Authors and thought leaders, submit your scholarly and informative articles about innovation. Add them to your Innovative People profile, or submit them independently. Add original articles, or link to content already available on the internet.
When I urge managers in a company to make open innovation part of their innovation strategy, they get it conceptually. They see that a solution coming from outside is more likely to be a dramatic leap versus an incremental one—simply because it came from a mind not narrowed by conventional thinking. They understand that the infusion of fresh ideas can also open their own R&D engineers and technologists to new and different possibilities and cause them to push their thinking further. At a minimum, they agree that better solutions tend to emerge when there are more options to consider in the first place.
I read a lot about innovation, and I'm constantly amused by the articles that talk about "kick starting" innovation. If there is one activity that is resistant to forward motion based on one quick action like a kick start, it's innovation. What people who advocate "kick starting" innovation don't understand is the analogy, and the effort involved before the fact.
A recent special report in the Economist highlights a growing trend among American and European companies; they are bringing back work which was previously offshored or outsourced to cheaper locations. Offshoring means moving work and jobs outside of the country in which the company is based; outsourcing means giving work to outside companies. The process of bringing the work back is known as re-shoring.
Why does it take a near death experience to wake some companies up?
I guess there is an innovation equivalent to a drunk hitting bottom. If only the drunk could see where they are headed — maybe they could avoid the hard fall into the gutter.
Case in point: General Motors. GM hit bottom, and, the good news, they’re in recovery.
The lesson here is not to wait until you’re bankrupt to innovate. It’s a simple point but profoundly difficult for some organizations to do. It’s a culture thing. If the culture doesn’t encourage and implement exciting innovation, they are that drunk headed for the gutter. Is that your organization? Take steps, and drastic ones, now, if that’s the case.
Sustainable innovation cannot be achieved by one-size-fits-all and one-sided approaches. It requires a common understanding of what innovation is, classifying concepts in order to assure individual assessments as well as differentiated approaches for firms to strengthen their innovation capabilities and performance. Further, innovation is about balancing complementary, and often opposing, variables. Therefore, integrative frameworks may help to gain a more holistic perspective and direction of impact.
We are seeing more and more organizations undertaking activities to engage dispersed populations through Information Systems (IS). Using the knowledge-based view of the organization, this work conceptualizes a theory of Crowd Capital to explain this phenomenon. Crowd Capital is a heterogeneous knowledge resource generated by an organization, through its use of Crowd Capability, which is defined by the structure, content, and process by which an organization engages with the dispersed knowledge of individuals – the Crowd. Our work draws upon a diverse literature and builds upon numerous examples of practitioner implementations to support our theorizing. We present a model of Crowd Capital generation in organizations and discuss the implications of Crowd Capital on organizational boundary and on IS research
Never has the world witnessed a large market emerge so quickly as China has. As the economy grows it is also changing. China is fast climbing the value curve, transitioning from low-cost manufacturing to innovation-led growth. In telecommunications, supercomputing, life sciences, non-fuel energy sources and “green-tech” in general, there is already a vibrant innovation/research and development (R&D) scene.
Corporate venturing is becoming an important tool for big companies to complement internally driven innovation activities. However, becoming a serious player in corporate venturing requires governance principles and creates cultural dynamics which do not fit into existing corporate environment easily. This article discusses those challenges in detail and suggests ways how to deal with them.
I have to be clear here, I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of advancement in our understanding of innovation. Today we have a real challenge, all of us, in boosting our capacity for innovation. We need to achieve this ‘boost’ as the outcomes we will gain are both economic and social in their potential value. We need to move beyond the existing and tackle the blockages to the preferred, when it comes to innovation achievements.
Want a culture of innovation? Choose a few of the following guidelines and make them happen. If not YOU, who? If not NOW, when?
...the top down, command and control organization is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. First, it takes too long for commands to filter down through the organization, so the responsiveness of a top down command and control organization is limited, when the environment is changing rapidly. Second, the executives and leaders rotate through jobs and positions like a roulette wheel, in one slot and then on to another slot every two to three years. This lack of longevity in any role doesn't create much stability or desire for long term change. Third, most workers in large organizations have far more training and education than their forebears, and are able to make informed decisions, if they are informed of the goals of the organization.
The Attribute Dependency Technique tends to produce innovations that are smart. They seemingly know when to adjust or change in response to a change in something else. It is one of five techniques of the SIT innovation method, and it accounts for a majority of new product innovations.
