Hamlet’s line “To be or not to be…” is one of Shakespeare’s most famous. And he did write quite a few good ones. Hamlet’s concern is a choice between living a troubled life; and embracing death. OK, it’s a fairly deep analogy when it comes to innovation, but the choice of embracing or avoiding innovation choices can lead to corporate death – think Kodak.
Recently I was reminded of the famous scene in the film, Spartacus, where all the slaves shout “I’m Spartacus”. The prompt was another statement that innovation is everybody’s job. It’s fairly common, for example a thread on the Beyond Innovation group page on LinkedIn, running a poll on the subject “Innovation is Ev
Innovation is hard, isn’t it? That seems to be the prevailing wisdom. This was going through my mind when I read a good post from Tim Kastelle recently. Tim described how some of his innovation consultancy projects go through three phases – simplistic, complex and finally, simple. The objective is to produce an innovation that is simply communicated and easily understood; simple is the end objective of all good innovation.
Many large companies who have implemented Open Innovation use “Technology Scouts”, searching the external world for interesting opportunities. This description, whilst functional and descriptive, is missing a trick. Instead, companies should be developing Open Innovation Ambassadors.
I’m a big fan of the annual Pipeline Conference. This year it’s on June 6th, and as usual has a great mix of keynote speakers and online resources. The event is online, with registered participants having access to presentations and resources for 12 months afterwards. Not only do you not have to travel, registration is also free.
This year’s speakers include:
Open Innovation has gained a lot of traction since Henry Chesbrough’s eponymous 2003 book. Simplistically, it can be split into two. The first, the vast majority, is inbound, where a business uses the assets of other companies to develop something new and take it to market. The second is outbound, where a company licenses its assets to somebody else to take to market.
The stereotype image of a large company is one of distance, secrecy and lack of speed. Yet Shell is actively trying to change this view. This mega company with a turnover of $451bn recently invited a small group of bloggers to visit Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam (STCA) to tell them about their innovation plans. My invitation arrived out of the blue so, not being sure what I’d done to deserve it, I accepted with a growing sense of curiosity.
I spent a thoroughly enjoyable two days recently at the Open Innovation Forum in Baltimore. It had a packed agenda, including lots of opportunity to network and uncover the “state of the nation” of Open Innovation. My conclusion is that OI is in a healthy state.
I read a fascinating article last week about Google X, the X representing 10; making problems 10 times better in a timeframe of 10 years. This part of the company is challenged to produce “moonshots”. At Google, a moonshot has three criteria. First, it can potentially solve a really big problem for the world. Second, it has to have radical, almost science fiction-like technology. Finally, it has to show progress, giving it a glimmer of hope that it could actually be possible.