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Innovation

Innovation is at the heart of any great business. But how do you know which ideas are worth pursuing? These articles will show you how to harness creativity in your business and how to keep innovating and trying new things. You'll learn how to stop wasting time and why failure can be positive. 

Collaboration is key to innovation

In an ever more digital and connected world, business leaders must collaborate to innovate.

Cisco’s ‘ecosystem innovation’ process differs from a more traditional form of collaboration between companies. Instead of research and development alliances Cisco’s process is designed to explore opportunities and develop and test solutions with end users in a short space of time.

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Turn your brainstorm into a marathon

brainstorming

Is the best solution still germinating when the average brainstorming session ends? Take more time to let creativity flow.

The long-established brainstorm model puts a group of colleagues together for an intensive hour or two to come up with as many ideas as possible. When embarrassing silences kick in, it’s generally accepted that the well has run dry and the session will fizzle out....

Your three key players in the race for innovation

office desk

Startup companies will naturally have a keen eye for innovation as they work out their route to the top. But larger, long-established companies can keep pace with the new kids on the block by maximising the talent at their disposal.

You probably have some excellent talent on your teams. But how do you motivate it to come up with cutting edge ideas and deliver results?

 

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Five breakthrough leadership lessons

John Kirby

Five key leadership behaviours lay behind rare ‘breakthrough’ success in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) business.

‘Breakthroughs’ are products that expand or create new product categories – often required to maintain or grow a company’s market share. In the CPG market, 80% of growth comes from 1% of brands. Breakthrough success is so rare that of 3,500 new brands only 18 made the...

Four ways to respond to market threats

doslocation

Most companies face threats to their core business – but not all threats are alike. Recognise different types of disruption to create the right response.

Imagine a new product comes along and threatens your existence. Should you rush to copy the new entrant, or focus on your existing products and services?

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Why operating without a safety net could be the secret to success

Backup plan

Does your backup plan have your back, or is it holding you back?

“Get rid of your safety net,” says Stephanie Vozza in an article written for Fast Company, in which Vozza proposes that having a backup plan might not always be good for business.

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How to get your team’s creative juices flowing

Tim Arterbury

A counterintuitive approach may be the way to make groups think more creatively.

Your team is stuck for new ideas. It seems they have come to the end of the road and are just regurgitating old suggestions.

Some people think creativity is a random process; others believe it can be taught in a classroom.

 

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Boost innovation by identifying your customers’ jobs to be done

Transform your offering by discovering why your customers make a purchase.

We know more about our customers than ever before. But this has led us down the wrong path when it comes to innovation, say Clayton M. Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon and David S. Duncan in an article for Harvard Business Review.

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Why creativity and criticism complement each other

Your creative team need to be criticised, but not stifled – it’s a fine balancing act.

Some people believe that criticism and creativity make unhappy bedfellows in the workplace, but Theresa Johnston, writing for Stanford Business Journal, disagrees.

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How to achieve corporate longevity

The secret to staying the distance lies in your company’s ability to simultaneously exploit existing markets while exploring new ones.

When digital photography threatened celluloid film, Fujifilm managed this tricky balancing act while Kodak went bust.

Don’t leave your firm vulnerable to market disruption. Discover the the key to your firm’s long-term prosperity.

Five behaviours that create a culture of innovation

Inspire innovation by forging ahead on the path you want your employees to take.

Thriving in the face of industry disruption means creating a company culture that champions innovation. Start by changing your own habits and attitudes. Your employees will follow where you lead and the impact on company culture will be profound.

Here are five key behaviours that drive innovation....

Create your firm’s future today

What you do today determines your company’s future. The most successful firms learn to detect, analyse and capitalise on the earliest signs of emerging trends.

Writing for Harvard Business Review, Vijay Govindarajan describes how firms can master "planned opportunism" – a systematic process of detecting and interpreting the first signs of future developments in everything from customer...

Use your brand to attack new markets

Kuala Lumpur

Innovation isn’t just for startups – established companies can attack new markets too.

Incumbent firms operating in mature, saturated markets should use the power of their brands to tap the growth potential of new sectors, say Jean-Baptiste Coumau, Victor Fabius and Thomas Meyer writing for McKinsey Insights.

An algorithm for business success

Imagine an algorithm that could tell you when your company needs a new business model or when it should enter a new market.

The bad news? It doesn’t exist. The good news? Something almost as significant has emerged.

The lessons leaders everywhere can learn from Chinese companies

Chinese companies can teach the West responsiveness, flexibility, improvisation and speed, say Thomas Hout and David Michael, writing for the Harvard Business Review.

How to plan for the long term and the short term at the same time

Is it possible to invest in tomorrow without damaging performance today? Ken Favaro, writing for Strategy+Business, looks at short-term/long-term tension and how to get over it.

How to thrive in a slow-growth industry

Weak markets are not a valid excuse for a company’s slow growth, write Kasturi Rangan and Evan Hirsh for Strategy+Business. With the right market proposition, you can achieve success, no matter what state your industry is in.

Tips on selecting and trialling new management practices

Adopting a new management practice could give your company competitive edge and boost performance. But, warns Julian Birkinshaw, writing for Harvard Business Review, leaders should beware the “next big thing”.

Five ways to make your innovation initiatives successful

When innovation initiatives succeed, leaders immediately want more. While this is encouraging for innovation teams, it presents them with the dual challenge of scalability and funding.

Building your innovation team – the characters you need

As Amina Elahi points out, writing for the Chicago Tribune’s Blue Sky section, innovation doesn’t just happen – it’s created.

How to show your organisation is serious about innovation

You can’t achieve innovation through mission statements or press releases. Many leaders talk about the importance of innovation but are merely paying lip service to the concept.

Developing a strategy and mindset that encourages creative thinking takes concerted effort, observes Lisa Bodell, writing for Strategy+Business.

Dealing with creativity blockages

Creative work can take a long time, observes Jane Porter, writing for Fast Company. Results can be inconsistent, the gestation period can feel unproductive and it’s prone to blockages.

In fact, the challenging nature of creativity and the stagnation involved can tempt you into abandoning projects prematurely.

Using creativity to help your business stand out from the crowd

Creativity can be the key to catching customers, according to Daigo Smith, co-founder of UK online dating website Loveflutter, writing for The Guardian.

Smith summarises the company’s key learnings from the creative process that brought the site to life and “helped generate the industry buzz seen on both sides of the Atlantic”:

How to transform your employees into smart risk takers

Business leaders strive for positive cultural change and innovation, resulting in happy, fulfilled employees creating value throughout the organisation. Writing for Strategy+Business, Lisa Bodell observes that “the journey is just as critical as the destination” when a culture is being reshaped.

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