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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. 

How to become a digital leader

In order to unlock the full potential of digital technologies and achieve “digital transformation”, your company must foster a digital leadership structure, writes Stijn Viaene for The European Business Review.

The aim is to enable your company to identify opportunities and take advantage of them quicker than your competitors.

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Elon Musk: expert generalist

Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s success is down to more than just hard work, the ability to visualise the future and a ‘never say die’ attitude.

Elon Musk is CEO and CTO of SpaceX, co-founder, CEO and chairman of Tesla Inc, co-founder of OpenAI and founder and CEO of Neuralink. He is worth US$15.3bn.

How has the 45-year-old entrepreneur achieved all of this in such a short space of time?

Why you need to understand your products’ demand windows

If you don’t know what the demand windows for your products are, not enough of your customers will be demanding them.

“The most predictable characteristic of today’s consumers may be their variability,” say Emre Sucu, Matt Egol, and Edward C. Landry writing for Strategy+Business. The predictable customer of a certain age, gender and postal code is a thing of a past.

Disruption: exploding the slow-incumbent myth

John McLean

The idea that large companies are slow to innovate is a myth. In fact, they may be too innovative for their own good.

We have all heard of well-established businesses ignoring the potential of new technologies. By the time they take the new technology seriously they have been disrupted by it, and small, fast-moving startups have taken over. This is the way many people believe disruption...

Four ways to build ‘cumulative advantage’

Cafe Jiro by Jiro Osuga

Create customer loyalty by making your products habit-forming rather than innovative.

Marketers spend a lot of time and money trying to make products stand out so they’ll be chosen. But what if novelty has the opposite effect? Writing in Harvard Business Review, A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin argue that you should offer customers not the perfect choice but the easy one.

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How to harness the power of transformation

caterpillar

Companies must avoid routine thinking and behaviour and embrace wholesale transformation to ensure they remain at the top of their game.

Your company’s way of doing business might have brought success for 20 years. It might still work today. But routine leads to complacency, and in the world of business, complacency can be deadly.

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”.

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