Experimentation

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Experiments in Open Innovation at Harvard Medical School

What happens when an academic institution rethinks how research gets done? In an experiment in open innovation applied to scientific research, Harvard Catalyst, a pan-Harvard agency, modified the traditional grant proposal process to bring greater openness into every stage of research. In the end, 150 new hypotheses were proposed. The Harvard Catalyst experience suggests that open-innovation principles can be applied to a well-established research organization.

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How to Change an Organization Without Blowing It Up

Too often, organizational change occurs all at once, on a large scale, and often in response to crisis. Yet we know from a great deal of experience that such transformation attempts often fail, fostering employee discontent and producing mediocre solutions with little lasting impact. Continuously pursuing smaller-scale changes — and weaving them together — offers a practical middle path between large-scale transformation and small-scale pilot projects

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Tim Harford on Trial, Error and Our “God Complex”

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Financial Times journalist Tim Harford and author of “Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure” argues that companies that have a God complex look for smart people (what he calls “little Gods”) to solve complex problems — when what they should really be doing is establishing systematic processes of trial and error.

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Courtesy of IBM.

Putting It Together: How to Succeed in Distributed Product Development

The increase in outsourcing and offshoring of complex work has resulted in innovation efforts that require coordination across cultural, geographic and legal boundaries. If that coordination is mishandled, companies can find themselves needing to make multimillion- or even billion-dollar changes. The complexity of the task makes midcourse corrections likely. Managers must anticipate and adapt their processes in order to reduce risk and, ultimately, cost.

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Improving your innovation skills

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A new book includes some interesting observations about the personal characteristics of successful innovators — and what managers can do to strengthen their innovation skills.

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Seeking innovation? Look in new places.

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To generate innovative ideas, companies need to look in areas beyond the familiar -- and often slightly beyond their core, day-to-day businesses. That's one of the messages of "In Search of Innovation," an  article that is part of this week's edition of Business Insight.

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Innovation news

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Two pieces of news:
1) Some companies are trying an approach to launching products that involves less up-front market research and more experimentation in the marketplace.
2) Innovation is on the agenda of the U.S.’s new CTO.

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Lowering the cost of innovation

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Michael Schrage of the MIT Center for Digital Business sees inexpensive digital business experiments as a form of “innovation risk management.”

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Encouragement for innovators

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Innovating  in difficult economic times can be discouraging. With that in mind, here's an upbeat video clip from Tom Kelley, general manager of IDEO, the well-known design firm. Kelley spoke at Stanford a few months ago on the topic of "how to be an innovator for life."

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How to innovate in tough times, part II

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Last week, I blogged about a Knowledge@Wharton article containing advice about innovating in difficult times. This week, a visitor to our site added her own insights on that topic: Laura Weiss, an innovation consultant, pointed out her own recent San Francisco Chronicle column on innovating during a downturn.

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The Five Stages of Successful Innovation

Serendipity is not a strategy, yet that’s the extent of most companies’ innovation planning. The importance of innovation to a company’s future is unquestionable. Then why do so few companies have a process for it? The authors of a September 2006 working paper, Crafting Organizational Innovation Processes, address that question.

Showing 1-20 of 26