Monday, October 23, 2006

Innovation 101

It's conference season, and I've had the chance to attend innovation conferences at the Business Innovation Factory, the Innovation Immersion conference in San Diego, and I'm currently attending the PDMA's Innovation conference in Atlanta. That means I've heard a lot of opinion and fact about innovation over the last few weeks.

I've talked to a number of people at these conferences and I've come to a couple of conclusions about innovation, one of which I'll share here - many of the people who come to these conferences could really use an introductory program just to introduce the various concepts and approaches for innovation. I'd guess about 30% of the people at most of these events are literally drinking from the firehose and are overwhelmed by what they see and hear, and don't have a good sense of how to implement any of the stuff they hear at these events.

Last week we heard Carol Pletcher, the CIO at Cargill talk about the recent successes of the innovation initiatives at Cargill. What people may fail to realize is that Carol and her team have been working on those initiatives for over 5 years, and they have significant senior management commitment and have worked with a number of external consultants and advisors. All that stuff didn't fall out of the sky yesterday - and for all of the success they've had at Cargill, only about 20% of the business units have implemented the innovation approach. This innovation stuff - while it seems straightforward - takes time, focus and energy to implement successfully.

When you add to those facts the different approaches - open versus closed innovation, incremental versus disruptive, the cultural changes, processes and tools necessary to develop and support innovation initiatives, I think a good number of the people are simply overwhelmed at these events, and could stand a breakout session targeted to people and firms that are just getting started. I spoke to one of the corporate organizers about this idea, and he replied that they had offered programs like this previously but no one showed up. I suspect that some people may be unwilling to identify themselves as newbies, but you can tell when you meet them at the events, in the meeting halls and exhibit halls. They have been told that culture, sorry processes, sorry tools, sorry expert training, sorry ideation sessions are what will cure their problems. The question is - where do we begin?

I have some opinions about this. I think you need to first align your initiative with corporate strategies, define some basic workflow about your ideas, establish the type of ideas and their focus (incremental versus disruptive), who can submit and who can evaluate ideas, and define an idea database. However, I think many of these attendees would be well served with a basic introduction to innovation, the concepts and moving parts.

What do you think?
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
posted by Jeffrey Phillips at 6:34 PM

42 Comments:

Anonymous Karl Boggs said...

I agree - just from the BIF-2 experience I came away jazzed but felt like I had no tools to apply or work on immediately. I had changed perspectives especially around the importance of conversation and environment but no starting points or things I could actually teach my colleagues easily.

BIF-2 had lots of time to encourage networking but it was very difficult to find specific people and even more so for more introverted folks like myself. I was very happy to have had a chance to talk with you and a few other people in Providence, but it would have been helpful to have small conversation break outs as well.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Dorai said...

I have not been to innovation conferences but mostly read about innovation.

When it comes to innovation, a bootstrapping approach is a great one. I recommend starting with a basic idealog, review it once in a while and share it with others.

The next step is the team to set up shared database of ideas with a specific focus.

Incremental Innovation is a great way to start.

Here are a few things to think about:

1. Ideas trigger other ideas
2. Ideas shared tend to grow and morph into something useful
3. Just the act of coming up with ideas (even if they are not useful initially) and keeping an idealog is a good habit to develop.

5:05 AM  
Blogger Michael Kaufman said...

Check out the blog post at http://www.muzeview.com/cio/?p=141 which refers to a great primer for the folks you mention.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check this out for FREE...

This opportunity says:

"Your Ad" Will Be Instantly Displayed on Thousands of Websites and Read By Over 10 Million People Per Week For FREE, and It Only Takes 60 Seconds To Get Started!

To find out more visit: home business idea site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering Traffic and home business idea related stuff.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Scott A. Edwards said...

WOW, this is FANTASTIC...!!! Blog your AD to Millions. Post your AD for FREE and get MASSIVE traffic to your site. FREE to join. To get started fast, Click Here: moneymaking opportunities site. It pretty much covers moneymaking opportunities related stuff and it's FREE to join.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Scott A. Edwards said...

