After six months of hard work, we were sitting together on a warm spring afternoon enjoying a beer in one of Melbourne’s new hipster bars. We had learned a lot, traveled all over Australia and met amazingly passionate people. We’d put together a lean startup with a focus to test a simple business idea and we’d heard countless times how much our tools were needed. There was only one problem. We had failed.
At the start of the twenty first century the innovation buzz has become deafening. It commands the attention of everything – from the popular media to scientific journals. Innovation is claimed to be the driver of economies and the competitive edge of companies. With innovation being the core of many new management styles, one question still remains for the enthusiastic manager; what are the concrete tools for my employees to build our revolutionary innovations?
Have you ever shared new big ideas at work? What happened…? Did they give you a standing ovation? Did someone bake you a cake to celebrate? Did you get promoted? Or I am a little too optimistic?
You don’t need to look far to see risk in innovation leadership. Yet many entrepreneurs lack a sufficient understanding of how to judge and deal with risks. In this article we introduce a model for classifying risks in innovation leadership. In turn, we discuss how some of these risks can be reduced or averted, and in some cases even embraced and reframed to mean something positive.
In a world where we don’t know what tomorrow will look like, safety comes from being able to continuously experiment. The winners get to failure faster, more frequently, using fewer resources, and learning from it quicker than others. So if you operate in a fast-changing changing world, then it is time to retrain your instincts. It’s too risky not to.
Fast entrepreneurship runs on adrenaline-infused quick returns and quick failures, burning through long nights of brainstorms and coding. It is exciting in its own right, but appropriate only for specific ventures. Slow Entrepreneurship treasures human relationships, health, and sanity, and strives for the good life. The vision for Slow Entrepreneurship is that by going through a learning program with the right mentoring and guidance, almost everybody with dedication will bring their project to fruition.
We’ve covered some essential ground to help you prepare your innovation journey, and now it’s time to put these concepts into action. The innovation formula addresses the very specific tasks that have to be accomplished for innovation to emerge from your organization not only as a matter of luck or at random, but through a concentrated effort that results in sustained innovation performance. Here you will find the Taking Action steps along with 25 additional suggestions that we hope will help you to think and plan creatively and productively about how to make innovation a reality in your organization.
The focus of the The Innovation Formula is on the innovation process that makes sense for small businesses, where lean, simple, and fast are essential. You may also be interested in a view of the innovation process that’s suited to larger companies, so this chapter provides an overview of the Innovation Master Plan framework that we use when we’re working with larger organizations on innovation projects and initiatives.
Since we’re obliged to pursue innovation in a competitive marketplace, speed matters. In fact, it matters a great deal, for your competitors aren’t waiting, and you cannot afford to allow them to get too far ahead. The faster you recognize new trends, threats, and opportunities, the faster great ideas get discovered and created, the faster they get to market, the faster you earn money, build brand, and extend the relevance and reach of your firm into the future.
The process of designing and developing your own innovation portfolios occurs as a series of steps that are described in a sequence because the output of one step will help you to think about the subsequent ones. The process builds towards design conclusions and decisions about the choices you’ll have to make, and then the investments that will back them up. In this chapter excerpt, Langdon Morris walks us through the process.
Probably the single greatest threat to most small businesses is “concentration risk,” also known as “keeping all your eggs in one basket.” In this chapter excerpt of of The Innovation Formula Langdon Morris discusses innovation portfolio design, and how it translates the goals and intents of your aims and strategy into a set of risk-managed innovation projects.
Where do great ideas come from? Obviously they come from many sources, which means that your systematic innovation process has to support and sustain multiple efforts at ideation in parallel. In the following article we will explore some promising ways that you may be able to find ideas that will take your own business forward.
In the first chapter of The Innovation Formula for small business leaders and entrepreneurs, Langdon Morris explained the importance of questions and maps that describe competition, change, the future, innovation and strategy that are intended to help you understand the significant forces that are shaping business today, and to harness the ones that are already shaping tomorrow. In the second chapter, we look at a third core element that this book is organized around, which is the innovation formula.
Innovation is as important for small business as for large ones, but most of the books and other writings available focus on the big firms. In his new book The Innovation Formula, Langdon Morris provides insights for the small business leader or entrepreneur about how to be fantastically successful at innovation even with very limited time and capital to invest.
Is Germany loosing the connection to today’s speed of change? In his new book “Germany’s Innovation Jam – How we create a new generation of founders,” Author Jürgen Stäudtner looks at German innovation pitfalls and corresponding resolutions.