In an effort to incorporate outside sources of innovation into their new product acquisition programs, there has been a significant increase in the number of firms opening their organizational boundaries to external ideas. Over the past few years, large multinational companies such as Kraft, IBM and 3M have initiated active open innovation (OI) programs. The benefits to the organization of accepting new product ideas are lower research and development costs and the more rapid procurement of new products to fuel sales, and to the submitter, this can be financially rewarding if their idea is selected for product development or commercialization. Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble estimates that as many as 1.5 million researchers and scientists could contribute materially to the efforts of their own 7,500 researchers and scientists in corporate research and development. However, the economic benefits of open innovation can be diminished if organizations do not effectively manage the legal issues and logistical challenges that are presented. They include the quality/quantity of submissions, and once received, what is the most efficient way to process the submissions received?
To be successful, organizations must be able to effectively sort through the potentially high volume of idea submissions, identify and then select the few that hold the potential of a profitable return. In addition, In patent-centric industries where intellectual property (IP) serves as a necessary barrier to entry, USPTO (US Patent & Trademark Office) restrictions and other legal issues are now more pressing that ever. The America Invents Act, which was enacted in September 2012, can seriously complicate the OI process if not properly addressed.
In this paper we’ll examine the primary challenges of OI and outline how the introduction of web-based software tools can address these challenges. By integrating the best of the emerging OI practices, with a secure point of access on your corporate website, your organization will be able to deploy an IP safe portal through which to collect and manage the external submissions of new ideas, products and technologies.
Well, there I've gone and said it. Yes, the title is about resistance to innovation. You may ask yourself, who is crazy enough to resist innovation? And the true answer is: all of us. Because while the result of innovation can be excellent new products and services, the implementation of innovation brings about the dreaded "C" word. Change. And believe me, any person, team or corporation is completely capable of resisting change. One reason innovation is difficult to do is the undeniable fact that innovation introduces change.
In our world of excess everything, savvy innovators realize that less is actually best. They know that delivering a memorable and meaningful experience hinges on user engagement, which is best achieved through a subtractive approach. Anything excessive, confusing or wasteful is intelligently and cleverly removed, or never added in the first place.
Over the past six years I've looked at more than 2,000 ideas — products, services, processes and strategies. Those that achieved the maximum effect with an elegant, minimalist approach all had a few common characteristics.
There are many possible roads to innovation. Successful innovation means defining your own road. Much like Nik Wallenda’s walk across Niagra Falls, some of the best innovations come from stepping outside your own comfort zone and balancing the many different facets of innovation. The formula for success in innovation is about finding the middle ground, walking the tightrope between risk and innovation; between ideation and value creation. The Innovation Balancing Act.
Innovation is a lot like the tower of Babel, only in reverse. A god-like leader, typically the CEO, requests, no demands, more innovation. And everyone in the organization runs off to "innovate" interpreting what innovation means and applying to their situation. This means that in any company several "innovative" things happen simultaneously:
- Old, tired ideas long in limbo are reframed as "innovative"
- Any small change to an existing product or service is labelled "innovation"
- A completely irrational, disruptive idea is justified on the basis that it is "innovative"
- Soon every thing is "innovative" and nothing is.
The early stages of innovation can be challenging. But Strategy&'s (formerly Booz & Company) annual study of R&D spending reveals that successful innovators bring clarity to a process often described as fuzzy and vague.
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.
Understanding the base rate with a product's performance can lead to hidden insights and opportunities.
In this context, environment has several meanings. The first is obvious, the environment in which you work. Is the physical environment conducive to innovation? The second context is the intangible environment erected by your corporate culture. This creates barriers and limits to thinking, to risk and uncertainty. Does your intangible environment block innovation? The third context is an internal/external environment. How "far" does your environment reach? Do you have extensive interactions and networks with external partners, customers and prospects? The fourth context examines the fluidity of your environment. Does your organization have porous borders? Can you find a good idea or technology outside the boundaries of your organization and bring in "inside"?
Innovation is in these days. The word is on the lips of every CEO, CFO, CIO, and anyone else with a three-letter acronym after their name. As a result, many organizations are launching all kinds of "innovation initiatives" -- hoping to stir the creative soup and differentiate themselves from their competition. This is commendable. But it is also, all too often, a disappointing experience. Innovation initiatives sound good, but usually don't live up to their expectations. The reasons are many.
Throughout most of the 20th century up to the present day, the headquarters office has been a visible symbol of association importance and success, as well as a proud showcase of organizational history. Yet while having a central location to house face-to-face staff and voluntary activity offers certain benefits, the association headquarters also can be the physical embodiment of the bureaucratic inertia and risk aversion that too often slows the pace of organizational progress, especially in the areas of strategy and innovation. Meanwhile, as previously mentioned, there are billions (and counting) of smartphones and tablet devices in use worldwide. As the adoption of these mobile tools accelerates, and new social work arrangements such as co-working grow more popular, associations will need to adapt to collaborate with highly connected “on the go” generations of stakeholders capable of interacting on the fly from everywhere, all the time.
You first have to come to accept the fact that some times are better than others to ask all of your smart people to spend time on collaboration. It may be as simplistic as putting aside some time for ideation (“Join us for innovation week!”). But human nature is a bit more complex and your organization can wring the creative juices out of your team more optimally under some conditions more than others. At least if we extrapolate from the social, psychological studies out there.
"Stop trying to figure out what you are passionate about," argues Newport. Instead, the secret to building a career or business you love is to develop rare and valuable skills that you can then leverage to take control of your livelihood. In other words, get good--really good--and the passion will follow.
When you are trying to innovate, especially when you are trying to create new ideas that are unique or different from what your organization normally does, you cannot multi-task, you cannot dilute your engagement or awareness. You cannot attempt to concentrate on day to day, routine tasks at the same time you are trying to create interesting new insights and ideas. Your brain doesn't work this way, and you will be pulled in the direction of your expertise and competence.
Edge enhancement is derived from lack of accurate result from edge detection techniques. The image which is captured from long distances carries a lot of noise and blur which causes edge discontinuity. Although some novel algorithms which are based on cellular neural network, fuzzy enhancement and binary morphology have shown accuracy in order to obtain refined edge but still the problem of edge discontinuity arises. Eliminating discontinuity of edge a hybrid technique is proposed based on pixel neighbors pattern analysis PNPA. In the technique Canny operator for initial edge detection, PNPA operation for edge enhancement are performed for remote sensing satellite image successively. The visual and subjective evaluation shows that the proposed PNPA operation can effectively eliminate the influence of edge discontinuity which occurred due to noise and blurr in original captured image, as comparing to existing edge segmenting processes.
How many times have you participated in a brainstorming session, only to be underwhelmed by the utter lack of follow up?
Unfortunately, in most businesses, this is often the norm.
What are the key roles and accompanying structures you need to drive innovation and creativity in your organization? In this article, Andy Beaulieu considers each role and the skills that are required to get innovation happening in a way that will actually benefit. He also shines a light on the important question of how roles need to be structured around teams and stakeholders.
Few would deny that innovation is important to the prosperity and growth of the national economy. Around the world governments are keen to see more innovation occurring with the anticipation that this will boost economic activity. Since the 1980s attention has been given by governments to the enhancement of their country’s National Innovation System (NIS).
As part of my auditing process, one of the key questions I ask is: what was the most recent innovation in your industry?
Depending on how this question is answered, it will tell me a few things:
How this company both defines and perceives innovation
If they are focused on innovation
If they are keeping tabs on their respective industry
It’s a paradox of the information age. The glut of information that bombards us daily too frequently obscures true insight. Intelligence should drive better innovation, but unless it is strategically collected and used, it functions like a summer beach novel — an engaging distraction.
I believe that one of the most fundamental choices a human being can make relates to creativity. The choice is: do I wish to be a creative person or not. It would seem to be a no-brainer, but it’s interesting that at least half of people I talk to make the choice to Not be a creative person.
Knowing how difficult it is to change the culture in any organization, how can you align your company's culture to support creativity and innovation? In this article, we focus on four key cultural aspects you need to master if you want to drive innovation.
Companies are not so much in the business of what we buy, but the way we act.
Behavior is the unknowable variable in every innovation, and it is the variable that most determines the opportunity a new business model has to evolve and take advantage of the new behavior.
Last week, a remarkable thing happened. 400 people from 49 countries gathered in Silicon Valley for an ambitious vision.
They convened to do something that had never been attempted before: to reinvent the whole notion of economic growth, by shifting the focus from subsidizing individual projects to growing entire ecosystems of vibrant entrepreneurship and innovation. We call such systems Rainforests. And rather than just talk in the abstract, attendees actually worked on building real Rainforest solutions, in-person and in real-time. We literally watched hundreds of “Rainforest Makers” in action. It was like a Davos for Doers.
Every company is looking for the magic formula that will produce breakthrough products and services. But a better starting point is to think about what gets in the way of innovation, especially in firms that already have lots of talented, creative, and motivated people. In other words, by identifying and removing barriers, it might be possible to accelerate innovation simply by leveraging the capability that's already there.
Effective leadership with a clear focus on the organization's strategy is a key ingredient to successful innovation in your business. Andy Beaulieu considers the well-known and not so well-recognized aspects of leadership and strategy that could be holding up your organization's capacity to innovate.
Many people believe that we’ve run out of ideas and that the future will be one of bleak shortages of food, energy, and water. Billionaire Peter Thiel, for example, argues that, despite spectacular advances in computer-related fields, technological progress has actually stalled because the internal combustion engine still rules our highways, the cancer death rate has barely changed since 1971, and the top speed at which people can travel has ceased to improve.
