Innovation Riffs

Today, just for fun, I’ll let you assemble the story yourself from the collected parts.

First up – Tom Fishburne says:

I blogged a few months ago that companies can be classified either as Rule Makers, Rule Followers, or Rule Breakers. Most companies duke it out amongst themselves as Followers, trying to gain share against the market leader by playing the rules of the market leader. …

Instead of obsessing about market share, think market creation. Become “the only ones who do what you do”.

And then there’s Roberto Verganti:

In the blog I mentioned that companies that are focusing on stripped-down “value” products risk making the mistake of assuming consumers care more about utility and low price than meanings. In the current ‘Great Recession’ meanings are becoming even more important, and companies should not think consumers care less about the emotional and social dimensions of products.

Although it is counter-intuitive, utility is not the only thing that matters to consumers. Even when they are hard pressed financially they don’t want to feel poor.

Yes, they do care about prices and want to spend less. If you have a lot of money, who cares? If you have less money, you care a lot about how you spend the money. Every time you spend your money, it is a very emotional and symbolic act.

Then there’s this from Hugh MacLeod:

And Scott Anthony says:

Interview Question: A famous innovation story is about Bank of America, which mandated that 30% of ideas had to fail. Google also had a similar working line with 20% of the employee time being spent on side projects. What’s your take on such strategising?
Scott Anthony: Those are actually two different strategies, and generally I like the Bank of America one more. That metric tells people that it is acceptable to take some amount of risk. If you never tolerate failure what you eventually get are very close to the core, incremental ideas. Those are fine, but won’t produce blockbuster results.
The Google approach, which 3M has done for a long period of time, works well in particular cultures. But it works less well in organisations that are still getting their innovation legs. All things being equal I would rather have three people spending all of their time on innovation than 100 people spending 10% of their time on innovation.

Part of the issue with replicating Google’s ‘20%’ system is there aren’t many people who have an end to end approach to innovation that is like Google’s. And if you copy one piece without the surrounding elements, it just won’t work.

And finally:

The ROI on innovation is survival
— Andrew Howlett, CEO en Rain

All of us have the opportunity to take these ideas seriously, and to act on them. I think we all should do both. Let’s start today.

(for an explanation of the experiment that I tried with this post, see this)

Student and teacher of innovation - University of Queensland Business School - links to academic papers, twitter, and so on can be found here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.