Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Excessive Innovation?

This WSJ story outlines the difficulties of being Avery Dennison, which had an over-abundance of "good ideas" that overloaded its innovation program. Sounds like time for an 'idea management' solution. . . . And thanks to the George Group for suggestions on creating a more efficient new product pipeline. These include radical concepts such as building in slack time to help manage for delays or cross-training workers among different functions to solve staff shortages.

Seems Avery Dennison couldn't cope having too many good ideas. With too many activities at the end of the pipeline, it's easy to chase diverse projects that may all seem worthwhile. Each company needs methods for evaluating, reviewing and queueing up ideas for action and implementation -- much like an air traffic control operator -- to ensure smooth flow, appropriate resources and ongoing "management" of the innovation process.

This story echoes a blog/item in CIO magazine about comments from Disney CIO Tony Scott who said "In some respects there's too much innovation, or not enough scale out of the innovation we have."

A mind is a terrible thing to waste . . .

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