5 Interestings


The aim of this book is to provide you with the smallest number of things you need to know to start building an innovation management capability that creates value in your organisation. This is somewhat challenging, because innovation management is a rela­tive­ly new discipline. It doesn’t have the history of, say, marketing or accounting. As a result, there isn’t really a body of practical … Read More

Real Innovator


It has become obvious, in retrospect, that organisations with superb knowledge economy credentials – com­panies such as Microsoft and General Motors, for example – weathered the global economic crisis little better than companies based on the industrial age economics they superseded. Industrial age economics revolve around the premise that organisations win if they have control of financial and … Read More


1: Create an Innovation Strategy First

An innovation programme has, on average, 18 months between the time it’s initiated and cancellation. Most are cancelled because the innovators involved haven’t generated results quickly enough. What is the number one reason innovators fail to get timely results? Surely, it must be they didn't have a firm idea of what they were supposed to be achieving when they started. You’d be surprised to … Read More


2: Define what Innovation Means

Although IT may sound obvious, defining the term “innovation” in the specific context of an orga­nisation is one of the most important things new innovators can do. You’d be surprised if you knew the number of innovation groups I’ve worked with who can’t articulate a brief answer to this. They’ll try various fluffy responses. These range from “attempting disruption of competitors” for teams … Read More

two-sided market

3: Make Sure the Role of Innovators is Clear

Knowing what innovation strat­egy is right for your organisation is important because it defines the purpose of an innovation effort. Getting a definition of innovation to which everyone will agree is equally important, as doing so sets the tactical boundaries innovators will stay within whilst they try to deliver the strategic goals that have been set. But there’s another thing you have to … Read More

Innovation by Numbers

4: Have a Connection to the Money

How do you measure the results of an innovation programme? Do you count the number of new ideas you generate? How about the number of things your innovation team has worked on, or the number of new product introductions they’ve made? These are useful measures, but don’t justify the existence of an innovation programme by themselves. There is only one thing that will do that: a connection to … Read More


5: Address the Three Big Myths

As you get an innovation effort up and running, you will most certainly come across a number of beliefs about the process which are incorrect. Time and time again three big preconceptions will rear their heads. It is a good idea to deal with these up front: doing so will avoid considerable hassle for everyone later when expectations are missed. The three biggest myths about innovation are … Read More

Out of Order Woman

6: Manage the Technologists

No matter what innovation strategy you’ve selected, and regardless the innovations that strategy leads you to consider, you will inevitably have to accommodate information technology professionals at some time during the process. Information technology is a central and critical driver of production in almost all industries these days. This is true for activities domi­nated by industrial age … Read More


7: Answer the 3 Key Questions

Now we’ve examined the important things needed prior to commencement of an innovation effort, it is time to turn our attention to those activities necessary once ideas have started to arrive. Most innovation programmes, unfortunately, fail very quickly. This usually happens because they lack structured mechanisms to turn ideas into actual products and services. Whilst it may be fun to dream … Read More


8: Drown the Puppy

Doing innovation for a living gives you a thick skin because more often than not, some of your best work never sees the light of day. Typically, between 80% and 90% of concepts firms try will fail, failure that’s the result of many factors most of which can’t be controlled by the innovation team directly. Whilst the failure rate is very hard to change - even the best innovation teams in the … Read More


9: Share Everything

It seems counterintuitive, but innovators who talk about their work, share their knowledge, and network widely seem to be much more success­ful than those who don’t. Many people mistakenly think an innovation team’s value comes from the products it creates: the unique ideas coupled with execution that translate into revenue or cost efficiencies. Because these innovation outputs are valuable … Read More

Full body isolated portrait of young business man

10: Manage the People

The last rule for those starting an innovation effort concerns people. It is people, after all, who come up with the ideas. It is people who have the skills and experience needed to convert them into real products and services. In the end, it is also people who have to choose to use the innovations created by firms. Earlier, we examined the capabilities required in an innovation leader. Now it … Read More

business man


If you’ve read this far, you now know enough to (at least) start your innovation effort in a way likely to bring success. The question you must now be asking having digested this book, is what you should do next? It is a very good question. The answer is simple: just start innovating. As I mentioned in the introduction there is no single text you’ll be able to find that will tell you how to … Read More