Nine Short Innovation Lessons from Lego

  Lego is now revered as one of the most innovative and successful companies in the world.  But in 2003 the company was $800m in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy.  The turn around in its fortunes has been spectacular.  It is currently rated the number one toy company in the world and the world’s most powerful brand.  There are many books and studies describing the company’s... Read More--


Ten Top Tips for Success with Open Innovation

Traditionally businesses developed all their new products in-house using ideas that came from their Marketing or R&D departments (or sometimes the MD’s pet projects).  Increasingly this internal focus is being replaced by a more powerful and effective approach – open innovation (OI). OI involves harnessing the ideas and development capabilities of outside partners to bring new products,... Read More--


Shell Gamechanger – A Supertanker of Innovation

The Shell Gamechanger initiative was launched in 1996.  Its mission was to deliver innovative options that have the potential to drastically impact the energy future.  In 1999, Gary Hamel commented, ‘The Gamechanger programme is still fragile. The 1998 slump in oil prices threw Shell into a frenzy of cost cutting. Whether Gamechanger will survive in its current form remains to be seen. But it... Read More--


Eliminate the Risk in Product Innovation – Get your Customers to Choose

Threadless is well known as an example of crowdsourcing new product design.  This fast-growing T shirt company asks its user community to submit designs for new T shirts.  Designers from around the world submit designs which are often edgy, cool and topical.  The company claims to encourage ‘weird, geeky and beautiful art.’  It asks users to vote on the designs.  Threadless manufacturers... Read More--


What is Stopping Open Innovation?

Open Innovation has come of age.  It has become a mainstream activity in most leading companies. It is now established as corporate best practice with many successes. Eminent examples include Procter and Gamble’s Connect and Develop programme Lego Ideas Reckitt Benckiser’s Idealink Innocentive GE Open Innovation Large companies are using OI to find agile partners who will help them to grow by... Read More--


Collaborate to Innovate

Many CEOs see collaboration as key to their success with innovation. They know they cannot achieve their innovation targets using internal resources alone. So they look outside for other organizations to partner with. A good example is Mercedes and Swatch, who collaborated to produce the Smart car. When Mercedes wanted to produce an innovative town car they did not choose another automobile manufacturer... Read More--


Does Open Innovation lead to Faster Growth?

A recent study by Andy Cosh and Joanne Jin Zhang of the UK Innovation Research centre set out to examine how companies were using open innovation.   The report makes a thought-provoking comparison of the innovation styles of companies.  It indicates that those companies that are active in open innovation in both giving and receiving ideas achieve higher rates of innovation and of revenue growth. A... Read More--


How do you finance your innovative start-up company? Try crowdfunding.

Pebble Watch Pebble is a start-up company that makes customizable watches which display messages from your iPhone. In 2012 the company raised over £10m in capital from the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. And it did not just get cash; the company received 85,000 orders for its watches largely from the publicity it received on Kickstarter.  Crowdfunding is the hot new way to raise money from the crowd... Read More--


How Dell and Starbucks crowdsource high volumes of ideas

Many companies are using crowdsourcing to garner ideas and to engage with customers.  Two of the early leaders in a B to C (Business to Consumer) environment are Dell and Starbucks. They both encourage customers to submit ideas on almost any topic they want whereas companies like P&G, Reckitt Benckiser and others are much more focused and directive in what they ask for. Take a look at Dell’s... Read More--


What is Crowdsourcing and how can you benefit from it?

Crowdsourcing is a powerful new way to gain innovative solutions. The term was coined to describe the process of outsourcing a task to an independent ‘crowd’ of experts who compete (or sometimes collaborate) to solve the problem. They are often rewarded for doing so. All sorts of organizations are using the power of the crowd. Here are some current examples of crowdsourcing in action: Marketing: Naming... Read More--