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Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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The world's most creative cities > Does it translate to Innovation?

The world's most creative cities > Does it translate to Innovation? | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Tel Aviv, London, Sydney, Stockholm and Shanghai are booming with talent.


Because creativity is cultural.  [And so} the Martin Prosperity Institute at U of T’s Rotman School of Management has been studying the complex web of factors that encourage and sustain innovation in regions around the world.


The institute’s Global Creativity Index, first published in 2004,  measures a nation’s innovation potential, focusing on what it calls the Three Ts: technology, talent and tolerance.


"The GCI is really trying to help regions understand where they are," explains Kevin Stolarick, research director of the Martin Prosperity Institute. "Even when times are good, you have to worry about what comes next."


These  five cities —and some of their start-ups—are on the docket for having very bright futures.


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Educate & Demand, to Create a Sea of Manufacturing Jobs | Innovation Excellence

Educate & Demand, to Create a Sea of Manufacturing Jobs | Innovation Excellence | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

The author believes his suggested "approach has a balanced time horizon – fill manufacturing jobs now and do the long term work to create millions of manufacturing jobs in the future."


...Our time horizon is limited to the presidential election cycle – four years, but the manufacturing rebirth will take decades....who has a long time horizon and money?


The DoD has both.  ...Before you call me a war hawk, this is simply a marriage of convenience. ...there is no better option.


The DoD should pull together their biggest contractors (industry) and decree that the stuff they buy will have radically reduced cost signatures and teach them and their sub-tier folks how to get it done.


No cost reduction, no contract.


The DoD should educate...to reduce material cost, assembly time, supply chain complexity, and time to market and demand the suppliers. Then, demand they demonstrate the learning by designing the next generation stuff.


...the new technologies will spill into non-DoD world (broad industry application) and create new generation products and a sea of manufacturing jobs.

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Times Higher Education - Innovation strategy 'ignores' funding and visa concerns

University strategies & policy:  Too little innovation?


Excerpt:  Wendy Piatt, director-general of the Russell Group of large research-intensive universities, welcomed many of the measures in the newly announced innovation strategy, but was disappointed it did not address concerns about postgraduate funding, or adopt the Russell Group's proposal for a new bank loan scheme for postgraduates.


She also called for more capital funding to be made available to universities, and for research to be exempted from the Freedom of Information Act.


David Price, vice-provost for research at University College London, praised the government for "the stability of its commitment to the research base" in difficult times.


He also said it was a pity the strategy's "fine words on the importance of mobile highly skilled people" had not translated into concessions regarding universities' continuing concerns about the government's new visa regulations.

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Tinkering and Technological Imagination, Mitch Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab

Tinkering and Technological Imagination, Mitch Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Which companies create space for the adult level of tinkering?


"If we want more young people to choose a profession in one of the group of crucial fields known as STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — we ought to start cultivating these interests and skills early.  But the way to do so may not be the kind of highly structured and directed instruction that we usually associate with these subjects." ~ Time: In Praise of Tinkering.

 

A helpful video on tinkering is here, by Mitch Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab.   Mitch is interviewed by Howard Rheingold, a cyberculture pioneer, social media innovator, and author of "Smart Mobs." In this video, he discusses the role of "making, tinkering, remixing" in next-generation learning and education.

 

Mitch develops new technologies and activities to engage people (especially children) in creative learning experiences. He is on the conference committee for the 2012 Digital Media & Learning Conference in San Francisco, Calif., Mar. 1-3.

 

 


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Transforming Service: Adobe’s Customer Immersion program, a work in progress

Transforming Service:  Adobe’s Customer Immersion program, a work in progress | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Forrester announced winners of the 2011 Voice of the Customer awards  at their annual Customer Experience Forum in June 2011, in New York.  Adobe, Fidelity Investments and JetBlue, were the 2011 award winners.


