Innovation

A Birdseye view of innovation

January 10, 2013

For a glimpse of how to put inventions into action, check out Clarence Birdseye, the guy who enabled us to eat vegetables from a freezer instead of a can.

How to lead by getting out of the way

January 2, 2013

Even though Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit, oversees a workforce of about 8,000 people, he spurs innovation by getting out of the way. Rather than micromanage, he prods employees to think like entrepreneurs launching a business.

Leadership Tips: Vol. 1212

December 3, 2012
Wake up meetings … Fill a need … Kill your darlings.

MCI founder wouldn’t take ‘No’

November 7, 2012
John Goeken didn’t earn the name “Jack the Giant Killer” for nothing. The Midwesterner who broke AT&T’s grip on the telephone industry had a passion to make communication possible anywhere. If people told him he couldn’t do something, he’d do it just to prove that he could. And boy, did he do it.

Leadership Tips: Vol. 1012

October 1, 2012
Billy King, general manager of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, thought it was pretty cool the first time minority owner and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z emailed him. Even cooler: Asked what Jay-Z typically wants to know, King says, “How he can help.”

Innovate by using ‘frugal engineering’

September 10, 2012
“Frugal engineering,” coined by Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, describes the way Indian engineers innovate under resource constraints. Renault-Nissan has embraced frugal engineering to become a top producer of electric and low-cost cars. How any firm can do more with less:

Notice the patterns and then move on

August 16, 2012

Some leaders earn their berth through their execution skills. Others get ahead through their ideas. Mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot fell into the second group.

Birdseye’s knack for problem-solving

August 9, 2012

Clarence Birdseye was the classic American inventor who became rich by finding marketable solutions to everyday problems. Before his company came along in the early 20th century, frozen food was so bad that New York state ruled it inedible for prisoners.

Keep prototypes ‘quick and dirty’

August 3, 2012

Your innovation methods should produce a bunch of ideas, including “crazy” ones. After paring them down based on critique and analysis, have your designers try out the surviving ideas with “cheap and dirty” prototypes.

Why disruption is still so hard

July 30, 2012
One reason that Polaroid went out of business, says former Polaroid CEO Gary T. DiCamillo, is that the revenue it earned from film sales served as a blockade, preventing experimentation with new business models. Eventually, all successful companies run across this problem.