Innovation At Warp Speed

This week’s Wall Street Journal special report on innovation has two interesting insights. First: advances in technology in the last decade make innovation both more important and easier. With better computer prototyping, infinitely more data, and instant feedback, companies can test more ideas, more cheaply and more accurately. Walmart can test combinations of displays and prices and know within three days how best to sell products.  Instead of limiting new ideas to the few that can be fully tested, companies can encourage lots of ideas.

 

Of course, if innovation can happen quickly, then more companies will realize that it must happen quickly. This in turn creates a climate where innovation is not an afterthought, but an integral part of the corporate culture.

 

The second insight is about innovation strategies that work: trying all four at once is seldom successful. The most effective way to improve innovation is Jim Collin’s entreaty to get the right people on the bus.

 

By hiring both star inventors and star implementers, companies can insure that enough ideas are in the pipeline and that enough of them make it to market. And given that the recession has sent a lot of very good people into the marketplace, smart companies should be looking right now for the talent that will keep them ahead of the competition.

 

So, if you’re an innovative individual (like many who have been in my classes), keep looking for companies that will appreciate you.  And if you want to be an innovative company, keep hiring them.

 

Comments

 

eBusiness Government » Innovation At Warp Speed – Innovation Blog – UCI Paul Merage … said:

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August 28, 2009 5:48 PM
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About Lynda Lawrence

Lynda Lawrence is an innovation consultant with Ideaworks Consulting. She teaches Strategic Innovation and Design Management at the Merage School at UCI, and is an advisor to the Beall Center.