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The Innovation Blog

Corporate Will Trumps Corporate Strategy

Posted by Jay Terwilliger on February 1, 2018

The other day I was having a conversation with the Division President of a large company about innovation. I mentioned to him that in our 30 years in the innovation space, we have noticed that innovation initiatives tend to have a 3-5 year life. The pursuit of breakthrough innovation – “Big Bet” innovation that expands the opportunity for significant growth through expanding markets or creating new ones, takes time. The unfortunate result of changes in Corporate Will is that too often, just when investments begin to pay off with new platforms, new technologies, etc., the efforts are often abandoned.

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Topics: Innovative Culture, Communication, executive sponsor, Alignment, Success Factors, breakthrough innovation, leadership, strategy, Strategic Goals, decision-making, breakthrough, Transformational Innovation, changing the game, innovation decision-making

Should Innovation Be Top-Down Or Bottom-Up?...It Depends!

Posted by Creative Realities on September 19, 2012

We are often asked if the best way to structure for innovation is top-down or bottom-up? The answer is both if you are going to succeed in the long run.

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Topics: Mark Sebell, Stage Gate, structuring for innovation, game-changing, Innovation, breakthrough innovation, strategy, growth, decision-making, Incremental Innovation

The Person Who Can Say “Yes” to Innovation Without Permission

Posted by Creative Realities on May 21, 2012

The over-arching truth about big innovation is this; “You Get What You PlayFor,” because the processes and tools for managing core businesses don’t work when the goal is to identify and successfully introduce ideas that don’t exist today; true innovations not incremental ones. So you get what you play for and it’s who gets to play that makes all the difference.

When executives create teams to pursue breakthrough innovation they typically push the work down to the operating levels, just like they do so successfully with their core businesses. That sounds eminently laudable – after all, they’re “empowering” a group of hands-on people. They think they are too busy to deal with innovation but there’s another reason for taking that approach: Leaders don’t want to get involved in big innovation. They are afraid of it because they haven’t experienced it or been schooled in managing it; and bosses don’t like being visibly vulnerable.

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Topics: Mark Sebell, Absurdity, executive sponsor, new ideas, Skin in the game, Innovation, breakthrough innovation, decision-making

Innovation, Power, and "The Decision" of Lebron James

Posted by Creative Realities on July 26, 2011

We all like to believe that we are pretty good judges of ideas. We think we can objectively evaluate an idea based on its merits and recognize a creative solution, an innovative breakthrough, or a smart decision. When it comes to spotting the brilliant idea, we, like Potter Stewart, believe we know it when we see it.

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Topics: Chris Dolan, Ideas, Communication, Nonverbals, Jonah Lehrer, decision-making

Two models for evaluating early innovation

Posted by Jay Terwilliger on April 5, 2011

Last week on this blog I posted "The "SNIFF" test - criteria for early innovation decision making".  This is a simple, but effective five criteria model for evaluating concepts early in the innovation process. Recently I had the pleasure of attending a workshop led by Jay Paap.  Dr. Paap is the founder of Paap Associates, Inc (PAI), and has been consulting to major companies in the field of innovation for 40 years. In his work, he has also dealt with the issue of client companies seeking to apply metrics or find some other useful criteria for making early stage decisions in innovation, and has a slightly different, but intriguingly similar model to offer.

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Topics: Innovation criteria, Innovation, Innovation Metrics, criteria for innovation, decision-making, technical innovation, criteria, innovation decision-making

Create a common language for innovation

Posted by Creative Realities on March 8, 2011

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Topics: Jay Terwilliger, levels of innovation, 3 levels, three levels, defining innovation, innovation language, Creating an Innovation Team, Collaboration, breakthrough innovation, leadership, strategic innovation, criteria for innovation, decision-making, Creating an Innovation agenda, platform thinking, disruptive innovation

The Art of Championed Teamwork

Posted by Creative Realities on November 23, 2010

Even though ours is a team-based model for creative problem-solving, we also know that team-based, consensus-oriented decision-making results in lowest-common-denominator creative ideas. At the same time, autocracy doesn’t work either. Instead, a paradoxical kind of decision-making is needed to insure that creative new ideas get implemented.
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Topics: Amanda Hines, leadership, decision-making, Management, execution

Incremental vs. Game-Changing Innovation

Posted by Creative Realities on November 7, 2010

This past week I got sucked into what I thought was a pretty weak online debate. The question posed was, "Is Incremental innovation the enemy of Breakthrough Innovation?"

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Topics: Mark Sebell, Innovation, Innovation, innovation consulting, breakthrough innovation, Championed Teamwork, leadership, leadership, strategic innovation, strategy, growth, Strategic Goals, criteria for innovation, decision-making, breakthrough, new product development, Essentials for Innovation, Risk, Management

A Modern-Day Simple Simon

Posted by David Culton on October 20, 2010

What starts off as a well-intentioned gesture- to invite some friends out to dine and catch up on our busy lives, to relax- almost always becomes a source of anxiety and frustration for me and, I’d be willing to bet, for a few of you reading this as well.

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Topics: Amanda Hines, Innovation, decision-making