideas. Moreover, companies’ level of effectiveness at this early stage of innovation turns out to be a strong predictor of financial performance. The 25 percent of survey respondents who said their company was highly effective at both ideation and conversion also reported outperforming their industry peers on three important financial measures: revenue growth, market cap growth, and earnings as a percentage of revenue. The same held true for companies whose employees said their culture supported early-stage innovation efforts. (See Exhibit 2.)

However, our survey also revealed that there is no correlation between financial performance and the particular processes companies use at the idea-generation and idea-conversion phases. Overall, companies continue to depend on a set of long-standing, reliable methods for coming up with new ideas. The most common method, by a substantial margin, was “direct observations of customers,” ranked number one by 42 percent of all respondents. “Traditional market research” was a rather distant second, at 31 percent. We also looked at the kinds of external networks companies turned to at the ideation stage; again, the most common was talking to customers, followed by working with channel partners. Finally, when asked what internal mechanisms their company used, most respondents pointed to “innovation champions” — people assigned to coordinate the capture, development, and internal promotion of new ideas — followed by “cross-functional collaboration” among different business units.

Another noteworthy survey finding is the limited use of open innovation in idea generation. In the past decade or so, the concept of open innovation has generated a great deal of buzz, and a small but growing number of companies are seeking out new ideas from a variety of sources outside their conventional domains, including innovation contests and social networking. However, less than 15 percent of all companies ranked mining social media for ideas and using open innovation as important. We see indications of why some companies see value in the techniques while others are left cold. Companies in more consumer-oriented industries, including software and Internet, computing and electronics, consumer, telecom, and some healthcare sectors, are twice as likely to employ social media in their search for new ideas than are companies in sectors with more highly engineered products and services, such as auto, industrials, aerospace, and chemicals and energy, where these methods seem to have less efficacy.

Different Strategies, Different Tools

In our survey, and in follow-up interviews, we asked respondents about the mechanisms and processes their company employed, as well as the degree to which they depended on both internal and external networks. Clearly, several ideation techniques are common to all innovators, but by and large, companies seem to focus on the tools and processes that are most aligned with their chosen innovation strategies. In each of the areas critical to early-stage innovation, the initial capturing of ideas and the process by which companies decide to move their good ideas into the product development process, we find considerable variation. (See Exhibit 3.)

Need Seekers. These companies understand the importance of developing strong relationships with customers — they rely more heavily on customer observation than do companies that follow either of the other two strategies, and less on pure market research. Indeed, Need Seekers’ reliance on mechanisms that can provide deep insights into the end-users of their products goes beyond their willingness to observe customers directly; they also depend more on customer focus groups and “idea workout” sessions than do Market Readers or Technology Drivers. Further, they are more likely to leverage social networking (10 percent say they use it) and deep analytics involving customer data.

According to the survey, Need Seekers also make avid use of internal networks — especially those involving innovation champions. Indeed, on an indexed basis, Need Seekers are much more likely than companies following the other two strategies to put people into this role, and even more likely to see such champions as an effective element of their ideation processes. Cross-unit staffing, formal idea conferences, and communities of practice are also popular among them; in fact, companies classified as Need Seekers use all these internal network structures at higher rates, and view them as more effective as well.

Externally, Need Seekers tend to rely on networks of customers, followed by their channel partners and suppliers. Again, Need Seekers use these networks more consistently than the other two groups and also see the networks as being more effective. Says Tom Kavassalis, vice president of strategy and alliances at the Xerox Corporation, “We call what we do customer-led innovation, and its whole purpose is to make sure that our innovation process is really relevant to customers. We frequently host customers at our R&D centers and have them talk about what keeps them up at night, and where they think technology might be helpful. We look for customers who are risk takers, willing to be the guinea pig in the deployment of a new solution. In exchange for them giving their insights into their needs, we give them the opportunity to be an early adopter of something really new.”

In their search for new ideas, Need Seekers frequently cast their nets wide. Douglas Smith, chief technology officer at the Timken Company, notes that for its first 100 years, this machine components manufacturer “was a closed innovation shop. If the research didn’t happen inside our four walls, then it didn’t happen in any of our plants or in any of our engineering areas. Over the past decade, we’ve come to appreciate that there are lots of other good, smart companies and exceptional talent out there. We’re developing new ways to tap into other pools of knowledge — from customers and suppliers to universities and third-party companies. We find that we can create the best value when we complement our internal scientific knowledge with external perspectives and approaches. Having an operating model that aligns the right access to new ideas at the right cost and the right risk creates a win-win situation for both parties.”

Market Readers. These companies face a different strategic challenge. Their goal is to find ideas that lie within their business expertise, which they can then develop into incrementally improved products to take to market quickly and efficiently. They thus tend to focus on the further development of products that have already been introduced by competitors. Market Readers are the most likely of the three to rely on traditional market research to understand better what is already working in their markets. And they are significantly more likely than the others to turn to their customer support and sales teams for ideas about how they can improve the products they already have. This feedback loop between sales and R&D is critical for Market Readers, but companies that rely too much on it may find themselves with a new-product portfolio heavily weighted toward incremental improvements — a strategy that can work, although it depends greatly on the company’s ability to carry it out as efficiently as possible.

Market Readers depend less on networks of every kind than do either Need Seekers or Technology Drivers — which may be a further effect of the sales/R&D feedback loop. As a rule, they tend to find communities of practice and focused innovation networks effective in generating ideas, which is perhaps symptomatic of their determination to ensure rapid delivery of new products into the market. And when going outside the company for ideas, they are more likely than Technology Drivers to depend on their customer and supplier networks, but less likely to depend on universities and government agencies for new ideas, than companies following either of the other innovation models.

