Archive for category Innovation

CE#667: Why The Paradigm Shift In Management Is So Difficult (Forbes)

Steve Denning, Contributor

Why The Paradigm Shift In Management Is So Difficult

In 1539, Copernicus overturned more than a thousand years of doctrine that the sun revolves around the earth with his theory that the earth is one of a number of planets revolving around the sun. No amount of tweaking the old theory led to progress. Scientists had to look at the problem in a totally different way to solve the problem.

In 1865, Gregor Mendel presented a paper in Moravia that eventually jettisoned decades of scientific work in genetics. The prevailing theory was that all genetic characteristics were passed from parents to the next generation in an average fashion. Mendel’s work in pea plants showed that genetics works over multiple generations with hybrid, dominant and recessive genes. No amount of tweaking the old theory led to progress. Scientists had to look at the problem in a completely different way to solve the problem.

In 1982, scientists knew that stomach ulcers were caused by stress, spicy foods, and stomach acid. So they ignored Barry Marshall, an Australian physician, when he presented evidence that peptic ulcers are caused by a bacterium living in the stomach. They knew that no bacterium could possibly live in the human stomach, given the presence of acid as strong as that found in a car battery. The breakthrough that won for Marshall the Nobel Prize for Medicine didn’t come by improving the conventional theory of stomach ulcers. He had to look at the problem in a totally different way to solve the problem.

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CE#663: Why Big Companies Can’t Innovate (HBR Blog Network)

by Maxwell Wessel  |   8:00 AM September 27, 2012

Big companies are really bad at innovation because they’re designed to be bad at innovation.

Take a story plucked from the pages of Gerber’s history. In 1974, the company’s growth potential was waning. In order to grow profitability and fight margin pressure, Gerber executives turned towards a market they hadn’t successfully penetrated for decades: adult food.

Luckily for a company adept in sourcing and processing vegetables and fruits, tens of millions of busy Americans were spending more time at work and fewer hours in front of the stove. Gerber’s team knew if they could develop a quick, healthy meal for adults, they had an avenue into meaningful growth.

When Gerber launched its product targeted towards this opportunity, it flopped disastrously. It’s no surprise: Instead of developing a novel line of food suited to the needs of busy Americans with distinct branding and its own distribution strategy, Gerber slapped a new label — excitingly named“Gerber Singles” — on existing pureed products and shipped them out for placement in a different aisle.

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CE#651: The No. 1 Enemy of Creativity: Fear of Failure (HBR Blog Network)

by Peter Sims

Never once in my life until my mid 30s did anyone ever (to the best of my recollection) call me “creative.” But now, I hear it all the time.

So what happened?

Well, after a traditional education, business school, and five years working in strategy consulting and venture capital, I went to a cocktail reception at Stanford’s, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, where I met George Kembel, cofounder and executive director of the school. While I cannot remember one thing that we discussed, I do remember laughing for about 40 minutes straight as we riffed on odds and ends. (I’ve since learned that anyone who has a sense of humor is creative.)

Over the next five years, what Kembel and his colleagues at the taught me changed the way I thought about everything, leaving me to wonder why the hell I had never learned the basic methods for thinking like a designer (especially in a world where the leading company, Apple, has a culture built around design methods).

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CE#646: Innovation Matters; It’s Why You Care More About Apple than Kraft (Forbes)

Adam Hartung, Contributor

Apple gives us innovation

We care a lot about Apple, largely becausethe company has made us all so productive.  Instead of chained to PCs with their weight and processor-centric architecture (not to mention problems crashing and corrupting files) while simultaneously carrying limited function cell phones, we all now feel interconnected 24×7 from lightweight, always-on smart devices.  We feel more productive as we access our work colleagues, work tools, social media or favorite internet sites with ease.  We are entertained by music, videos and games at our leisure.  And we enjoy the benefits of rapid problem solving – everything from navigation to time management and enterprise demands – with easy to use apps utilizing cloud-based data.

In short, what was a tired, nearly bankrupt Macintosh company has become the leading marketer of innovation that makes our lives remarkably better.  So we care – a lot – about the products Apple offers, how it sells them and how much they cost.  We want to know how we can apply them to solve even more problems for ourselves, colleagues, customers and suppliers.

Amidst all this hoopla, as you figure out how fast you can buy an iPhone 5 and what to do with your older phone, you very likely forgot that Kraft will be splitting itself into 2 parts in about 2 weeks (October 1).  And, most likely, you don’t really care.

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CE#637: 30 Innovations That Will Change The World (Business Insider)



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CE#606: Glass Session: Madame & Bébé Gayno

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CE#605: First Flight VC1

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