Featured Innovation Articles


Winning With Open Process Innovation

Many manufacturers can benefit from sharing process innovations rather than keeping them secret.


Creating Better Innovation Measurement Practices

Improving a company’s measurement of innovation requires a holistic view of its innovation process.


How to Catalyze Innovation in Your Organization

Executives can foster innovation by understanding and tapping the power of employee networks.


Second Thoughts on Design Thinking

Why Design Thinking in Business Needs a Rethink

September 12, 2017 | Martin Kupp, Jamie Anderson, and Jörg Reckhenrich

To reach its full potential, the popular innovation methodology must be more closely aligned with the realities and social dynamics of established businesses.

Digital Innovation

Unleashing Creativity With Digital Technology

Frontiers |

In business, it’s costly to try something new, especially if it doesn’t work out. But in the digital era, technology can be deployed to augment the creative abilities of people and organizations. Today’s digital technologies have reached a level of maturation that enables cheap and rapid iteration to make new, invaluable forms of innovation possible.

Mastering the Digital Innovation Challenge

For Volvo Cars, pursuing digital innovation required fundamentally rethinking the organization, while also keeping the core business functioning efficiently. The company did so by balancing four interrelated competing concerns: (1) new and established innovation capabilities; (2) process and product focus; (3) external and internal collaboration; and (4) flexibility and control in relationships with external partners.


Technology-Centered Business Models


What You Need to Know Before Starting a Platform Business

Frontiers |

There’s probably never been a better time for platform businesses. But they aren’t easy to launch.


The Silicon Valley Caravan: What Sets the Tech Upstarts Apart?

Silicon Valley success is based on four core business principles and a willingness to stay flexible.


Organizing for New Technologies

Responding to disruptive technologies may mean changing your company’s organizational structure.


The Innovator's Reading List

12 Essential Innovation Insights

September 12, 2017 | Bruce Posner and Martha E. Mangelsdorf

Innovation is an ongoing challenge for managers — so MIT SMR has combed through the archives to find 12 essential innovation insights, looking for older articles that today’s MIT SMR readers might have missed but that still retain wide relevance.


Solving the Innovation Equation

Developing Innovative Solutions Through Internal Crowdsourcing

Internal crowdsourcing, which seeks to channel the ideas and expertise of the company’s own employees, allows employees to interact dynamically with coworkers in other locations, propose new ideas, and suggest new directions to management. Because many large companies have pockets of expertise and knowledge scattered across different locations, harnessing the cognitive diversity within organizations can open up rich new sources of innovation.

Finding a Lower-Risk Path to High-Impact Innovations

Pursuing a high-impact innovation strategy can have terrific payoffs — but it’s also extremely risky, and most companies won’t do it. Yet a comparatively less risky, proactive approach that strings together “lily pads” of capability-building investments, technical and conceptual advances, and market explorations into “enabling innovations” can bring companies closer to their goal and provide a long-lasting competitive edge.


Innovating Thoughtfully

Which Rules Are Worth Breaking?

September 22, 2017 | R. Edward Freeman and Bidhan (Bobby) Parmar

Creating innovative products and services that disrupt the status quo requires creativity, and creativity involves thinking differently about constraints. But too much of a “the rules don’t apply to us” attitude can lead to ethical crises. That’s what’s happened at Uber, where a string of controversies led to a mass exodus of executives, including the company’s president and CEO. Organizations intent on innovating need to understand ahead of time the consequences of breaking certain rules.

Innovation Strategy

Choosing Scope Over Focus

Frontiers |

New digital technologies are changing the rules of competition by expanding the boundaries of what a company can handle and introducing new sources of advantage.