Tana Utley, chief technology officer of Caterpillar Inc., underscores why engagement with customers is crucial: “I’ve seen organizations let their engineers showcase technology ideas and develop some of them, but the innovation that results is often not directed to solving customers’ most pressing problems. If it doesn’t relieve a particular customer pain point, then there’s no compelling case to pull it through all the gates into production. As we develop projects, especially areas of new technology, we engage customers. And by the time we get the product out to them, it’s something that they can use in their business.”

Technology Drivers. These companies take a generally more self-reliant, inward-looking approach, impelled largely by their desire to develop new products based on the latest advances in technology. The key is to gain a broad understanding of what’s possible, and to use that understanding to direct their own R&D.

Technology Drivers’ forays into the market also include regular external idea and technology scouting. These companies depend to a greater extent on internal mechanisms such as regular meetings of their own experts, communities of practice across company business units, and technology road mapping, to develop far-reaching ideas that go beyond anything the market could suggest.

“Consumers don’t always know what is possible,” says Girish Nair, senior vice president of corporate strategy and alliances at Hewlett-Packard. “They can describe what they want, but they can’t know what the technology can do, especially because what the technology can do changes rapidly. You have to create it, show that it can be done, and then iterate.”

The risk for Technology Drivers is that their ideas and products, which reflect a highly technological imperative, may not be fully attuned to markets and customers. According to the survey, many of them do little to mitigate this risk in their use of ideation tools. Indeed, like Need Seekers, they rank innovation champions as the most common and effective internal networking mechanism. But Technology Drivers use such champions at a considerably lower rate. They also turn less frequently to the top outside networks — customers, channel partners, and suppliers — than do either Need Seekers or Market Readers.

From Ideas to Products

The process of choosing which ideas to convert to full-scale product development is perhaps even more critical to a company’s innovation success than is the ideation stage. The conversion stage is the point at which companies use all the processes and tools at their command to decide whether a given idea in the pipeline is a “go” or a “no go.” In the view of many innovation experts, this is where the most value is added. Says John Evans, corporate vice president for technology and innovation at the Lockheed Martin Corporation: “The conventional financial metrics appear to say that most of the value is created in the last steps of a project: development and commercialization. But those steps are the most expensive and risky. I believe that it’s this middle conversion phase, which we call investigation, where the value of a project can go up by a factor of 10.”

Most companies maintain data on their conversion rates, and on the rate at which products in development ultimately find their way into the marketplace. Overall, 43 percent of survey respondents said their company converted fewer than 20 percent of its ideas to development projects, and just 12 percent reported moving more than 60 percent into development.

These numbers, however, don’t really reflect the attitudes of innovators toward the number of ideas that ought to be generated, and the percentage of projects that should not be further developed. In this regard, company size matters. Our survey results show that the smaller companies in the Global Innovation 1000 (the companies ranked 101 to 1,000) report themselves to be twice as effective at the conversion stage as their largest peers (the companies ranked in the top 100), no doubt because the organizational issues are less complex, and ultimately less bureaucratic.

Compared with the processes and tools used at the ideation stage, those used at the conversion stage do not vary much among the three strategies. Three-quarters of all companies, for instance, depend on internal networks for help in vetting ideas for further development — an unsurprising result given that most companies, even Need Seekers, simply do not go far afield for conversion of their ideas, and some might even see going afield as a risk. The only external mechanism that many companies report using is “leading customer reviews,” in which top customers are given an early glimpse into the development pipeline. This tool is most popular among Market Readers, perhaps because their general cautiousness prompts them to double-check whether their products will succeed in the marketplace given existing alternatives.

Yet the true key to success at the conversion stage isn’t the specific tools and mechanisms used — after all, companies report that, by and large, they all use quite similar processes. The key to success is for companies to have the right people in place to manage the process, using experience and judgment to rigorously make the needed decisions. Says Solomon of Agilent: “Our pipeline is about how much we think a technology can move the needle in creating value for our customers, and usually, that’s not a numbers question when you are assessing a disruptive technology. It’s easy to make anything look good. [What matters is] the judgment of people who are very experienced in leading research, and we are fortunate to have really smart people who have a good combination of technology and business sense.”

That combination is critical when deciding which ideas to carry through to commercialization and which to kill. As ideas and projects move down the pipeline, business considerations become increasingly important. “In managing the research portfolio that is in the labs’ funnel,” says Solomon, “we constantly ask ourselves, ‘What have we learned about the technology that makes it more or less attractive than [it was] six months ago? What have we learned about the market, the competitive technologies — and what’s going on in the world that might help us decide whether the technology is now even more valuable or perhaps becoming a “me-too” technology? What has changed within Agilent in terms of our business priorities?’ All of these perspectives evolve over the course of our longer-range research, and influence our decision whether or not to continue to invest in a particular project.”

Achieving R&D Success

Of course, even the best business management cannot overcome poor decisions about which ideas to move into development, or add significantly to value if the idea itself isn’t strong. Thus, the quality of those early ideas, and of the ones pushed past the conversion stage, is critical. To ensure good decision making, executives need to make use of the processes and techniques best suited to their chosen innovation strategy, and put the right people in place to execute on them.

As the business environment becomes ever more competitive, the need to innovate successfully becomes ever more acute. Says Utley of Caterpillar: “There is nothing like a powerful external market force to really drive an intense innovative environment. And there is nothing that drives creative energy like that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you have a goal that you have to achieve and it’s still pretty far away.” Harness that energy as you move forward with your innovation efforts, taking comfort in the fact that your performance during the crucial front end can be much more consistent and manageable than you thought possible.

Profiling the Global Innovation 1000

Worldwide R&D spending among the Global Innovation 1000 increased 9.6 percent in 2011, to US$603 billion. Coming on the heels of last year’s rise in spending, this makes it clear that we have emerged from the latest financial crisis with a stronger commitment to innovation investment than we did after the dot-com meltdown in 2000. In the first three years following that collapse, innovation spending increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent, compared with 9.5 percent between 2009 and 2011. Yet despite this significant growth, average R&D intensity (innovation spending as a percentage of sales) actually declined one-tenth of 1 percent in 2011, because the Global Innovation 1000 generated sales of a staggering $17.6 trillion last year. (See Exhibit A.)

