From the over 8,000 unique links shared on the Twitter #innovation community in the past three weeks, here are some not-so-scary scary stories of innovation.
Innovation Hell: Saving Good Ideas From Premature Death – Branding expert David Brier and cartoonist Tom Fishburne have come together to illustrate why so many ideas grow weaker in the very process that is supposed to bring them to life. Their innovation lessons include:
- Understating that though it is easier to critique than create, a creative idea should not be necessarily shut down because it is “Not in our budget” or you’ve “Tried it before”.
- Innovation should, and must be encouraged within the organization from both a fundamental and reward view. “Too often, companies create or encourage a culture where those who take risks are often penalized. Yet truly great companies (with the accompanying customer loyalty and confidence) thrive in the presence of it, while potential superstar companies die for the lack of it.”
- Knowing where and when to innovate separates the good from the great.
- Challenging the status quo is the rule when innovating. “…it's not price but value that separates true innovation from little band aids designed to cover up bigger issues.”
Why Companies are Betting Against Big Ideas – Individuals, and in turn firms, “…do not make decisions rationally by selecting options with the highest expected value”. Author David Aaker outlines four interrelated reasons for the bad investment pattern:
- Firms and key decision makers are simply risk-averse.
- Lack of data for new innovative ideas makes trusting consumer insight and assumptions of technological advancement difficult.
- Getting a budget for new, untested, incomparable ideas is a challenge.
- It’s easy to kill an innovation project
The solution, according to Aaker, is keeping a balanced portfolio of both major and incremental innovations.
The Silver Lining to Scarcity: It Drives Innovation – In times of trouble, smart companies shift focus from efficiency to effectiveness, says Sohrab Vossoughi. Scarcity creates innovations because:
- Scarcity forces focus
- Scarcity gives one the “excuse to get on with it”
- Scarcity forces genuine creativity
The End of Teaching as We Know It – Alvaro Gonzalex-Alorda has taken a new look at the future of education; one that centers on experimentation, technology and innovation. Identified in the presentation are “6 Key Drivers of Educational Technology to Watch”:
- People expect to be able to work, learn and study whenever and wherever they want to
- Cloud computing. We will want our information to be accessible on any device
- The world is increasingly collaborative, driving changes in the way students projects are structured
- Since information is everywhere, the quality of mentoring will make the difference.
- Embracing hybrid learning models (face to face +online), can leverage the online skills students have already developed independent of academia
- Shifting from teacher-centered to student-centered education and engaging them by connecting the curriculum with real life issues.
The Opportunity Costs of Not Innovating – Jeffrey Phillips argues, even though it may be difficult, there is an opportunity cost of not innovating. In this case the opportunity cost comes in the form of missing “…out on new customers, new markets and most importantly, new revenues streams and new profits. Those missed opportunities come at a cost – usually in disruption or product or service obsolescence.” Phillips describes a personal experience when short-term risks stunted an idea taken, used and found successful by a competitor. Readers are left to ponder:
- What is the cost of not innovating?
- What if another competitor releases a product or service before you do?
- What are the costs of being forced to respond, rather than forcing other firms to respond to your great ideas?