Contestants to Compete for More Than $80,000 in Prizes New “Prop Master’s Choice” Award Adds a Dose of Hollywood Allure to the Competition SAN DIEGO – March 16, 2010 – LG Mobile Phones, the fastest growing mobile phone brand in North America,  is partnering with crowdSPRING, an online marketplace for creative services, and Autodesk, a leader in 2D and 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software, to hold an innovative competition to define the future of mobile... Read more »

Inspiring Corporate Entrepreneurship to Fuel Innovation

It’s been said that successful people either are entrepreneurs – or think like entrepreneurs. Look around your company. Are you surrounded by “entrepreneurs”? Is your team comprised of people who take ownership of any project or task that comes across their desk or inbox? Do they embrace challenges, possess the process, and take responsibility – for successes and failures alike? Some may come away thinking that “corporate entrepreneur” and “employee”... Read more »

Toyota Recall Highlights: Innovation gone too far?

Once upon a time, to start your Toyota Camry, you placed a key in the ignition and turned until the electrical connection was made and engine started. To accelerate, you pressed the gas pedal, which pulled a cable attached to a mechanical throttle. Assuming the shift had been manually placed into gear – the car moved. Today, electronics and computers have replaced many of the mechanical parts that once made cars move. To start many cars or place them in gear, buttons are pushed. To accelerate,... Read more »

Innovation Trend Spotting: Shepherding a Team of Opportunists

When an entrepreneur creates a new product or company, the result usually is borne by spotting an emerging trend, conceptualizing an innovation, or seizing an opportunity unmet or consumer behavior emerging in the marketplace. But what happens once the company opens its doors or the product hits the market? Whose responsibility is it to spot the next trend or opportunity? More important, who should be charged with shepherding the behavior of trend-spotting across the organization? Everybody is responsible... Read more »

The World’s Most Innovative Companies 2010

Even in these tough times, surprising and extraordinary efforts are under way in businesses across the globe. From politics to technology, energy, and transportation; from marketing to retail, health care, and design, each company on the following pages illustrates the power and potential of innovative ideas and creative execution. Click here to see the list  Read More →

Building an Innovation Culture

For innovation to flourish, executives must be committed, patient and ready to lead by example. By Josh Cable Like many manufacturers, Eaton, Ohio-based Henny Penny Corp. was founded on innovation. Seeking a better way to cook chicken, restaurant owner Chester Wagner developed a deep-fat pressure fryer and filed for a patent in 1954. Three years later (patent in hand), Wagner formed Henny Penny to market his invention, which the company claims was the world’s first commercial pressure fryer. The... Read more »

Why Results Require Rewards: Encouraging Action With Incentive

Imagine a company that has taken the time to consider the role of Innovation in the corporate mission. Employees were encouraged to be part of the innovation process but their reward was compensation linked strictly to output. Does that encourage value-added thought process? In my mind, it encourages work, which should need no encouragement at all. Now, what if that same company put a reward system in place whose reward system was based on innovation and results, not hours or labor? It aligned reward... Read more »

Invitation to participate

Successful innovation comes when a holistic or “Total Innovation” approach is applied. Often individual imperatives are missing or in place but lack or miss others. What are your barriers to Innovation, what is missing, lacking or weakest area? Click to participate: http://innovationcoach.brightidea.com/ideas  Read More →

Observe & Measure: When Validating Innovation, ‘What’s Measured Is Treasured’

Innovation may be vital to creating competitive advantage. But how costly is ineffective innovation? That is, if a company sets out on a new product or service development initiative – and that effort fails along the way for whatever reason – what has been lost? Investments in time, effort, capital – even reputation? What if the company set in place a practice of observing and measuring innovation at select or pre-set milestones along the way? Roadblocks, sticking points or issue that otherwise... Read more »

Value Creation: The Ultimate Goal of Innovation

Why innovate? Some would argue that companies innovate to achieve a heightened competitive advantage, streamline the organization, or create intellectual property – including patents, trademarks and other protected property – that create value in the portfolio. Many reason and rationales can be argued for the pursuit of innovation. Yet no purpose for or result from innovation can be more compelling than Value Creation. This metric is the ultimate measure of return on investment when measuring... Read more »

‘Is This Yours?’ In The Innovation Process, The Answer Defines Ownership

“Excuse me, is this yours?” If someone asked members of your Innovation Team about “ownership” of a current initiative, would individuals reply, “Yes”? Or would the people involved point to the team leader, the CEO or someone else – someone other than themselves? Would they reply, “No, that’s his”? I spoke recently with a CEO of a consumer products company who expressed disappointment that an idea for an exciting new wrinkle in sunglasses technology had faltered. In doing... Read more »

