Posts Tagged ‘risk’

Take risks

April 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Bisquine Cancalaise“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”

John A. Shedd


Science and innovation follow diverging paths before rejoining

April 17, 2011 1 comment

Brent Carey, a graduate student at Rice University in Texas, has discovered a material that behaves in an unusual way, at least for a non-living material. Made of carbon nanotubes and a rubbery polymer, the composite material does not show any sign of the damaging fatigue that would normally come with repeated exposure to stress; instead, it grows stiffer and stiffer. Why? Nobody knows yet.

That’s the point where science and innovation start to follow diverging paths. Read more…

Diversity is a source not only of creativity but also of resilience

January 22, 2011 1 comment

The magazine Nature features an unusual lead article about the parallels between the recent financial near catastrophic failure and  the spread of diseases in natural eco-systems. This is no joke or provocation: not only is Nature a serious scientific publication but the article is written by Andrew Haldane, executive director of financial stability at the Bank of England, and Robert May, a theoretical ecologist at Oxford University and former chief scientist of the UK government. Both the method and the conclusions offer at least two insightful lessons for the innovation practitioner. Read more…

Casting aside the fear of failure

April 9, 2010 1 comment

“The only adventure that is doomed from the start is the one we do not attempt.”

“La seule aventure d’avance vouée à l’échec est celle qu’on ne tente pas.”

Paul Emile Victor

Open innovation and the fear that it will benefit my competitors

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Robert Shelton publishes an enlightening article about the 3 levels of open innovation maturity. But for most companies, open innovation raises instinctive fears that their ideas will leak out to their competitors and destroy any competitive advantage they would have hoped to get from their innovation.

3 levels of Open Innovation

  • Level 1: aware & adhoc. Companies are aware of the need to open up to external sources of ideas and to leverage external capabilities. Read more…

Innovating like Apple, yes! But what if it all goes Pear shape?

February 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Most CEOs would say that innovation is critical to their companies’ success, loads of people would want to exercise their creativity and innovate, but whether at the corporate or at the individual level, something holds everyone back: risk. “What if it all goes wrong?” This can be more or less marked depending on the degree of acceptance of  trial-and-error as a learning process, but to some extent it exists in all cultures, countries and companies.

What can we do about it? There are process answers around framing the project and keeping it focused, rapid prototyping different versions of the product or piloting in the market.  But most importantly there is a mindset answer which is both accept it and don’t accept it. Read more…

Companies have stuck to their R+D spend, but what about innovation?

February 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Booz & Company’s annual study of the world’s biggest corporate R&D spenders finds that most have kept or slightly increased their R&D spending as a % of sales throughout the recession. Qualitatively, interviews have confirmed that, by sticking to their R&D, managers expect their companies will outpace their weaker rivals on innovation and emerge from the downturn with a stronger competitive advantage. So far so good… Read more…