What’s the Next Big Thing in Innovation Management?

big thingA colleague of mine, Robert Brands of Brands & Company (1), recently posed a question. He asked, “…so what do you think is the next big thing in innovation management?” For instance, there are concepts such as “blue ocean strategy”, “open innovation”, “lean start-up strategy” and even “big data” that have occupied much of the innovation management press. Countless books and articles tout the latest “best practice”. What will be next, Robert asked?  Continue reading

Innovate Your Innovation Process

innovateAre you a small to mid-sized (SME) manufacturing company with a singular focus on understanding your customer needs, providing superior products to meet those needs and growing your revenue and earnings? It goes without saying that for every company, these goals should and do consume significant management bandwidth. The problem is that most organizations become too inwardly focused (1). They do not consider what might be happening outside their company, and even beyond their industry, and leverage that knowledge to create new customer value. This has driven the popularity of the concept of “open innovation”. Maybe we should extend the concept of open innovation to other important aspects of a business such as the innovation management process. Why not, in other words, “innovate your innovation process” by learning from others? Continue reading

Assessing Your New Product Development (NPD) Process

continuous learningFor anyone responsible for managing a new product development (NPD) process, continually assessing your process and learning from other’s experiences is a must. These whitepapers available at no charge cover a wide range of topics including the role of management in NPD success, metrics, project definition, portfolio management and online tools, project risk, among others.   Continue reading

U.S. Debt, China and Innovation

What does the U.S. debt, the Chinese economy and innovation have in common? More than you think.

Among all the other political stories in the U.S. that consume the media’s attention and many Americans, not much was heard recently about two disturbing trends that will impact the long-term economic well-being of every American household. Continue reading

Fostering a Culture of New Product Innovation: A Bottom’s Up Perspective-Part III

GrassrootsInnovation is the process that links technology to a market need and results in a product or service of value. But what are the key elements that need to be in place for a company to be innovative? That’s not a simple answer. Every industry, technology, and company is different so what works for one, may not work for another. Every senior manager responsible for their firm’s financial performance and concerned about long-term growth, whether a CEO, president, or owner, wants their organization to be innovative, but what does that really mean?  Continue reading

Fostering Inspiration and Creativity in New Product Development (NPD)

creativityInnovation is all about matching a technology to a market need. That is the essence of new product development (NPD). The entire innovation process, whether related to actually engineering the product or addressing a market in a new and unique way, demands high levels of inspiration and creativity among all involved in NPD. Creativity and inspiration is not a process that can be turned into an efficient “algorithm” like so many other business processes. Not much new in those statements. The real question is what levers can management pull in order to influence high levels of creativity? That is the subject of this article. Continue reading