C.E.O: The New Chief ‘Experiments’ Officer Leads Innovation

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“The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else”  – Eric Ries Lists nominating ‘The Most Innovative Company’s’ of <name the year> highlight one common theme, these are companies who have embraced experimentation in order to move their business forward.  Moreover, the biggest long-term winners are those who have figured out how to test new ideas with end customers that drive product decisions. Take Chobani for instance. Their highly competitive space requires a continuous flow of new products. How do they continuously learn about changing customer tastes?  Look no further than Chobani Soho, a bricks & mortar […]

The New Innovation Ecosystems

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  Innovation Ecosystems The business ‘ecosystems’ we grew up with were linear – we went down a generally limited path of options to get the job done. Disruptive digital innovations have changed all that. Marketplaces are now defined by ecosystems that are multi-dimensional and complex. They work around all of the old value chain rules and go direct to the customer in a new and more efficient way. The outcome: new customer relationships, more data insights and startups who get between you and your customer in unexpected ways. Business ecosystems are now dynamic, with a plethora of options. You’ll need […]

Retail It’s Time To Run (Not Hide) Towards Your Future

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While hurricanes and earthquakes overwhelm the headlines, an old friend the local retail store, continues on a long, predictable death spiral. The story is getting back page coverage. We are only 3 months away from the holiday season, historically the most lucrative moment for retail. The news suggests a not so happy holiday season. Toy’s R Us files Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Macy’s closes yet another 15% of its retail stores. This year has brought the closing of well-loved retail brands such as The Limited, Wet Seal and RadioShack. Wall Street is betting that things are going to get worse. […]

Open Innovation to Leverage Entrepreneurial Minds

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What is the problem? Corporations are very much at home with incremental innovation – often defined as ‘better sameness’. But disruptive innovation, i.e.; changing the playing field, is generally a bridge too far. Start-ups live at the edge. Disruptive innovation is their game. They have a flattened hierarchy and a shortened decision cycle. They focus on products versus process and view their organization as a ‘greenfield’; i.e.; not constrained by legacy people, process or technologies. The end result: speed to market of minimum viable products (MVPs). MVP comes with ‘build-test-iterate’ cycles that don’t wait for approvals or annual planning sessions. […]

Innovation Moves Faster with Startup Thinking

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We founded The Innovation Scout because we know how hard it is to succeed at innovation inside of a large company. Getting ideas is not necessarily the difficult part. It’s about finding strong, relevant solutions fast enough to make a difference in your market. It’s about discovering what is possible, testing with customers, building lean prototypes and getting to market fast. That’s reflects what a startup does. You don’t need to be a startup, but you can learn from them, use their roadmap and get moving faster by collaborating with them. At the Innovation Scout we are all about helping […]

The Innovation Scout Canvas

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When you set out to scout for innovation how well do you frame the opportunity? The early stage of scouting sets the tone.  In order for your work to be fruitful quickly, you need a method to define and frame the problem. Why does time matter? Because competitors and startups are nipping at your heels already. You need to be efficient in your scouting efforts in order to find competitive advantages that will work for your business this year. We have created The Innovation Scout Canvas™ to address the need to unpack the opportunity appropriately before setting out to search […]

Innovation Strategy: Define Your Opportunity

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We hear it all the time, “we aren’t sure exactly what we are looking for”.  Some companies just believe they need to be part of the newest tech trend, even though there isn’t a clear reason why.  So why have an innovation strategy at all?  It’s simple really, to clearly focus and align the innovation efforts of your team. These efforts need to ultimately connect with your overall business strategy. Innovation isn’t easy, it’s often a frustrating exercise inside of big companies.  Why do efforts to innovate often fail?  Here’s a hint: it’s not about execution.  The problem is routed […]

5 Reasons Why Startups Are Your Most Important Innovation Partner: Open Innovation

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Open innovation is a distributed, more participatory, and decentralized approach to innovation.  The underlying case for open innovation is the fact that no company, no matter how capable or how big, could innovate effectively all on its own.  This is because of the wide distribution of knowledge and research.  Startups can take advantage of this distribution and create an “idea-tester” environment rather quickly.  There aren’t many barriers for entrepreneurs to get a company up and going.  The cycle for building and testing ideas is faster. The cost of this testing activity from startups is rather low.  This is why we […]

5 Things Businesses Can Learn from Entrepreneurs

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Mature businesses generally have an aversion to risk. We get it. They are at the top of their game because they have been excellent at scaling a proven business model, building complex processes and getting teams to ‘line up’. For mature businesses it’s about executing on a well-defined business model. The overwhelming momentum of these organizations pushes hard against risky innovation.This is what entrepreneurs do well. Solve a problem in a new way, take the risk but get all of the benefits of eventually winning. Considering new products or trying to find new markets is disruptive. You aren’t desperate to […]

What Is Innovation?

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When creativity meets a problem we call this innovation. Simply said, the practice of innovation can result in new products, processes even new lines of business. I might argue that the term ‘innovation’ is overused today. However for business and dare I say, the future of humanity innovation is a core, essential activity. To put it in to perspective, innovation needs to be a movement inside of your company if you hope to survive the long term. The pace of technological advances combined with a digitally connected world have laid the foundation for innovation to occur at a faster pace […]