Each week I scour articles, wading through the dogs, and bringing you the best insights to help product managers, developers, and innovators be heroes.
How to be a great product leader. Successful product managers often have the opportunity to become product leaders, guiding the work of product managers. Yet, few are prepared for this transition to manager of people instead of products. Sachin Rekhhi shares important guidance for making a successful transition: http://www.sachinrekhi.com/how-to-be-a-great-product-leader
Just for fun – French fries innovation = chocolate sauce. Ymm! McDonald’s has launched French fries with white and milk chocolate drizzle to their Japan market. I’m intrigued, both to see if the products helps their slumping business in Japan and if it comes to a McDonald’s near me in the future. I like fries and I like chocolate – might just be a crazy winner! Read about it at http://www.ndtv.com/offbeat/the-latest-innovation-from-the-home-of-sushi-chocolate-french-fries-1271120
Retail innovation incubators are heating up. As I noted in last week’s Innovation Insights, creating in-house innovation incubators is on a rapid rise. Many companies are experimenting with internal incubators to spur innovation, find ways to delight customers, and differentiate themselves in competitive markets. Retail has not missed the trend. This article highlights the innovation incubators at Sephora, Kohl’s, and Sears: http://www.retaildive.com/news/inside-three-retail-innovation-labs/411810/
Crowdfunding, a la Kickstarter, Indeigogo, and others continue to rise and drive innovation. Crowdfunding is an excellent way of solving several problems at once for product managers and innovators. In one well-planned swoop, you can validate customer desire for your product concept, gain insights to refine the concept, and raise funding to make the concept a reality. 2015 saw a 20% rise in crowdfunding from the previous year. Check it out at http://www.forbes.com/sites/trevorclawson/2016/01/30/rewards-crowdfunding-still-propping-up-the-innovation-economy
Internal innovation contests can create innovation if managed properly. I’m a skeptic of innovation contests because I have seen too many that don’t produce desirable results. They create excitement for a time but can also demotivate employees when they don’t see any action taken on their ideas. This article offers suggestions for making innovation contests effective. Use with caution: http://searchcio.techtarget.com/blog/TotalCIO/Innovation-contests-can-work-but-only-if-managed-properly
6 focuses to put innovation to work in your organization. We all know it is true – as organizations grow, innovation slows. It takes focused work to keep innovation part of the culture of an organization. Here are 6 ways to keep innovation in growing organizations: http://www.business2community.com/business-innovation/6-strategies-putting-innovation-work-organization-01438424
4 truths for leading innovation culture. After reading the above article, check this one also. It describes 4 characteristics that need to be present in your culture for innovation. They are: (1) accountability, (2) self-awareness, (3) being ritual, and (4) contradiction. Read more at Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrydoss/2016/01/31/four-cardinal-points-of-leading-innovation-culture