Archive | Innovation

Why Setting Limits Unlocks Unlimited Innovation

In 1988, when Chrysler president Bob Lutz tasked design chief Tom Gale to create a version of the Ford Cobra, he gave the production team a charter consisting of these three parameters: A $50 million budget 36 months to get it to production (in time for the ’92 Detroit show) “Be ethical, moral, and don’t […]

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6 Reasons Innovation Magic Happens in the Garage

Amazon, Apple, Disney, Google and Hewlett Packard all started in one.  The garage is a uniquely American icon and metaphor – and it has happened too many times to ignore. Some of my earliest experiences in design, innovation, materials and fabrication occurred in the family garage under the mentorship of my father and uncles.  Between […]

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Transportation: The Intersection of Disruption and Opportunity

The funding model of our roads and other transit infrastructure is broken — what happens now? Background: An unexpected side effect of increased fuel efficiency and fewer miles driven in personal vehicles is that the government is collecting (much!) less fuel tax revenue — withering the coffers at state and federal levels. This means that […]

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Getting Innovation Done: 4 Essentials

Last week, we talked about how small, medium and large firms differed in their challenges and approaches to innovation.  This week, I want to give you four key elements that must be present for success – regardless of what size firm you are in. 1) Line of Sight In his book Great by Choice, Jim […]

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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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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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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 Spot an Idea That Will Set the World on Fire

This is the third post in a series intended to allow you to identify whether you are on the verge of a great opportunity with a new partner or just having an interesting conversation. The metaphor we are using is built around internal combustion, a process which needs compression, fuel and ignition to start and […]

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How to Get Innovation Done

Earlier, I wrote a series that looked at finding inflection points and capitalizing on innovation. If you use the tools described there, you’ll find fertile ground for the innovation that your organization has the capacity to deliver. After deciding how to capitalize on inflection points, you’ll need to decide 1) which project to prioritize and […]

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