Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Mixed Bag of Innovation Items...

It's been a hectic two weeks but I am finally back. Rather than focusing on one particular item as I normally do in my blog entries, this time I am going to enumerate a few articles/blogs of interest:

The $2,000 Car, an HBR blog entry by Vijay Govindrajan talks about how innovations such as the Tata's $2000 "Nano" car, Logitech's $20 mouse, and Deere & Company's 35-horsepower tractor called the "Krish" are all sources for "upstream innovation" in more developed markets such as those in the U.S. and Western Europe. This trend, which is he calls "Reverse Innovation" is a prime example of Principle #3 of my book of "going where no man has gone before."

Look to IT for Process Innovation?, an HBR blog entry by Brad Power talks about how many of the developments within the depths of your IT organization such as "Agile Development" can be the source of far reaching business process improvements across the entirety of your organization. An interesting companion blog entry to read in conjunction with my chapter on Principle #5 "Innovation Has Many Forms."

Google Grows Up: A Necessary Evil?, an HBR blog entry by Joshua Gans talks about how Google's focus is shifting from being "all about the technology" to one of "core products." I talk about Google quite a bit in my book as a model for ensuring that "Innovation is Seen as a Journey as opposed to a Destination" (Principle #2). But alas, is Google growing up into yet another bureaucratic organization? Are the days of Google hiring smart people and empowering them to invent the future gone? Wasn't Google supposed to be different? Read this interesting blog entry to find out more.

Why IT says no to innovation, is an interesting blog entry by Jefferey Phillips in which he explains why IT has a bad rap for often saying "no" to seemingly groundbreaking and obvious ideas. He claims that not only do most people who run enabling functions, like regulatory, legal and IT, want to say yes to your ideas; they want to be more innovative themselves! But, if they aren't aware of your idea early, if they aren't funded to support new ideas, if their resources are stripped back to only support maintenance, they have no choice but to say "no". This lines up perfectly with my discussion in my book about "Making Innovation a Team Sport" and why "skunk works" initiatives often fall flat on their face.

Finally, an interesting article by Cheryl Perkins titled "China offers new approaches to innovation" in Cheryl discusses her recent trip to Shanghai China where she and her colleague Pat Clusman talked about innovation with Chinese companies, multinational organizations and government agencies at the China Institute for Innovation. An interesting contrast to another article I just read in the March19-March 25, 2012 issue of BusinessWeek titled "Hey China! Stop Stealing Our Stuff" that does an excellent job of pulling together many different intellectual espionage stories involving China and the resulting "transfer of wealth" from U.S. to China. 

I hope you enjoy these blog entries and articles...

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