types of unintentional innovation assassins.

1. The Cowboy. Itching to create a corporate culture tolerant of creativity and innovation, the Cowboy says something along the lines of, “No boundaries! Just great ideas!” Of course, companies should continually evaluate and push their boundaries. But every company has a set of things it simply will not do. Saying innovation has no bounds when it does just leads people to waste time working on ideas that — honestly — have no hope of ever being commercialized.

Instead, consider issuing highly-focused challenges. For example, a few years ago Netflix offered a $1 million prize to any team that could improve the performance of the algorithms that determine which movies it should suggest to consumers by at least 10%. More than 250 teams rose to the challenge, and two actually exceeded the target. Focus is one of innovation’s best friends.

2. The Googlephile. Inspired by stories of how Google and 3M ask engineers to spend 15% of their time dreaming of new ideas, this executive asks everybody to spend a bit of time on innovation. Maybe carve off a half-day during the third Friday of the month for everyone to focus on innovation.This approach feels participatory and inclusive. But it rarely works, unless the company has sophisticated systems to select and nurture ideas. Too frequently these efforts lead to a long list of suggestions that never get implemented. Cynicism takes hold quickly, and more and more employees find excuses to miss Innovation Friday.

As an alternative, executives should ask a small number of people to spend a significant amount of time on innovation. Remember, most start-ups fail — even with entrepreneurs spending every minute of every day obsessively focusing on their business. One person spending all of his or her time on innovation often trumps 1,000 spending 10% of their time on it. The math doesn’t work — except for when it does.

3. The Astronaut. This executive invokes the United States’ ultimately successful effort to put a man on the moon by urging, “We need something big, people! What is our moon shot?” It’s great to think big, of course, but pushing for big ideas often leads to proposals with sink-the-company risk (remember Motorola’s Iridium?). That risk means that the idea must be carefully studied, and since it hasn’t been done before, it probably won’t withstand analytical scrutiny. The push-for-moon shots too often mean innovation efforts never even get to the launch pad.

Instead of shooting for the moon, executives should encourage what author Peter Sims calls “little bets.” Academics and entrepreneurs agree that the very best ideas emerge out of a process of trial-and-error experimentation. Hang up posters of Thomas Edison with his famous line, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Start sweating.

4. The Pirate. This swashbuckler says, “We don’t have a fixed budget for innovation — but we don’t need one. We find the money when we need it.” While that statement sounds entrepreneurial, it can make the innovator’s life a nightmare because it signals a lack of clear rules for obtaining resources.This often means endless meetings with a varying cast of stakeholders. No one quite says yes, and no one quite says no, either.

The best companies manage innovation in a disciplined manner. They have dedicated budgets for it, with clear rules for how to obtain funding. While many leaders think this kind of disciplined approach is anathema to innovation, it actually enables it…

In the weeks since the Entrepreneurial Revolution article appeared in HBR, government leaders, business executives, entrepreneurs, NGO directors, heads of institutes, university professors, and foundations have been asking me to help them instigate a revolution. Here is my advice to all of you on how to get started in just six months.

  1. Revolutions start local
  2. Revolutions need participants 
  3. Revolutions require resources …
  4. Revolutions need revolutionaries 
  5. Revolutions need a call to action …
  6. Revolutions need an inner council …
  7. …  revolutions need leadership …

The attraction of social media to companies and buisnesses is obvious: can spread information better and faster than any traditional marketing outlet. As a result, companies insist on having a social media strategy, or at least want to ensure they appear to have one. Yet I can’t help but feel that this confuses the issue. Social media is not an entity in it’s own right. It is far less defined than that. Instead it is more of a haze surrounding and infiltrating events and daily life. In keeping with that image, it is equally difficult to manipulate, at least in the quantifiable ways such companies intend. And given that, to impose a formal strategy is a time-consuming distraction.

… To have a social media strategy seems to me to be redundant. If your content is good, it will be represented across social media platforms by the people you were trying to reach in the first place…

Scenarios are a powerful tool in the strategist’s armory. They are particularly useful in developing strategies to navigate the kinds of extreme events we have recently seen in the world economy. Scenarios enable the strategist to steer a course between the false certainty of a single forecast and the confused paralysis that often strike in troubled times. When well executed, scenarios boast a range of advantages—but they can also set traps for the unwary.

Scenarios protect against ‘groupthink’

Often, the power structure within companies inhibits the free flow of debate. People in meetings typically agree with whatever the most senior person in the room says. In particularly hierarchical companies, employees will wait for the most senior executive to state an opinion before venturing their own—which then magically mirrors that of the senior person. Scenarios allow companies to break out of this trap by providing a political “safe haven” for contrarian thinking.

Scenarios allow people to challenge conventional wisdom

In large corporations, there is typically a very strong status quo bias. After all, large sums of money, and many senior executives’ careers, have been invested in the core assumptions underpinning the current strategy—which means that challenging these assumptions can be difficult. Scenarios provide a less threatening way to lay out alternative futures in which the these assumptions underpinning today’s strategy may no longer be true.

EOI Web 2.0 Socialmedia. Presentación de Tíscar Lara (post) en el curso Inventando la Universidad 2.0 que organizaron Pablo de Castro y José Carlos del Arco en la UIMP en Santander. la presentación se centra en la estrategia de comunicación y el proyecto de Cultura Digital y Conocimiento Abierto de EOI Escuela de Organización Industrial.

"Building a permission asset so we can grow our influence with our best customers over time" is a strategy. Using email, twitter or RSS along with newsletters, contests and a human voice are all tactics. In my experience, people get obsessed about tactical detail before they embrace a strategy… and as a result, when a tactic fails, they begin to question the strategy that they never really embraced in the first place.

1- The strongest market demand for Design today from private companies and public organizations is for strategy. CEOs and other leaders are turning to innovation/design consultancies for help in shaping brand strategies and even broader organizational strategies. The demand for Design Thinking to help navigate the present and future is perhaps the most powerful force on Design today, at least among the big consultancies based in the US…

2- Demand for products, services and experiences from the same design/innovation consultancies is growing as well. The “doing” part of design is very strong. In fact, as the economy pulls out of the Great Recession, there are signs that the corporate demand for things to sell is about to take off…

… there is no dichotomy between the thinking and the doing in these design consultancies. The market isn’t asking for choices. It is asking for options. Some companies want the strategy only, some the stuff only, many want both…

3- Design practice is increasingly about relationships, not projects …