Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Links to the New Blogs...

Hi All

Apologies for the delays in writing this - but the Corporate Innovation Blog is now no longer being added to - instead, we've opted to go the more personal approach, allowing each of our contributors to exercise their own voices in their own blogs - this has resulted in far more content, more expert insights, and giving you a deeper interaction with each of our experts.

To go to Boris' Blog -

To go to Mark's Blog -

I sincerely hope you enjoy the new offerings!

Best Regards

Boris Pluskowski

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Corporate Innovation - On a Break

When we started the Corporate Innovation Blog a some years back, there were relatively few places to go to get information and insight on innovation. This has now changed, with regular sections in BusinessWeek, a plethora of conferences around the world, and several blogs on innovation, idea management and related topics.

Rather than be just another voice, we are going into hibernation mode with this blog, and working on one specifically for Imaginatik, our company. We'll post a link to the new blog as soon as it is ready for prime-time.

In the mean-time [sic], have a read through the past content - there are some great insights and links to fab resources in here.

All the best,

The Imaginatik Research Team
(Mark, Boris, Matt & Dave)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

How Fast Are You Failing?

Tucked at the end of a Business Week profile of the challenges facing Merck (full disclosure: client) are details of a "kill fee" incentive for scientists to declare certain initiatives as failed. Reaching critical "no-go" decisions sooner means those lessons can be shared with others -- potentially heading off other unproductive efforts -- with resources shifted to more promising projects.

This shows why unit sales, income or new product introductions are flawed metrics in determining innovation success. Mean-time-to-failure or mean-time-to-action can be just as valuable in identifying whether process and projects are effective. Imaginatik Research has seen incentives for participation prove as motivating as recognition for leading an ideation event.

Management consultants say rewarding misses as well as hits is the right idea, and one that the entire industry will need to adopt. "The earlier you determine when something should be killed, the better," says Charlie Beaver, vice-president at consultant Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. Still, he warns, changing a corporate culture from one that thrives on success to one that also accepts failure "is a very large hurdle to overcome."

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mobilizing Minds

The latest in innovating management from McKinsey & Co. is the book Mobilizing Minds, which tries to prepare people and companies for a 21st century model of success.

Forget 'work smarter, not harder' -- this book suggests that profit-per-employee yardsticks to measure effective use of knowledge is a far better barometer than ROI or capital spending.

In his book review that explains the book's thesis, FT columnist Stefan Stern appears to sing a chorus from the Imaginatik songbook: "the great majority of businesses are underperforming precisely because their most important intangible assets -- the ideas and creativity of their knowledge workers -- are unwittingly suppressed by the way in which these businesses are set up to operate."

At issue is a complexity that mirrors the traffic and congestion on overfilled highways. You can do business using a 20th century model (just as you CAN travel from LA to Long Beach on a roadway at rush hour) but never before has it taken more time, wasted more resources and involved more people in the futile attempt.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

From Business to Baseball -- With Apologies to Cubs Fans

Xerox offers a keen example of how corporate innovation and problem-solving can run in cycles, counter to the business cycles that usually define success. When creative thinking is needed most, many companies move toward safe, less-challenging strategies. This story from the July 9 Fortune referenced in a blog across town recaps how Sophie Vanderbroek has revived a culture of innovation, at the place that brought us the computer mouse, Ethernet and countless other technologies. Those inventions became crucial to every business. Now, Xerox is on to "reusable paper" that goes blank at a particular time for another document -- after noticing that 40 percent of paper used in offices ends up in the trash

The quest for uniformity (whether it's predictable earnings, people who think similarly, herd mentality in the industry) is a clear sign it's time to change the status quo. One reason companies don't shake things up is they may be succeeding financially but on the 'slippery slope' to a shortfall of new products/services. Think of pro baseball -- it's July and the All-Star Break -- that too much spent on star players can starve budgets for farm teams and developing internal talent for much less money.

Look to Imaginatik for collaborative solutions, and other ways to tap the collective genius in your organization -- before it becomes a crisis (or your team fails to make the playoffs). For those readers overseas, please substitute "football" for "baseball" and the name of your worst local club for "Cubs."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Pioneering, Breakthrough, Innovation Blog Item ( no really)

Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (Microsoft’s PR firm) has studied what it takes to be perceived as an innovator. Not surprisingly, it requires telling people you’re innovative – using keywords such as “creative” or “pioneering.” This emotional appeal can communicate and convince people of your image more powerfully than mere facts, figures or details.

What? You wanted wisdom from a PR firm?

The agency tracked two sets of innovation keywords that were topical (patents, design, labs, innovation etc ) and sentimental ( revolutionary, cutting-edge, genius etc.) against media coverage of 20 IT companies in the top 15 business publications over the period Jan 2005-June 2006.

Coincidentally . . . the time period leading up to Microsoft’s introduction of the Vista operating system. You can read more, it’s only four pages long and not very breakthrough in its details or presentation, which is surprising since the company claims to have invented Innovation Communications(SM).