Adobe made significant changes in how they engage with their customers over the last 18 months.  Yet, in reading the commentary on the blog cited here, it seems they have a ways to go, as yet.  The blog post features these points:

  • Like Jet Blue, Adobe recognized they weren’t always easy to do business with, and were not consistently delivering the level the service customers expected.
  • Adobe’s Customer Immersion Program provides Adobe’s senior leaders with the opportunity to experience first-hand what our customers experience when they engage with Adobe.
  • Adobe’s Customer Listening Post facility brings customer experiences to life – - live video and data feeds showing what’s happing in real-time.
  • Front-line service and support agents are now equipped with better tools and resources to quickly resolve customer issues.

That said, there are two comments on this post that show some of the challenges ahead for customer immersion and managing the complexities of surprizing and delighting the customer these days.


Photo credit:  Immersion Iwona_kellie Creative Commons

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Gary Hamel & Hacking in the MIX: the Management Innovation eXchange

Gary Hamel & Hacking in the MIX:  the Management Innovation eXchange | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

The recession, debt crisis and general social chaos that we are living with at the moment is generating BIG questions.


One of the best management mavericks is Gary Hamel who is also the figurehead behind the Management Innovation eXchange or MIX.


MIX is a management social network that allows business people to share ideas, identify barriers and propose (management) hacks.


It’s aim is simple, if we collectively add ideas – crowdsourcing – we will understand the systemic problems better and find solutions quicker.

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Technology in Education Gratitudes, Game Changers | Online Universities

Technology in Education Gratitudes, Game Changers | Online Universities | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Below are excepts on "four tech advancements that have changed the world of education, and why educators everywhere should be thankful for them."


The Internet
Aside from the computer itself, the Web is the most important technological advancement of the 20th Century, and its centrality to our lives is only increasing.  


For example:  online education – A democratizing force ?  A way to keep up with your field? Advance your education on your own terms? Connect advanced students into accelerated classes?


Social Media
If the Internet is a giant global brain, then social networks are the actual signals being sent


The others are Portable Devices and Desktop Publishing.  


Read on for the full take on much you can do for very little cash and tools that "turn any novice into a pro." 

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Talent is irrelevant ? (and so 1971 ) What makes for a talented group and innovative result?

Talent is irrelevant ? (and so 1971 ) What makes for a talented group and innovative result? | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

At least, the author admits, talent is less relevant TODAY in this blog post:


  • Less work is being done by individuals and more work is being done by groups. 
  • Nobel prizes are increasingly awarded to multiple individuals, research papers increasingly cite numerous individuals
  • Inside our organizations more projects and objectives are anchored to groups of people. 
==

Individual ability / competence / talent are one variable among many in the equation. Putting a group of talented individuals at a table together does not make a talented group.


Relational skills, communication skills, empathy, flexibility…all of these are part of the equation as well.  And so is diversity.


Very likely our three most wasted assets inside the organization are knowledge, perspectives and heuristics…the stuff inside a persons brain, the mash up of their identity and experience.


When you bring a group together to do serious work, the bigger your aggregate collection of knowledge, perspectives and heuristics is, the more likely you are to have access to the tools necessary to generate an optimal result and the less likely you are to be limited and compromised by shared blind spots.

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Is the Metric the Message? How do we measure innovation? - O'Reilly Radar

Is the Metric the Message?  How do we measure innovation? - O'Reilly Radar | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

As the curator of this Innovation & Institutions stream, the comments on this innovation metrics post are particularly telling - especially one of the last posted comments by Perla Ni:

"What about nonprofit innovation? There's even fewer good barometers for that. There's few patents and very rarely any formal R&D expenditures (maybe there should be!).

In my observation, there's very little devoted to either spurring innovation or measuring it in the nonprofit sector. This is a shame because the nonprofit sector deals with some of the biggest and most difficult challenges of our time. Nonprofits deal with everything ranging from teaching kids how to read, to providing hospice care for the dying, to helping human rights workers safely document their findings."

