Innovation in Business

Leadership for Innovation

Professor Hill explains that leaders at many high-profile and innovative companies have built communities of people who are both “willing and able to innovate.” They develop willing teams by pulling people together with a shared purpose, values, and rules of engagement.

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Garage-Based Innovation

The drive to invent that Bill Hewlett and David Packard shared when they launched HP in a garage decades ago is critical to organizations today. As we shift from a knowledge-based economy to a creative economy, innovation-driven companies will be the leaders. Fortunately, says Phil McKinney, creativity is a skill that can be practiced and learned, and he shares his “FIRE + PO” process for tapping human ingenuity.

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Creativity: The Pixar Process

With fascinating insights about the creative process at Pixar and Disney, Ed Catmull reminds us that whatever conclusions we have drawn, we need to hold them lightly. Though they may have been right at one time, that doesn’t mean they are right today.

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The Risk Matrix

How do growth leaders such as Procter & Gamble, GE, and Amazon consistently achieve above-average organic growth? These companies pursue a disciplined, systematic process that distributes innovations across a spectrum of risk, ensuring that they balance incremental growth with breakthrough opportunities.

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Getting from Little Bets to Big Breakthroughs

From his research on innovative leaders, from Apple, 3M, Toyota, and Starbucks, to the U.S. Army’s counterinsurgency strategists, to artists and even standup comics, Peter Sims found they shared a surprisingly similar approach to strategy: A deliberate process of trial and error.

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Brand Race

Win brand relevance by timing your product innovations to market need (Apple), tapping underserved segments (Luna), building a robust customer relationship (Harley-Davidson), erecting barriers to competition in execution (Zappos), and becoming an exemplar brand (Prius).

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Sustainability Matters

With consumers favoring products and services that are better for the environment, companies are finding competitive advantage in the environmental impact of their activities.

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Intelligent Strategy

Drawing on the successes of General Motors in the 1920s, NASA’s Apollo program, Apple, IKEA, and Nvidia, Professor Richard Rumelt defines five elements of good strategies.

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The Innovation Engine

Why do we need creativity? Dr. Seelig’s model for the “Innovation Engine” allows us to alternate between discovery and invention by incorporating the internal strengths of imagination, knowledge and attitude along with the external forces of habitat, resources and culture.

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The Invention Cycle

Dr. Seelig describes this framework as the “Invention Cycle.” She details the attitudes and actions required for generating and maintaining this cycle as a self-perpetuating loop—increasing your success every step of the way. Anyone can have ideas, but it takes unique skills to launch something truly new into the world.

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The Opportunity and Threat of Disruptive Technologies

Many of history's greatest growth markets were created by a disruptive technology that was met with resistance from traditional industries and organizations. Clayton Christensen demonstrates that in order to create new business in emerging markets, you need appropriate management of technological innovation and the ability to find new markets for new technologies.

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Strategy by Design

Tim Brown advocates using the three stages of “design thinking”: inspiration, ideation, and implementation to create successful innovations that are desirable to consumers, technically feasible, and viable from a business point of view.

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