Innovation in Practice Blog

June 1, 2017

Solution-to-Problem Innovation

Innovation is the process of taking an idea and putting it into practice. Creativity, on the other hand, is what you do in your head to […]
May 8, 2017

Purdue University Students Dominate Using SIT

Recently, I was delighted to receive a message from my friend, Frank Grunwald, Visiting Lecturer at Purdue University, telling me of his plans to incorporate Systematic […]
April 27, 2017

More Than A Dream: Advanced Technology And Creating A Risk-Free Market

By Carol Ozemhoya, Contributing Editor at Vector Some people worry about technology costing people jobs and taking over the world as has been portrayed in many […]
April 17, 2017

Innovation Leadership: Managing Your Resources

As an innovation leader, you are now responsible for a bundle of resources that you’ll need to get the job done. Those resources include human resources – […]
April 4, 2017

Innovation Sighting: The Mahabis Slipper and the Division Technique

We all know the endless kick-on, kick-off routine associated with that perfectly comfortable pair of house slippers. Our days are filled with quick trips to the […]
March 23, 2017

What’s In a Name? New Research Suggests We Look Like Our Name

What’s in a name? Perhaps more than we might think, according to researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Most of us are familiar with the […]
March 20, 2017

Segmentation is Killing Your Brand: Five Reasons To Find Your Unicorn Customer

by Deb Gabor A store is a place you go to buy stuff, usually out of convenience or habit. In contrast, brands inspire irrational loyalty and […]
March 13, 2017

Getting the Right Talent for Innovation

Perhaps the most important role of the innovation leader is creating a competent team. For that reason alone, it’s one of the most challenging. It’s a constant […]
March 6, 2017

How Innovation Affects Brand Loyalty

A company that retains a high percentage of its customers must be doing a lot of things right. That’s why Retention Rate is the best indicator […]
February 22, 2017

Marketing Innovation: Don’t Fight Water and the Inversion Tool

Jacob Goldenberg, in his book, “Cracking the Ad Code,” describes eight creative patterns that are embedded in most innovative, award- winning commercials. The tools are: 1. […]
March 11, 2013

Marketing’s Seat at the Innovation Table

Where does your marketing department fit when it comes to innovation? In an article1 titled, "Improving Marketing's Contribution to New Product Development," these author's offer a dismal view: "The prevailing view in most companies is that marketing is not a distinct function, and therefore, everyone can do marketing. As a result, the status of the marketing department is in a steep decline, which is especially observable within the NPD process. This development is surprising because it seems that top innovators strongly involve the marketing department in the NPD process. Hence, strengthening the marketing department's position with respect to NPD should be a priority to improve innovation performance." I agree. But I believe the authors fall way short of what is needed to do that. "The prevailing view in most companies is that marketing is not a distinct function, and therefore, everyone can do marketing. As a result, the status of the marketing department is in a steep decline, which is especially observable within the NPD process. This development is surprising because it seems that top innovators strongly involve the marketing department in the NPD process. Hence, strengthening the marketing department's position with respect to NPD should be a priority to improve innovation performance." I agree. But I believe the authors fall way short of what is needed to do that.
March 4, 2013

Start at the End

Dave Lavinsky is a serial entrepreneur who built his own company from the ground up. His book, Start at the End, was a #1 Bestseller on Amazon just one week after it was released. The goal of the book is to learn how to work fewer hours and be efficient when working at a new job or starting a business. For innovation practitioners, here are his top 12 tips:
February 25, 2013

Too Much of a Good Thing

Can you innovate too much? After all, new ideas fuel organic growth. One would think an organization would be happy to have as many ideas as possible. But not always. Here are scenarios where over-innovating might be considered too much of a good thing.
February 18, 2013

Innovating the Weakest Link

Responding to an article on why innovation is difficult, Tim Josling from Leura, Australia, wrote this to the editor of The Economist (January 26, 2013): Another useful insight is provided by something akin to Amdahl’s law in computer design, which holds that even if some components of a system are improving, the parts that are not improving will eventually dominate the performance of that system.For example, for flights that are under 2000 miles a person will spend more time traveling to and from the airport, checking in at the airport, going through security and waiting for his bags than time spent up in the air. Increases in aircraft speed would have less benefit that shortening the other bits of the journey time.
February 4, 2013

The Fabulous Five: Loyalty Factor

Loyalty is defined as a strong feeling of support or allegiance. Companies fight for it because it correlates well to product sales. The Fabulous Five (Google, Amazon, Apple, Samsung, and Facebook) are waging a spectacular battle against each other to earn customer loyalty. A key to winning is to understand the types of loyalty. Professor Christie Nordhielm describes three types as part of her marketing strategy framework, The Big Picture:
January 21, 2013

The Fabulous Five and the Scramble for Territory

Google, Apple, Facebook, Samsung, and Amazon are in a mad scramble to enter new territory and cover gaps in their strategies. The one that gets ahead and stays ahead will earn bragging rights in what may be the most significant business battle of all time. These companies are the Fabulous Five. Let's look at how each company is placed in the following domains: hardware design and manufacturing, software development and integration, consumer retailing, mobile, voice and digital communications, social, search, and entertainment. Why these? I believe the company that covers the biggest footprint across these domains and integrates them in a way that touches the most consumers will become the dominant lifestyle company. Notice I did not call it B2B, B2C, or even the dominant tech company. The battle being fought here is to become a part of the consumer's life in a way that allows the company to learn key insights that can be monetized. It is the battle for the consumer subconscious in a way.
January 7, 2013

The Fabulous Five

Five companies are slugging it out in what may be the most competitive and unique business battle of all time. It is larger in scale with more at stake than battles in other industries including transportation, energy, and finance. More remarkable is how different the combatants are from one another. Instead of similar companies competing (Toyota versus General Motors, for example), these companies hail from different business bases: an electronics manufacturer, a lifestyle computing company, an online retailer, a search engine, and a social network. In order: Samsung, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. I call them the Fabulous Five.
December 31, 2012

10 New Year Resolutions for Innovation Leaders

In 2013, think inside the box and give your teams these precious gifts to drive innovation forward.
November 12, 2012

SIT Webinar: Business Model Innovation

In this webinar, we invite you to hear more about Business Model Innovation and learn a systematic and pragmatic approach. This can help you re-imagine your business model in exciting and sometimes even radical ways.
October 22, 2012

Innovation and Organizational Savviness

Navigating complex organizations takes skill and savviness, or what some call office politics. It is such an important skill that world class companies like GE and Johnson & Johnson teach it to their employees and reward them for using it. We may not like it, but for good ideas and people to survive, we must build organizational savviness and influence skills. Succeeding at innovation takes that same organizational savviness. Here are eight tips to improve your innovation savviness: