Archive for the ‘MYUTIQ Thoughts’ Category
The central concept of open innovation is that in today’s networked world, firms can achieve greater success by looking for new ideas and innovations from external sources – outside the walled garden of traditional R&D.
An interesting place to visit to see open innovation at work is www.challenge.gov.
It’s completely open. Anyone can participate – create an account, develop a submission to a challenge, comment on a blog post, or engage in forum discussions. It’s rare that we have the opportunity to watch open innovation in action, but you can witness it firsthand here.
An article I wrote on Challenge.Gov was recently published in Wire Rope Exchange Magazine. The article opens with a challenge posted by the U.S. Air Force for the development of a Fast Rope Glove Device to maintain a fast but safe descent in hostile situations. I used this challenge to illustrate the substance of the collaboration occurring within the challenge.gov environment.
Launched in 2010, Challenge.Gov has amassed some very impressive results: 1,515 solutions submitted and $38 million in prize money awarded. Its purpose is to encourage collaboration between researchers, entrepreneurs, private industry and citizens to solve tough challenges.
I happened to be in the Apple Store in Clarendon, Virginia buying an iPad2 when Steve Jobs picture appeared on a computer screen. Throughout the store, we experienced the slow, startling understanding that Steve Jobs had passed away. It was an unsettling moment, but now I consider it to be a precious coincidence that my lifetime memory will include such a direct connection with his incredible impact and legacy.
Many memories have been flashing through my mind: That unforgettable commercial in 1984; a personal encounter at an Apple reception in the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC; the iPod – and the iPod commercials, which really did make you want to dance
But what I want to share most are two episodes I keep coming back to – two episodes that for me, capture the essence of why Steve Jobs was the greatest innovator of our time:
The question he posed to John Sculley, when he was recruiting Sculley to come to Apple:
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”
Richard Rumelt’s description of an encounter with Steve Jobs in 1998 from an interview with McKinsey Quarterly, published in November 2007:
After giving Jobs his assessment of Apple’s long-term chances in the personal computer market, he posed he question, “So what are you trying to do? What’s the long term strategy?” And Steve Jobs reaction? “He just smiled and said, ‘I am going to wait for the next big thing.”
In a recent policy posting I mentioned innovation capacity. From my perspective, it’s about a company’s capability to innovate in a sustainable, repeatable way. The operational model required to innovate is different from the operational model typically in play within a company’s organization structure. Here at Myutiq, we break out innovation capacity into five key functional areas, which we look forward to discussing in upcoming blog posts. For purposes of today, let’s keep it to a simple set of three: (1) how companies generate ideas for new, bold initiatives; (2) how companies manage the risk associated with innovation; and, (3) how companies move through the series of steps to implement new initiatives.
Every company will have its own unique set of challenges in building expertise to smoothly manage all the steps along the innovation capacity spectrum. It’s important to map out a process that will integrate well with the business and industry, and then start working through the process, evaluating what’s working and what’s not, so adjustments can be made. Expertise at managing sustainable innovation is built up over time. Getting great at innovating doesn’t happen overnight. But no matter how good a company is at “building a process”, the other critical ingredient is an innovation culture.
Welcome to Myutiq’s Blog. Spring is here – and it’s time to begin planting new seeds for growth. We at Myutiq are embarking on a journey to explore innovation in new ways. Fresh thinking is a fundamental requirement for innovation to occur. We’ll be sharing resources and insights that we hope will spark big ideas for you and your company. We welcome you to join our journey.
As I think back over our work with clients – and tracking what’s happening with market leaders – its clear to me that its competitive differentiation that can either be the stumbling block to growth or the road to a company’s next big success story. Differentiation – it’s at the heart of why people buy from you and not someone else.