In the 20th century corporate skunk works® were used to develop disruptive innovation separate from the rest of the company. They were the hallmark of innovative corporations.
By the middle of the 21st century the only companies with skunk works will be the ones that have failed to master continuous innovation. Skunk works will be the signposts of companies that will be left behind.
We had the opportunity to speak with Thomas Healy, CEO of HeadSmart Labs. Healy is a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University and the starting punter for the school’s football team. He started HeadSmart Labs with researchers from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh to develop new testing methods and safety devices for athletes to help prevent head and neck injuries.
You were first curious. Now you love them or smoke them. Since their invention (in China) in 2003, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have fought their way into our minds and markets. Today 2.5 million Americans spend over $1billion a year on them. By the end of 2014 that number is projected to reach $1.7 billion.
Niccolo Machiavelli wrote, “Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.” Entrepreneurs seek out problems then design innovative, profitable solutions.
Founded by two Harvard Business School grads, Bundle Organics offers a line of organic prenatal juices made specifically for pregnant and breastfeeding women. I got a chance to ask the founders how they identified and built such a fast-growing business in this unusual “white space.” What they shared can help you find your next big growth opportunity.
It may sound boring, operational, and tactical, but your distribution plan is perhaps your greatest opportunity to magnify the potential of your business. If strategy is the answer to who, what, and how, we spend too much time debating our “who” and “what,” and we give the “how” insufficient credit.
Serial entrepreneur Bernee Strom has built a career thinking ahead in fast-moving markets, from electronics to television. She has served or is serving on the boards of companies like Benchmark Electronics, Hughes Electronics/ DirectTV, and Polaroid and is now the Chairman & CEO of WebTuner (www.webtuner.tv), a company that may transform how we access TV. So when we got chance to ask her how she does it, we jumped. Here is what she she had to say.
Inspiration breeds innovation. Great business leaders not only disregard the status quo for higher standards, but they routinely encourage their employees and team members to do so as well. They promote, rather than punish, innovative thinking and transform their workplaces into inspired incubators of fresh ideas and insights. This type of leadership ensures that top employees feel challenged and valued, which translates into tangible value for the company.
From a bright white conference room at Macmillan, we saw clouds forming. The tween romance book segment was expanding, creating an opportunity of enormous potential for Macmillan’s children’s publishing division. But self-published authors in this genre were growing in popularity, making it more difficult for traditional publishers to convince great writers to sign with them.
Download our full white paper report here: Outthinker 10 Technology March 2014
At Outthinker we follow Chicago University Professor Michael Csikszentmihalyi’s distinction of there being two types of creativity. “Little c” creativity is coming up with something new and different. But “big c” creativity changes things because it is adopted and changes the world.