David S. McIntosh

Psychologist Richard Farson observed that, although people profess to learn from their mistakes, their behavior is shaped by their successes. This is why change is hard for people. Confronted with failure, or with a new world where the old tricks aren’t working any more, most people keep doing what they have been doing, only harder.

Richard P. Gabriel

People involved in “risky work”, as opposed to “repetitive work,” face three challenges: to create, to communicate, and to collaborate.

Michael Dertouzos

The late Michael Dertouzos observed in his last book, The Unfinished Revolution, that all too often, humans are at the service of computers, rather than the much more desirable opposite. To take full advantage of new technologies, to really enable the widest range of possibilities opened up by innovation, we must make sure that technologies aren’t designed in isolation from their eventual users; technology ought … [ Read more ]

Alan Kay

First of all, you need to fund the people, not the projects. You need both a dream and a vision without breaking the vision down into goals or missions. This, of course, is antithetical to business. Business rationale thinks problem solving is a good rubric and a metaphor for what they’re trying to do. Articulating goals actually stifles innovation.

Bell Labs

Either Do Something Very Beautiful or Very Useful
– former mission on the walls of Bell Labs (pre-divestiture)

Decisions That Matter

Research at the Center for Business Innovation (CBI) demonstrates a dramatic shift in value creation over the past decade. Formerly, investors’ understanding of a company’s value resulted from analysis of audited financials such as a balance sheet and income statement. Today, however, a more accurate and comprehensive view of a company’s value needs to account for intangibles such as brand value, alliances, and customer relations. … [ Read more ]

Demystifying Innovation (.pdf)

“What is an innovation? Very often, managers view any product, service, technology, or process that is new or different as an innovation. But this definition is limited. In order for something to qualify as a true innovation, it must meet three basic criteria in tandem: It must engage a creative process, it must be distinctive, and it must yield a measurable impact.”

Editor’s Note: a … [ Read more ]

Perspectives on Business Innovation Special Edition: Adaptive Supply Chain

The vision of the adaptive enterprise is one that is familiar to all of us: an organization that thrives in a volatile business environment, responds and adapts to business changes, co-evolves with the market, and accelerates innovation through collaboration.

Needless to say, an adaptive supply chain must be supported by adaptive IT architectures and adaptive management models that extend an organization’s capability to rapidly adapt … [ Read more ]

Manfred Kets de Vries

…everyone has a core drama that leads to their personality style. What makes each of us the person we are is the dominance of some inner wish. The wish to be loved, or to be understood, or noticed. The wish to be free from conflict, or to help, or to be able to hurt others. The wish to achieve or the wish to fail. When … [ Read more ]

Alan Kay

One of the founders of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Kay invented the concept of the personal computer (the Alto)

T.S. Eliot

Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.

Eric Mankin

The fundamental distinction between a platform or line extension product and a breakthrough product is that the latter establishes a need by its mere existence, or establishes an entirely new product category.

Digital Paper Trail Becomes Your Identity

Whether you like it or not, your identity is no longer something fixed, and no longer a simplistic formula consisting of your name, date of birth, and tax ID number. Today, your identity changes as your behavior does. It arises from not only simple, static data, but also from information about where you go online, what you buy, whom you call, where you call from, … [ Read more ]

Developing Breakthrough Innovations with a Crash Helmet

“The key to successful breakthrough innovation lies in learning constantly from the bumpy ride.

Traditional product development races steadily along a linear track toward a pre-defined formal launch date at the finish line. At that moment – and not until that moment – will ultimate success or failure be revealed.

Effective breakthrough product development is different. The breakthrough race is around a circular track – … [ Read more ]

The Network Knows Where Everything Is

Embedded sensors will enable greater device-to-device communication, fueling economic growth in location-based services and transforming business processes across all sectors.

Editor’s Note: This is one of the elements of the CBI’s Future Scan. Though only an overview, some useful insights and concerns are raised.

Beyond Here, Sea Monsters Lie: Identifying Edges, Boundaries, and Barriers (.pdf)

This ‘Just Thinking’ paper (a CBI term) is a discussion-starter for an element of the topic Strategic Exploration. It offers up four general innovation boundaries: Physical, Knowledge, Context, and Time.

Sparking Growth Systematically

How to turn innovation, often viewed as a haphazard occurrence, into a discipline