‘Innovation managers have to be politically savvy street-fighters’ – Notes from the Front End of Innovation

fuzzy front end of innovationI’m suffering from information overload right now, having spent most of last week at the Front End of Innovation conference having interesting conversations with inspiring people. As ever, there were some key recurring themes around innovation (discussed in previous posts), but I picked up some interesting additional dimensions, met some great people, and learned some completely new things.

Culture remains a huge topic, particularly the importance of building an innovation culture in your organisation. It was interesting to hear from Wynne Lewis of 3M, famous for its innovation culture, about how they use their strategic targets to promote innovation: 30% of its revenue comes from products that are under three years old. Organisations must be willing to build innovation into the very fabric of their business in this way, including how they reward and motivate their people, if they really want it to take hold. As Yuval Dvir of Google said ‘technology is only as good as the people implementing it, and the people are only as good as the culture they’re in.’


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