Innovation from a “Gemba” perspective

When was the last time you approached your business as a customer? Have you ever placed an order for your own product, and followed its path from start to finish? It may be time to start. It may be time for a Gemba Walk.     Competitive business strategy requires effective planning, development and growth. It demands innovation in all aspects of performance and interaction. The ability to monitor, study, and track core elements; both human and material, can help to minimizing errors and... Read more »

The Lost Interviews…

“What ruined Apple was not growth … what ruined apple was values… They got very greedy … Instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision, which was to make the thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible … they went for profits. They made outlandish profits for about four years. What this cost them was their future. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share.” These are Steve Jobs Words from a... Read more »

If ideas are the seeds of innovation…

  “If ideas are the seeds of innovation, idea management  is the formalization of the processes involved in gathering, sharing, analyzing and executing the ideas generated within an organization and its collaborative networks.” Whichever form your ideas take, how you manage them dictates the outcome of each endeavor. For great tips on idea management  read the latest post, “If ideas are the seeds of innovation…” at the Robert’s Rules of Innovation Blog.      Read More →

Innovation Pessimism

“The idea that innovation and new technology have stopped driving growth is getting increasing attention. But it is not well founded. Has the Idea Machine broken Down?” This is a must read article recently featured on the Economist. It is an interesting take on innovation as it is happening today. According to Peter Thiel, a founder of PayPal,  innovation in America is “somewhere between dire straits and dead”.  Is this accurate? The pace of innovation may have slowed, but the... Read more »

2013 Innovation Resolution: Make Mistakes

  At the beginning of every year, I pick one solid quote to live by for the year. This year, my quote comes from Neil Gaiman. Gaiman himself never graduated from college. He never even enrolled in college. Yet, today, he is one of the most celebrated and prolific writers working today. “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing... Read more »

Stay inspired this Holiday Season – The 12 Days of innovation

Robert’s Rules of Innovation wishes you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season. May you stay inspired in 2013!   Tis’ the Season for harrowing crowds, spiked eggnog, and delicious holiday feasts. It’s also the time of year for distraction, procrastination, and a lull in business productivity. Many companies see a lag in productivity and innovation during the holidays. According to a study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity, 70% of organizations regard interruption of workflow... Read more »

What drives Innovation and who owns it?

Ownership is one of the key imperatives of Robert’s Rules of Innovation. Most would agree that innovation is everyone’s responsibility, but employees can’t innovate unless their leaders empower them to do so. Innovation needs a champion within the organization to push them to take calculated risks, and to step outside their own comfort zone. Without ownership, positive results are almost impossible to achieve. To find out if you are on track in your companies’ innovation ownership; ask yourself... Read more »

3 Strategies for Efficient and Effective Teamwork

  You’ve just asked your employees to collaborate on an important group project. After taking time to photocopy a stack of handouts about the project, the group waits for a conference room to become available. Finally seated around the table, the group stares down at their paperwork until the meeting disperses, not to meet again for days or weeks. At its bare essentials, the group project appears to be tedious and inefficient. But, by making a few simple changes, you can promote a creative... Read more »

Innovations to be thankful for… & the importance of the NPD process

After sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner last week, it is hard not to think of all that we have to be thankful for. In the past year there have been some incredible new innovations revolutionizing the way people live their lives. After countless hours spent planning, researching, designing, and testing; what was once an idea, becomes a tangible reality. Implementing innovation depends on a disciplined strategy customized to the needs, size and culture of an organization.  Innovation can be incremental,... Read more »

In a Marketing Rut? Get Innovative!

