Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Businesses Online- August 19, 2004 - Jeff Bezos: "Blind-Alley" Explorer In the Business Week interview with Jeff Bezos he talks about Amazon.com's need to stay on top of their market. Although it's a little light on innovation insights, he does talk about the importance of being able to try out new concepts quickly and easily as possible - by organizing teams into "two pizza teams" (the number of people that can be fed on two pizzas - is teams of about 6) - Amazon keeps product development teams agile and flexible, driven, and able to handle many projects. The malleability of the internet is also a huge boon, as they're able to do things such as show one customer one thing, and show another customer an alternative to market test concepts quickly and easily.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Hindu Business Line - Defining innovation - August 19th Consultant R.Sidhar puts together this interesting collection of quotes along with the obervation that one of the things that differentiates innovative orgnaisations from the rest is that they have a shared vision of what constitutes "innovation". Our favourites? :

- "Innovation is going outside the box (framework) to create solutions and implementing them. It's creating opportunities and the environment for change and learning." - Smithsonian Institution (Office of Finance and Administration)

- "Innovation is the transformation of thoughts to new ideas, the application of these ideas to fulfil goals and therefore improve the current business or create new business." - R.J. Reynolds Research & Development

- "Implementing creative ideas to produce new and improved processes and products is innovation. This includes better ways of doing our jobs and new tools to make us more productive." - The Clorox Company, Research & Development

Sidhar goes on to explain that many people create confusion by interchangeably using words such as idea, creativity, and innovation. His differentiation of these three words is actually quite good :

"An idea is a prescription for action. By definition, an idea must change people, places and situations. Creativity is about new ways of looking at issues. Therefore, a creative idea is a new way to handle people, places and situations. Innovation is implementing the creative idea and benefiting from it. Implementation is the key to innovation. "

His article goes on to discuss the various barriers to innovation - and there are a lot of exposed deep insights in the quotes he's collected - this is a useful read for anyone in the innovation area!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

News 14 Carolina - HEADLINES - Tracing origins of innovation Although I don't know how long this link is going to remain active, it's amusing to see the pictures of scientists poking this 18 year old kid full of electrodes to see what happens in his brain when he has "an insight" - you have to wonder what the practical applications of such research will be. - "Doctor, I seem to be having trouble coming up with ideas for my date with Peggy next week", "No worries son...ZAAAAAP!...how about now?" - Keep your eyes open for new office chairs with built in "Thou Shalt Innovate" headrests....

Monday, August 16, 2004

HBS Working Knowledge - A Diagnostic for Disruptive Innovation - Scott Anthony, Mark Johnson and Matt Eyring pen this interesting piece that claims that, by conducting a series of diagnostics on the opportunities in your pipeline, you can quickly identify the highest-potential opportunities.

There are 3 diagnostics they propose:

1) Customer Diagnostic - You look for signs that the existing market is "disruptable" - ie, those in which consumers are either overserved or are "unsatisfied non-consumers". Overserved consumers buy a product but don't use or don't need all the features and functionality that is offered to them. Non-consumers lack the ability, wealth, or access to use the product as they would desire.

2) Portfolio Diagnostic - You now look at your current portfolio of current and upcoming innovations to see if any of those can serve the needs of a disruptable group.

3) Competitor Diagnostic - Assess competitors to ensure that the selected opportunity takes advantage of their weaknesses and blindspots to check if the competitor will be motivated to respond to the innovation, and if so, how effective they might be at it.

Certainly an interesting article with some good insights - and if you're a fan of Innosight's and Clayton Christensen's work - then a brief look at this article will serve you well.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

IM-BOOT - Innovation Circle Imaginatik CEO Mark Turrell is interviewed by IM-BOOT's Steffen Konrath, and asked about his favourite ideas and how he gets his "flashes" of insipration.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Boston.com - Customer demand drives innovation alliances Although the title of this article by the Globe's Robert Weisman is on how consumer demand is driving innovation - the real focus of the underlying basis for this story - Forrester's recent report on 'Innovation Networks' is the real juice here as it taps into an emerging trend whereby companies are learning to expand their innovation capabilities beyond the immediate domain of their internal enterprise, and are looking around to other sources for ideas and innovation capacity to help them compete. Be it via outsourcing to India and China, or collaborating on innovations with customers and suppliers - Corporations are learning to balance internal and external innovation to come up with their competitive advantage and get products to market faster.

Monday, August 02, 2004

How to run a brainstorming meeting - UIWEB.COM Uiweb's Scott Berkun put together this useful primer on how to run face to face brainstorm meetings that looks at the when and where to conduct brainstorms and offers tips on how to make it successful. Definitely worth a read if you're thinking of doing a session sometime soon.