Looking to Join the Lean Start-up Movement?

I love Lean. In my eyes, the work Steve Blank, Eric Ries, and others have done to provide a cogent, accessible frame around the academic concepts of emergent strategy is one of the most important contributions to the innovation movement over the past few years.

I have repeatedly stated that the next wave of innovation will come from companies that harness the transformational power that too often lies latent inside their organizations. There is a growing sense that so-called lean start-up techniques — developing a minimal viable product, learning in the marketplace, and pivoting based on market feedback — can help to unleash this potential. Indeed, in this month’s Harvard Business Review cover story, Blank notes that the development of the lean start-up toolkit comes “just in time” to “help existing companies deal with the forces of continual disruption.” Read more

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How To Really Measure a Company’s Innovation Prowess

Who is the world’s most innovative company? The editors of Fast Company say Nike. Last year, number crunchers at Forbes found that Salesforce.com is the company with the highest “Innovation Premium” baked into its stock price. MIT Technology Review didn’t pick a winner, but on its recent list of top 50 “disruptors,” the magazine mixed stalwarts such as General Electric and IBM with up-and-comers, Square and Coursera. Read more

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How to Emerge from Crisis by Knowing your Innovation Growth Opportunities & Competitors’ Strengths

Companies sometimes behave like the ostrich with their head in the ground while others emerge from the crisis like a phoenix. Not knowing with which new products or services your company really earns money is a bit like the ostrich. However there are effective means to gain transparency on innovation spending without too much effort. These tools also allow a comparison with your competitors to understand what they are doing differently in their approach to successfully managing their innovation activities. Finally, they help companies which currently struggle with the economic situation to become more effective and efficient in their innovation management.
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Rethinking the Function of Business Functions

Business units come and go, but finance, HR, IT, marketing, legal, and R&D are forever. Nonetheless, many CEOs and top executives struggle with their functional organizations, and some question whether the established functional model is still relevant. In their view, functional priorities are all too often in conflict with — or not fully supportive of — the strategic needs of the business. Read more

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It’s Not Too Late to Stave Off Disruption

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When should incumbents be afraid — very afraid? At the moment that a disruptive innovation crosses into the mainstream market and establishes itself as a viable competitor, the third stage in a disruptive innovation’s life cycle. You might think a response at this late phase would be too late — but there are still ways incumbent firms can preserve their advantage. To illustrate how, let’s look at four disruptions that are close to crossing over and ask how they can be dealt with. Read more

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Make Your Next Innovation Jam Work

Jamming has become a popular way to unearth innovations — bringing together people of many different backgrounds to creatively brainstorm around a company’s competitive challenges, expressed as “problem statements.” Yet although the process is widely hyped, many companies struggle to make them work. Read more

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