Tim O'Reilly's original post begins with IP, as relevant to his own impact in the tech, innovation world:
Menions: 1) IEEE's report on Patent Power, which lists the top companies ranked by number of patents, and 2) shared, useful commentary.

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Empathic Innovation | Looking Beyond What Is to What's Next

Empathic Innovation | Looking Beyond What Is to What's Next | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Many innovations come from a deeper level of customer and market understanding. They go beyond what current customers say they need. They solve problems that customers either don't realize they have or didn’t know could be solved.

Many new (or extended) products and services come from empathic innovation. These are innovations that flow from a deep empathy and understanding of the intended customers’ problems and aspirations.

Innovation Pathways include:

* Make sure the “voice of the market” pervades every part of your organization. Bring customers into your company offices and plants for visits, joint problem solving and planning sessions, celebrations, focus groups, conferences, barbecues, presentations, and the like. 

* Don’t allow any managers or staff (such as accountants, marketers, or human resource staff) to participate in decisions unless they’re spending a minimum of 25% of their time with current or prospective customers and partners in the market.

* Make your senior managers responsible for some business development and ongoing customer service. They should be spending 25 – 35 percent or more of their time with customers (the same amount of time should also be spent with external and internal partners).

* Identify your leading-edge external customers and partners and bring them into your product and service development processes. 

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Lego's $50 Million Open Innovation Failure

Lego's $50 Million Open Innovation Failure | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it
Yes, Lego took a loss around that size when they decided to shut down their online game, Lego Universe, but they also learned some valuable lessons.

Lego admits they did things wrong with Lego Universe. A big mistake was that they required people to buy a DVD in a store before they could start playing the online game. The reason for this was that extensive research had shown Lego that kids really want a physical product that they can touch and feel.

Ok, the use of market research sounds fair enough, but Lego’s approach still highlights an important lesson on innovation. Extensive research can be dangerous.
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The Persistence of the Innovator's Dilemma - Scott Anthony - Harvard Business Review

The Persistence of the Innovator's Dilemma - Scott Anthony - Harvard Business Review | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

One more excerpt from Scott Anthony today:  

 

Excerpt:

The innovator's dilemma persists. Just ask executives at Blockbuster Video, Sony, Nokia, Microsoft, Hertz, Kodak, Delta, and nearly all newspaper companies.

 

Capital markets is one explanation. As this argument holds, the short-term pressure of the capital markets, coupled with management incentives tied tightly to stock prices, make it hard for companies to investment in new growth businesses.

 

Even if companies know what they need to do, their investors won't let them.

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Big Company Innovation Trailblazing: P & G's Latest Innovations & Innovation Approaches

Big Company Innovation Trailblazing:  P & G's Latest Innovations & Innovation Approaches | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

This is Proctor & Gamble's site posting their monthly innovations spaces.  In a post-Jobs-angst world where Apple and Google are maturing admist buzz that they may be losing their innovation edge, P & G stands as an example of large company innovation, connected with the leadership of A.G. Lafley.

 

From the site: "We are growing P&G by fulfilling our Purpose with innovative products that improve people’s lives in small but meaningful ways."

 

P & G's website & global showcase:

 

* The Clay Street Project - November - taps into P&G's greatest asset – its people.

 

* The Loft Approach - September - an immersive, multi-sensorial experience based on classic storytelling that helps P&G teams solve unique problems, look at a new future and create new products.

 

* Business Sphere - Business Sufficiency analytic models enable the Company to be rapidly responsive to changes in the marketplace and uncover new opportunities

 

* Product of the Year - June - Consumers around the globe chose 22 P&G products to be honored with Product of the Year Awards for 2011. These awards represent the world's largest consumer-voted distinction for product innovation.

