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Could it be that today’s pervasive bad news, the news that causes everyone else to moan and complain—the economic malaise, the chaos that the digital revolution created, the impacts of outsourcing, political instability, global competition—can offer amazing opportunities to out- distance your competition? In this second chapter excerpt from the new book, Agile Innovation, Langdon Morris explores innovation-under-duress.
Charles Darwin said it quite well: “In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” Innovation, collaboration, and improvisation are indeed essential forces shaping all of business and all of modern life, and they’ve become vitally important for the individual, the organization, and indeed for all of society.
Turning ideas into numbers and knowing the characteristics of the Ideal Idea (0.00iur) is like having a compass and knowing the safe harbor where the minimal risks of innovation converge. Mathematically identifying desired ideas by users, extracted from simplified mathematical formulas, is the Holy Grail that eliminates uncertainties and passionate discussions, which are unhelpful in choosing ideas.
We bet you hear the word innovation at least a dozen times a day, if not more. Every single company seems to be thinking of, planning for, and somehow doing innovation in some way. With so many ideas, frameworks and success stories, how can you cut through the noise and capture what’s most relevant for your company?
Is your workplace cluttered? Not in the physical sense, but the figurative one. Do you have a bunch of old tasks and procedures taking up space without adding much value? Just like you have to dig through your closet every so often and get rid of questionable items that you once thought were good purchases, sometimes you have to assess the mental clutter that has built up in the workplace over time and recognize when policies have gone out of style. Tasks and rules that were once must-haves can build exponentially and increase complexity until employees have time for little else, like innovation.
Many organizations in both the public and private sectors suffer from a corporate culture which is risk averse and fearful of failure. People are reluctant to try new things or even to suggest innovations. They remember old stories about colleagues being punished for experiments that failed. They have learnt that it is safest to keep a low profile and focus on standard operating procedures. Mean while the executive committee is desperately trying to think of ways to make the outfit more agile and innovative.
In Parts 1 & 2, Gordon, newly appointed CEO of PharmaX, is confronted with a serious innovation gap in the next 5 years. His pipeline of projects is quality but high risk. From an arm’s length point of view, he sees that he has 3 options: business as usual, R&D budget cutting or rethink the way PharmaX assets are being used to redefine a new strategy. In Part 3 we will see how Gordon draws on his experience in customer needs driven innovation and managing his team, to carve out a daring innovation program.
In the first installment, Gordon the newly appointed CEO at Pharmax is confronted with an innovation gap of 5 years. Certainly, the potential of the portfolio is high, but the risks are even higher. With market pressure breathing down his neck, Gordon tries to make sense of the options that he has and make the right decisions.
We are living in an increasingly litigious age. The number of lawsuits brought against the British National Health Service has doubled in the last four years. The fear of litigation and the real possibility of been found guilty of medical malpractice are inhibiting hospitals and doctors from trying promising new ideas in the treatment of deadly illnesses.
We are on the executive floor of the imaginary pharmaceutical company PharmaX, it is Q3 and the top management is preparing for the annual innovation review. The year has been tough with revenue being hit by generic competition as their major products come off patent, but then it has been difficult for all the industry. This is the first article in a series of three. Parts 2 & 3 will be published in the next 2 weeks.
Summer is for relaxing, but also for reading books in more depth. During his vacation Bengt Järrehult read Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow for the second time and more thoroughly. Here are Bengt’s thoughts on how Prospect Theory applies to innovation related decisions – the decisions that may seem stupid and irrational – but are they really?
From incremental to breakthrough innovation projects, managers need to handle different activities and with them dissimilar venues of risks. In this article the internal, external and hidden risks of incremental, differential, radical, and breakthrough innovation projects are identified and ranked accordingly. In addition, for every category a general innovation eco-system has been analyzed.
Innovation is always a result of taking risk and mastering these risks successfully. However, in the past few years the risks resulting from the overall economic situation seems to have increased for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). As they cannot control these external risks many of them seem to stay away from too risky innovation projects. This has implications for the SMEs and for those who provide innovation support for SMEs?
As the economy is dynamically changing and innovation becomes crucially important, a look into the management practices and risks that such projects face should always be welcome. In part two of this series of articles focused on identifying risks on innovation projects, the attention will be directed towards the identification of the internal and hidden risks of innovation projects.
From our talks with innovation management practitioners and business executives it seems that not many organizations have a well-defined and integrated innovation strategy. To find out more about how to go about creating and executing such a strategy, we spoke to Wouter Koetzier and Christopher Schorling at Acceture who encourage a very pragmatic and execution-oriented approach.