Congratulations, Cisco!

Congratulations, Cisco, with the Management Innovation eXchange, MIX Innovating Innovation First Place. Great example of transforming established organization with engagement, ideas, energy, creativity and innovation.

Cisco’s case is one of the very few in-depth case studies on how to build innovation as a deep, organizational competence. Case studies like P&G, Whirlpool and Google are frequently used in our teaching and consulting. Now, we can add Cisco to the mix.

Integrated strategy

What truly sets Cisco apart, is the overarching, integrated approch to their innovation strategy.

Cisco -1

Four Vectors of Innovation

  • Vector 1: Build Capability. Prepare the organization through training, tools, metrics, and leadership commitment.
  • Vector 2: Ignite the Base. Activate and sustain broad engagement.
  • Vector 3: Imagine the Future. Seek and drive opportunities with long-term impact.
  • Vector 4: Change the Customer Conversation. Co-create with customers to help them solve their toughest business challenges while showcasing Cisco collaboration capabilities.

Cisco MIX

Only a small handful of organizations worldwide has this approach to developing innovation as an organizational capability. Many, many can learn from Cisco and their case study ”Unleashing Inclusice Innovation at Cisco“.

(All images from Cisco’s case study)

Congratulations, Cisco!

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

Joining the MIX

Welcome to the MIX. The global Management Innovation Exchange.
Mission: reinvent manangement

Today is the final day of entering this round of the global innovation competition; Innovating Innovation Challenge. Set forth by Harvard Business Review, McKinsey and the MIX, the competiton gathers global thinkers and doers around innovation for mutual learning and inspirations. Among Norwegian firms, Statoil has been duly noted in 2012. This year, and our client Peanuts have both entered the MIX. We’re proud and delighted to see more Norwegian firms entering this global innovation network.
We’re also delighted to share that Strategy Tools for the Next Generation is now featured as one of the “Hacks”. Read more.


Joining the MIX

Back in our Brazilian office. Launching in Portuguese


Sparking Strategic Innovation @ Front End of Innovation 2013

Front end of Innovation: one of Europe’s premier innovation events. In 2012 the event brought together over 300 global innovators in Zurich. Google, 3M, Starbucks, BMW, P&G Nestle’s Nespresso designers and Alberto Alessi were among the great storytellers.

Front end of Innovation 2013 takes place in Copenhagen. And this time Engage // Innovate is taking part.

We are delighted to run a half day workshop on Sparking Strategic Innovation. This is a fantastic chance to share our work around Strategy Tools for the Next Generation in the global innovation community.

Workshop: Sparking Strategic Innovation
Powerful, Hands-On Learning * Master New, Visual Innovation Tools
Led by Christian Rangen and Elisabeth Ovstebo

Learn how you can…

  • Connect strategy and innovation
  • Teach yourself to think outside the box and dream bigger
  • introduce more Pirate thinking into your organization
  • Help create more innovative strategies
  • Master new tools for strategic innovation

We need new strategy tools for the future. Most of today’s strategy tools are insufficient to explain many of our times most successful companies. The next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, risk takers and pirates need new tools to master strategic innovation. They need new tools to make strategic innovation happen. Through our research and teaching we have developed or selected 32 strategy, innovation and management tools. Tools for the future. Join our work at 

In this interactive workshop we will help you master:

This hands-on, idea-driven workshop will provide you with emerging tools for strategic innovation. You will learn how to apply these to your ongoing innovation challenges.

Come experience some of the latest thinking and new tools for strategic innovation. The session will combine emerging theories, case studies and new innovation tools into a highly interactive workshop.

  • Key take aways:
  •  Learn to te:think your mental models for making innovation happen
  •  Master new tools to kick-start your own innovation journey
  •  Get your personal action toolkit for making innovation happen in your business
  •  Receive a free copy of “Dream Bigger: your personal innovation sketchbook
  • Receive a special preview of the upcoming book “Strategy Tools for the Next Generation: strategy, innovation and management tools for the next generation of entrepreneurs, risk takers and pirates”.


Christian Rangen and Elisabeth Ovstebo are authors, consultants, entrepreneurs and lecturers. As founders of Engage // Innovate, they help companies make innovation happen. Working with leaders on all levels, they combine leadership, strategy, change management and innovation to create new business models, new business areas and more innovative organizations. Their moon landing is developing Strategy Tools for the Next Generation.

Join us in Copenhagen? 

We are bringing a handful of business partners and clients to this amazing innovation events. We’ll design a powerful learning experience that aims to bring powerful new ideas from the frontiers of innovation thinking in Copenhagen into your organization. Are you curious? Are you ready to boost your innovation? Contact us to learn more about this powerful learning experience of FEI2013.

Front end of Innovation 2013 
Learn more here.

“If you don’t invest in the future, there isn’t going to be one”
– Sir George Buckley, Former President and CEO, 3M and keynote speaker at Front End of Innovation 2012


Skip school to create the future

In April I wrote the blogposts “Educating entreprenurs” and “Educating our future innovators“. In the latter, I said ” Education and innovation rarely go hand in hand. In fact, the educational industry is generally considered to be low and slow when it comes to innovation. Young people “learn how to innovate most often despite their schooling—not because of it”.

Now, Sillicon Valley investor and startup guru Peter Theil is taking these ideas several steps further with the Theil Fellowship. This is one of the most disruptive, radical ideas to hit education and innovation.

Two Years. $100,000.
Some Ideas Just Can’t Wait.

The Thiel Fellowship is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. The Fellowship brings together some of the world’s most creative and motivated young people, and helps them bring their most ambitious ideas and projects to life. Thiel Fellows are given a no-strings-attached grant of $100,000 to skip college and focus on their work, their research, and their self-education. They are mentored by our network of visionary thinkers, investors, scientists, and entrepreneurs, who provide guidance and business connections that can’t be replicated in any classroom. Rather than just studying, you’re doing.

“Every tech story is different. Every moment in history happens only once. All successful companies are successful in their own unique way. It’s your task to figure out what that future history will be.” – Peter Thiel


Skip school to create the future

Speaking at ONS 2012

Engage // Innovate is pleased to announce a keynote talk at ONS 2012. Christian Rangen will deliver the talk: Strategic innovation: innovating the next decade in global energy on August 29th.

The audience will include more than 50 Brazilian oil & gas executives, government officals, industry officals and representatives from a range of Norwegian oil & gas firms.

The talk will center on developing strategic innovation capabilities in the energy sector. The talk builds on Rangen and Ovstebo’s upcoming book, Strategy Tools for the Next Generation.

ONS is one of the world’s premier meeting places for the
global energy industry. For almost 40 years ONS has been a broad-based international energy event, and a unique meeting place for everyone involved in the entire energy sector. This year, the event expects more than 50.000 visitors. Engage // Innovate will deliver the Strategic Innovation talk at a special invite-only event taking place at Nortrain‘s facilities on the 29th.

Speaking at ONS 2012