The top 100 companies accounted for 50 percent of the growth in R&D spending, and now represent 62 percent of the total spent on R&D by the Global Innovation 1000. Overall, three-quarters of companies increased their spending, up from 68 percent in 2010, whereas just 19 percent spent less. The top 20 spenders increased their innovation investments by $5 billion, accounting for just under 13 percent of the overall increase. (See Exhibit B.)

Together, the computing and electronics, healthcare, and auto sectors once again accounted for the majority of overall spending — 65 percent in 2011. (See Exhibit C.) Computing and electronics companies continued their reign as the top R&D spenders, accounting for 28 percent of spending worldwide ($167.2 billion), as well as the largest increase in spending during 2011. The industry increased its spending by $13.4 billion last year. (See Exhibit D.) This investment represents a 7.1 percent increase, and with revenues up just 3.5 percent, the sector’s R&D intensity rose from 6.1 percent to 6.5 percent. Samsung led the way, increasing its R&D spending almost 14 percent, to $9 billion, and raising its ranking to number six in the list of the largest spenders overall. As computing power moves into the cloud and consumers turn to less-expensive devices, sales of traditional electronics products such as PCs and digital cameras are slowing. It’s no surprise, then, that large, incumbent companies like Sony, Hewlett-Packard, and Texas Instruments have increased their R&D intensity in hopes of staying relevant.

Thanks largely to the auto sector’s strong recovery, spending on R&D in this industry increased by 15 percent, to a total of $96.5 billion, which was a far cry from the sector’s 14 percent spending cut in 2009. R&D intensity rose from 3.7 percent in 2010 to 3.8 percent in 2011. After falling to sixth place in the overall rankings in 2010, Toyota increased its spending by 16.5 percent and claimed the top spot. All the auto companies among the top 20 spenders in 2010 either moved up in the rankings or stayed the same in 2011, and Daimler entered the top 20 for the first time. Innovation remains critical for auto companies as they seek to meet ever more stringent fuel economy standards, boost the use of electronics in their cars, develop common platforms around the globe, and attract younger buyers.

Meanwhile, as its increase in absolute spending slowed in 2011, the healthcare industry’s R&D intensity dropped by three-tenths of 1 percent, to 12.2 percent, even though it continues to spend significantly on R&D ($126 billion in 2011). Of the eight healthcare companies in the top 20 spenders in 2010, all but Novartis and Sanofi fell in the rankings in 2011. Given the recent dearth of successful major pharmaceutical product introductions, many healthcare companies are hesitant to continue investing in innovation, choosing instead to steer profits to shareholders. Regulatory uncertainty has also taken its toll: Large pharma companies appear reluctant to invest in R&D without a clearer path to market.

Every region where Global Innovation 1000 companies are headquartered increased spending in 2011, although the results varied considerably. (See Exhibit E.) The biggest absolute gains were in North America, where companies increased spending by 9.7 percent, significantly above their five-year average increase of 7 percent. Similarly, Japan increased spending by 2.4 percent, well above its five-year average increase of 0.2 percent. Europe, however, increased spending by just 5.4 percent, somewhat below its 6.8 percent average increase, likely a result of the region’s continued economic woes.

China and India (grouped together here) increased spending by 27.2 percent in 2011, to a total of $16.3 billion — by far the greatest growth in R&D spending across all regions, albeit from a small base. Because China’s economy is much larger than India’s, and far more of its companies appear in the Global Innovation 1000 (47 companies, compared with just nine from India), China accounted for more than 90 percent of the countries’ combined spending. However, it is worth noting that their combined rate of growth was down from 38.5 percent in 2010, which may reflect the cooling down of the Chinese economy over the past year.

With an increase in spending in nearly every industry and geographic market, investment in R&D among the Global Innovation 1000 is now at an all-time high. Just a few years after the financial crisis gripped the world economy, today it is safe to say that global innovation investment has fully recovered — and is at a higher level than ever.

—B.J., J.L., and R.H.

The 10 Most Innovative Companies

For the third year in a row, we asked our survey participants to name the companies they thought were the world’s most innovative. This year, Apple didn’t just top the rankings (as it did the past two years); it increased its lead substantially. The company — which in August 2012 became the most valuable in history, measured by market capitalization — was named by almost 80 percent of respondents as one of the three most innovative companies in the world, up from 70 percent last year. Google held steady at number two; 43 percent of respondents included it among the top three, essentially unchanged from last year. 3M also maintained its position of high regard among respondents. It may not make headlines often, but the company again took third place, capturing the votes of just more than 15 percent of respondents. (See Exhibit F.)

Apple’s unchallenged position comes in a year marked by the death of the company’s founder and chairman, Steve Jobs, and by the absence of any truly new product introductions. Although the company’s absolute spending on R&D over the past three years has nearly doubled, to US$2.4 billion, it still spends just 2.2 percent of its sales on its innovation efforts, well below the average of 6.5 percent for the computing and electronics sector. And despite being one of the 2011 industry sales leaders in 2011, with $108 billion in revenue, Apple’s absolute R&D spend ranks only 16th within its industry and 53rd overall within the Global Innovation 1000. In contrast, Apple’s longtime rival Microsoft was the top spender in the software and Internet sector, and was ranked by respondents as the sixth most innovative company.

Last year’s sole newcomer to the list was Facebook. But that was back when the company was still rapidly growing its user base, and before its ill-fated initial public offering. The bloom may be off the rose for this erstwhile social media darling. Amazon has replaced Facebook in the number 10 position on the most innovative list. It’s about time that the online retailer appeared; although Amazon makes few products of its own, it consistently develops innovative retail strategies and services. The Kindle was the first breakthrough e-reader, but what made it truly innovative was Amazon’s decision to link it so tightly to its e-book business, effectively cutting out the competition. And Amazon’s foray into cloud computing, despite a few setbacks, continues to attract customers and increase revenues.

