Monday, February 23, 2004

Innovation Road Map

Innovation is a journey. Every innovation has a history and a future. It also has a present and our role is to help innovation have the brightest future it can, depending upon its history and the ever shifting market and organizational environments.

There are seven stages in the development of innovation. Most innovations falter somewhere on the journey from ideation to social or economic impact. At any moment in time on this journey there are two road maps that must be developed. The first is the market road map for innovation - what are the alternate paths to take advantage of the opportunities (and avoid the threats) created by the demographic, sociopolitical, technological and economic driving forces for change, delight customers, satisfy stakeholders and gain a competitive advantage. The second is the organizational development road map for innovation - the alternate paths that the organization could take to be able to produce the innovations required by the market road map. The combination is the innovation road map. The engine that drives this journey is the interaction of creativity, strategy and leadership.

Our new, web based publication, The Innovation Road Map Magazine is a work in progress, as we examine all of the elements described in the above paragraphs from different points of view. Subsequent editions will have more articles and a broader perspective. We welcome your participation in this ongoing conversation by submitting articles, book reviews or comments to me via e-mail. To read the current edition of the magazine, send an e-mail requesting an ID and password.

Paul Schumann

Monday, February 16, 2004

The Anorexic Organization

It seems to us like the spiral has turned and innovation is once more coming back into people's consciousness.

In truth, after all the lean - mean - fighting machine strategy and the resulting downsizing, cutbacks, budget crunches, retirement binges, out-sourcing and stockholder value manipulations, it's the only thing left to improve productivity. And, guess what, innovation is really hard work.

(Innovation can reduce cost as well without the surgery. It can make people more productive enabling more revenue generating projects.)

Cost reduction (at all costs) without innovation can become almost like a disease - anorexia. Once addicted to it, it's hard to change behavior. And, like the anorexic, if it goes on too long, there is too much damage to the internal organs for recovery. We think many organizations will not make it.

Innovation can create real wealth. Cost cutting temporarily redistributes it.

Paul Schumann & Donna Prestwood

Monday, February 9, 2004

How We Invest Our Time

A recent Wall Street Journal article, "Buddy, Can You Spare Some Time?" (WSJ 1/26/04) discussed how Americans spend their time. We spend about 53 hours per week working, 48 hours sleeping, 34 hours per week watching TV, over 18 hours per week listening to radio, about 10 to 12 hours per week each on things like exercise & sports, transit, caring for children & pets, and worship, between 1 and 4 hours per each on things like talking on the phone, listening to recorded music, reading the daily newspaper, reading magazines, reading books, watching videos, playing video games and being on the Internet.

Several observations. First, the total is over 20% more than the total hours per week there is. While, this is probably caused by combining several different and independent studies, it indicates why we may feel there is not enough time. There isn't!

Second, we're spending a lot of time at work and I think in general feeling that we are accomplishing less - certainly less for ourselves.

Third, we still watch a lot of TV - 20% of our total time, 28% of our waking hours and 50% of our non-working non-sleeping time. And, the amount of TV we watch has grown by 13% since 1996. At the same time, our work hours have increased by 10%.

Fourth, we are switching from broadcast to cable & satellite TV. Broadcast TV has dropped by 27% since 1996 while cable & satellite has grown by 73%.

In a separate article published in TV Guide, research by Phase One Communications showed that in the 1980's network TV showed 9.5 minutes of commercials in one hour. In the 1990s, that increased to 12.7. Now, it's 17.3 minutes of commercials per hour - that's almost 30% of the viewing time is spent looking at commercials.

To me these data speak for a need for innovation. How do we innovate at work so that we improve productivity, take less of our time and make work more meaningful? What are we looking for that we spend so much time watching TV? Are there other innovative ways to meet that need that take up less time? Instead of just shouting louder and longer in our commercials, is there a way to innovate that makes them more effective and efficient? Are commercials the most effective and efficient way to drive our consumer driven economy? Or, are there others innovative ways to pay for what we want in entertainment in our homes that is more time and cost effective?

Paul Schumann