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the hype innovation blog

Why Failure is an Essential Component of a Strong Innovation Strategy

Posted by Maria Wenning on Jan 2, 2017 8:39:00 AM

What good could possibly come out of failure?

Harrison Ford was a failure as an actor for years. Twelve publishers turned down J.K. Rowling's manuscript for Harry Potter. A recording company (no doubt an ancestor of those book publishers) turned down the first Beatles album. Viagra, penicillin, pacemakers, and the smallpox vaccine were all born out of failures.

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Topics: People & Culture

4 leadership paradoxes and how to embrace them

Posted by Oana-Maria Pop on Nov 23, 2016 1:17:30 PM

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be” – Rosalynn Carter

Incremental or radical? Structured or unstructured? People or processes? If there is one thing innovation management theory is never in short supply of, it’s dilemmas like these.

“Managed or unmanaged” is probably my favourite of the bunch, with countless books, blogs, articles, and podcasts dedicated to describing the ultimate innovation leader and their role – active or passive - in the process.

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Topics: People & Culture

Knowledge as a social process

Posted by John Bessant on Nov 5, 2016 8:11:09 PM

Walker’s Wagon Wheel tavern in the 1970s has a particularly important place in innovation history.  Its name provides a great description of its role – like spokes on a wheel people and ideas converged on its centre and on a Friday night the air was full of conversation.  Ideas flew around the place, colliding and often crashing in flames on the floor.  But some of them fused, became something bigger, began conversations which carried on over the coming weeks and grew into new businesses. Its location was also important – Mountain View, San Francisco, close to the emerging technology cluster of start-ups, big electronics firms like Fairchild Semiconductor, the sprawling campus of Stanford University….  Silicon Valley as it was to become.

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Topics: People & Culture

On superbosses, mentoring and other prerequisites for innovation

Posted by Oana-Maria Pop on Oct 14, 2016 11:57:10 AM

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves” I didn’t say that, Steven Spielberg did. And I could not agree more.

The benefits of professional (formal) and non-professional (informal) mentoring for innovation are obvious and we see great examples all over the world. In Budapest, for instance, an organization called Design Terminal is coaching entrepreneurs to create brilliant solutions such as fire hydrants that double as drinking fountains, foldable furniture and software for automated video recruiting. Similarly, the World Bank’s infoDev initiative supports inclusive growth by helping innovative technology ventures reach maturity. Senegalese jams, growing crops without soil or the mpayer were all by-products of powerful mentoring relationships in this context.

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Topics: People & Culture

Creating the Physical Space for Innovation

Posted by John Bessant on Sep 7, 2016 5:00:00 AM

Building spaces for innovation is a hot topic these days. Whether you call them innovation hubs, maker-spaces, fab-labs, accelerators or hotspots you can hardly turn a street corner or a magazine page before you bump into another example. The names may vary but the underlying idea is the same – a place where people can meet to get inspired and supported by each other, to articulate and co-create. An environment in which ideas can be explored and played with.

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Topics: People & Culture

Bridging different worlds – the power of recombinant innovation

Posted by John Bessant on Jul 12, 2016 10:06:57 PM

Wandering round Chicago in 1912 William Klann was a man on a mission. He was part of a team set up to explore ways in which they could reduce the costs of manufacturing a car to fulfil Henry Ford’s vision of ‘a motor car for the great multitude’.  They had already developed many of the ideas behind mass production – standardised and interchangeable parts, short task cycle work, specialist machinery – but what Klann saw while walking past the Swift Meat Packing Company’s factory gave him an insight into a key piece of the puzzle.  The workers were effectively dis-assembling meat carcasses, stripping off various different joints and cuts as the animals were led past them on a moving overhead conveyor.  In a classic moment of insight he saw the possibility of reversing this process – and within a short space of time the Ford factory boasted the world’s first moving assembly line.  Productivity rocketed as the new idea was implemented and refined; using the new approach Ford was able to cut the assembly time for a Model T to just 93 minutes.

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Topics: People & Culture

Exploring the Intrapreneurial Way in Large Organizations

Posted by Paul Hobcraft on Jun 16, 2016 2:42:29 PM

Are we seeing a change in mentality within large organizations towards encouraging individuals to ‘break out and become more intrapreneurial within their part of the business?'

Is this tapping into the increasing desire to be part of creating something new, to grab back the engagement needed, that sense of identity and a growing sense of ownership?

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Topics: People & Culture

The value of failure in innovation

Posted by John Bessant on May 12, 2016 10:31:49 PM

Accidents will happen – and as far as innovation is concerned, that’s a good thing. Whilst much of our attention is on the focused efforts to bring new ideas to market or to effect process changes in systematic, planned and strategically targeted fashion, there are some times when Fate takes a hand. What might appear to be a failed experiment or a strange but ultimately useless outcome can sometimes turn out to be the basis of a game-changing innovation. Think about these examples …

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Topics: People & Culture

Experimenting with change before it happens

Posted by Oana-Maria Pop on Mar 30, 2016 4:59:06 PM

The value of experiments for innovation is a topic we’ve previously covered here on the blog, and for good reason: if done well, experiments can help avoid some costly new product, service, process, and even business model mistakes. We’ve also written extensively about change, because managing innovation is nothing more than managing transitions and transformations of all parties involved: customers, suppliers, internal stakeholders and even competition. As Microsoft likes to put it “[our] IT stands for Innovation and Transformation”.

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Topics: People & Culture

Understanding your Innovation Culture – A Case-Study from Swisslog

Posted by Colin Nelson on Feb 22, 2016 6:00:00 AM
How do your company’s employees react when asked to participate in enterprise collaborative innovation?
 
  • Do employees cheer enthusiastically, as they are finally able to get involved?
  • Perhaps there’s a degree of cynicism having seen corporate initiatives fail in the past?
  • Do employees understand what you’re trying to do?

It can be hard to understand whether you have an ‘innovation culture’ and to what extent that’s propagated the organization, however, running idea campaigns helps to develop a clearer picture.

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Topics: People & Culture

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