» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News
X

Forgot your password?
TDN Services
Research millions of people and properties [+]
Monitor any person, property or company [+]

Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 131 | NO. 237 | Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Graber

Michael Graber

Back End Of Innovation Is The Hard Part

BY MICHAEL GRABER

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Comments ()

The Back End of Innovation Conference this year was in the perfect setting: New Orleans. The dynamic culture that gave the world Jazz and a North American culinary culture continues to inspire innovation and serve as a model for how to pivot and re-launch itself more powerfully than before after an epic tragedy, such as Katrina.

This metaphor was not lost on the crowd, who all gave voice the dominant theme of the conference: the back end of innovation is the hard part, the messy part, the part where all of the energy and enthusiasm of the front end of innovation crashes hard against either the realities of the organization or the ever shifting whims of the market, or both.

“This conference serves as group therapy for those who have to actually commercialize innovation,” said one participant. In a panel, the moderator actually gave away chocolate to those willing to share failure stories. He may have run out of chocolate, as this, indeed, is the hard part.

Other than the back end being the hardest part of innovation, several other themes ran throughout the conference:

Strategy first, then innovation. It is nearly impossible to innovate successfully without having an overarching strategy for an organization.

Culture matters. Without preparing entire organizations to innovative, little innovation can occurs. Or, when it does, as in the case of the Insulin pen where no patents were filed due to low market expectations, if the culture does not value the organization, it will not know how to capitalize on it. Many tools, tips, and frameworks were provided for how to embed meaningful innovation inside a culture with the goal of commercialization.

The Rise of the Intrepreneur. Many companies are now augmenting their innovation efforts with Lean Startup programs, Business Model Canvas modeling, and supporting corporate innovation with an internal consultancy approach.

Two methods of conceptualization: The eternal battle of where good ideas come from raged. Does technology or engineering move things ahead by making rapid incremental changes and improvements, or does consumer or customer-led empathy unlock insights that lead to breakthrough innovations? Or both? While more of a front end of innovation matter, the way innovation departments are structured and managed plays into this point of creative tension. No surprise: the most effective innovation cultures explore both methods according to a strategy.

Efficiency: The days of excessive processes and elaborate corporate governance structures for innovation appear to be sun-setting. Even large global corporations such as Xerox, Vodafone, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, and Cisco are redefining how they manage innovation to increase speed to market as efficiently as possible while ensuring all regulatory and safety standards remain paramount.

Michael Graber can be reached at southerngrowthstudio.com.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 51 223 1,152
MORTGAGES 55 189 861
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 25 45 144
BUILDING PERMITS 149 541 2,593
BANKRUPTCIES 24 120 581
BUSINESS LICENSES 14 65 264
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0