Thinking Ahead – Tips For Achieving Strategic Innovation

Given the world’s current economic plight, it can be argued that the notion of inventors tooling away in a corporate-funded “skunk works” has long since run its course. Many businesses simply cannot afford to have their top engineering teams tinkering with countless ideas in hopes of discovering “the next great thing” for their company. In modern context, true innovation–that which delivers strategic business value–usually results from a focused effort to bring disparate parts of organizations together around just a few concentrated areas.

So said Robert Wolcott, professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, during a recent speech in Milwaukee. His talk, “Achieving Strategic Innovation,” suggested that companies seeking to innovate in ways that ensure the company’s future leadership are wise to:

  • focus on just a few key concepts
  • look for areas of differentiation from competitors
  • coordinate all internal functions around the concepts with the greatest promise.

For a copy of Wolcott’s talk, contact Nicole Brevitz. Or look for Wolcott’s book, Grow from Within: Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation, online or in bookstores. Grow from Within is published by McGraw-Hill.


About Boyle Fredrickson

Established in 1999, Boyle Fredrickson has grown to become Wisconsin’s largest intellectual property law firm. You’ve got ideas, we protect them.

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