RTI Innovation Advisors

Learning to innovate in the IoT Age

RTI Innovation Advisors

Lately, many commentators are given to sweeping claims about seismic change. We are either in the 3rd or the 4th industrial revolution, depending on the commentator. It can be hard to keep up. However, where there is smoke there is often fire.

Making innovation your organizing theme

RTI Innovation Advisors

In my continuing series of posts about lessons learned from corporate innovation, today I'd like to expand on the idea of innovation language, and go even further. I'd like to riff on the idea of innovation as central, organizing idea in a business rather than an occasional distraction.

Understanding the innovation options in your business

RTI Innovation Advisors

I'm writing a series of blog posts to document some of the things I've learned in innovation along the way, over 15 years of leading corporate innovation work.

Ideas are easy, good ideas are hard

RTI Innovation Advisors

I'm writing a series of posts that examine some of my lessons learned after over 15 years of corporate innovation consulting.

The 5 Competencies of Highly Innovative Organizations

Speaker: Dr. Ankush Chopra, Professor of Strategy, School of Management Fribourg

Professor Ankush Chopra studied over 100 companies in North America and Europe to seek answers to the above questions. He found that companies across the world use the same set of competencies to become successful innovators. In this webinar, he shows how you can use these insights to develop and lead an innovative organization.

Every idea needs a sponsor

RTI Innovation Advisors

As I noted yesterday, I'm writing a series of posts about what I've learned over the last 15 years of corporate innovation work. Yesterday I wrote about needing a "why and a how" rather than a "what" for innovation.

What problem is AI or ML solving for you or your customer

RTI Innovation Advisors

I wanted to write today about AI and ML, and take a day or two off from my recurring posts on lessons learned from many years of leading corporate innovation.

Digital Transformation, Data and Innovation

RTI Innovation Advisors

In my last post I tried to illustrate the importance (and the challenges) of data to digital transformation. This is often a complex and difficult idea for people to understand - why is "data" so hard? Why can't computer systems work more effectively?

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It's past time to reintroduce risk into corporations

RTI Innovation Advisors

I was on a conference call recently, discussing an upcoming keynote that I'll deliver to a academic-federal government program meant to accelerate new technologies from basic research into the market. We were talking about the "ecosystem" of contributors that can help move basic research from academia and research labs to market. One participant talked about the role that large corporations could play, and sometimes do play, in commercializing new technologies.

Understanding future conditions is vital to create innovative solutions

RTI Innovation Advisors

I'm just wrapping up another project that's focused on trend spotting and scenario planning, working to help a client company understand the emerging competitive conditions their business will face in the next 5-7 years. While foresighting, trend spotting and scenario planning are exceptionally valuable, many innovation projects simply ignore the benefits they can receive from doing this work. Instead innovators plunge in to create the products and services they believe customers need.

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Assessing and Fostering a Culture of Innovation

Speaker: Magnus Penker, CEO & Founder, Innovation360 Group

Welcome to an interactive empowering session on how to sharpen your future through innovation management, which can help guide your company’s goals. During this webinar, Magnus Penker, international thought leader and author, will dive into how to assess and foster culture and capabilities for innovation.

For interesting innovation, ignore your instincts

RTI Innovation Advisors

I've been around the block for a while, and every once in a while I'll tell the folks on my team who are younger than me what's likely to happen with a specific strategy or project. Since they are young and a bit wet behind the ears, it often comes as a surprise to them that I can predict with some degree of certainty what's likely to happen.

Digital Innovation meets As a service

RTI Innovation Advisors

For a while now I've been considering the impact of all the emerging digital transformation tools on innovation. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, blockchain and a host of other technologies will have a bit impact on how corporations conduct work and create new insights and new products and services.

Language: the most challenging and trival innovation barrier

RTI Innovation Advisors

In my continuing series of lessons I've learned from 15 years of corporate innovation, I've tackled issues including the reasons ideas need sponsors , or why ideas are easy and good ideas are difficult. In this episode I'm going to talk about my experiences as a translator and interpreter.

Why digital transformation will drive business model innovation

RTI Innovation Advisors

As a follow up to my previous post about the intersection of digital transformation and innovation , I wanted to conduct a thought experiment to illustrate why the real impact of all the impending change from digital transformation and innovation will be business model related. While the implementation of new technologies is interesting and challenging, and creating new products and services is daunting, at least you can still do that primarily if not exclusively in your existing business model.

