Categories In english

Defining innovation


I was talking to a friend today, and as we discussed innovation, she asked me a seemingly naïve question: “what’s innovation?” I realized that the term “innovation” is often used to describe very different things. It almost seems like anything qualifies as an innovation, making it difficult to understand what innovation really stands for at a fundamental level. And yet, as mature markets are…

Categories In english

How to manage for disruptive innovation?


In a previous post, I mentioned that disruptive innovation fundamentally changes industry structure: it changes not only how value is created, but also who claims industry value. I’ve received many emails asking me to address the logical follow-up question: how does one manage for disruptive innovation? In other words, how would a CEO lead his/her firm to innovate disruptively?

Last week I gave a conference at a company’s Open Innovation Fair. There were General Managers, Country Heads, CTOs and Business Unit Heads from multiple Fortune 500 EU companies that were attending the fair. Before I started out, the CTO of a prominent German company was asked what was the  most significant challenge to innovation. He replied instantly: “building an innovation-friendly culture”.

The term “strategic innovation” has often a fuzzy meaning. It’s used to mean important innovation, or urgent innovation. Sometimes, “strategic innovation” may refer to C-level innovation projects. Each of these terms provide a shed of light on the meaning of “strategic innovation”, but they fail to answer a more fundamental question on the purported strategic nature of innovation. In other words, what is it…