Thiel is right about engines, speed, and cancer death rates. But he and the pessimists are completely wrong about what lies ahead. I don’t believe that the future holds shortages and stagnation; it is more likely to be one in which we debate how we can distribute the abundance and prosperity that we’ve created.
Why am I so optimistic? Because of the wide assortment of technologies that are advancing at exponential rates and converging. They are enabling small teams to do what was once only possible for governments and large corporations. These exponential technologies will help us solve many of humanity’s grand challenges, including energy, education, water, food, and health.
Despite what New York Times editors might think, innovations aren't always way-out there ideas. Rather, they can be small, incremental changes that better people's lives. Innovation is about solving people’s problems in a way that’s meaningful to them in the context of their lives. It’s about finding ways to design services, products, and experiences that help people achieve their goals. It’s about making life better for people, on people’s terms, however they define what “better” means.
This question has baffled many executives for quite some time. Management tries to replicate the special event or circumstances that created a successful innovation project but often fails. Companies have created positions such as Chief Innovation officer, innovation teams, and organizational strategies that promote innovation through diversity, team dynamics, and social networking. However, failure rates of 90% are common when innovations occur due purely to chance. What distinguishes whether an innovation is hit or miss?
Organic approach in controlling pest on agricultural plants is the latest in agriculture technology. The method is not only effective in controlling pest but ,likewise, improved productivity of crops. Aside from its environmentally-friendly approach, the organic method for sustainable agriculture is encourage by the Food and Agriculture Organization, an agency of economic and social council of the United Nations.
- The article tells on the possibility of controlling fungal infestation on soybean farming without using expensive chemical pesticides and fertilizers,
- Organic pesticide is the treatment of quality soybean seeds prior to germination,
- The method is commercially viable. Its raw materials are cheap and available.
Is there anything a person can do – beyond caffeine, corporate pep talks, or astrology readings – to quicken the appearance of breakthrough ideas?
Yes, there is. And what follows are 14 catalysts ‐ simple guidelines, principles, and approaches that will help you on your way.
Most entrepreneurs dream of making the kind of disruptive innovation that not only lifts their business but also changes the world. Apple’s iPod and the iTunes service changed the music industry. Netflix changed the movie rental business. Starbucks changed coffee from a beverage to an experience. Each of those companies started out as a small business with a big idea.
But innovations can also come in baby steps. Consider incremental improvements which can extend the life of a product.
Our hiring philosophy is guided by two truths about the pursuit of growth through innovation and the market gap that lies between them. Central to our ambition is being able to consistently attract a unique group of people who are walking embodiments of this balance. To find them, we look for people who possess five key characteristics:
1. Intellectually Restless
2. Inspiring Rather Than Convincing
3. Proven Ability to Drive Innovation
4. Have Scaled a Peak
5. Willing to Commit to Something Bigger Than Themselves
Dr. Kikuo Chishima, a Japanese professor asserts that the 'energetic' or 'frequency information' of the food we eat is even more important than the nutrients. Food contains molecular compounds of amino acids, complex carbohydrate chains and various chemical elements, each having their own unique frequency or vibration.
It is the vibrations of the nutrients that raise the vibrations of the body's tissue. Pesticide and chemical laden fruits and
vegetables, as well as animal protein contaminated with antibiotics and growth hormones, have 'chaotic vibratory oscillations' that act to derail the high coherence of our nutritional energy needs. Thus, our food has to be in the utmost coherent energy state because that is what is taken into our cells in the form of biophoton energy. 'Energetic coherence' is of high importance.
Einstein is quoted as having said that if he had one hour to save the world he would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.
This quote does illustrate an important point: before jumping right into solving a problem, we should step back and invest time and effort to improve our understanding of it. Here are 10 strategies you can use to see problems from many different perspectives and master what is the most important step in problem solving: clearly defining the problem in the first place!
If good managers hire people who are smarter than they are, does that make the CEO the dumbest person in the company?
While that question -- posed in a "Dilbert" cartoon -- might seem flip and irreverent, Brigham Young University professor Jeff Dyer uses it as an example of one of the four behaviors that form the secret sauce of being an innovator.
Welcome to the brave new world of Machine Beauty, where our new willingness to replace our limbs with superior prosthetic devices hints at our technological future as a species. Maybe futurist Ray Kurzweil was right after all when he predicted the merging of man and machine within our lifetime as part of the great Singularity.
The most important, most effective, most impactful brands are those that have put petty competition behind them and embraced collaboration as an operating principle--it is their core DNA. These brands are clear about their ambitions and are not shy about seeking out others who share those ambitions. And with these partners they will pool resources to create a better future.
For an organization to innovate effectively in the future, it needs to tap into its innovation legacy. Only by moving first backward can an organization move forward in developing new products and services.