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Entrepreneur meets Hyper-Local Business: On Zaarly, You Can (Usually) Get What You Want

Entrepreneur meets Hyper-Local Business: On Zaarly, You Can (Usually) Get What You Want | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

It was debateable if this plays to institutional innovation, until I re-read the opening line, "This San Francisco startup is a matchmaker for renters and owners...Real estate biz take note.  Craig's list continues today fueled by real estate deals.


"The idea is contagious: What you want, when you want it. As soon as people hear it, they get it," says co-founder and CEO Bo Fishback, who left his post as vice president of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation to run the company.


His example is from the 2012 list of entrepreneurs to watch.   ==> Watching!

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Medicine Needs Frugal Innovation, Replacing the Stethoscope, Slow Adoption - Technology Review

Medicine Needs Frugal Innovation, Replacing the Stethoscope, Slow Adoption - Technology Review | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

A low-cost pocket ultrasound device can see into the human heart. So why do so few doctors use it?


The stethoscope, invented by René Laënnec in 1816, didn't see routine use by the medical community for another 20 years. The lag in acceptance reflected the conservative nature of physicians, who objected to having to learn heart sounds and let an instrument get between their healing hands and the patient.


Nearly 200 years later, economic forces are greatly slowing the adoption of a powerful replacement for the stethoscope in cardiac medicine. Instead of listening to the heart of a patient, doctors can now watch it on a device no bigger than a cell phone—a high-resolution miniature ultrasound probe.


The author has not used a stethoscope to examine a patient's heart for the past two years in his clinic.

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Social Entrepreneurs, World Examples of Social Innovation & Change | World Economic Forum

Social Entrepreneurs, World Examples of Social Innovation & Change | World Economic Forum | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

As different as their fields of engagement may be, they all share their commitment for social change and social innovation.



  • Victoria is from Tanzania. She founded SELFINA, realizing a micro-leasing arrangements to increase incomes of self-employed women.
.
  • Norbert from Germany, runs IQ consult: an agency for social innovation that offers training, coaching, micro-financing and mentoring for disadvantaged groups to increase employment.
.
  • 1001 fontaines, started by Chay, offers a simple, durable, and low-cost solution to supply drinking water in small communities in developing countries.

.

Victoria Kisyombe, Norbert Kunz and Lo Chay (from left to right) are three persons from three continents with three different stories.


They, along with around 30 other participants from 20 countries, gathered at the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program in Singapore from the 28th of November till the 2nd of December 2012.

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Finding Innovation Help Next Door, Even in your Past, Forgotten Experience | Innovation Excellence |

Finding Innovation Help Next Door, Even in your Past, Forgotten Experience | Innovation Excellence | | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Great examples of ways to cultivate innovation - other companies in other industries, other verticals:  “Who else has solved a similar problem?”


A medical device company that made angioplasty equipment wanted to create a computer simulation that would predict how the “balloon” would expand.


Where did they turn for an accurate computer model?


In the past, they worked with car manufacturers and built statistical models that simulated the expansion and contraction of airbags. This proved to be a wildly accurate way of predicting how a balloon catheter would operate.


When you are working on your next business challenge, ask yourself:

“Who else has solved a similar problem?”


In doing so, you might significantly accelerate your innovation effort.


Blog author Stephen Shapiro is the author of five books including “Best Practices Are Stupid” and “Personality Poker” (both published by Penguin). 

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Leading Continuous Innovation INFOGRAPHIC: Culture, Fringe Experiments, Customer Immersion

Leading Continuous Innovation INFOGRAPHIC: Culture, Fringe Experiments, Customer Immersion | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

How can change leaders support high performance, innovative teams? The infographic below cites 10 innovation strategies.  This is close.  There will be more of these process charts and innovation graphics.  


This one features:


Step 2:  Working at the organization's edges, the fringe & close to customers I've heard Dr. Jeff DeGraff talk about fringe teams this year at the Michigan Ross School of Business.


