Each week I scour articles, wading through the dogs, and bringing you the best insights to help product managers, developers, and innovators be heroes.
2 different approaches to breakthrough innovation – re-combination and deep research. Sarah Kaplan, a senior fellow at Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management, has conducted research on how breakthrough innovation happens. The traditional thinking is that a diverse team re-combining diverse knowledge leads to breakthroughs. Kaplan also found breakthroughs resulting from deep dives into a specific area that produced new knowledge. The first relies on brainstorming while the second relies on robust and focused research. Read the summary of her findings at http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/brainstorming-right-way-innovation/
Innovation lessons taking place in China. Chinese companies have often been thought of as imitators of products developed elsewhere. They take a successful product and produce it at a lower cost with little real innovation. That has changed. Now China is a hotbed for innovation. They rapidly experiment, finding what doesn’t work on the way to creating successful products. Read about some examples at http://www.forbes.com/sites/valleyvoices/2016/02/05/four-ways-you-need-to-rethink-innovation-and-competition-from-china
Follow the 2% to fuel your innovation – product ideas for product managers. Retail research is showing that a much smaller percentage of customers is accounting for the majority of sales than previously thought. The use of the 80/20 rule has been common – that 80% of sales is driven by 20% of customers. New research in the food and beverage sector puts the real number near 2% – that 80% of sales is driven by just 2% of customers. Those 2 percenters are the brands loyal fans and an important source for innovation. Follow them to get ideas for new products. Get the details at http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickhanlon/2016/02/04/want-radical-innovation-innovate-around-your-craziest-customers
Why the startup model is best for innovation. Startups have advantages over incumbents. They are agile fast movers, not constrained by “that’s not how we do things” thinking. The established incumbents are increasingly looking at their legacy systems that run the business (information technology, supply chain management, organizational processes, etc.) as liabilities instead of assets. Learn how the startup model drives innovation http://www.geekwire.com/2016/is-the-startup-model-best-for-innovation/
5 keys for innovative organizations. 1. Running at multiple speeds. 2. Recognizing the inflection point. 3. Creating today’s innovative culture. 4. Adapting the business model. 5. Having a long term vision. Read the details of each at http://www.industryweek.com/innovation/5-fundamental-areas-are-key-success-innovative-manufacturers
Example of employee-contributed ideas that leads to a new business unit at Adidas. 450 ideas were submitted by Adidas employees. An internal group reviewed and shortlisted the most promising ideas. One was selected for development – coined as the “Netflix for Running.” While I am hesitant to use employee ideation systems like this because they too often result in more harm than good to innovation and employee motivation, I am interested to see where the new business goes. Read about it at http://www.forbes.com/sites/stanphelps/2016/02/10/adidas-reinforces-a-new-culture-of-innovation-with-the-introduction-of-avenue-a