Tag Archives: systematic innovation

Creativity on the road less traveled

Creativity along the road less traveled

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference”, wrote Robert Frost in “The Road Not Taken”. Many read this poem as an encouragement to do something other than what is safe and expected — and doing what’s unsafe and unexpected […]

Innovators and marketers

The marketer’s vs. the innovator’s approach to innovation

“Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation”, said Peter Drucker, and he was right, although I would reverse the order, as innovation must create the products to be marketed. But helping marketers with innovation has shown me that marketers think like Drucker, with marketing being primary and innovation secondary. Although my company’s innovation […]

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How ideas evolve in innovation

The typology of ideas, or how ideas are made

An idea is an idea, isn’t it? Well, ideas have more nuances than meet the eye at first glance. When businesspeople aim at producing new ideas for a challenge they face in their business, say developing a new product, they often talk about ideas in an undifferentiated fashion. In reality, ideas come in many different facades […]

Innovation fatigue

Do you suffer from innovation fatigue?

While attending the ISPIM Asia-Pacific Innovation Forum 2014 in Singapore a few weeks ago, I participated in a roundtable discussion with the intriguing title: “Are executives suffering from innovation fatigue? What can be done to enhance the effectiveness of innovation workshops?” “Innovation fatigue? We’re in the innovation economy. And how can one ever get tired […]


Archetypes and your brand

Have you ever noticed that people you meet remind you of others you have known? That character types recur in myth and the narrative arts? These character classes are called archetypes, and you can use them to learn about yourself, and about your brand. Archetypes are patterns of behavior, symbols or motifs that repeatedly appear. […]

Loss aversion

Fear of losing may be why you’re not winning

In the decision-making course I teach to graduate students in business, I introduce them to prospect theory and the related cognitive biases. One of these biases, loss aversion, helps explain why many individuals and organizations are unable to realize their full innovation potential. Prospect theory and loss aversion In their 1979 paper Prospect theory, the […]

Customer Experience

Escaping the commodity trap through customer experience design

Have you noticed that your profit margins are dropping? Is competitive pressure transforming your once-unique products and services into commodities? What can you do about this? General Electric’s CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt said, “Managing innovation better may be the only way out of the abyss called commodity hell.” Looking at the many different ways to […]

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Brazil World Cup 2014

Winning the innovation game is like winning the World Cup

On Sunday, the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil was played. A month of dramatic matches and great performances showed us what it takes to succeed on football’s greatest stage. And the lessons learned there can help us succeed in business generally, and in innovation specifically. Lesson 1: Play in a well-structured, […]

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IPO model of systematic innovation

The Input-Process-Output model of systematic innovation

All systems can be understood using an input-process-output (IPO) model, and the system we call “innovation” is no exception. This model is likely familiar to you from information technology and manufacturing — let’s see how it can help in systematic innovation. IPO in systematic innovation Your innovation projects will more reliably produce good results when […]

Bridging the efficiency-creativity divide

Building a functional bridge over the efficiency-creativity divide

In my last column, I showed that humanity has entered a new era, the age of creation intensification. Thriving in this new innovation economy requires that organizations become more innovative, and many companies wonder: How to become innovative? Unfortunately, many companies find it difficult to support innovation. Why is this? In addition to changes in […]

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