Increasing productivity — making more with less — is at the core of any company or any economy's economic progress. From a societal view, productivity drives higher living standards and increases shared resources — for example, providing a government with more resources to invest back into its citizens. For a company, increasing productivity has the same result — increasing profitability that can either be used to increase the wealth of employees and shareholders or invest back into the future of the organization.
Given the global economic changes that began in 2008, we've been forced into a new way of working. Is your company burying its head in the sand, or taking the best that people have to give?
A novel technique for producing enhanced band width in micro and mm wave region of spectrum is presented. A new design of compact & broadband leaky wave dielectric resonator antenna is proposed using co-axially probe feed technique. Two different LWDRA are designed and their characteristic behaviours are compared. Finally, parametric study of Second Antenna has been done. With the proper design the resonant behaviour of the antenna is found, over which the leaky wave DRA produces extended bandwidth. Numerous designs for the LWRDRA are simulated and bandwidths exceeding 20% are achieved.
Open innovation will not only lead to new ways of making innovation happen. Innovation leaders and their executives will also experience side effects. I think most of these effects will be positive, but some will be mixed or perhaps even negative.
As innovation leaders and their executives implement open innovation practices, they can just as well start figuring out how to deal with side effects of open innovation such as described below.
What separates the great innovation organizations from the good ones? Simply put, it’s the ability to account for what I call the “pipeline paradox.”
Once a company decides on the ideas it wishes to pursue, it must invest more time, people, and strategic thinking to get them to market; this inverse relationship between number of ideas and the amount of resources is the pipeline paradox.
The Disney Way: Harnessing the Management Secrets in Your Company is the only Disney book cited in the article. The book was a Fortune magazine "Best Business Book of the Year" and cited as "so useful, you may whistle while you work." Author and management expert Bill Capodagli has a proven track record of implementing Walt Disney’s Dream, Believe, Dare, Do principles within organizations - from those as small as YMCA's Camp Kern to Fortune 500 industry icons such as Volvo.
In the April, 2012 article in Hispanic Retail 360 Magazine entitled
“Misguided Perceptions…Dare to Make a Difference”, management expert and bestselling author Bill Capodagli describes “misguided perceptions” occurring in Holland, Michigan – a town that ABC News announced as second on the list of “Top Ten Healthiest, Happiest Places in America.” (2010: Well-Being Index). Unfortunately, many of the Hispanics of Holland, Michigan seem to have been overlooked in this national accolade.
In December of 2010, Michigan.gov reported that Holland hosts the largest and fastest-growing young Hispanic population in Michigan. Yet, the perception that Hispanics are second class citizens is manifested in many of Holland’s educational institutions. Bill Capodagli provides real-life examples of how “misguided perceptions” have the potential to stifle many of America’s youth, especially those of color.
The article focuses on the powerful forces at work to combat these “misguided perceptions” in Holland, Michigan.
“Why do angel investors (and to some extent, VCs) turn up their noses at real, down-to-earth physical product companies and instead chase ethereal Web and process flow services businesses?”
The short answer: supply chain costs and risks.
Is there a corporate leader who doesn't extol the virtues of innovation these days? Yet if innovation is so important, why do so many companies have so much trouble with it?
The reflexive response is that it is a human capital problem — that is, that most people just don't have what it takes to successfully innovate. I reject that view. Academic research in fact shows that almost anyone can become a competent innovator (with sufficient practice). I've seen countless examples of ordinary individuals displaying the creativity, ingenuity, and perseverance of the world's great innovators.
Those people can only be effective in the right context, but, ironically, many of the things leaders do to encourage innovation actually kill it. Look carefully at your company and you might spot one of four types of unintentional innovation assassins.
Eight factors are critical to the success of your organization's innovation efforts. Ignore any one of these important dimensions and you seriously risk the outcome of your innovation practices.
Open innovation (OI) is being adopted by market leaders such as 3M, Proctor and Gamble and IBM to assist in new product development, reduce R & D costs and solve problems. Outside sources of ideas can prove beneficial to organizations if proper systems are in place to efficiently screen, select and develop submitted ideas.
This paper describes how new software is being used filter high volumes of unsolicited ideas to rapidly assess value and select ideas to best fit a company's strategic direction. Because legal issues and IP protection are key concerns in using OI, this paper provides details on how e-Zassi software is being used to digitize the attributes and traits of ideas to securely collaborate.
Although working with people who are like us improves efficiency, and makes relationships easier, this “commonality” destroys innovation. Innovation is based on different and divergent points of view coming together to create something new of value.
If you want innovation to flourish in your organization, you need to find those individuals who complement your style and address your innovation blindspots.
