Managing for Disruption

Tradition embraces stability. Time honored principles get that way because they have strong track records of success. The tried and true, extrapolated into the future, often looks like a sure thing, while deviating from historical norms can look downright foolish.

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Is It Innovation or Just an Improvement? Does It Matter?

On the LinkedIn Front End of Innovation group, I saw this post:

Interesting (and heated) discussions @ Unleashing Innovation Summit in Amsterdam earlier in the month: Incremental innovation is NOT innovation – it’s just marketing. REAL innovation is breakthrough/transformational… Agree or not?

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Where Are You Looking for Your Next Big Idea?

Great brands ignore trends” is one of the principles in my new book, What Great Brands Do, that has consistently been coming up in the interviews I’ve been doing about the book. It’s just so counter-intuitive. In fact, just last Friday, Jim Blasingame of The Small Business Advocate show, asked me about it in his radio broadcast that is nationally syndicated by The Small Business Network. (Listen to a part of our conversation here.)

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Now, Highly Paid Consultants Are Getting Disrupted Too

In the late 1960’s, minimills like Nucor started using a new process that could produce low grades of steel more efficiently than the big integrated steel makers. These, however, were the lowest margin products in the industry and didn’t seem much of a threat to the big guys.

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How To Innovate Your Business Model in 5 (Not So Easy) Steps

In the 1950’s, Haloid Corporation thought it had a winning product. Through some clever engineering, it had created new technology that was leaps and bound better than anything that had come before it. The only problem was that nobody wanted to buy it.

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How Creativity Works

It’s not hard to come up with something new. It’s hard to come up with something new that people want.

I think that is kind of the separation point between having lots of ideas or creating lots of stuff, and just having maybe one thing that really resonates with people that they have that Ah-Ha moment when they see it.

~ James Carnes, Global Creative Director, Senior Vice President of Design at Adidas.

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Why Innovation Is Rare: The Problem of Knowledge & The Curse of Expertise

I’d like to start this conversation by getting us mindful to a definition:

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The Folly of Inside-Out Product Thinking

Ever run into this deductive reasoning?

  1. Customers like our existing products and our company
  2. We are building a new product that reflects the priorities of a company executive
  3. Therefore, customers will like our new product

It’s a clear violation of the First Law of Product: Customers decide what products they like, not companies.

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Opportunity Design - a New Perspective on Customer-Centred Innovation

The following problems continue to plague innovators:

  • New product failure rates run at 75%-85%
  • New business start-ups are even higher at 92% failure rate
  • There is a high degree of iteration in ideas and business plans needed to succeed with the right formula
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What Jazz Can Teach Business About Innovation

In a recent episode of Boardwalk Empire, Chalky White’s wife was angry because he took his son to play with Jazz musicians at his nightclub. She feared that it would upset the order of his classical training.

Traditionally, business executives have felt the same way. They would bring in bright young prospects and make them “organization men”—and later women as well—who would work their way up through the system and then indoctrinate the next generation.

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