Hi my friends! I'm writing to you because I just came across a business that I think has great potential. It lets you save money on almost everything. Make money from almost everything, Including home loans- plus... help lower your taxes--best of all--it requires absolutely no investment. I thought you might be interested and like to check it out...

Here I have a referral marketing site/blog. It successfully covers referral marketing related stuff and almost everything else!

Come and check it out if you get time, Scott.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Scott Arthur Edwards said...

WATCH CAREFULLY...Here it is... FREE advertising, FREE download. No cost to you! Get your FREE download NOW! Make money and get FREE advertising! This is a great program for you to take advantage of... Check this out now for FREE!

To find out more visit: earn residual income site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering traffic and earn residual income related stuff. Don't forget, FREE, FREE, FREE!!!

8:16 AM  
Blogger Scott A. Edwards said...

Dear friends, Now you can help yourself take advantage of the huge surpluses of FREE advertising in your spare time, in the comfort of your own home. Hook up NOW with this exiting program. Click here: FREE INFORMATION

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rene Keiser signed up, and here's what happend..."This website is so viral - I received over one hundred sign ups and my network is already 5 levels deep in less than 48 hours." ~ Rene Keiser. Learn more about it here: make money while you sleep site. It pretty much covers make money while you sleep related stuff and it is FREE to join.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Scott Arthur Edwards said...

Dear friends, Now you can help yourself take advantage of the huge frenzy of FREE advertising in your spare time, while in the comfort of your own home. Hook up NOW with this exiting program. Click here: FREE INFORMATION

12:07 PM  
Anonymous how to stay erect said...

thanks for sharing..

11:12 PM  
Anonymous wisata kuliner bandung said...

thanks for sharing..

11:12 PM  
Anonymous belajar internet marketing said...

thanks for sharing..

11:13 PM  
Anonymous delayed orgasm said...

thanks for sharing..

11:13 PM  
Anonymous delaying ejaculation said...

thanks for sharing..

11:13 PM  
Anonymous how to last longer in bed said...

thanks for sharing..

11:13 PM  
Anonymous how to prolong ejaculation said...

thanks for sharing..

11:14 PM  
Anonymous how to avoid premature ejaculation said...

thanks for sharing..

11:14 PM  
Anonymous how to prevent premature ejaculation said...

thanks for sharing..

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Inversiones en oro said...

hello, this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.
Invertir en plata

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Invertir en oro said...

I think that this post is one of the best that i have read in my life, congrats you did a great job,.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous konsultan seo said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous asuransi pendidikan said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous action coach said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous jadi artis said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous cara dapat duit said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous kerja sama investasi said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous coach indonesia said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous jajanan bandung said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous coklat valentine said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Panduan SEO said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous christinetjan said...

this is really the material about innovation that i am looking for. at last i can find out from this blog

6:30 AM  
Anonymous konsultan perusahaan said...

I think people fear idea management and innovation because there's a significant number of ideas that simply won't plan out.......Nice statement.....keep posting

7:49 AM  
Anonymous belajar internet marketing said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous parcel lebaran said...

I think that this post is one of the best that i have read in my life, congrats you did a great job,.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous delayed orgasm said...

the difference between the content spammers and most corporate innovators is that the smaller

7:50 AM  
Anonymous how to avoid premature ejaculation said...

I'm writing to you because I just came across a business that I think has great potential. It lets you save money on almost everything. Make money from almost everything,

7:50 AM  
Anonymous konsultan seo said...

If growth is important to a firm, and if growth is dependent on offering existing products and services to new customers

7:50 AM  
Anonymous tabungan pendidikan said...

innovation is very natural and happens in the "real world" as new plants and animals colonize new ecological niches.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous mengecilkan perut said...

I wonder how you got so good. This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into. One thing I just want to say is that your Blog is so perfect

7:51 AM  
Anonymous how to teach dogs tricks said...

We generally think most specifically about the risk associated with a new product introduction

7:51 AM  
Anonymous easy way to get pregnant said...

I would be aware that as somebody who really doesn’t comment to blogs a lot (in actual fact, this may be my first put up), I don’t think the time period “lurker” is very flattering to a non-posting reader.

7:51 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home