A recap of the Co Dev and OI summit in La Jolla Ca. 2012
The pace of technological change is growing exponentially. It took us 4600 years to get from the abacus to the iPad and in twenty more, it's likely we will be as far ahead of the iPad as the iPad is ahead of the abacus. We have mapped the genome, a multi-billion bit document inside of your cells. We are building machines at the molecular level. Technology isn’t growing a little each year; it is rocketing upward at a pace we cannot even understand. This article proposes that at this continued pace of technological advancement, we will soon have a world free of hunger, disease, poverty and even war.
An idea about developing a blade-less helicopter by adapting technology from the Dyson blade-less fan. This fan blows a smooth cool breeze by multiplying air blown through slits in its cylindrical opening. If the force which this breeze is blown can be stepped up, it might be possible to generate a blade-less thrust force capable of lifting a helicopter and, for that matter any other aircraft for which the technology can be adapted.
Although there are simple and cost effective ways to jumpstart your efforts – for example, leveraging a company like InnoCentive to host prize-based challenges in order to rapidly find solutions to your most pressing problems – leading organizations that wish to truly embrace open innovation and crowdsourcing do so through careful planning.
An important part of getting ideas across is finding effective ways to communicate.
As I look around the economic landscape in the United States and see a climate where not only home prices but also rents are falling in many geographies, especially as the results of an all-advised rental property construction boom become available, I find myself thinking that we are in the middle of a profound shift in the American reality.
People love to break rules! Now start looking at rule breaking as being opportunities. By going against tradition you will find new innovative inventions. Finding a new way to do things, no matter how absurd or initially crazy, can actually open huge doors for an opportunist. Never discount an idea because it seems far-fetched or abstract.
Marc Halpern, Vice President of Gartner Manufacturing Industry Advisory Service, recently suggested that crowdsourcing could fix manufacturing. I caught up with Halpern to learn how crowdsourcing might work in the manufacturing industry, and what needs to happen to before it can gain widespread acceptance.
A great entrepreneur knows when it is time to step back and let the magic happen. Consider this: your business minus you---is it sustainable? A goal for any great invention should be self maintenance, can it exist without its creator? A great article on business innovation and entrepreneurial independence.
Three prominent professors at Wharton answer the compelling question, “Does Strategic Protection of Knowledge Undermine the Effectiveness of External Knowledge Sourcing” posed by three collaborative authors from collaborating universities. The report identifies standard practices used by innovators and encourages discretion in revealing proprietary information. The authors question the assumed more open innovation used by the public sector.
As an innovator, how much should you develop ideas before they are ready to bring to market? Using the film industry as a model, assistant professor of Harvard Buisness School Hong Lou shares her insights on the idea-sell process.
In this article she discusses the importance of the "idea" pitch. She also offers some guidance for those who are looking to successfully seek aid for developing their creative projects.
Innovation is the core to sustainability. Without innovation development goes stagnant. Innovation is the result of forward thinking and creativity; however, it does not always mean you need to start from the drawing board. Taking an old idea into a new territory is also a huge part of the innovation process. Sarah Krasley, a manufacturing sustainability manager, outlines the six questions that should be asked when revolutionizing an idea. She gives examples of practical applications of the act of re-imagination.
The author describes Cambridge University's development of a new solar cell, which speaks to the power of open innovation. This open innovation initiative is in groundbreaking territory in the field of energy.Cambridge established a skilled team of scientists and experts in the field of nanotechnology. Using information from the Cavendish Laboratory and collaborating with scientists from the University’s Department of Physics, Cambridge announced the development of a revolutionary solar cell that can harvest energy from sun. Solar panels have not been as successful as hoped, but the evolution of this new solar cell will result in attracting more energy and retaining the energy for longer periods.
Combining the attributes and aspects of certain ideas with other ideas is to creativity and innovation as sex is to biological evolution. The new ideas are not only greater than the sums of their parts, but they are different from the sums of their parts. George de Mestral, a Swiss inventor, invented Velcro by combining the ordinary zipper with burdocks. Johann Guttenberg invented the moveable-type printing press by combining the patterns of pressing grapes and the process of engraving on blocks of wood.
This article posted on the National Review Site supports the premise that successful companies create open platforms for other firms. These platforms can serve as a helpful base for distributors, marketers, investors and suppliers. Referencing the success of Apple in expanding its “i” products through other suppliers and marketers this is an interesting and worthwhile read.
The current state of education in America leaves something to be desired. In his article “Why technology and innovation are critical to America’s future”, Ben Bajarin says, "My key takeaway with regards to technology and education is that technology must be used as a tool to help educators. It’s a part of the educational process, but not the process in and of itself."
There is a train of thought that believes creativity is derived from tapping into the human spirit. Theorists refer to it as the “infinite intelligence” or the “pure conscious.” Essentially we are all familiar with it. It is the never ending train of internal thought constantly flowing through our brains.
Being creative is about being in touch with that part of ourselves and trusting in our own intuitions. When we use this narrative part of our brain, we are tuned into idea central which is where great innovation comes from.
In this article there are some great practices recommended that will allow you to get more in touch with the spirit of your own creativity.
Not all inventors are your typical university scholars. An innovator is someone who identifies a problem and works to find a solution. There are independent people who investing their own energy and resources to come up with new inventions.
An example of such a person is Gray Shepard. After coming up with the idea he began to develop a prototype in his garage. Completely outside of any institute of learning, Shepard obtained his own financing to work on this project.
Independent experimentation in innovation is not a new philosophy, but it still seems to go against the grain of traditional approaches to innovation.
In compliance with President Obama’s open innovation declaration, this article describes the federal government’s platform to share data regarding health issues. This explains the advantages of one-source to assist the growing eco-system of open innovation used for the purpose of developing new medical products. All information is free. This new platform is also used to track progress from other developers. The government is encouraging innovators to participate in open forums at the site.
Jim Carroll, an expert on innovation and keynote speaker, shares 10 great innovative ideas that you can implement into your workplace. He encourages companies to re-evaluate their thought process and try to adopt some new simple principles that will help encourage day to day innovative movements.
The insurance industry has a history of being hesitant to change. However, with an onset of technological advancements the industry is changing along with customer expectations. Insurance companies are beginning to look for more ways to improve the customer experience and to take on a competitive edge in the industry. Following an innovation model carved by the major banking players, insurance companies are recognizing an economic shift in the presentation of the services they offer. The need for a more user-friendly insurance has become apparent to the big players. In the next few years a curve ball of change will be hitting the insurance market, with some companies taking the risk of implementing changes immediately while the companies making slower progress may just sit back and watch what happens. One thing is for sure, it will be an interesting case study on the innovation of a vital industry.
In this paper from Harvard business school the concepts behind implementing open innovation, and setting boundaries that accommodate it, are examined.
The authors say that debates must move beyond open vs. closed boundaries to a point where firms simultaneously pursue a range of options for innovation and organizational design including open boundaries and open innovation. They say digitization and the increasing number of people who can participate in knowledge production at very low costs may lead to open innovation crowding out traditional forms of intra-firm innovation. This will have a profound implication for the design, boundaries, and identity of firms.
The process of brainstorming can at times seem like an old fashioned tool that has outlived its usefulness. Nowadays competition is a huge driving force in the workplace and therefore the idea that two heads are greater then one becomes a questionable theory. Many offices no longer nurture teamwork but rather encourage dog-eat-dog throat biting. Putting people in a room and having them “share” their best ideas to be critiqued openly is becoming less and less practical.
The other problem with “brainstorming” is the concept of “forced” creativity. It is actually less likely that the best ideas will come out when people are under pressure.
The authors explain the contrasts between traditional business practices or closed innovation and open innovation and open collaborations. There is a particularly interesting discussion about the contrasting organizational boundaries and organizational designs. The Harvard Business Review article suggests that open innovation is the perfect compliment to closed innovation.
This paper contrasts traditional, internal organization-centered models of innovation with more recent work on open innovation. These fundamentally different and inconsistent innovation logics are associated with contrasting organizational boundaries and organizational designs. We suggest that when critical tasks can be modularized and when problem-solving knowledge is widely distributed and available, open innovation complements traditional innovation logics. We induce these ideas from the literature and with extended examples from Apple, NASA, and LEGO. We suggest that task decomposition and problem-solving knowledge distribution are not deterministic but are strategic choices. If dynamic capabilities are associated with innovation streams, and if innovation types are rooted in contrasting innovation logics, there are important implications for the firm, and its boundaries, design, and identity.
In an article about motivating your workforce, Wallace Immen offers some useful insight on inspiring your business team. Think of your workforce as a business army, a team committed to a common goal. Often entrepreneurs make the mistake of behaving more like owners, and less like employees. However, one missing component in the business design is the thought that employees can think like entrepreneurs. There are a lot of great ideas being ignored because of the hierarchical organization of the corporate structure.
Entrepreneurial thinking should be nurtured on all levels if the company hopes to inspire growth. The best way to inspire innovation is to motivate your workforce. Companies should strive to improve the intellect of their employees by giving them the tools they need to be important key players in the overall big picture. Over-communicating and an open door policy is a vital component to business. These are the sort of things that give people a sense of ownership which, in turn, increase their efforts.
Three Wharton Professors released a report on February 2, 2012, questioning the open innovation techniques used by Procter & Gamble’s Connect + Develop strategy. This innovative application has already led to several successful collaborations using external influences. The open innovation process brings products to market faster and less expensively than other strategies.
Open innovation allows product developers to “identify and gain access to relevant intelligence created by other organizations.” However, the Wharton professors advise companies and managers that open innovation comes with risk. Managers must establish parameters that protect the company’s internal information in these collaborations. Businesses should “access external knowledge and seek ways to protect their own internal knowledge.” The decision on what information will be withheld from open innovation is what composes the company’s culture.
