A New Disruptive Paradigm

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Let’s face it, running a business in today’s world is a formidable endeavor: change and disruption have become the new norm. In an effort to keep up, innovation is at the top of every executive’s priority list and new innovation methodologies, training and strategies are available every day. But is all the hype really helpful while Western businesses and policy-makers are working under an outdated paradigm?

In his new book, Platform Disruption Wave, Haydn Shaughnessy says that modern enterprises need to explore a new way of doing business—one that embraces continuous improvement, self-learning, horizontal structures and diversified ecosystems, rather than individual achievement and the hero’s journey. If they fail to do so, the U.S. and Europe will start to see a major power shift to the East, and not in 20 years time—this process has already begun and the effects are at our doorstep.

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30 Minutes to Get Unplugged from the Innovation Hype

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At a time when organisations are plugging more effort into innovation, Gerard Harkin has written a book called ‘Innovation Unplugged’. Why? As he puts it himself, Gerard is on a mission to make innovation more effective by ‘unplugging’ from the hype, confusion and ‘gobbledygook’ that are so prevalent today, and return to the basic principles of innovation, and its role in enabling business growth.

One of the first things that struck me about Innovation Unplugged is that it’s different from the standard 250-page business book. Innovation Unplugged is a ‘30 minute read’ and is refreshingly free from complex innovation models and stage gate processes.

Across the eight short chapters Harkin covers everything from how to match your corporate ambitions with your innovation goals, to practical advice on setting up major innovation programmes.

  • Chapter 1 discusses the importance of profitable innovation and why responsibility for innovation should be shared across the management team.
  • Chapter 2 highlights the vast range of innovation options available to help a business to grow. Harkin paints a clear picture why technology companies should not limit themselves to technological or product innovation. He also stresses the importance of articulating the big and small challenges facing a business, before commencing an innovation programme.

Read more about 30 Minutes to Get Unplugged from the Innovation Hype at Innovation Management.

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From Bankruptcy to Industry Leading Success – The LEGO Story

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LEGO has earned the right to celebrate. Not only are kids playing with more mini LEGO people than there are human beings on the planet (Delingpole J, 2009) but in 2015, they were nominated by Forbes as the most powerful brand in the world. For a company which was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2004, the toy maker has made an amazing turnaround. They restructured, hired a new CEO, and forged more licensing partnerships than ever before. Most importantly, they discovered the secret to some of the world’s most successful, low risk innovation strategies.

These strategies helped LEGO create a powerful brand envied by every other company in the world. However, successes like these are not, and need not be, restricted to global companies with billions in revenue. The point of low risk innovation tools is that one can use them to test ideas in any setting and with any budget. Whether you are a cash strapped startup or a Forbes 500 firm, sustainable innovation can be your ticket to success.

Out of LEGO’s lessons and that of hundreds of other companies, I have distilled the most successful techniques to innovate cheaply and effectively. They are all contained in the book Innovation Tools and, as an additional bonus, the readers of the Innovation Management community can get it for free this week. Among others, my book answers questions regarding how strategies used by companies like LEGO are able to turn companies around from looming bankruptcy to industry leading success.

Read the full blog about From Bankruptcy to Industry Leading Success – The LEGO Story at Innovation Management.

Avoid Innovation Paralysis – Why all Companies Can and Must Embrace Change

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Someone once told me this: “Innovation is like an apparition of the Virgin Mary: one person saw her, but everyone talks about it.” Although funny, the quote aptly captures an attitude towards innovation that exists in many companies today. Innovation – and the skills that enable it – are sometimes considered as mystical gifts, preserved for the chosen few. In other cases, innovation is feared, because it involves unregulated processes, risk taking and investments with unpredictable outcomes.

Innovation. The word is tossed around carelessly, and is repeatedly illustrated with the same few business cases. Some of the usual suspects include autonomous transport (Google, Tesla), wearable tech (Apple) and of course … the sharing economy (Uber, Airbnb).

Innovation is a business discipline

A lot of business leaders know they want innovation, yet they struggle to define what it actually means to them. Simply put, innovation is about making changes that add business value, in terms of either revenue growth or increased operational efficiency. This value can be created in four ways:

  1. introducing new products;
  2. optimizing operational processes;

Read the full blog about Avoid Innovation Paralysis – Why all Companies Can and Must Embrace Change at Innovation Management.

 

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