The 10 most innovative companies handily outperformed the top 10 spenders on R&D on several financial metrics — market cap growth, revenue growth, and earnings as a percentage of revenues (after normalizing for industry variations). (See Exhibit G.) Indeed, this year’s top 10 spenders actually underperformed in terms of both market cap and revenue growth, compared with their industry peers. And were it not for new entrant Amazon’s slim margins, the top innovators would have vastly outperformed their peers on earnings as a percentage of revenues. This only confirms our long-standing finding that a company’s financial performance and innovativeness do not correlate with how much it spends on R&D, but rather with how well it executes its innovation strategy.

—B.J., J.L., and R.H.

Author Profile:

  • Barry Jaruzelski is a senior partner with Booz & Company in Florham Park, N.J., and the global leader of the firm’s engineered products and services business. He created the Global Innovation 1000 study in 2005, and continues to lead the research. He works with high-tech and industrial clients on corporate and product strategy and the transformation of core innovation processes.
  • John Loehr is a partner with Booz & Company based in Chicago, and is the global leader of the firm’s innovation practice. He works with automotive, industrial, and technology companies to help them build competitive innovation capabilities and to resolve critical decisions in their product and market strategies.
  • Richard Holman is a partner with Booz & Company based in Florham Park, N.J. As a senior leader of the firm’s innovation practice, he works with clients in highly engineered products sectors such as aerospace, industrials, high tech, and healthcare on innovation capability building, new product development efficiency and effectiveness, and product management.
  • Also contributing to this article were s+b contributing editor Edward H. Baker and Booz & Company

Source: http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00140?pg=all

100 Awesome Quotes on What It Really Takes to Innovate

Mitch Ditkoff

By   ,  President, Idea Champions

1. “I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs

2. “Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them.” – Alfred North Whitehead

3. “Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.” – Jonas Salk

4. “If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.” – Charles Kettering

5. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

6. “Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

7. “You can’t solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level.” – Albert Einstein

8. “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” – Miles Davis

9. “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct arising from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the object it loves.” – Carl Jung

10. “There is only one thing stronger than all the armies of the world: and that is an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

11. “If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think.” – Clarence Darrow

12. “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” – John Steinbeck

13. “To accomplish great things we must dream as well as act.” – Anatole France

14. “It is the essence of genius to make use of the simplest ideas.” – Charles Peguy

15. “There’s no good idea that cannot be improved on.” – Michael Eisner

16. “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” – Anais Nin

17. “We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.” – Thomas Edison

18. “The best vision is insight.” – Malcolm Forbes

19. “Genius is infinite painstaking.” – Michelangelo

20. “Nothing will change the fact that I cannot produce the least thing without absolute solitude.” – Goethe

21. “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence, nor imagination, nor both together, go to the making of genius. Love, Love, Love. That is the soul of genius.” – Mozart

22. “Swipe from the best, then adapt.” – Tom Peters

23. “Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

24. “You can expect no influence if you are not susceptible to influence.” – Carl Jung

25. “Whether or not you can observe a thing depends upon the theory you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed.” – Albert Einstein

26. “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Goethe

27. “Sit, walk, or run, but don’t wobble.” – Zen proverb

28. “The greater the contrast, the greater the potential. Great energy only comes from a correspondingly great tension of opposites.” – Carl Jung

29. “We don’t know who discovered water, but we’re certain it wasn’t a fish.” – John Culkin

30. “I will act as if what I do will make a difference.” – William James

31. “There is no such thing as a long piece of work, except one that you dare not start.” – Charles Baudelaire

32. “What is now proved was once only imagined.” – William Blake

33. “Remember, a dead fish can float down a stream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.” – W.C. Fields

34. “99 percent of success is built on failure.” – Charles Kettering

35. “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” – Abraham Maslow

36. “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” – Albert Einstein

37. “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

38. “The ultimate creative thinking technique is to think like God. If you’re an atheist, pretend how God would do it.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

39. “I start where the last man left off.” – Thomas Edison

40. “Never confuse motion with action.” – Ernest Hemingway

41. “The greatest invention in the world is the mind of a child.” – Thomas Edison

42. “No matter how well you perform, there’s always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it’s lousy.” – Sir Laurence Olivier

43. “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

44. “I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later.” – Miles Davis

45. “The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.” – Linus Pauling

46. “Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.” – Albert Szent-Gyorgi

47. “A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock pile when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.”- Antoine Saint-Exupery

48. “Without a deadline, baby, I wouldn’t do nothing.” – Duke Ellington

49. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” – Wayne Gretzky

50. “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki

51. “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” – General George Patton

52. “The man with a new idea is a crank – until the idea succeeds.” – Mark Twain

53. “A problem well stated is a problem half solved.” – Charles Kettering

54. “The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.” – Thomas Edison

55. “Don’t be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” – David Lloyd George

56. “The silly question is the first intimation of some totally new development.” – Alfred North Whitehead

57. “A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.” – Victor Hugo

58. “Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money.” – William J. Cameron

59. “Systems die; instincts remain.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

60. “You will never find the time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” – Charles Burton

61. “Whenever anything is being accomplished, it is being done, I have learned, by a monomaniac with a mission.” – Peter Drucker

62. “One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

63. “The lightning spark of thought generated in the solitary mind awakens its likeness in another mind.” – Thomas Carlyle

64. “I failed my way to success.” – Thomas Edison

65. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

66. “The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” – Thomas Watson, (Founder of IBM)

67. “Innovation opportunities do not come with the tempest but with the rustling of the breeze.” – Peter Drucker

68. “The enterprise that does not innovate ages and declines. And in a period of rapid change such as the present…the decline will be fast.” – Peter Drucker

69. “You can only be as good as you dare to be bad.” – John Barrymore

70. “No idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered.” – Winston Churchill

71. “Conclusions arrived at through reasoning have very little or no influence in altering the course of our lives.” – Carlos Casteneda

72. “After years of telling corporate citizens to ‘trust the system,’ many companies must relearn instead to trust their people – and encourage their people to use neglected creative capacities in order to tap the most potent economic stimulus of all: idea power.” – Rosabeth Moss Kanter

73. “If the creator has a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely would have meant for us to stick it out.” – Arthur Koestler

74. “If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.” – Rollo May

75. “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have.” – Emile Chartier

76. “There’s always an element of chance and you must be willing to live with that element. If you insist on certainty, you will paralyze yourself.” – J.P. Getty

77. “Almost all really new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are just produced.” – A.N. Whitehead

78. “Our best ideas come from clerks and stockboys.” – Sam Walton

79. “The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

80. “Every act of creation is, first of all, an act of destruction.” – Pablo Picasso

81. “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.” – Groucho Marx

82. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

83. “Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.” – William James

84. “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” – Jonathan Swift

85. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Alan Kay

86. “If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it.” – Gordon MacKenzie

87. “Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

88. “There is a vitality, a life force, that is translated to you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and will be lost.” – Martha Graham

89. “We have approximately 60,000 thoughts in a day. Unfortunately, 95% of them are thoughts we had the day before.” – Deepak Chopra

90. “Confusion is a word we have invented for an order that is not yet understood.” – Henry Miller

91. “I refuse to be intimidated by reality anymore. What is reality? Nothing but a collective hunch.” – Lily Tomlin

92. “Now that we have met with paradox we have some hope of making progress.” – Niels Bohr

93. “Microsoft is always two years away from failure.” – Bill Gates

94. “We’ve reached the end of incrementalism. Only those companies that are capable of creating industry revolutions will prosper in the new economy. – Gary Hamel

95. “If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied.” – Alfred Noble

96. “I’ve been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it.” – Steven Wright

97. “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” – Steve Jobs

98. “I am looking for a lot of people who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.” – Henry Ford

99. “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” – Lee Iaccocca

100. “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” – John Cage

Mitch Ditkoff is the co-founder and president of IDEA CHAMPIONS, a consulting and training company dedicated to helping organizations go beyond the status quo and really make a difference in the world. He is also a much sought after keynote speaker on how to establish a culture of innovation in the workplace.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mitch-ditkoff/innovation-quotations_b_1971546.html

ISPIM weekly news from Innovation Management

New Series of Articles on the Risks Faced by Innovation Projects

What drives a Successful Innovation Eco-System

Every innovation project starts from an idea or a problem and mostly, all innovation teams do jump immediately to the feasibility study and scenario analysis dedicating little or no time to the assessment of the risks of innovation projects. This series of article represents an extended dashboard of internal, external and hidden risks of such projects in aiding innovation teams throughout their risk management activities. The first article looks deeper into what drives a successful innovation eco-system.

Read more »

Re-envisioning Client-Agency Engagement through Collaborative Innovation

Illustration by -Xv

The Digital Age disrupts the practices and beliefs that gird the archetypical relationship between advertising agency and client. The Procter & Gamble Companies discarded a relic of the client-agency relationship, the creative brief. They seek more authentic engagement that leads to more compelling campaigns. What possibilities do clients open when they move from exchanging information to engaging in co-creation? What role might the practice of collaborative innovation play in redefining roles between client and agency?

Read more »

Hanging Gardens of Metropolis

Photo: SOA Architects via NYT

Cities have long attempted to bring the rural into the urban, whether the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or Singapore’s new Gardens by the Bay, but urban agriculture is increasing with green roofs and other forms of urban farming as the population of cities continues to expand. Based largely on the theories of Dickson Despommier, architects have been designing the ultimate in city-based agribusiness, vertical farms inside of high rise buildings which some have dubbed plantscrapers.

Read more »

The Global Innovation Index 2012: Switzerland Retains First-Place in Innovation Performance

global-innovation-index-report-2012

For the second year running, Switzerland, Sweden, and Singapore lead in overall innovation performance according to the Global Innovation Index 2012 (GII): Stronger Innovation Linkages for Global Growth, published by INSEAD, the leading international business school, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.

Read more »

Pulp Innovation Chapter LXVIII: The Importance of Trend Spotting

Pulp Innovation by Jeffrey Phillips

Just when the Accipiter innovation team is finally ready to start scenario planning they realize that no one on their team understands any of the trends that might shape the future of their industry. How will they find the demographic, technological, governmental and social market trends?

Read more »

When Not to Listen to Your Customer

When Not to Listen to Your Customer

Do research, but don’t let your customers tell you what do build. Too often, says Jeff Housenbold, Shutterfly’s CEO, the customer doesn’t know what they want, and rarely in market study will they admit that they’re willing to pay more for a premium product. For example, 96 percent of Shutterfly customers polled said they wanted a brick and mortar outlet, but only seven percent of customers use it.