Why Innovation is Important
The emphasis on the importance of innovative thinking in all aspects of business management has been pushed down the throats of society for some time. Why is innovation so important? What is this thing that is so often “talked about” but so vaguely defined?
Jeffrey Phillips one of the world’s leading innovation bloggers, attempts to better illustrate and simplify why there is a vital need for continuous innovation in business and technological development.
General Electric provides prospective collaborators with an overview of the countries participating in innovation strategies around the world. The GE Barometer is a useful tool in measuring possible partners for far reaching product development.
In the program, all countries are evaluated on seven independent innovative categories. The seven relevant categories:
· University-Industry Collaboration in R&D
· Venture Capital Deals
· Gross Expenditures on R&D
· Utility Patents
· STEM Education
· Business Environment
· High-tech Exports
At the end of each country’s innovation scorecard is a conclusion that includes some future projections. All the world’s established economies and the ever-expanding emerging markets are broken down and assigned a rating. There is a lot to learned from GE’s commitment to track innovation practices.
Collecting ideas, and brainstorming is part of exercising innovation- possibly the most important part, because an idea is the grounding that great innovation can be built upon. However, weeding through an abundance of creative ideas to land on a good idea can at times be a struggle. What makes a good idea? How do you determine what ideas your company should invest in.
Harvest business review contributor and instructor Scott Anthony offers up some useful tips in evaluating the value of a new concept- suggesting a three stage plan to help you better assess your ideas worth.
Success comes from re-invention, you do not always need to create something “new.” You just need to think of a “new-way” of doing things.
The world around us changes quickly, one of the greatest assets of creativity is the ability to “adapt”. Innovation is evolution, what is state of the art today can become absolute tomorrow. Its in your best interest to be the one ahead of the game.
Sharing his insights on progression and innovation, expert and keynote speaker, Jim Carroll offers up his motivational pointers on getting ahead and staying there.
Sharing from Scott Anthony’s book, The Little Black Book of Innovation: How it Works, How to Do It. - Matthew May shares the 7 vices faced by innovators, and values to actively avoid when innovating your company. Offering advice on how to avoid the detrimental trends of the innovation process- and keeping your head above the water when facing tough decisions. Identifying the greatest hurdles of creativity that can be easy avoided if you keep your direction on target.
An informative article that delves into the possibilities of B2B open innovation alliances. Acknowledging the challenges, the author explores the possibilities as viewed through several portals, including faster, more efficient technology, increased probability of breakthrough ideas, improved team productivity, and expanded revenue opportunities.
With the current instability of our recovering economy, now is a good time to examine your own personal innovation abilities. Whether your comfortably in your current job, or looking towards the future- perhaps you are interested in stretching your entrepreneurial legs- now is a good time to be expanding a personal portfolio of innovation and creative thought.
Perhaps you are already an original thinker, and are in need of an outlet to practice your unique inclination towards innovation?
As part of the federal government’s open innovation initiative, The National Center for Standards and Information has established guidelines by which U.S. businesses can gain immediate access to technology and manufacturing initiatives and work in the 50 states and the 151 countries that constitute the World Trade Organization. This thorough booklet sites all standards and policies with which businesses seeking projects outside the US must comply. The White House is aggressively pursuing projects in other countries where US manufacturing can increase exports.
This policy statement gives insight into policies that the acclaimed Cedars-Sinai cardiology program is using to combat heart disease. Led by Eduardo Marban, a team of nine cardiologist, radiologists and cardiovascular surgeons and transplant surgeons is migrating from closed innovation practices to open innovation to help fight the growing frequency of heart episodes, which are now occurring every 34 seconds in the US.
With high profile graduates like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckenberg, Harvard University has formally embraced the marketplace of new technology, robotics, consumer health and just about any other innovative concept. In a Monday interview with CNBC, Harvard formally announced a new on-campus launch of a venture capital fund called The Experiment.
Harvard has welcomed home three graduates to provide venture capital for new entrepreneurs that do not have to attend Harvard to qualify for startup funding. The Experiment is housed at 33 Oxford Street, the home of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Partners Hugo Van Vurren and Patrick Chung will work with NEA General Partner Harry Weller in an alliance to provide first stage venture capital. CNBC described the venture capital fund as an exciting statement of support for diverse entrepreneurial endeavors. The Experiment mandate is to encourage entrepreneurs regardless of age, sex, race or university alliance.
The Experiment is designed to encourage entrepreneurs to make use of the university’s unparalleled first stage developmental facilities. The firm strives to prevent great products from never coming to market. Successful applicants can receive up to $250,000 in initial funding.