Step 3:  Culture that  supports experimentation, failure.  This is ubiquitous in mention, scarce in after-the-fact reporting.  Better known examples, 3M (Post-Its) and Google (Google Lab: Buzz, Wave, etc.)


Step 6: Customer immersion, pain points


Step 10:  Metrics, measures

 

Sources include:  Christensen & Raynor, The Innovator's Solution: Creating & Sustaining Successful Growth, 2003  


Note the continuous improvement language, adjusted slightly, a 'la W. Edwards Deming:  Ready, Aim, Fire, Adjust.  Like Plan, Do, Check, Act.


Via Jonha Revesencio, Deb Nystrom, REVELN
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Creative Disrupters: Working Outside The Business Norm | Fast Company

Creative Disrupters: Working Outside The Business Norm | Fast Company | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Gotta love big company disruptors using positive weapons of creativity, not the Borg, Klingons types, heh.


This is a great series of posts on  risk takers and creativity in institutions.  For example:


When Maryam Banikarim was a marketing SVP at NBC Universal, she helped organize a day to celebrate the merger with Comcast.


"[My bosses] were like, 'We need a gift for employees." But I didn't want to give a meaningless tchotchke.


So I came up with a purpose line--that NBC Universal is in the idea business--and a new gift to match it."


All 30,000 employees got Moleskine notebooks that had sketches of great ideas:

  • the back of a napkin note that became SNL, 
  • the cable transponder that became Comcast's business. 

The letter attached said, 'All great ideas were created by somebody,' and encouraged employees to submit their own.


"People told me the project wouldn't get approved, that it was way too esoteric. But it was a huge hit."


~ MARYAM BANIKARIM > SVP AND CMO, GANNETT

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Leading Change: Three Major Misconceptions That Hinder Innovation

Leading Change: Three Major Misconceptions That Hinder Innovation | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Innovation has become vital for value creation. More than ever will it distinguish successful institutions from the less successful..."


Three fundamental misconceptions stick out.


1. Innovation is synonym for change:

Too often innovation and change initiatives are mixed up. Many change initiatives are actually improvement oriented and based on knowledge and examples that are already available in the marketplace (best practices, benchmarks, pilots), and are therefore not innovative.


Real innovation requires a company to go first, to go where no one has been before; to be a leader rather than a follower.


2. Innovation is a business goal as any other:

Research shows that successful innovation depends on the level of strategic alignment in the organization: alignment between the corporate strategy, the innovation strategy and the corporate culture (see a recent study in S+B on this). Innovation is therefore more fundamental.


It requires a specific innovation strategy and culture, based on:

  • a profound understanding of the external developments, 
  • how we adjust our strategy to it, 
  • in what part of the business (products, services, processes, systems) we need to innovate, 
  • how we use our qualities and competencies to create innovation, 
  • what competencies we are missing and need to develop, 
  • how we deal with trial & error and failure, 
  • how we will change the way we work in teams, 
  • how we will refocus resources.
=

3. An innovation culture is something you can copy from successful innovative companies:   Wrong, doing what others do is not innovating! You can learn lessons from others, but you will have to translate those to your own reality.

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, December 19, 2011 8:54 AM
Also from Deb: This is one of the better blog posts I've seen out there, especially highlighting specific differences between innovation strategy and change management. The list alone mirrors recent innovation consulting strategy in consulting organizations.
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The Innovation Cities™ Report by 2thinknow : USA Australia Canada Europe Asia

The Innovation Cities™ Report by 2thinknow : USA Australia Canada Europe Asia | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it
The Innovation Cities™ Framework [ICF] by 2thinknow is a broad-based framework for measurement, comparison, planning and change in and between cities. City performance in 3 factors, 31 city industry and community segments, and 162 city indicators.
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Universities should be innovative, academic says

Universities should be innovative, academic says | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it
‘Meeting the needs of society is crucial'...

"Universities have to work and stitch around the community's needs. Otherwise we will continue to be seen as ivory towers."

