How Big Companies Can Outrun Disruption

Large companies can be easy targets for disruption, but Gary Pisano says there are steps that can keep them ahead of the innovation curve. Rule 1: Don’t emulate startup cultures.

How to Shape Remarkable Products in the Messy Middle of Building Startups

Scott Belsky’s new book, The Messy Middle, covers an expansive range of topics, from constructing teams (“If you avoid folks who are polarizing, you avoid bold outcomes”) to culture and tools (“Be frugal with everything except your bed, your chair, your space, and your team”) to anchoring to your customers (“empathy and humility before passion”). We’re pleased to present Belsky’s introduction to his “Optimizing Product” … [ Read more ]

Taking the measure of product development

Is the way you measure product-development performance harming your company’s health? New research suggests that it might be.

Accelerating Product Development: The Tools You Need Now

To speed innovation and fend off disruption, R&D organizations at incumbent companies can borrow the tools and techniques that digital natives use to get ahead.

Taking the Measure of Innovation

Don’t overlook the insight that two simple metrics can yield about the effectiveness of your R&D spending.

Data From 3.5 Million Employees Shows How Innovation Really Works

Innovation, like marketing and sales, is a pipeline. In one end go raw concepts and notions. Out the other end come actionable ideas that can move the business forward. With the right technology, could you manage this pipeline the way you manage a sales pipeline?

Our research shows that you can.

One of us, Dylan, has analyzed five years of data from 154 public companies covering over … [ Read more ]

What Your Innovation Process Should Look Like

Companies and government agencies often make the mistake of viewing innovation as a set of unconstrained activities with no discipline. In reality, for innovation to contribute to a company or government agency, it needs to be designed as a process from start to deployment.

When organizations lack a formal innovation pipeline process, project approvals tend to be based on who has the best demo or slides, … [ Read more ]

Diagnosing Dislocation

New products and services can enter your market from other directions, each distinct in terms of how, where, and when it affects your business. These are market dislocations — radical breakaways from the existing market that occur when a company introduces a business model or a product that sits apart from those of competitors.

Clearly, not all upstart threats are alike — and misdiagnosing your new … [ Read more ]

The 4 Types of Innovation and the Problems They Solve

We need to start treating innovation like other business disciplines — as a set of tools that are designed to accomplish specific objectives. Just as we wouldn’t rely on a single marketing tactic or a single source of financing for the entire life of an organization, we need to build up a portfolio of innovation strategies designed for specific tasks.

It was with this in mind … [ Read more ]

Why Do So Many Corporate VCs Die Young?

Specific staffing choices and high investment levels can prolong the lifespan of corporate venture capital units.

Seven Attributes of the Most Innovative Cultures

Innovation is culturally agnostic in one sense and highly culture-sensitive in another. While in theory, nothing prevents every country in the world from having its own Silicon Valley (although it would look different from place to place), there are seven cultural “universals” shared by every truly innovative society.

In Search of Ingenuity

The quiet heroes of innovation do the little things that bring big ideas to life.

Editor’s Note: this article also tells the interesting story of the development of penicillin.

Open Innovation: Collaborating Successfully with Small High-Tech Firms

In the age of big bang disruption, inward-looking growth strategies can be risky. It comes as no surprise then, that there are a large number of companies turning to partnership with small high-tech firms to ensure faster and more effective innovation.

By directly engaging with outsiders – consumers, suppliers, universities and even competitors – large companies have been able to develop highly efficient innovation processes and … [ Read more ]

Hacking Innovation

Hacking does not ascribe a specific intent, and nothing about the skillset itself is right or wrong. In fact, hacking is a tool, an approach. In the same way a knife can be used for evil (to murder) or to heal (a scalpel used to perform a life-saving surgery), hacking can be used to destroy or rebuild. While hacking can clearly be used for wrongdoing, … [ Read more ]

Four Tips to Persuade Others Your Idea Is a Winner

“People just aren’t naturally oriented towards innovation or change,” says Loran Nordgren. “If you were dealing with totally rational agents, you could sell your innovation on the grounds of its functionality—in other words, why it’s a good idea. But you are almost never dealing with totally rational agents.”

Thankfully, if you are convinced that a certain new product, fresh strategy, or overseas expansion is exactly what … [ Read more ]

An Incumbent’s Guide to Digital Disruption

No matter how strong their ingoing balance sheets and market share—and sometimes because of those very factors—incumbents can’t seem to hold back the digital disruption tide. The champions of disruption are far more often the attackers than the established incumbent. The good news for incumbents is that many industries are still in the early days of digital disruption. Print media, travel, and lodging provide valuable … [ Read more ]

The Smart Way to Open Your Innovation Process

Here’s how to find the ideal external contributors and solutions for your R&D pipeline.

The 30 Things Customers Really Value

Breakthroughs may be worth pursuing, but most companies benefit more from incremental innovation efforts that add new forms of consumer value to their present products and services. The trick is to determine what elements to add in order to boost the perceived value of your offering. You don’t want to expend resources adding features that consumers don’t care about. While what constitutes “value” can be … [ Read more ]

Building Products

Julie Zhuo, Product design VP of Facebook, lists 32 lessons learned about what it takes to build great products.