Switzerland – a tiny country with few natural advantages – has become incredibly successful in the world of banking, pharmaceuticals, machinery, and more. James Breiding, author of the bestselling book, Swiss Made, explores the enabling factors for innovation in Switzerland. He makes the point that when an entrepreneur comes up with a new and innovative method or product, there will be resistance from those who have accepted the status quo. Entrepreneurs as well as intrapreneurs need to have thick skin if they wish to disrupt the market.
What should a roadmap that helps you develop corporate innovation capabilities look like? How do you bring new thoughts and approaches together with current and past initiatives (both successes and failures) and turn this into a single framework? How do you keep pushing and developing your organization to become more flexible and agile without losing out on the current overall efforts and expected results?
Despite the company’s growing size, Pandora CTO Tom Conrad states that his company resists the urge to make any long-term plans. In fact, they never plan an operating schedule more than three months in advance. Though this practice makes some operations more difficult, the flexibility allows the upstart enterprise to remain nimble and responsive; traits, Conrad states, every start-up should try to maintain as long as possible for maximum market advantage.
Business these days might as well require us to be tactical geniuses because it’s like navigating a field of landmines. One wrong step can completely blow you out of the water. The risks obviously aren’t keeping everyone at bay, as new leaders are rising to face the challenges during these fast-paced, turbulent times. To help them on this quest, great leaders and managers of today share their most valuable management and innovation tips.
Innovation has become a business mantra and a word that threatens to lose all meaning every time it’s uttered at another conference or thrown into another book title. But in spite of its omnipresence it continues to be essential – a growing field – and one of the only practices that might save businesses from extinction.
“Companies don’t disrupt, people do,” says Whitney Johnson, who is best known for her work on driving corporate innovation through personal disruption. She discusses the four things that help you know whether you’re on the right or wrong S-curve and shares examples of how to disrupt a constraint in a company environment. Tune in for more insightful advice.
September 15, 2016: In recent weeks we continue to see big name brands tap into the creativity of the crowd for product and service design ideas. In the arts, Beatles fans and Indian citizens contributed footage for new documentaries. Health agencies are using the wisdom of the crowd to find solutions to drug-resistant bacteria and new online platforms help catalog our galaxy. Law enforcement is improving traffic and street safety via crowdsourcing apps; in Oslo a new app is designed and used by children. In an interesting turn of events, crowdsourcing has converted into a system of checks and balances between law enforcement and society. After recent stories of police misconduct in the US, its citizens are now providing data from inside the courthouses to monitor unjust hearings.
Stripe’s John Collison talks about how the focus and culture at a startup may need to evolve as it grows. He also discusses the concept of “path dependence,” where a venture’s direction isn’t guided by working toward a grand vision, but by achieving intermediate goals and letting that journey determine trajectory.
Getting started with open innovation and developing the right foundation for open innovation has been a key challenge at many companies in the last three to five years. Now, internal as well as external forces are moving these companies towards the next level of open innovation in which we go beyond just products and technology and start to explore how a more open and collaborative mindset can be applied to all more business units and functions. Think procurement and engineering as examples.
Design Thinking Leaders discover innovative ideas by working through challenging, and often chaotic, situations where disruptive opportunities are typically hidden. These creativity-minded professionals embrace the consumer’s perspective and balance that with the brand’s needs and aspirations. The result? Simple, yet radical solutions that seem so obvious in hindsight.