Business Week Column: Innovation Made Incarnate

Much of Apple’s success relies on the inspiration CEO Steve Jobs has fostered in employees. Here are seven steps to turn inspiration into innovation By Robert Brands See: www./innovation When Apple (AAPL) unveils its iSlate in late January, the tablet computer will be just the latest wowing of the world by the pioneering computer company. With its iPhone, iPod, and MacBook laptops, plus the original Macintosh computer itself (and the “1984” TV commercial that pitched it), Apple’s... Read more »

The Year in Innovation

The innovation industry took a hit this year, as executives dialed back on initiatives—and paid the price. But some encouraging trends also emerged. In 2009 the world was no longer flat; much of it was flat broke. Deflated by slumping sales and income, companies roundly did what innovation consultants say they never should—they cut spending on research and development. The U.S. drug industry, historically one of the most lavish spenders on research and development, announced the elimination of... Read more »

Innovation: Training & Coaching, Business Overlooked Imperative

Smart companies often pride themselves on training programs that introduce or enhance employees’ knowledge of corporate business practices. They promote mentoring initiatives that pair seasoned execs with rising talent. They create booklets or PDFs on corporate policy – and implore staff to read them. But introduce a business innovation initiative, and those involved are expected to just know how things are done. They’re supposed to possess some innate awareness of the concepts, the best practices,... Read more »

Practical takeaways of the 2009 Open Innovation Summit Presentation

Key points of the presentation by Robert Brands, entrepreneur and innovation coach, from the foam business success story and derived “Robert’s Rules of Innovation ™ ” presented at the 2009 Open Innovation Summit in Orlando last week. 1. Greater returns result when innovation addresses multiple dimensions rather than focusing on one area such as product innovation. Innovation must be applied on a broad spectrum encompassing process, finance, delivery, etc.. According to the... Read more »

The Paradox of Innovation from the 30,000-Foot Perspective: It’s About the Journey, Not the Destination

In the C-suites of corporate America, “innovation” has become a mandate. Executives – from CEOs to marketing officers – believe that to innovate is to embrace the Holy Grail of 21st Century business. But is innovation alone the answer? Is the end – innovation – capable of surviving solely as a mandate? Or is innovation a process, journey that seeks a destination refined and polished along the way? “Total Innovation” is a sojourn that mandates a total approach philosophy. However,... Read more »

Rethink: A Business Manifesto for Cutting Costs and Boosting Innovation

Rethink: A Business Manifesto for Cutting Costs and Boosting Innovation Author: Ric Merrifield Price: $18.24 Random Page from the Book Editorial Review Consumer Review Summary Description: It’s the trap that ensnares virtually every business. We focus on process: “how” we’re doing the job. And we forget about the bigger issue: “what” we’re doing and “why” we’re doing it. That’s why we’re leaving so much value on the table.... Read more »

New Product Development Requires Fresh Perspective on ‘Creative’ and ‘Structure’

New product development can be a misunderstood concept. Is the “product” actually a product? Or can it be a process? Is it a mandate from the C Suite? Or can it be a suggestion from the factory floor, the retail showroom, the Idea Box or a customer tip? How wide is your idea funnel? And how do you treat ideas once they land in the organization’s “idea hopper”? (see the blog post on “Innovation and Idea Management” to discover how to handle in-bound ideas). Answer these questions, and... Read more »

Innovation and Idea Management: From Ideation to Collaboration to Execution

Innovation thrives on a diet of news ideas. Alt: Innovation: What a great idea ! It needs new views, fresh thinking, a different perspective from across the organization. We’ve noted that Innovation = Creative x Risk Taking. Setting aside risk for the moment, creativity is a central element to the innovation process. But it must continually be nourished with new ideas from a variety of sources. Ideation is not a single event. It doesn’t originate from a single silo or one person or one... Read more »

Does a ‘Chief Innovation Officer’ Inspire Your Team?

Who inspires your team? Who develops the ideas, promotes an environment that fosters creative camaraderie, nourishes espirit de corps – and steers the organization toward greatness? In short, who is your Chief Innovation Officer? Every organization that grows by creating new products or services or aspires to out-class the competition needs a Chief Innovation Officer, or CIO. In Robert’s Rules of Innovation, “Inspiration” is the first and most important of the 10 imperatives. Inspiration... Read more »

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