Small, Medium, Large: What Size Innovation Problem Do You Have?

When I began consulting, my clients were primarily innovators within mid-size organizations. Frequently, I’m drawn into discussions with small and large firms, as well.  These consultations have been fascinating lessons in the different approaches to innovation and which approach best fits with which size and stage of business. In any economy, investable organizations are the […]

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When #3 Is the Best Place to Be

I have written a great deal about technology breakout programs here, but today I want to talk about breakout marketing.  Let’s take a look at how smart positioning is helping one automotive company gain on its competitors. Automotive brands occupy some of the highest-priced brand real estate in the market. Billions are poured into strategy […]

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Why Every Breakthrough Idea Needs a Raft

Imagine this: you’ve just left your boss’ office and you were given the ball on a major, new, cross-functional project. You are buzzing with ideas about who you need, what you need, and the time and effort it’s going to take. The question running through your mind in those moments is, “what should I do […]

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Innovation Aikido: How to Get Past Organizational Resistance

How many times have you seen a talented change leader and an equally bright team fail to move their innovative ideas from concept to market — despite being given a “mandate” from the C-Suite? Today I’m going to dissect how this process frequently breaks down and give you some tips on how to prevent your […]

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3 Signs You’re Playing Defense with Your R&D Spending

 I’ve noticed a pattern when speaking about, and helping clients implement, growth programs: when we talk about the portfolio of products under development, there is a tendency to assume that all of those investments have the same potential return. The key to developing a successful growth portfolio is realizing the basic truth: not all investments […]

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Three Ways to Engage Your Growth Leaders

Now that you know the value of growth leaders and how to spot the good ones, what do you do to keep them engaged? Entire books have been written on this topic, but let me touch on three key areas from my experience. 1) Ask them to go into new places and learn new things […]

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3 Reasons You Need a Growth Leader

The global financial crisis of 2008 shifted the business world in a fundamental way. Today, it’s no longer sufficient to have a stream of products or a portfolio of solutions; to be effective and vibrant in this new world, you need a portfolio of business models.  Business model engineering is done by a new breed […]

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3 Stages of Rockstar Growth Leaders & How to Spot Them

Finding someone with just the right combination of qualities to lead a growth project for your organization can be tough. To make matters worse, they can be hiding right under your nose in the most unlikely of places. The search for under-the-radar growth leaders is not unlike the story of the Detroit-based musician Rodriguez — […]

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The Big Miss: What It Is and How to Avoid It

The Big Miss is a phenomenon that occurs in larger companies. It’s what happens when a new organization forms around a new product or line of business that ultimately fails in the marketplace. When investment and expectations exceed the project’s ability to deliver, what you have is a Big Miss.   In the best case, […]

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How to Blow Your Next Meeting Out of the Water

During a discussion with a trusted colleague, the topic turned to the relative rarity of meeting with people who have truly done their homework prior to holding a discussion.  How many times have you met with someone who is clearly “winging it,” and starting with the sketchiest of intentions?  We used to call this the […]

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