by Scott Anthony | 9:00 AM February 13, 2013
When Karl Ronn recently said, "Companies that think they have an innovation problem don't have an innovation problem. They have a leadership problem," I listened carefully.
I featured Ronn, a former P&G executive (and current executive coach and entrepreneur), in several places in The Little Black Book of Innovation, most notably for his rant against the evils of focus groups. Ronn is thoughtful, widely read, a seasoned practitioner, and a great communicator.
Ronn's basic idea was that four decades of academic research and two decades of conscious implementation of that work have provided robust, actionable answers to many pressing innovation questions. Practitioners have robust tools to discover opportunities to innovate, design, and execute experiments to address key strategic uncertainty; to create underlying systems to enable innovation in their organization; and to manage the tension between operating today's business and creating tomorrow's businesses. Large companies like IBM, Syngenta, Procter & Gamble, 3M, and Unilever show that innovation can be a repeatable discipline. Emerging upstarts like Google and Amazon.com show how innovation can be embedded into an organization's culture from day one…. Those are real issues that haven't been comprehensively solved. But forward-thinking leaders need to heed the advice of Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos, who says that innovation requires being "willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time." To Read More….