Watch clip »

Source: http://www.innovationmanagement.se/

100 Awesome Quotes on What It Really Takes To Innovate

painting-wizard-j-w-baker.jpg

1. “I want to put a ding in the universe.” - Steve Jobs

2. “Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them.” - Alfred North Whitehead

3. “Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.” - Jonas Salk

4. “If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.” - Charles Kettering

5. “Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” - Helen Keller

6. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” - Walt Disney

7. “You can’t solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level.” - Albert Einstein

albert-einstein.jpg

8. “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” - Miles Davis

9. “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct arising from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the object it loves.” - Carl Jung

10. “There is only one thing stronger than all the armies of the world: and that is an idea whose time has come.” - Victor Hugo

11. “If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think.”
- Clarence Darrow

12. “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” - John Steinbeck

13. “To accomplish great things we must dream as well as act.” - Anatole France

picasso-the_dream-surrelism1.jpg

14. “It is the essence of genius to make use of the simplest ideas.”
- Charles Peguy

15. “There’s no good idea that cannot be improved on.” - Michael Eisner

16. “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” - Anais Nin

17. “We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.”
– Thomas Edison

18. “The best vision is insight.” - Malcolm Forbes

19. “Genius is infinite painstaking.” - Michelangelo

20. “Nothing will change the fact that I cannot produce the least thing without absolute solitude.” - Goethe

21. “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence, nor imagination, nor both together, go to the making of genius. Love, Love, Love. That is the soul of genius.” - Mozart

thing-called-love.jpg

22. “Swipe from the best, then adapt.” - Tom Peters

23. “Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself.” - Robert Louis Stevenson

24. “You can expect no influence if you are not susceptible to influence.” - Carl Jung

25. “Whether or not you can observe a thing depends upon the theory you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed.” - Albert Einstein

26. “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Goethe

27. “Sit, walk, or run, but don’t wobble.” - Zen proverb

28. “The greater the contrast, the greater the potential. Great energy only comes from a correspondingly great tension of opposites.” - Carl Jung

29. “We don’t know who discovered water, but we’re certain it wasn’t a fish.” - John Culkin

30. “I will act as if what I do will make a difference.” - William James

31. “There is no such thing as a long piece of work, except one that you dare not start.” - Charles Baudelaire

32. “What is now proved was once only imagined.” - William Blake

33. “Remember, a dead fish can float down a stream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.” - W.C. Fields

robo_fish.jpg

34. “99 percent of success is built on failure.” - Charles Kettering

35. “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” - Abraham Maslow

36. “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” - Albert Einstein

37. “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

38. “The ultimate creative thinking technique is to think like God. If you’re an atheist, pretend how God would do it.” - Frank Lloyd Wright

39. “I start where the last man left off.” - Thomas Edison

40. “Never confuse motion with action.” - Ernest Hemingway

41. “The greatest invention in the world is the mind of a child.” - Thomas Edison

child-playing-with-bubbles.jpg

42. “No matter how well you perform, there’s always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it’s lousy.” - Sir Laurence Olivier

43. “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

44. “I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later.” - Miles Davis

45. “The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.” - Linus Pauling

46. “Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.” - Albert Szent-Gyorgi

47. “A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock pile when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.”- Antoine Saint-Exupery

48. “Without a deadline, baby, I wouldn’t do nothing.” - Duke Ellington

49. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” - Wayne Gretzky

50. “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” - Shunryu Suzuki

51. “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” - General George Patton

patton_flag.jpg

52. “The man with a new idea is a crank – until the idea succeeds.” - Mark Twain

53. “A problem well stated is a problem half solved.” - Charles Kettering

54. “The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.” - Thomas Edison

55. “Don’t be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” - David Lloyd George

56. “The silly question is the first intimation of some totally new development.” - Alfred North Whitehead

57. “A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.” - Victor Hugo

58. “Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money.” – William J. Cameron

59. “Systems die; instincts remain.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes

60. “You will never find the time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” – Charles Burton

dalitime.jpg

61. “Whenever anything is being accomplished, it is being done, I have learned, by a monomaniac with a mission.” - Peter Drucker

62. “One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive one.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

63. “The lightning spark of thought generated in the solitary mind awakens its likeness in another mind.” - Thomas Carlyle

64. “I failed my way to success.” - Thomas Edison

65. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

66. “The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” - Thomas Watson, (Founder of IBM)

67. “Innovation opportunities do not come with the tempest but with the rustling of the breeze.” - Peter Drucker

68. “The enterprise that does not innovate ages and declines. And in a period of rapid change such as the present…the decline will be fast.” - Peter Drucker

69. “You can only be as good as you dare to be bad.” - John Barrymore

70. “No idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered.”
- Winston Churchill

6a00e54fafb9508834010535cfe543970b-800wi.jpg

71. “Conclusions arrived at through reasoning have very little or no influence in altering the course of our lives.” - Carlos Casteneda

72. “After years of telling corporate citizens to ‘trust the system,’ many companies must relearn instead to trust their people – and encourage their people to use neglected creative capacities in order to tap the most potent economic stimulus of all: idea power.” - Rosabeth Moss Kanter

73. “If the creator has a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely would have meant for us to stick it out.” - Arthur Koestler

74. “If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.” - Rollo May

75. “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have.” – Emile Chartier

76. “There’s always an element of chance and you must be willing to live with that element. If you insist on certainty, you will paralyze yourself.” - J.P. Getty

77. “Almost all really new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are just produced.” – A.N. Whitehead

78. “Our best ideas come from clerks and stockboys.” - Sam Walton

79. “The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.” - Albert Einstein

80. “Every act of creation is, first of all, an act of destruction.” - Pablo Picasso

81. “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.” - Groucho Marx

82. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” - Albert Einstein

Spongebob__Imagination_by_kssael.png

83. “Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.” - William James

84. “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” - Jonathan Swift

85. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” - Alan Kay

86. “If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it.” - Gordon MacKenzie

87. “Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” - Fyodor Dostoevsky

88. “There is a vitality, a life force, that is translated to you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and will be lost.” - Martha Graham

89. “We have approximately 60,000 thoughts in a day. Unfortunately, 95% of them are thoughts we had the day before.” - Deepak Chopra

90. “Confusion is a word we have invented for an order that is not yet understood.” - Henry Miller

91. “I refuse to be intimidated by reality anymore. What is reality? Nothing but a collective hunch.” - Lily Tomlin

92. “Now that we have met with paradox we have some hope of making progress.” - Niels Bohr

93. “Microsoft is always two years away from failure.” - Bill Gates

billgates.jpg

94. “We’ve reached the end of incrementalism. Only those companies that are capable of creating industry revolutions will prosper in the new economy. - Gary Hamel