5 Product Traps - And Better Paths

Speaker: Johanna Rothman, Management Consultant, Rothman Consulting Group

Is your agile team overloaded with feature requests, with no time for discovery? Do your roadmaps read like impossible wish lists? Well, you’re not alone. It may seem impossible now, but what if we said that with a few changes, you could be meeting deadlines with the ability to predict progress with accuracy, be happy with your progress against the roadmap, and be making time for near-continuous discovery? Johanna Rothman has seen this all too often across many different organizations. She will take us through five common traps that agile product teams fall into – and likely you are in several of those traps right now. And good news - she has ways to avoid them!

At the digital transformation and innovation crossroads

RTI Innovation Advisors

I went to a meeting about innovation earlier this week with a former client and a discussion about digital transformation broke out. It was both interesting and strange at the same time. 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.

What 2019 holds for innovation

RTI Innovation Advisors

I wrote my obligatory look back at 2018 article on innovation recently, so it is natural that we should turn our attention to where innovation will take us in 2019. In the 2018 review 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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What I'ved learned so far about digital transformation and innovation

RTI Innovation Advisors

Lately I've been drinking from the firehose. It seems every day there are new reports on digital transformation and innovation. My good friend and collaborator Paul Hobcraft is constantly reviewing new reports and creating insights of his own, which inundate me with more information.

Innovating when everything is "as a service"

RTI Innovation Advisors

I've been talking with a number of people who are more connected and smarter than me about digital transformation.

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What Users Want: How and Why to Build Knowledge into Your Product

Speaker: Nils Davis, Principal, NPD Associates

Usage data allows PMs, the product team, and the whole organization to make better decisions. Good usage intelligence gives you the ability to be smarter, more active, more decisive, nimbler, and to minimize risk. But what if you don't have that data - such as before you have users? Or, what if the right decision seems to fly in the face of the data you have? Or, what if your product offers more than just the standard features? To get deeper into these questions, Nils Davis asks, "What is the most interesting thing about Instagram?" (Because who doesn't like a product that Facebook paid $1 billion for when it had fewer than 50 employees and no revenue?) Nils will use the example of Instagram’s Filters to talk about how putting prebuilt knowledge in your product can change the way your product is used for the better - putting you in the company of most market-leading products. Finally, he’ll tie it all together by explaining how the way you interpret and use usage data can impact the way your tell your product’s story, and ultimately, how your users use your product.

Getting the right question is half the battle

RTI Innovation Advisors

I return once again to one of my favorite sayings, by Stephen Covey, who said (I'm paraphrasing): sharpen the saw before you start cutting the wood. It's a really simple thought - do the right things to prepare before you start a big task, but we lose sight of what adequate preparation looks like in so many activities. There are several reasons for this. First, many corporate activities are second nature. We know how to do them by heart, so preparation feels like wasted time.

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Beware conventional wisdom in innovation and digital transformation

RTI Innovation Advisors

One of my favorite quotes comes from Shaw, who said that all change in life originate 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.

Where speed, innovation, technology and strategy collide

RTI Innovation Advisors

An old saying, often attributed to a Chinese philosopher, goes something like this: may you live in interesting times. Some people say that it isn't a "saying" so much as a subtle curse. Interesting times - interesting to whom? Interesting why? I think we are all about to find out what interesting times look like, because those times are about to unfold, and no one can really interpret the repercussions. Major shifts on the horizon Why are times about to become more interesting?

How to know when the old models don't work any more

RTI Innovation Advisors

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 a case in point I draw your attention to this article - entitled Why Corporate Innovation is so Hard.

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11 Proven Ways to Turn Your Culture into a Culture of Innovation

Learn the 11 proven strategies that you can implement quickly to get every employee innovating and contributing to the growth of your company.

Innovating what we innovate

RTI Innovation Advisors

It finally came to me last week. For over 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. In some instances we've been successful, and in other instances there were interesting failures. I've recognized for a while that some major challenges exist.

