Content By Jeffrey Phillips

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By: Jeffrey Phillips

As Malcolm Gladwell and other business writers have found, it is entirely possible to write a compelling article around a rather obvious point, and still hold the reader’s attention. As an example I draw your attention to this article, titled “Why Corporate Innovation Is So Hard.”

The article was obviously written by a communications master because it has an attractive title that seems to address an intractable problem—and suggest an answer. It’s also based on a premise that seems inescapable: Too many companies fail to innovate because they trust their existing understanding and the existing perceptions of the way the world and the market work, while missing key signals that a disrupter finds, interprets, and implements.

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By: Jeffrey Phillips

One of my favorite quotes comes from George Bernard Shaw, who said that all change in life originates from unreasonable people. Reasonable people, he said, will accept the status quo and change their lives to adapt to the status quo. Unreasonable people won’t. Unreasonable people force change rather than accept the status quo. So, he argued, all change is dependent on unreasonable people.

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By: Jeffrey Phillips

I went to a meeting about innovation recently with a former client, and a discussion about digital transformation broke out. It was both interesting and strange.

Most corporations are struggling to comprehend the changes in front of them, but at the same time are so fixated on short-term thinking that they struggle to see the tsunami that is emerging just over the horizon. They know it’s there. They know they should prepare. They just don’t have the time to consider it or the contextual frameworks to understand it.

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By: Jeffrey Phillips

I recently wrote an article about innovation during 2018, and in it I made some disparaging remarks about Apple, which may or may not have caused it to lose a tremendous amount of market capitalization. Or perhaps the stock was overvalued, and Apple has become more interested in margin than in innovation. I’ll let you, gentle reader, be the judge.

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By: Jeffrey Phillips

It finally came to me last week. For more than a decade I’ve been working with corporations, trying to help them accelerate their ability to generate new, interesting ideas to market as viable products and services.

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By: Jeffrey Phillips

Ihave been thinking a lot lately about innovation and how we may have emphasized one component at the expense of another. Here I’m talking about something that should appear obvious—the focus of innovation in building new things. We are constantly reminded that innovation is about building new products and services and experiences. This definition is entirely right and proper, but I think it neglects something very important.

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By: Jeffrey Phillips

I have been thinking a lot about why innovation fails. Not about why supposedly innovative new products fail, because there are multiple reasons for that. A product could be too early or too late in the market window, or it could simply have the wrong pricing or distribution. A new product may lack key features or components, or like some successful products, take years to build an audience. I’m actually more interested in the 90-percent or more of ideas that never make it to product development. Why is there so much failure at the front end of innovation?

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By: Jeffrey Phillips

There’s probably few activities that corporate folks enjoy less than corporate training. For most it’s guaranteed to be a slog, or a review of policies and procedures rarely used and important only to a specific team or set of circumstances. Most people assume they have enough knowledge to do the jobs they have, and they are often comfortable simply winging the rest. That’s why innovation often presents such an interesting challenge.

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By: Jeffrey Phillips

I was leading an innovation workshop recently with a company that invited some of its customers to talk about the future. We were interested in getting feedback from key B2B customers about the future of the industry, where things were heading, and what strategies and programs my customer should begin to put in place. I was hired to lead a trend-spotting and scenario-planning workshop, but I had successfully convinced my client that we needed to establish a common framework and language about innovation first.

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By: Jeffrey Phillips

I

was thinking over the weekend that for years we've positioned innovation incorrectly. Too often we position innovation as creating a new and valuable offering or solution, ready when customers demand new products and services. In other words, we've positioned innovation as something to do to prepare for future business, future needs, and future demands.