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Top posts for: Innovation

Shown below are top blog posts related to innovation:


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What is Innovation Management?

The field of innovation management is much richer and collaborative than the term might connote. It’s not so much “control” management as it is “optimization” management. It’s a recognition that companies have significant margin for improvement in their innovation processes and outcomes.

With that in mind, I wanted to put forth eight elements that help describe “innovation management”. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you a feel for what the field is about today.

  1. Innovation benefits from a range of perspectives
  2. Four of the most damaging words an employee can say: “Aww, forget about it”
  3. Create a culture of constant choices
  4. Looking at innovation as a discipline
  5. Focus employees’ innovation priorities
  6. Recognizing innovation as a funnel with valuable leaks
  7. Establishing a common platform for innovation is a revolutionary step forward
  8. Innovation must be more than purely emergent, disorganized and viral

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The Four Quadrants of Innovation: Disruptive vs Incremental

People often describe innovation in a fairly narrow sense: disruptive, technological breakthroughs. These are certainly drivers of advances in markets and societies. But they’re not the only types of innovation. The graphic below outlines a fuller view of innovation opportunities:

technology vs market innovations - disruptive or incremental

In each quadrant, there are different rationales and issues that apply.

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Crowdsourced or Elite Unit Innovation?

The graphic below highlight two very different ways to approach innovation. And that’s a good thing.

Innovation Work Structures

Separate Division: As advised by Clayton Christensen, this approach is best for companies that need to address disruptive innovations. And all companies need to address disruptive innovations.These days, it’s not a matter of if, but when. For fundamental market shifts, too much is invested in the current operations for companies to address changes. Freeing a group of people from these constraints is critical, if the corporate culture is not open to big-bet innovations.

Integrated into Daily Work: In this work structure, everyone is involved in innovation. The company sets expectations, and encourages employees’ to share ideas. Done right, this is in-the-flow stuff. Employees are encountering issues to be addressed daily, and they’re hearing new customer feedback all the time. They are well-positioned to come up with innovative solutions and products, if senior management makes that a priority.

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Tapping Communities to Accelerate Corporate Innovation

I gave a webinar with Oliver Young of Forrester. The webinar focused on deriving ideas from organizations’ communities: employees, customers, partners. The presentation is built around four themes:

  1. Strategic importance of innovation
  2. Email <> community
  3. Corporate innovation is more than a popularity contest
  4. You can’t manage what you can’t measure

Rather than rely on ad hoc, siloed forms of communicating ideas (like email), social networks provide a new way to tap communities. The diagram below shows the process by which innovation is fostered with a social innovation platform:

Community-Driven Idea Management

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Does Self-Censorship Help Innovation? The Enterprise 2.0 Approach

Credit: gerriet

Credit: gerriet

The gist of Mark’s post is that encouraging the contribution of ideas from all quarters is actually counterproductive. He prescribes the concept of an “appropriate” number of ideas.

Wow. Really?

The post makes some good points, but I’m not in agreement with its overall tone. As I read the post, it struck me that there are really only two ways to reduce the number of ideas:

  • Limit who gets to contribute ideas
  • Have everyone self-censor ideas that they “know” will be noise

This perspective is quite different from the tenets that are driving the Enterprise 2.0 movement.

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Your Brainstorming Sessions Suck? Four Drivers of Success and Where the Web Helps

Here are the four drivers for getting the best ideas from brainstorming:

  1. The sheer volume of ideas generated
  2. Average quality of all ideas generated by brainstorming
  3. The amount of variance in the quality of generated ideas
  4. Ability to evaluate what the best ideas are

INSEAD and University of Pennsylvania researchers studied existing literature. A must for any researcher. They then created their own field study, using Wharton students in brainstorming experiments. Now whether that fairly models company brainstorming…let’s see what they found, eh?

Two styles of brainstorming were analyzed:

two-methods-for-brainstorming

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