I'm running for the presidency of Innovation

RTI Innovation Advisors

I thought - why not? Everyone else is running, so why be left out in the cold? If the governor of Washington State can run on the single plank of climate change, if senators who have barely introduced themselves to their colleagues can run, if a west Texas Irishman named Beto can consider running, then so can I. Of course my candidacy will be strictly tongue in cheek, and really meant to frame a more interesting question - where does innovation stand in all of this? What's my platform?

The state of innovation at the end of 2018

RTI Innovation Advisors

Since everyone is compelled to write at least one backward looking story at the end of the year, I've chosen as my topic a review of innovation at the end of 2018. This review isn't meant to be an attempt to grade innovation activities or suggest better or worse approaches, but to think about innovation holistically and consider the implications and ramifications of where we are, and where we who would like to think of ourselves as innovators will be moving in the future.

What U2 and Madonna can tell corporations about innovation

RTI Innovation Advisors

Let's get this right out there early: I am a huge U2 fan. From their earliest albums like October and Boy to their latest efforts, I'm a big supporter (well Zooropa not so much, but every great artist has at least one significant flub). On the other hand, I've never much cared for Madonna. Too packaged, too commercial, too much a formula it seems to me. But both U2 and Madonna have something to tell major corporations about how to stay relevant for decades: reinvent yourself.

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Using Data and Messaging to Drive Product Activation

Speaker: Ruben Ugarte, Founder, Practico Analytics

Onboarding users is filled with possibilities and challenges. Not only are you showing the user how to use your product, but it's also a chance to connect with them and understand their needs. Of course, it’s crucial to have a good onboarding experience to drive your activation metrics. Quality onboarding is the first step towards turning a newly acquired user into a repeat user. If you're looking to optimize your onboarding to improve your activation metrics, this webinar is for you. Ruben Ugarte will be focusing on how to improve all aspects of onboarding experiences by understanding how your current onboarding process is stacking up, and giving you the tools to prioritize what to try changing. With improved onboarding, you'll see less drop-off and a happier user experience.

Six million dollar innovation

RTI Innovation Advisors

Since I write about innovation regularly, I often receive questions about "the future" of innovation. Who really knows anything about the future of innovation, when many of us don't fully comprehend all of the tools and activities for innovation that are available to us now. My standard response is in the title of the post. In the future, we'll do innovation work much more quickly than we do today, we'll be smarter about our approach and increasingly we'll never do it alone.

The interplay between digital transformation and innovation

RTI Innovation Advisors

I've found that concepts like digital transformation are like eating honey. The stuff just kind of sticks to you long after you think the experience is over. As a person who has spent more than 15 years focused on corporate innovation, I find the rapid emergence of digital transformation interesting, and sometimes a bit troubling, as you may recall from a previous post.

Alert to the press: prototypes aren't finished products

RTI Innovation Advisors

I rise today to do something I find strange. I'm actually going to defend Elon Musk. Musk is receiving a significant amount of negative press after his unveiling of the Boring Company's (if you need to throw stones, do so at that name) pilot tunnel. To the shock and dismay of many people, the prototype is only a mile long and uses Tesla cars rather than the futuristic car depicted in mockups.

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Why taking your best shot is all wrong in innovation

RTI Innovation Advisors

I was speaking with a prospective client recently and was dismayed to hear them talk about innovation in a manner that seems to suggest innovation is a "one and done" activity. Then a good friend introduced me to the book Loonshots, which I haven't read, but did listen to a podcast about. I'm not here to review Loonshots, but I do want to debunk the idea of innovation and its connotation to "shots" of any kind. We use this kind of language all the time - "take your best shot".

Project Analytics: Visibility that Aids Risk Management

Speaker: Miles Robinson, Agile and Management Consultant, Motivational Speaker

Product Managers face changes that put delivery at risk. Just as you use data from the customer to inform your solutions, transparency during the building of those solutions is critical for making better risk mitigation decisions. Whether your solution has fixed scope, fixed scheduling, fixed resources or fixed level of quality, the earlier you can know when these are at risk (and how) the better. The more clear the picture, the better you can understand the impacts of changes, and the more effectively you can deliver the solution the customer needs, when they need it, at a reasonable cost. This session will focus on the use of a One-Dimensional Product Backlog from a risk management point of view. We will show how this tool can be used to monitor and evaluate how your solution is getting built, and a clear view of any cascading impacts risks have as they surface.