Throw Off The Covers

Have you identified the project in your organization that will shift the ground all your competitors compete on? Have you protected it from suffocation under layers of corporate security blankets? No matter what kind of organization you work at, there is a good chance the idea is there — In a business plan, maybe in development. And, more than likely covered in security blankets. Alice Rawsthorn identified corporate security blankets as a prime culprit in a recent article, Why The Overwhelming Number Of Design Flops? (April 8, International Herald Tribune). Included in her list of blankets was ‘My Competitor Did It’ and ‘Design by Committee.’ Ground shifting innovation is moved by two key forces within any organization: Vision and Fear. When conceptualized, vision drives truly innovative ideas. It attracts key talent in your organization. It drives energy and excitement that something astounding is working its way through the pipeline. But then the … Continue reading

Strategic Shifts Can Be Icky

When something fascinates you, do you still pick it up? Or do thoughts of unforeseen trouble keep your hands in your pockets? Few of us live in an industry where last year’s strategy will take us through the next decade. Few of us have businesses where success will come from ideas handed to us by our competitors. Sometimes the best ideas look icky when they are sitting under a rock.

The Ostrich Strategy

Sometimes an industry faces a long term threat that appears so overwhelming that the long term strategy appears to involve sticking management’s collective heads’ in the sand, hoping the problem goes away. Now, it turns out that an ostrich does not stick its head in the sand. An ostrich is smarter than that. An ostrich learns to lay low, head to the ground, blending in with the scenery until it is time to jump up and run. Or jump up, kick and run. Or bite, kick and run. An ostrich keeps its options open. Many strategic plans appear to do the same thing with long term threats. The threat gets mentioned, maybe a study group is formed, maybe a bit of research is assigned. True believers in the importance of the long term threat might even be given a ’special project’ to concentrate on. Truth be told, this is just … Continue reading

Commercializing Technology – Starting The Business

“You either make it or sell it.” Those are the key first players in a new business according to Michael Ferro, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Click Commerce, Inc. at the Forum –Commercializing Technology To Drive New Business Formation: The Experience of Entrepreneurs. A great insight, one relevant not only to entrepreneurs but any business developing a new category, product or business. Sales ensures a direct connection to the market you are trying to tap. Immediate feedback. Deals done. The Builder ensures a product gets made and delivered with vision & insight. For a new entrepreneurial company this provides the foundation for building. In my own experience, this provides the foundation for larger organizations to ‘go entrepreneurial,’ driving quicker decisions. Cheaper development. Cleaner concepts.