Practice of Innovation

"Our most important innovation is the way we work." Observations by Curt Carlson

Innovation Definitions

Can We Agree on the Basics?Edit 2 apple-steve-jobs

I was recently asked to define a number of basic innovation terms.  Below are some of the most important.  I would greatly appreciate your feedback.  I will address the issues and thoughts you provide in future posts. (more…)

Confronting Decline

The Most Important InnovationUntitled 7.001

We must innovate the process of innovation. In an exponentially changing world, if our value creation processes are not exponential, we will fall behind exponentially. 

Our economy is turbulent and demanding.  Over the past three decades job growth and prosperity have dramatically slowed in America and many other developed countries, including Japan and the European Union.  In America GDP growth has declined from 4% in the nineteen nineties to under 2% per year.  This growth rate will not produce the jobs and prosperity needed. (more…)

How to Change an Organization’s Culture

Find a Partner, Stick to the Fundamentals, and Start _DSC5673v3 copy

I gave a webinar to The Learning Consortium in May about how SRI International went from failing to being one of the world’s most productive R&D and innovation enterprises, having created Siri, HDTV, and many other world-changing innovations.  The presentation is here.  Throughout the presentation the hundreds of participants were asked questions. The answers are in the slides.  After the presentation the audience asked me additional questions about SRI’s transformation, which are given below with my answers.  For background, here is Steve Denning’s Forbes article about culture change at SRI while I was CEO.  The first rule was to never mention “culture change.” 
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Customer Value Analysis

DK Untitled
Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner in economics.

Products, Services, and Prospect Theory

Behavioral science is now an influential part of economics. It needs to become a more important part of the discipline of innovation. Although the discussion below is somewhat speculative, it highlights important perceptual attributes of “customer value.” Prospect Theory inspired this discussion, but the focus is quite different. Therefore I call it “Customer Value Analysis,” a model to help better evaluate the relative merits of different forms and amounts of customer value. (more…)

Creativity and Innovation

The Arts and Entertainment

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Les Objects Volants: Boomwhackers

In a recent post stimulated by a conversation with David Nordfors and Pramod Khargonekar and his team at NSF, I suggested a more general definition for innovation:

Innovation is the creation and delivery of surprising new knowledge that has sustainable value for society.

All innovations are surprising and all are, to some degree, sustainable.   Otherwise, as we have discussed at this blog, they are not innovations.
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Siri: A Disruptive Innovation

Adam Cheyer Discusses the Origins of Siri

Siri-Founders
Tom Gruber, Dag Kittlaus, and Adam Cheyer

What does it take to create a world-changing, disruptive technical innovation?   The history and technology behind Siri, the world’s first intelligent computer assistant, is described here by Adam Cheyer, one of the founders of Siri, the SRI company bought by Steve Jobs for use on the iPhone-4.  Siri added tens of billions of dollars of market value to Apple and profoundly changed the way the world thinks about interacting with computers.   (more…)

Innovation is Learning

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By Lonni Sue Johnson

“Learn fast to succeed early.”  Yes.
 “Fail fast to succeed early.”      No!

The right concepts move us forward.  The wrong concepts hold us back.

In Silicon Valley it is often said, “You must fail fast to succeed early.”  That is tragically wrong.  The goal is never to fail fast.  It is also demoralizing.  

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A Transparent World

Challenges and Opportunitiesinternet_world_fullwidth

Last year I was in Singapore and met Israel’s former economic minister.  When I asked why he was there he said, “Like Singapore, Israel is a small country.  Most of the world’s important opportunities, talent, and resources are somewhere else.  I am here to discuss how to make the world transparent for us.”  That is an important idea.  This objective is also being pursued by companies and universities around the world.  (more…)

The Transparent Company

A New Model Is Required
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In a previous post, A Transparent World, properties of our increasingly transparent world were discussed.  Here we discuss what these ideas mean for companies.  I will focus on three themes:

  1. Employ a Value-Creation Playbook focused on the customer.
  2. Use web-based collaboration platforms to create a transparent value-creating enterprise.
  3. Work globally with the best talent inside and outside the company.

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