You’ve optimized your website keywords, populated your social profiles with content, and maximized your print advertisements and direct mail campaigns… but your traffic and revenue still hasn’t increased. If this sounds familiar, you may be stuck in a marketing rut. Rather than continuing your same old, same old marketing tactics, utilize a few innovative ideas to jump-start your campaigns and start increasing your revenue. Get Strategic with Email You’ve got a customer mailing list already,... Read more »

Innovation Balancing Act

r On June 15th of this year, Nik Wallenda became the first person ever to walk across the roaring Niagra Falls on a 2-inch wire. After battling wind swells, and thick mist, Wallenda completed his walk crossing from the United States into Canada.   He was greeted by a Canadian customs agent who asked, “What is the purpose of your trip sir?”  Wallenda’s response: “To inspire people around the world to follow their dreams and never give up”. There are many possible roads... Read more »

I.N.N.O.V.A.T.I.O.N : Creating a Culture of Innovation

Innovation in business is the development of new customer value through solutions that meet new needs, inarticulate needs, or current needs in new ways. Innovation in and of itself is the key to a company’s survival. It is the lifeblood of a company. That said, innovation is not always easy, and it does not come by itself. It requires a culture and desire to deliver that needs to be nurtured and reinforced by its leadership and a backed by a structured process approach. The ten imperatives in Robert’s... Read more »

Measure Innovation Efforts in Leading and Lagging Indicators (KPI)

How will you measure success? Innovation is ultimately about Return on Investment. It’s critical to use leading and lagging Key Performance Indicators, and observe and measure time spent on each segment of the new product development (NPD) process to see how it’s progressing. Leading Metrics used in the industry can include ideas generated, ideation sessions held, number of patents filed, and for lagging new products released, and percentage of sales due to new products. See:  Read More →

Supporting the “R” in R&D

When it comes to Research and Development (R&D), a majority of the new product development process involves the “D” from concept to launch. However, the “R” is where most breakthroughs come from – and it is in jeopardy due to recessionary cuts and the short-term pressure for monthly and quarterly results. When companies are laser focused on delivering monthly bottomline goals, research can be left on the back burner. What are you doing to support research? Are you... Read more »

Challenging Open Innovation

Open Innovation is an effective method for gaining ideas from outside an organization, but in order to achieve long term sustained Innovation, companies need to establish a structured repeatable process. Breakthrough innovations still have to come from within the company through hard work and consistent efforts. A great example of this is Procter & Gamble Co., which successfully introduced its Open Innovation program to seek help from outside partners in everything from product design to packaging.... Read more »

Innovation Myths Debunked

Innovation is key to a company’s survival, regardless of the size or type of organization. But there are many myths and common misconceptions when it comes to how innovation is achieved. Many people think innovation is all about generating ideas, or ideation. While it’s true that every innovation must start with an idea, it is actually the delivery and execution of processes that lead to sustained Innovation. In fact, when it comes to achieving a culture of innovation, execution may be... Read more »

Innovation in a Reinvented World, + Website: 10 Essential Elements to Succeed in the New World of Business

A step-by-step guide to the 10 essential and practical skills a business needs to innovate and thrive in uncertain times The reinvented world of business will profoundly impact America’s leaders and workers in the decade ahead. Companies capable of transforming their organizations during this period of “Great Disruption” will thrive in the reinvented world however, the reverse holds true as well. Innovation in a Reinvented World reveals how transformation occurs when business leaders... Read more »

Gauging Your Organization’s Training and Coaching Program

For creating a company culture and mindset focused on innovation, it starts with proper training and coaching from the high ups of an organization. Team members need to be trained and coached to constantly improve their skill set, and this attitude should be continuously reinforced. It’s important for the entire company to be innovative, and not just a designated “Department of Innovation.” Successful, sustainable innovation depends on a natural curiosity and open-mindedness from... Read more »

Innovation is Creativity x Risk Taking

Innovation is impossible to achieve without taking a necessary amount of risk. In a world where the success rate of new product entries in the grocery business is 1 in 100, it is inevitable that every success sees failures along the way. An effective innovation leader should encourage creativity and risk taking, while also practicing a tolerance for failure. In order to foster initiative and innovation, ask yourself these questions. * Do you allow free research and development (R&D) time? * Do... Read more »

Let’s Bring Back Accountability

From customers’ and suppliers’ viewpoint, Company X is fast growing, exciting, and high-energy. Inside, though, it’s a tornado. Fighting fires, arguing over who committed to what, why it didn’t happen, and noticing things that fell through the cracks in just enough time is normal. How can this happen when they have weekly departmental meetings, keep track of action items, and post projects and timelines everywhere? Easily! There is no accountability. They don’t hold... Read more »

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