Daily Pick: 14 trends driving smarter innovation

The development of new ideas necessitates the appropriate inclusion of external resources that meets internally identified strengths and weaknesses within companies’ ability to deliver value. As a way to better identify and drive innovation, organizations need to revive their talent pools while properly adapt their approach to disruption and transformation. Whether leaders or challengers, mitigating risks through collaborative ecosystems and shaping the right thinking processes for change are seen as determinant abilities to offset companies structural weaknesses. The technological advances brought by a smarter use of data holds the potential to harness the power of open innovation.

1 Federated searches

“The scout can strategically search for offerings to minimize the evaluation effort without eliminating the unknown unknowns. Rather than using typical Internet searches that don’t find everything, federated search explores sources simultaneously in real time. While only a small percentage of the web’s technical content is crawled and available via Google, Deep Web searches uncover and expose the desired information.”

Joe Granda, Innovation Excellence

2 The rise of intelligent data

We believe that data has the potential to help governments (local, state, and national) achieve real outcomes, but we need to ensure that we are collecting useful data, and governments need to put in place some practical safeguards before asking the public to invest in new systems and data collection. We need to examine the value of transparency of big data; understand the types of data needed to achieve outcomes; differentiate the differences between data, evidence, and judgment; and ensure that citizens are included in the conversation.”

Sonal Shah & Hollie Russon Gilman, SSIR

3 Identifying disruption

“Of course, the more places you look, the more things you see. No company has the capacity to respond to every trend they identify. That’s the second advantage that comes from using disruptive innovation theory: it helps you to separate the early-stage developments that have the highest potential to drive change from those that are likely to fizzle.”

Scott Anthony, HBR

4 Shaping the right strategies

“If we call every business success a “disruption,” then companies that rise to the top in very different ways will be seen as sources of insight into a common strategy for succeeding. This creates a danger: Managers may mix and match behaviors that are very likely inconsistent with one another and thus unlikely to yield the hoped-for result.


Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor and Rory McDonald, HBR

5 Defining roots of transformations

Disruption is not typically about one sudden change but a host of small, related changes. Without bureaucracy to complicate the process smaller start-ups will always be better able to take risks, challenge tradition and react quickly to changes in the environment. Larger companies need to understand the motivating factors behind the transformation and be ready to invest and adapt to the shifting marketplace. Companies that drive disruptive change will always be one step ahead.”

Jane Williams, INSEAD Knowledge

6 Developing risk taking attitudes

“However, to be innovative we have to do something new – and that’s to go beyond the realms of our existing knowledge and to find something new. Something unknown. And this is worrisome for an expert. It shows what we don’t know.”

Chris Thomason, Innovation Excellence

7 Better managing talent pools

“Once people are inside, it’s almost as if some kind of reset button is pressed: The details of their backgrounds seem to get dumped onto a far-off slag heap, and they become known only for what they do at the new organization. I call this phenomenon resumenesia — a malady causing massive cases of forgetfulness about past experiences that may be the key to unlocking extra value in your organization’s existing talent pool.

Eric J McNulty, Strategy and Business

8 Beyond customer needs

“Innovation is certainly key for all of us going forward, and unchaining ourselves from the past is a worthy goal. But we also need a deeply rooted understanding of why the customer craves us in the first place. Without it, we may unlock our chains, but not much else.

Josh Macht, FIPP

9 Identifying the right partners

The real opportunities lie in combining the ability of small companies to start new projects that can become radical and meaningful; and the ability to scale that comes from the infrastructure and expertise of large ones.  Those large companies that are able to attract, nurture and launch innovations are the ones to deliver the future.  Small companies able to navigate their way through large companies and inspire them to work together will also benefit tremendously.”

Kevin McFarthing, Innovation Excellence

10 The rise of IoT in consumer and retail markets

Tech leaders predict the greatest potential revenue growth for IoT in the next three years is in consumer and retail markets (22%).  IoT/M2M is also expected to see significant revenue growth in technology industries (13%), aerospace and defense (10%), and education (9%).”.

Louis Columbus, Software Strategies Blog

11 Collaborative networks

“While these traditional vertically integrated power companies proved quite successful in generating relatively cheap electricity from traditional fossil fuels and nuclear power, they have not been able to effectively compete with local electricity cooperatives whose laterally scaled operations are better at managing energy harnessed by thousands of small players in broad collaborative networks.

Jeremy Rifkin, The World Post

12 Identifying structural weaknesses

“As companies grow larger, their customer-facing functions move down to the bottom-of-the-pyramid employees. In other words, customer interaction is left to people with neither decision power nor a deep interest in the company. All they do is communicate the formalized rules and phrases set up by the chiefs at the top of the totem pole.”

Pascal, User Like

13 Developing metacognition

“Psychologists and educational researchers, for example, stress how metacognition — the awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes — is integral to enhanced learning and better decisions. Rigorous “thinking about thinking” boosts cognitive capabilities, and framing business competences and aspirations in meta-context invites ingenuity around their fundamentals.

Michael Schrage, HBR

14 Opening Innovation


 Leaders have to continually look for ways of bringing new perspectives into their company, and exposing internally focused procedures to external scrutiny. Keep the company open and transparent”

London Business School






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