Innovation in Practice Blog

May 6, 2019

Featured in BBC Article

I had the privilege of recently being interviewed by Alex Hannaford, a BBC journalist for an article that ran last week. In his article, “How hindsight […]
April 16, 2019

Be a Catalyst for Change

Professors change the world, once student at a time. I’m regularly asked about my transition to academia. The first question I ask the professional considering the switch is whether he […]
March 25, 2019

Announcing LinkedIn Learning a-la-carte!

Many of you enjoy the benefit of sharpening your skills through LinkedIn Learning courses. To date, LinkedIn offers access to their entire course library via subscription. […]
February 27, 2019

Thinking Outside the Box About “Outside the Box”

Guest post by Bill Fanelli Last fall I attended a workshop led by author, marketing consultant, and University professor Drew Boyd. He challenged my thinking about […]
January 8, 2019

Now is the time to prepare

There are a lot of people standing in a lot of lines for academic positions. You need to find the lines that are most likely to lead to a job for you.
November 12, 2018

Launching My Latest Book

I’m thrilled to let you know my new book, So You Want to Be a Professor: How to Land Your Dream Job in Academia, just launched! […]
November 5, 2018

Introducing Switchers

I am excited to announce a new book that was just released by my friend and colleague, Dawn Graham. Switchers is the first book written specifically for the career changer, to help them to […]
October 22, 2018

Attribute Dependency in Bifocal Glasses

Bifocal users must no longer battle their strange, new lenses, thanks to the technology of Mitsui Chemicals of Japan. This spring, Mitsui launched their TouchFocus line, […]
October 15, 2018

Running Effective Innovation Workshops

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that innovation is a team sport. The strongest teams are characterized by functional, gender, and cultural diversity among its members. And, […]
October 3, 2018

Training Your Team to Innovate

To drive innovation across your company, you must train your employees how to innovate. Innovation is a skill, not a gift, and it can be learned […]
May 23, 2016

Want to Innovate? Make Sure You Have a Seat at the Table

For most companies, the top marketer, usually called the chief marketing officer, is part of the senior leadership team and sits on the executive committee or […]
October 5, 2015

A Journey of Rediscovery: How Adidas Uses the Past to Innovate

How does a company cope with change? It’s a question that looms large for many executives who are struggling to keep up with the breakneck pace of business. Those who fail to answer it may face loss of market share, or, in extreme cases, financial ruin. All too often, companies respond to these pressures by fixating on the future, not realizing that their greatest strength could be hidden in their past.
July 20, 2015

Innovating Out of Crisis

In Innovating Out of Crisis, How Fujifilm Survived (and Thrived) As Its Core Business Was Vanishing, published by Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley, California, Shigetaka Komori, FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation Chairman and CEO, recounts how he was inspired to lead Fujifilm’s journey from the brink of extinction to its current path of prosperity and growth – and a new direction.
July 9, 2012

The Five Senses of Innovation

How do you know if someone is truly innovative? I look for three things. First, does the person have a cognitive process for generating new ideas? Innovation is a skill, not a gift. It can trained and learned like any other skill. So I expect successful innovators to have such training and be able to deploy ideation methods - on demand. Second, is the person motivated and hopeful about the future? Hope is defined as a positive motivational belief in one's future; the feeling that what is wanted can be had; that events will turn out for the best. Research shows that an employee's sense of hope explains their creative output at work. Hope predicts creativity. Third, and perhaps most elusive: do they have the innovation senses to know how their efforts will succeed? I call these the Five Senses of Innovation.
February 20, 2012

What an Innovative Culture Looks Like

An innovative corporate culture is one that supports the creation of new ideas and the implementation of those ideas. Leaders need to help employees see innovation in the right light. The most innovative companies do the following:
May 9, 2011

Targeting Your Innovation Efforts

Geo-targeting Companies get better results from innovation by targeting initiatives at the right places. Given limited time, money, and human resources, here are six areas to focus on:
January 11, 2010

Linking Innovation with Strategy

Innovation that is linked to strategy is seen as more realistic and supportable. Innovating is efficient because you avoid creating ideas that are out of scope. Firms struggle with this as Idris Mootee observed in his blog, Innovation Playground: "The most amazing thing with strategic experience innovation is that it takes one kind of company and leadership to create the idea and another kind of company to scale it up and drive industry transformation and we see it in markets after market." Andrew Hinton offered this insight on his blog, Inkblut: "We hear the words Strategy and Innovation thrown around a lot, and often we hear them said together. “We need an innovation strategy.” Or perhaps “We need a more innovative strategy” which, of course, is a different animal. But I don’t hear people questioning much exactly what we mean when we say these things. It’s as if we all agree already on what we mean by strategy and innovation, and that they just fit together automatically." There are two approaches to linking innovation and strategy: Strategy-Informs-Innovation and Innovation-Informs-Strategy. Here is how:
September 14, 2009

Corporate Innovation Strategy Template

Here is a simple template to create your company's innovation strategy.
February 10, 2008

Innovation Follows Strategy

How do you tie innovation to strategy? Professor Christie Nordhielm from the University of Michigan has developed what I consider the best single contribution to marketing thought since the 4P's. Her Big Picture framework of the marketing management process provides the context for innovating across the entire business model. Applying systematic innovation tools to each aspect of her Big Picture model can yield amazing insights at both the strategic and tactical levels of the business. It is the intersection of these two ideas...Big Picture Strategy and Systematic Inventive Thinking...that will yield consistent, profitable results. Innovation follows strategy...not the other way around.
December 16, 2007

When to Innovate

People often ask when is the best time to innovate: early in the pipeline process, middle, or late. Teams tend to resist innovation late in the process when they are busy launching a new product. Teams tend to resist innovating in the middle of the NPD process because they are too busy developing the next generation product. Teams tend to resist innovating early in the process because they are too busy developing franchise strategy. So when is the best time to innovate? Anytime.