Innovation management is really easy

Creating Innovation
Dr. Philip Gordon, Executive Director, Fisher Center of IT and Marketplace Transformation, Haas School of Business
UC Berkeley

March 30, 2004
Summary: Philip presented a framework of how to manage innovation – and maintained that managing innovation is, in fact, not hard.
(notes for this posting were taken by Mats Flatland)


Philip opened by saying that people tend to forget that innovations should have a purpose when chasing after them. Not surprisingly, 90 % of all new businesses fail. He then focused on three innovation concepts:
- A successful innovation begins with an idea
- A development environment is a place where an idea becomes a real concept
- A prototype environment is a place where concept becomes business reality
Managing innovation then becomes a matter of:
- Encouraging and fostering ideas
- Building and supporting a development environment
- Building and supporting a prototype environment
Philip’s main point was that managing innovation is in fact really easy. The different steps for managing innovation can be implemented at all levels in a company, no matter the size, and independent of whether it produces/sells is a physical or digital product.
The Internet is not an innovation in itself, only a new distribution channel. It is the different use of the Internet channel that may be innovative. Interaction and communication have to be enabled if innovation is to happen.
Philip encouraged the group to develop a working environment where all employees can come up with and discuss new ideas. An example of such a working environment is 3M. Such a working environment foster continued innovation, which is necessary to build a “development environment”.
Creating innovation on the Internet is not equivalent to technology-driven innovations. Customer centricity is today’s key issue. A large number of companies that used enormous amounts of money on technology-driven innovation have now lost their money.

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