Frank Morris, Jean-Philippe Deschamps, Chris Floyd, Geoffrey Marlow

Once formed, mindsets become more and more deeply ingrained through a reinforcing loop. Mindsets condition our perceptions, which dictate what we experience. Our experiences reinforce our original mindsets and close the loop. In organizations, this phenomenon tends to manifest as separate “mindset factions” e.g., in R&D, Marketing, and Manufacturing. Members of various factions see things differently, yet all believe they are unarguably and self-evidently “right” … [ Read more ]

Innovation Quick Wins – A Guide to Some Practical Tools

Effective innovation requires a comprehensive approach, starting with strategy and supported by strong processes, an efficient organization and resources, and an innovative culture. And it can take a long time to achieve. But what can organizations do when they don’t have a lot of time to improve their innovation performance? This article offers a handy review of some of the tools and tactics companies can … [ Read more ]

Crowd Innovation Fosters New Business Opportunities

As a practice, crowd innovation has been around for more than 200 years. But only in the digital age has it become the hot topic it is now. And it cannot be implemented with a “one size fits all” approach, but needs significant planning. The article looks behind the hype and discusses how companies can implement this effective route to new business opportunities.

Finding New Growth: The Case for Innovation by Enlargement

All companies are hunting for the “next big thing” – a major growth opportunity and platform to safeguard future revenues and profits. But simply analyzing megatrends is like a ritual rain dance: much hoopla with a most uncertain outcome. In this article the authors show how companies can embed the hunting capability in their organization and drastically increase the odds of hitting it big.

Innovation: Measuring It to Manage It

Many executives struggle to manage innovation as they would other business processes. Most exasperating is the lack of a practical way of measuring innovation effectiveness and efficiency. In this article the authors provide a success formula to design and deploy meaningful key indicators to drive innovation and business performance now and in the future.

Lewis L. Lehro

Managers are people who like order. They like forecasts to come out as planned. In fact, managers are often judged on how much order they produce. Innovation, on the other hand, is often a disorderly process. Many times, perhaps most times, innovation does not turn out as planned. As a result there is a tension between managers and innovation.

James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras

Core ideology does not come from mimicking the values of other companies – even highly visionary companies; it does not come from following the dictates of outsiders; it does not come from reading management books; and it does not come from a sterile intellectual exercise of “calculating” what values would be most pragmatic, popular, or profitable. When articulating and codifying core ideology, the key step … [ Read more ]

David Packard

[In 1949], I attended a meeting of business leaders. I suggested at the meeting that management people had a responsibility beyond that of making a profit for their stockholders. I said that we … had a responsibility to our employees to recognize their dignity as human beings, and to assure that they should share in the success which their work made possible. I pointed out, … [ Read more ]

Lysle Wickersham

The concept behind any dialogue has to be focused on increasing the consumer’s sense of comfort or value. If you offer incentives on brands people don’t accept or know, you aren’t offering anything. But if your offer underscores a key value of your proposed relationship, an incentive can work wonders.

James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras

If we had to distill our six-year research project into one key concept that conveys the most information about what it takes to build a visionary company that can adapt to a changing world, we would adapt the yin/yang symbol. We selected the yin/yang symbol to represent a key aspect of highly visionary companies: they do not oppress themselves with what we call the “Tyranny … [ Read more ]

Robert Fritz

The fundamental nature of problem solving is to drive something (the problem) out of existence. The fundamental nature of creating is to bring something that is desired into existence.

The Fit Between Business Strategy and R&D Organisation

Corporations constantly struggle to get the right fit in their R&D organization. It should neither be too global nor too focused, and at the same time it must fit into the company’s overall strategy. It’s a combination that can be hard for managers to come to grips with. This article shares the insights from a study undertaken by Arthur D. Little of the link between … [ Read more ]

Improving Satisfaction Throughout the Customer Life-Cycle

It is becoming ever more crucial for companies not only to keep customers happy but to keep the right customers happy. But how can they measure the value of customers through the whole customer life-cycle? In this article the authors explain the methodology developed by Arthur D. Little that helps companies to measure satisfaction levels and translate the results into actions with sustainable results.

Managing Interfaces: A Key to Rapid Product and Service Development

We all know that conventional management structures inhibit day-to-day interaction between departments. The problem shows itself when one department hands a project over to another at the end of a phase: “They can’t make what we’ve designed, and Marketing wants something else anyway!“

People from different departments and disciplines often work to different objectives. In an attempt to overcome the barriers to communication, senior managers may … [ Read more ]

Soft Measurement: A Vital Ingredient in Quality Improvement

During the early days of the quality revolution, when quality improvement efforts were focused primarily on manufacturing, managers measured hard facts – errors, rejects, and production time – as a way to document tangible improvements in the production process.

But quality is no longer a revolutionary idea. As it has spread beyond manufacturing and as the movement has matured, the words “quality” and “measurement” have taken … [ Read more ]

How Business Leaders Can Care About the World – Profitably

In today’s world the question of third-party interests is of increasing importance as companies leave their footprint around the globe in different societies. How and to what degree should executives allow for these externalities? This article explores how companies can address the issue of third-party interests from a business perspective to the benefit of both themselves and society.

Overcoming the Real Barriers to Entry into Adjacent Markets

Moving into adjacent markets is a common step among companies that have grown as much as they can in their home markets and wish to sustain high growth rates. However, many companies underestimate the difficulties involved, and the historical record is littered with cases of otherwise successful companies failing in adjacent markets. We explore the questions that companies considering adjacent entry need to ask and … [ Read more ]

Bringing Business Models Down to Earth

The term “new business model” has an enticing ring to it, as it refers to a new and supposedly better way of making money. Ryanair, McDonald’s, IKEA and Amazon are examples that come to mind immediately. Admirable as these may be, they are also so extraordinary that they provide little guidance to executives on how to establish new ways of making money within their own … [ Read more ]

Product carbon footprinting – How to stay ahead in a carbon-constrained world

The climate debate has moved beyond the question of whether climate change is happening. The issue is no longer whether there should be limitations on carbon emissions, but when and how these limitations should be imposed. Do you know how much carbon dioxide your company emits to make its products or provide its services? In this article the authors spell out a practical way for … [ Read more ]