Breakthrough Innovation

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Image courtesy of Flickr user Wilber Baan.
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The Risks and Responsibilities of Tech Innovation

The introduction of Google’s breakthrough wearable computer, Google Glass, creates numerous possibilities for risky behavior on the part of Glass users. Should companies on the cutting be held responsible for their customers’ poor judgment in using new tech? There are legal and social precedents that say they should, but business and corporate responsibility expert Christine Bader suggests ways companies can combat this problem.

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What It Takes to Be a Serial Innovator

It’s not easy to develop a breakthrough innovation in an established company and bring it to market successfully — and even more challenging to do so more than once. In their new book, Serial Innovators: How Individuals Create and Deliver Breakthrough Innovations in Mature Firms, authors Abbie Griffin, Raymond L. Price and Bruce A. Vojak describe several years of research they have conducted about a type of employee who can do just that.

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The Kind of Innovation to Pursue Now

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Innovation strategy expert Vijay Govindarajan thinks that businesses should be careful not to abandon innovation in their quest for efficiency and cost control during a recession — but they may need to reduce their focus on risky breakthrough innovation plans.

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Time to work in new ways?

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It's not uncommon to hear experts suggest that recessions are good for innovation -- in part because hard times encourage new thinking. John Chambers, Cisco's chair and CEO, goes even further. Earlier this month, in a Wall Street Journal column, he described  the current economic situation as "the biggest opportunity of our lifetime."

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Management innovation: No easy task

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Think product innovation is hard? Management innovation is even harder, according to Julian Birkinshaw of the London Business School.

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How to get radical innovations adopted

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A new book explains the surprising extent to which activist communities can influence the adoption of radical innovations.

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Collaboration Matters

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How important is collaboration to breakthrough innovation? And, conversely, how significant are the contributions of inventors who work alone? In a recent working paper, Lee Fleming of Harvard and Jasjit Singh of INSEAD take a new look at this topic.

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The factors behind great success

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Fortune has posted an interesting interview with author Malcolm Gladwell, known for his books The Tipping Point and Blink. Gladwell's new book Outliers: The Story of Success -- to be released next week — delves into what makes extremely successful people perform so well.

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What Was Obvious No Longer Is

U.S. patent law says that you can’t patent an invention that is “obvious.” However, in the 2007 case KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc. et. al., the Supreme Court raised the standard for showing that an invention is not obvious and is therefore worthy of a patent.

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Implementing a Learning Plan to Counter Project Uncertainty

For any breakthrough innovation project, specific objectives are often unclear or highly malleable, and the paths to them are murky. Rather than feign a certainty that doesn’t exist, project managers need a systematic, disciplined framework for turning uncertainty into useful learning that keeps the project tacking on a successful course.

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Software-Based Innovation

A revolution is now underway. Most innovation occurs first in software.1 And software is the primary element in all aspects of innovation from basic research through product introduction:Software provides the critical mechanism through which managers can lower the costs, compress the time cycles, and increase the value of innovations.

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