Strategic innovation: Six articles worth catching

Every now and then we’re asked to provide some “good, quick easy reads” on strategy and innovation. These six stories all offer valuable insight for the curious reader. Amazon’s innovation strategy, innovation lessons from Pixar, reinventing Best Buy, creating digital business models at EA and management innovation; these six serve as brain food for any aspiring innovator.


Your Innovation Problem Is Really a Leadership Problem

Scott D. Anthony at Innosight runs a superb blog on HBR.
Here, he puts the spotlight on the crucial role of leadership to make innovation happen. We particularly like “…and, in candid moments, their own discomfort with the different mental frames required to lead innovation.

Enjoy the full blogpost here.

Amazon’s Smart Innovation Strategy

We find ourselves coming back to Amazon over and over again. The company is morphing into one of the world’s most successful, most innovative firms. Today Amazon is on track to become the world’s largest retailer, bypassing Wal-Mart. Not bad for a company founded in 1995 as an Internet bookstore…

Learn from Amazon. The company is a serial business model innovator. It has developed its capacity for strategic innovation like few others. Amazon is a frequent case when we teach the Strategic Innovation Canvas (upcoming blogpost).

 For now, read more at Amazon’s Smart Innovation Strategy and this extra note from Geekwire.

Innovation lessons from Pixar

‘’The first step in achieving the impossible is believing that the impossible can be achieved’’ – Brad Bird, Pixar

Pixar, Steve jobs’ creative playground between his stints at Apple, is recognized as one of the most creative, innovative organizations in the world. Oscar-winning Director Brad Bird discusses the people-side of innovation “You want people to be involved and engaged”, says Bird.

Read more at Innovation lessons from Pixar

Death by a billion clicks

Blockbuster, once the world’s largest chain of video stores, got out-innovated by Netflix. Bankrupt.
Borders, once the world’s largest chain of bookstores found itself out-innovated by Amazon. Bankrupt.
Can Best Buy, America’s largest electronics retailer, avoid the same fate? Can Best Buy pick up its own innovation pace? Stuck in an industry that seems to be dying, can Best Buy find its comeback?
For any company struggling to reinvent itself, this Wired article, is a great case study of an ongoing strategic transformation.

Read more at Death by a billion clicks.

Getting into your customers’ heads

Today every industry and every company are facing digital disruptions. Few industries experience this as much as gaming. Only a handful of years ago, new computer games were sold on CD or DVD-roms. The main business model was retail. Games were shipped and sold over the counter. Well, not anymore. Today, consumers are always on, always near their machine(s) of choice. Rovio (Angry Birds), Zynga (Farmville) and Playfish are some of the new players, developing social gaming for mobile devices. How does a large, established player like Electronic Arts move from a retail model to a social, online model? This interview sheds light on a strategic transformation most firms could learn from.

Read more at Getting into your customers’ heads

Innovative management: A conversation with Gary Hamel and Lowell Bryan

“Sometime over the next decade, your company will be challenged to change in a way for which it has no precedent.”, those are the opening words of strategy Professor Gary Hamel.

The question is really, are you shaping the future or are you busy cutting costs? Are you innovating or are you reacting?

This excellent discussion between some of the leading MIX Mavericks sums up decades of work on management innovation and strategic thinking.

Read more at Innovative management

Looking for more recommended reading, enjoy some of our recommendations  here.

Strategic innovation: Six articles worth catching

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