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On Pirates, Privateers And Corporate Innovation

Alex Osterwalder, best-selling author and inventor of the Business Model Canvas, hates it when innovators refer to themselves as pirates. This is because pirates originally operated outside the law and if they were ever caught they were killed. In one sense he is right. When you are working in a large company, innovation succeeds when […]

What Makes A Good Innovation Coach?

In a previous article, I wrote about how companies can stop relying on consultants and build their own innovation capabilities. It is difficult to scale innovation as a repeatable process if companies continue to rely on external coaching and training for their innovation teams. One way to think about innovation capabilities is to treat it as an […]

The One Question From Leaders That Can Derail Innovation Teams

A few years ago I was working with an innovation team at a global financial firm based in Europe. I was helping  the team to prepare for their pitch to the innovation board. In the weeks leading up to the board meeting, the team had worked intently on preparing materials for the members of the […]

Don’t Just Talk To Customers, Get Them To Do Something

Successful innovation results from the combination of great ideas with sustainably profitable business models. At the heart of a sustainable business model is delivering value to customers. Without happy customers, you might make money for a little while, but this will not sustain in the long term. This ultimately means that innovators have to work […]

Making This One Choice Will Help You Focus As An Innovation Leader

Being an innovation leader in a large company is difficult at the best of times. However, it gets even harder when the leader is not clear on what their job is. The other day I was having a conversation with an innovation leader from a large retail company that has also launched a bank as […]

Eight Ways To Transform Your Company’s Innovation Culture

With the world changing rapidly most corporate executives are starting to feel the pressure. There is a realization that beyond cost-cutting and operational efficiency, companies must also invest in developing their innovation pipeline. At the beginning, corporate leaders often reach for easy solutions or low hanging fruit. They focus on the training and improving the […]

In Defense Of Middle Managers Who Stifle Innovation

Whenever I am in conversations with intrapreneurs about their struggles in large enterprises they blame middle managers. To their minds, these up and coming leaders with MBAs are the real problem in getting an innovation culture embedded within the company. Middle managers are on a specific career trajectory and will not do anything to upset […]

Why Companies Must Align Innovation Strategy With Business Strategy

With the world changing so rapidly virtually every established company feels the imperative to innovate. Executives, managers and employees across the globe are working hard to figure out how to succeed with innovation. The lessons that are emerging from this work are sometimes counter-intuitive and challenge many long held assumptions. For example, research by Strategy& shows that […]