95. “If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied.” - Alfred Noble

96. “I’ve been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it.” - Steven Wright

97. “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” - Steve Jobs

98. “I am looking for a lot of people who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.” - Henry Ford

99. “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” – Lee Iacocca

100. “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” - John Cage

Source: http://www.ideachampions.com/weblogs/archives/2012/07/100_awesome_quo.shtml

ISPIM Innovation Management Weekly Newsletter – June 20, 2012 -

 Source: http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=17f1dfa751f180b76ad872810&id=2eda26ce2c&e=3ad266ee02&goback=.gde_56751_member_125820250

The Eastern Way: How Chinese Philosophy Can Power Innovation in Business Today

Chinese Philosophy and Innovation in Business Today
In spite of spectacular economic growth, China is still afflicted by criticism that its traditional culture inhibits innovation. However, Chinese culture is now changing in response to fundamental techno-economic shifts, and philosophy is not the same as culture. This article shows how an unconventional synthesis of Chinese philosophical systems can power innovation opportunities in 21st century business—and not only for China.Read more »

Applying Collaborative Innovation to Agile Software Development

applying_collaborative_innovation_to_agile_software_development
The agile model for coding software rewards developers with more satisfying work and clients with more useful applications, sooner. Software developers who embrace agile principles face two challenges, however. We work globally: people cannot collocate. We source work by fiat: teams cannot gel to pursue challenges that engage them. In this article innovation architect Doug Collins explores how people can apply the practice of collaborative innovation as a means to realize the promise that agile development offers.Read more »

To get Innovation…Try Stimulation

stimulation_for_innovation
There is a saying, “horses for courses”. It means that certain character types (horses or people – or others) perform in different ways depending upon the circumstances. This holds true in collaborative engagements, whether they are crowdsourcing exercises, virtual focus groups, online research communities or a growing number of other online activities. A key success factor that we found over the last number of years — and perhaps the key success factor– is understanding what the best stimulative environment is for that activity, and your participants.Read more »

Using Strategic Intelligence Platforms to Advance Innovation

using_strategic_intelligence_platforms_to_advance_Innovation
Leaders need to develop a ‘habit of knowledgeability,’ according to Haydn Shaughnessy, who has written extensively on change and innovation for Forbes, WSJ, InnovationManagement and HBR, among other noteworthy publications. In this article, Harun Asad expands on this notion and suggests how to build and implement a strategic intelligence platform that facilitates advancing innovation.Read more »

Pulp Innovation Chapter LXIV: Accipiter’s Innovation Charter

pulp-innovation
Marlow is eager to get his client new products and services to stave off a lot of overseas competition. Now he just needs to identify the most significant challenges or opportunities and begin to define their risk tolerance.Read more »

Should You Worry About Competition?

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While it is important to consider the competition, says Dropbox Co-Founder Drew Houston, time and energy are better spent on factors within your control. Houston asserts a strong internal focus is far more important than worrying about competition, because for startups, “suicide is a much more common cause of death than homicide.”Read more »

Innovation and the Individual

Although we need teams to make things happen, innovation can occur on an individual basis. For an individual to create innovation, he or she must think creatively and understand the market as well as consumer wants and needs. An example of this took place during my early hands-on innovation days as marketing manager at Sylvania Lighting.

Philips had developed the Long Life Soft White light bulb strategy, competing against GE Lighting. Consumers wanted soft white light bulbs and ideally longer life, so Philips went head on by pricing their product at premium GE Soft White light bulb rates but carved out a longer life offering. At the time, the number two player in the market was GTE Sylvania. I wanted to create an offering with a competitive advantage over GE and Philips.  Consumers liked the soft white and long life features, but they didn’t know how much longer “long life” meant, so I developed and successfully introduced Double Life Soft White light bulbs to market. The product clearly addressed the consumer desire to understand how much longer life the bulb contains – and was offered in the preferred soft white option.

Sylvania went on to successfully place the innovative product into retail, which grew market share and was soon after bought by German lighting giant Osram. Years later, the market leader GE copied the phrase “Double Life Soft White,” which is still being marketed and on the shelf today.

In creating Double Life Soft White, Sylvania had the challenge of needing more shelf space. Soft white and standard frost bulbs were common practice and available on the shelf in 4, 8 and 12 foot sections or even greater retail shelf space. Both GE and Philips packaged their bulbs in light square corrugated containers. Sylvania, on the other hand, had a 4-pack that was horizontally merchandised into a ridged box. Understanding the space and taking into account the need to fit more packages on the shelf, I came up with the idea of printing the graphics vertically on the box.  Instead of four facings on a four-foot shelf, we were now able to place six facings side-by-side, which created room for the new product offering.

While vertical graphics were a great creative solution, I wanted to maximize merchandising flexibility so I developed Dual Graphics – vertical on the front side of the packaging and horizontal on the back side – to give the retailer and Sylvania more merchandising options.

sylvaniasylvania-pink

Many companies followed the creative success and introduced dual graphics afterwards on boxes for cereal, crackers and other consumer products. Dual graphics continue to be used widely today.

My key point is that in the case of Sylvania, both ideas were thought up by an individual. A team is needed to execute a marketing strategy and apply lessons on how to sell an idea, but it’s not always necessary for a team to create and innovate since an organization needs just one lone champion to create innovation.  It is the innovation champion who must share, carry out and sell his or her idea. Do you nurture your organization’s innovation champion?

For guidance on how to start, nurture and profit from a culture of sustained innovation by meeting goals like bringing “at least one new product per year to market,” see “Robert’s Rules of Innovation.”

Source: http://www.innovationcoach.com/innovation-and-the-individual/?goback=.gde_56751_member_123701465

Open Innovation in SMEs

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 Difficult market conditions force SMEs to adapt or reinvent their businesses through new technologies or unique value propositions, but they often lack resources and technical capabilities and must thus collaborate with others to compete. Those that succeed in this transition often employ open innovation. A study by Dr Wim Vanhaverbeke, in collaboration with Ine Vermeersch and Stijn De Zutter found that open innovation can create new opportunities for all types of SME – from start-ups in high-tech markets to players in traditional markets – because they can change business models without having the required technologies in-house.

Key actors in 10 diverse Flemish, Dutch and Danish SMEs that changed strategy were interviewed and revealed how they devised new business models to leverage value from technologies in other organisations or co-developed with partners.

This analysis of a phenomenon well known among large companies is the first anywhere to focus in depth on the little-understood theme of how SMEs employ open innovation.

The researchers learned that SMEs in both high- and low-tech industries which know how to manage a network of innovation partners can seize new opportunities to become highly profitable – but networks are only sustainable when the value jointly created is significantly larger than that realised by partners on their own. Next, the value which is jointly created should be ivied in an equitable way to ensure the cohesion of the network in the long run. Value creation and value capturing is not an automatic process and has to be managed by a central partner in the network.

Their findings call for close attention to links between open innovation and business modelling and they identify how best to manage partnerships and networks.

By Dr Wim Vanhaverbeke in collaboration with Ine Vermeersch and Stijn De Zutter, (Flanders DC Knowledge Centre at Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)

Source: http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2012/05/10/open-innovation-in-smes/

10 Essential Facebook Timeline Money-Making ‘Techie’ Tips – with Mari Smith

http://marismith.com/facebookwebinar – Get instant access to the transcript, MP3, plus video and audio download files. Plus, special Bonus Report: “5 Fantastic Ways To Build A NEW Facebook Marketing Channel … with 250,000 Subscribers!”

Crush the “I’m Not Creative” Barrier

Jeff Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton M. ChristensenDyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton M. Christensen

Jeff Dyer is the Horace Beesley Professor of Strategy at the Marriott School, Brigham Young University; Hal Gregersen is a professor of leadership at INSEAD; Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the world’s foremost authority on disruptive innovation. They are the authors of the The Innovator’s DNA. On Twitter: @Jeffrey_Dyer, @ClayChristensen, and @HalGregersen.

Did you know that if you think you are creative, you’re more likely to actually be creative? This surprising fact pops up again and again in our research. In our database of over 6,000 professionals who have taken the Innovator’s DNA self & 360 assessments, people (entrepreneurs and managers alike) who “agree” with the survey statement “I am creative” consistently deliver disruptive solutions — by creating new businesses, products, services, and processes that no one has done before. They see themselves as creative and act that way.

But what if you don’t see yourself as creative? Are you actually less creative?

This is an important question to ask because many — probably half — of you don’t think that you’re creative. Around the world we regularly ask groups of 100 to 1,000 managers and executives, “Are you creative?” With clockwork consistency, at best half the hands in an audience slowly rise. This is not exactly a scientific sample and methodology, but it’s direct enough data to see that most managers don’t define themselves as creative (and for what it’s worth, asking the more socially acceptable “Are you innovative?” question delivers an equally anemic response).

The bad news is that if you don’t think you’re creative, our survey data say that you probably are not. But there is good news: You can actually become more creative by changing your mind-set. Anyone can innovate, if they choose to. Disruptive innovators do it by choice, not chance. Their everyday actions swap out an “I’m not creative” mind-set for an “I am creative” one. And then magical (not mystical) things unfold.

The magic materializes as people engage unique innovation skills (what we call their innovator’s DNA) on an everyday basis. For example, by asking provocative questions, observing like anthropologists, networking with people who see the world in 180-degree opposites, and experimenting with intensity, innovators obliterate the “I’m not creative” brain barrier and, more often than not, break out from the pack.

Stepan Pachikov, founder of Evernote (personal software that retrieves any kind of information whenever you need it), leveraged his innovator’s DNA to put together a product with one of the most loyal followings around. From start to finish, Pachikov was obsessed with a single question: “What kind of database will help me remember things?” He took this simple question and did something with it, not only for himself but for millions of others. He observed first-hand how people actually try to remember things. He talked to a host of folks taking different angles on the problem of memory (finding what you want when you want it). He rapidly prototyped the software to make it work.

The result? A product that changes lives by enabling forgetful people to remember things they never could before. Yes, it does change lives. Whenever we mention Evernote to audiences, at least 20% of the Evernote users in the group affirm with real emotion that it really has changed their lives. By leveraging his personal portfolio of innovation skills, Pachikov collaborated with colleagues at Evernote, including CEO Phil Liblin, to build a hit product that makes a powerful, positive impact.

If you think your innovation efforts might be blocked by an “I’m not creative” brain barrier, take this fast, five-question diagnostic test (pulled from our 60-item assessment, which captures the innovator’s DNA skills in far more depth), or pass it along to someone who seems stuck in a creative rut. Do you agree with the following statements? A simple yes or no works fine for each one.

Associational thinking: I creatively solve challenging problems by drawing on diverse ideas or knowledge.

Questioning: I often ask questions that challenge others’ fundamental assumptions.

Observing: I get innovative ideas by directly observing how people interact with products and services.

Idea Networking: I regularly talk with a diverse set of people (e.g., from different functions, industries, geographies) to find and refine new business ideas.

Experimenting: I frequently experiment to create new ways of doing things.

If you answered no to three or more questions, then you’re probably bumping into the “I’m not creative” barrier.

Becoming more creative requires acting more creative — on a daily basis — to conquer the most vexing problems you face, personally or professionally. It sounds deceptively simple, but acting and thinking differently actually makes us different. You must hunt for things to change. You must spend time at it — a lot more time. The problem is if you don’t think you can, you won’t. Remember that old saying: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you’re probably right.” As we come to define ourselves as creative, we change our behaviors and we can actually become more creative. Doing this is key to keeping a creative edge, or for getting it back.

Source: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/05/crush_the_im_not_creative_barr.html

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