Who is your Corporate Innovation Role Model?

Organic foods at the Hospital Can you innovate and improve business performance by copying another company from an entirely different industry?  This is what the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in Michigan did when it wanted to transform its customer service and operational efficiency.  The hospital borrowed some of the practices of a five star hotel and even hired a new CEO who had previously... Read More--

Eleven Ways to use Crowdsourcing

How are firms using crowdsourcing?  Its adoption has been widespread and companies are finding many new uses for the technique.  Ideascale have published a white paper on crowdsourcing which you can download. Here are the ways that are identified in the paper which also contains many examples and links: 1. Solution Finding. This is when you use crowdsourcing to find the solution to a difficult or... Read More--

Microsoft buys LinkedIn – Smart Move or Dumb Move?

Microsoft’s core PC business of office applications and Windows operating systems is in decline so it needs new sources of revenue.  It is splashing out $26B to buy social media business LinkedIn. Will this move add value for Microsoft shareholders or destroy it? The omens are not good. Business leaders love to flex their muscles and use shareholders’ funds to buy other businesses. This... Read More--

What is a Minimum Viable Product and what is its Purpose?

There is much talk in the innovation community about the need to produce a minimum viable product (MVP) and bring it quickly to market. But what exactly constitutes a MVP and what is its purpose? In his seminal book, The Lean Startup, Eric Ries defines the MVP as a version of the entrepreneur’s product which enables a full turn of the Build-Measure-Learn cycle with minimum effort and the least amount... Read More--

Innovation Insights from Jeff Bezos and Amazon

    As a boy brought up in Florida, Jeff Bezos developed a keen interest in computers.  He graduated from Princeton in 1986 with a degree in computer science and electrical engineering. He then worked for an investment firm in New York before quitting his well-paid position in 1994 to start Amazon, just as internet commerce was beginning to take off.  He started the company in his garage... Read More--

Boost Innovation and Recruitment with a Hackathon

    Does your company use hackathons? If you think that they are just for software companies and tech nerds then think again.  Today every company has to be a software company and every innovator has to find new ways to meet customer needs.  The principle is simple.  Teams are given a broad challenge and over 24 to 48 hours they come up with clever ideas and then construct working prototypes... Read More--

When Something Unexpected Happens, Get Curious

We often treat an unexpected or surprising happening as an irritation or distraction.  It delays us from getting on the with job so we quickly work around it.  But sometimes it pays to step back and ponder the meaning of what serendipity has just handed us. Consider these four unexpected occurrences. 1.  In 1928 a Scottish bacteriologist returned from his vacation to find that one of his petri... Read More--

Who were the Greatest Britons?

In 2002 the BBC ran a poll to determine who the public considered to the the greatest British people of all time.  It was broadcast as a TV programme and you can see the full list of 100 names at 100 Greatest Britons. It includes some odd nominations including the engineer Brunel at #2 (voted for by the students at Brunel University), Diana, Princess of Wales at #3 and the actor Michael Crawford... Read More--

Do you have a Social Media Listening Control Room?

Leading B2C (Business to Consumer) companies have invested in Listening Centres where they monitor real-time conversations and web analytics in order to gain immediate insights, start dialogues, diffuse critical issues and observe competitors.  They use sophisticated dashboards of real-time information on keyword tracking and competitor share of voice. Here is a 76 second commercial from Gatorade... Read More--

Ambitious Leaders set Ambitious Goals

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced to a joint session of Congress the remarkable and ambitious goal of sending a man to the moon. His famous words were, ‘I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive... Read More--