Research incubators
Universities also have to move from the realm of research to commercial business opportunities, said Gabriel, and this means taking ideas beyond the laboratory.

Ways to do this include technology transfer offices and seeking funding to build research incubators but these activities need to have the end user in mind.

Gabriel said Abu Dhabi and the UAE, which has seen new institutions and companies established, are in a position to do things and think about who benefits from teaching and research.

According to Gabriel, universities can achieve economic success by having:

* Specialisation and differentiation — recognising true institutional excellence
Focused graduate programme expansions that feed into priority areas

* New approach to faculty contract length and compensation to attract and retain top-notch researchers and scientists

* Incorporate intellectual property approaches that maximise economic benefit and encourage entrepreneurs.
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PhoneArena Awards 2011: Best Innovation

PhoneArena Awards 2011: Best Innovation | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it
It's time for our second post in the PhoneArena Awards 2011 series, where we acknowledge the best (or worse) products, technologies and achievements that have occurred during the year.



And the award goes to: Google Wallet

While limited right now, Google Wallet is still a very important milestone for the proliferation of the NFC technology. It's the first attempt at creating a standardized payment system based on near-field communications. What could be easier than just taking our phone out and placing it on top of a terminal for a second to make а purchase? 
The service is still only available on the Nexus S 4G on Sprint, and works with Citi Mastercard, but there are plans to expand it with support for other cards like Visa and American Express.  It's most complete approach to NFC to date, so we're having our fingers crossed that we'll see further development of the service soon!
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Simple solution innovations that saved infant lives in Mumbai ~ including Bubble Wrap | Kinsey

Simple solution innovations that saved infant lives in Mumbai ~ including Bubble Wrap | Kinsey | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

From Kinsey:  There's no doubt that groundbreaking inventions and discoveries have moved the world forward, but sometimes, a small innovation can be just as powerful.

Simple, low-cost innovations can yield dramatic gains. Instead of expensive technology, these solutions require only a deep understanding of the problem, a strong desire to create change, and a lot of common sense.


Using this kind of thinking, Armida Fernandez cut infant mortality almost in half at a Mumbai hospital that serves the city’s poorest residents.


Click on the title to read the full story.

 

Photo credit:  mollypop via Flickr CC

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Useful perspective that the technology tools may be the problem, and solving it with bubble wrap.

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Classic & Fresh: A.G. Lafley's Innovation Leadership at P & G and Extreme Liberal Arts base

This is from 2008, but it is still fresh today:  Seven takeaways excerpted from Scott's interview with blog (Harvard)  on Innovation via turn-around executive, P&G CEO A.G. Lafley:

 

1. In an age of disruption, growth is getting increasingly difficult.


2.  Companies need to take the long view. Lafley said he finds it hard to watch CNBC for more than 7 minutes because the focus is so short-term.


3.  The customer needs to be the center of the innovation equation. When Lafley took over as CEO in 2000, he said he saw too many managers on their cellphones, or buried in spreadsheets, in essence "showing customers their behind."


4.  Experimentation is key. Lafley talked about the value of giving customers even crude prototypes to test an idea. He also described how different parts of his organization approach innovation differently, and that's a good thing.


5.  Complex organizations need to simplify to successfully innovate. Lafley said he seeks Sesame Street simplicity.


6.  The CEO has to be the "Chief External Officer" to manage external pressure and the "Chief Innovation Officer" to push the innovation agenda forward.

 

7.  Scott also added important role of companies building an innovation portfolio. Lafley said he expects his business units to have somewhere between 10 to 30 percent of their innovation portfolio focused on disruptive innovation.

 

Lafley's education?  He said his "extreme" liberal arts education (he spent some time in Paris, and at one point was pursuing a Ph.D. in medieval and renaissance European history) has left him open minded and interested in collaboration.  (It does my liberal arts BA degree proud!)

 

Ref:  Harvard blogger, Scott Anthony on May 21, 2008

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