Tag Archives: Innovation

Serious about innovation? Here 2 more questions that demand the attention of leaders

Last week I shared with you what I call the litmus test for innovation leadership, two questions I ask leaders to get a feel for if they have what it takes to innovate; or create the context for innovation within their organization.

Those two diagnostic questions are key for me when I’m asked to help companies innovate. As I’m always on the hunt for new questions to add to my arsenal, while reading Alan Webber’s book Rules of Thumb I found two more questions that I believe demand attention from leaders:

Simplicity sells…and lasts

Pop-tarts In a time when innovation has diluted of its meaning, nowadays anybody can claim to be innovative if all they do is put out meaningless increments, Pot-Tarts can teach some lessons about innovation. 

Do you like Pop-Tarts? I love them! They are so good it brings a smile to my face just thinking about them.

A few weeks ago The Atlantic posted an article about the history of Pop-Tarts, and how it hasn’t changed much. Though the company that makes Pop-Tarts has claimed that they have been innovating, since they were first introduced 50 years ago.

What makes Pot-Tarts such a likeable product that has stood the test of time?

Stagnating? Innovate how you innovate with these 5 ideas

If a project has disruptive potential, it should make you uncomfortable.Throughout this past year, I’ve been having conversations with innovation leaders from a couple of BIG companies about re-inventing their innovation capability. The pattern of conversation: we’ve had a good run, but feel that our process for making innovation happen is delivering incremental results. Bureaucracy has developed, and so we aren’t taking a lot of risks anymore. How do we shake ourselves out of it?

This is a classic situation of the initial innovation enthusiasm becoming stagnant because innovation’s main killers are not kept at bay: GroupThink and ExpertThink.

One leads to consensus, and the other to unchallenged best practices. In combination both lead to stagnation. Later on, it will become more difficult to innovate because silence and fear will become the norm. Then you will really have a challenge in your hands!

The litmus test for innovation leadership

People are the biggest barrier to innovation. Be it the executive who dominates every conversation, the one that talks but doesn’t walk the talk or the one that kills all ideas just because it’s not in his/her best interest. Unfortunately that’s the sad truth about how innovation dies in large organizations; there are people who kill innovation.

Homogeneity in an organization breeds failure

for innovation hire generalistsExcellence is contagious. A business is only as strong as its people, which is why it’s so crucial to hire the right ones.

A recent experience triggered this post, one that comes up all the time in the world of entrepreneurship and innovation: how to maintain a culture of excellence.

In my experience, it all starts with vision and values, and that determines the type of people you will bring in to help you reach that vision. Very straightforward, but most of the time the “people” part is kicked to the curve in favor of “people who can come in and fill a void” to get things done as efficiently as possible; whether or not they fit the culture (if there is one). 

What large companies still don’t get about marketing innovation

Though we are fairly well into the internet economy where brands can communicate directly with customers in a variety of ways through social networks, one belief from the old order still holds true: incumbent brands believe that in order to win the hearts and minds of customers, that they can out-market upstarts that gain loyalty through the great products and services they deliver.

There are only a handful of companies that can both make great products and advertising. We continually marvel at products and services from visionary companies like Apple, Google, Uber and others who gain our loyalty the product and service excellence; you can actually feel their dedication.

What needs to happen for there to be more innovation and startups in LatAm?

What needs to happen for there to be more innovation and startups in LatAm?

Yesterday I watched a panel of LatAm entrepreneurs, advocates and venture capitalists discuss “what needs to happen for there to be more innovation and startups in LATAM?” through Google Hangout. The panelists were: