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    5 Ways to Econ-Innovate
    5 Ways to Econ-Innovate

    Author: Jacqueline Ottman
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 3

    It’s good to use the most authentic green design principles possible to create products with a lower impact, but even this may not be enough. In a quickly shifting consumer market with an eye on sustainability, the rules are rapidly changing. To stay competitive, forward-thinking businesses need to stay ahead of the curve and practice “eco-innovation.”

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    Develop This: You, the Product
    Develop This: You, the Product

    Author: Mark B. Mondry, NPDP, Partner, Phase M, LLP
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 3

    When companies become entrenched and fail to innovate and change, there is little dispute that decline and outright destruction often follows. The same holds true for products. All of the new value generated in commerce is created through innovation in some form. We, as individuals, share the same reality in our professional lives. To evade decline, we need to become intrinsically self-motivated about innovation, not just looking at innovation as something we do for an organization during the workday. Innovation is not a career; it is a way of life. Increasing, our innovation aptitude is a crucial aspect of personal and professional success. Fortunately, there is a rich universe of innovation practices and tools that can be adapted from the organizational level and applied to the personal level. Here are some of my personal favorites that can make your career more successful and, perhaps, your life a touch more fulfilling.


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    Lessons Learned from Outstanding Corporate Innovators
    Lessons Learned from Outstanding Corporate Innovators

    Authors: Sally Kay, Doug Boike, Wayne Fisher, Thomas Hustad, Stan Jankowski, Deborah Mills, Barry Novotny, Albert Page and Bill Riggs
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 3

    For the past 24 years, PDMA’s Outstanding Corporate Innovator (OCI) Award has recognized companies that have demonstrated sustained and quantifiable innovation success, and the winners have provided a valuable set of lessons learned. This article takes “a look under the hood” of past OCI winners to identify the practices and processes that have contributed to their success.

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    Powering Next Gen Innovation
    Powering Next Gen Innovation

    Author: Maureen Carlson
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 3

    The pace of industry is quickening: New technologies and breakthroughs are begetting innovations at a rapid clip. Is a chain reaction about to usher in a new era of technology synchronization, efficiency and communication? The findings of the 3rd Product Portfolio Management Benchmark Study, which gathered input from 320 product development leaders from around the world and across multiple industries, provides ample evidence to also suggest—while innovation is a priority—that resources are being stretched and over utilized. After a time where many industries felt the sting of recession, companies want to innovate and improve on their product portfolios as efficiently as possible. How can these companies work smarter and harder to bring forth the next generation of products within a constrained set of resources?


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    The Back End of Innovation
    The Back End of Innovation

    Author: Gerry Katz
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 3

    To me, the back end of innovation begins at the point where the product or service has been defined, designed and developed. In terms of the PDMA’s Body of Knowledge, it can be thought of as those parts of the process that occur after discovery and development and at the point where we are about to enter the stage of commercialization (see Figure 2). While it might seem that all of the hard decisions have now been made, as you will see, there is much yet to do! These activities can be classified into six major categories:

    • Product
    • Marketing
    • Manufacturing
    • Logistics
    • Field Support
    • Customer Service

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    Want to Jump-Start Your Product Development? Reverse Engineer Your Future
    Want to Jump-Start Your Product Development? Reverse Engineer Your Future

    Author: Joe Tradii
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 3

    When trying to get back in the game, a product manager is faced with two choices: zig while they’re zagging, that is, create a product around a value propostion that hasn’t been addressed by the competitors yet, or leapfrog the competition and create a product that takes the existing value proposition to a whole new level. Both are viable strategies and either approach will work with the processes outlined later in this article. A real-life case at Intuicom provides some tangible examples of how to accomplish these strategies. Intuicom sells wireless broadband solutions into the intelligent transportation market. Typically, this involves both hardware (radios and switches) and software. Customers increasingly judge the value of these solutions based on the proprietary software used to discover and configure the radios.

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    A Fresh Look at R&D Decisions: Learning from the Best
    A Fresh Look at R&D Decisions: Learning from the Best

    Authors: Jason Leboeuf, Marc Drucker
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 2

    As the R&D manager, how do you decide which projects should receive funding and resources for development, and how much information do you need to make a sound decision? There has been much written about R&D portfolio decision making. However, as a group of MBA students taking what we hoped was a fresh look at this challenge, we wanted to learn how the top innovators made project selections and understand how their best practices could be applied to any R&D portfolio decision.

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    Aligning Product Portfolios with Strategic Plans
    Aligning Product Portfolios with Strategic Plans

    Author: Iain King
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 2

    It is generally recognized that one key to maximizing the return on investment (ROI) from product innovation is to ensure that portfolio decisions are driven by business and product strategy. However, many companies struggle to keep product portfolios aligned with their strategic plans. In some instances, that’s because the strategies are ambiguous or inconsistent. In others, the underlying reason is that strategic planning and portfolio management are treated as independent processes, and the two are never truly tied together

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    Deliberate Product Differentiation: Creating Unique Products and Valuable Intellectual Property
    Deliberate Product Differentiation: Creating Unique Products and Valuable Intellectual Property

    Author: Joshua L. cohen, Esq.
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 2

    Put simply, companies know they can outperform rivals if they can establish a difference that they can sustain. This is the essence of intellectual property; the protection of which is essential to success in our competitive marketplace. Such product differentiation and associated intellectual property rights are best pursued deliberately and without relying on happenstance. A framework (summarized later) helps accomplish this by making product differentiation an organic byproduct of planned innovation. It helps produce products that are unique from the intellectual property perspective— they stand out in the marketplace, they benefit from strong intellectual property rights and they avoid conflicts with the rights of others.

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    Serial Innovators: How Individuals Create and Deliver Breakthrough Innovations in Mature Firms
    Serial Innovators: How Individuals Create and Deliver Breakthrough Innovations in Mature Firms

    Authors: Dr. Abbie Griffin, Dr. Raymond L. Price, Dr. Bruce A. Vojak
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 2

    Our research, has found individuals in virtually every large, mature organization we have studied who have developed and commercialized one successful breakthrough innovation after another. After studying more than 50 of these individuals in depth, as well as many of their managers and coworkers, we dubbed them “Serial Innovators.” Who are these "Serial Innovators"?

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    Soft Skills for Open Innovation Success
    Soft Skills for Open Innovation Success

    Authors: Gail Martino, John Bartolone
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 2

    The open innovation (OI) professional is a rare breed—part entrepreneur, deal maker, alliance manager and project manager. Success in this role requires a true balance of talent and skills to drive growth from new sources and business models. Practitioners must both be technically proficient and demonstrate a high degree of business and social acumen—skills that are sometimes found in different places within an organization. We do not deny that some of the skills we describe here overlap (they probably do). But like a diamond, each has various facets that work together to create a brilliant whole.

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    COVER STORY: Steve Jobs: A Product Developer's Perspective
    COVER STORY: Steve Jobs: A Product Developer's Perspective

    Author: Brad Barbera
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 1

    Since the death of Steve Jobs on Oct. 5, 2011, innumerable magazine articles, a multitude of blogs and a best-selling book have been published about his life and contributions to the world. Publishing yet another retrospective would be superfluous, yet it would seem remiss for Visions, with its tagline “insights into innovation,” not to cover the passing of a man described as “the greatest innovator of our time.” Jobs has been eulogized with comparisons to Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein. Such comparisons demand attention.

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    How Industry Leaders Find, Evaluate and Choose the Most Promising Open Innovation Opportunities
    How Industry Leaders Find, Evaluate and Choose the Most Promising Open Innovation Opportunities

    Author: Jacquelin Cooper
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 1

    As open innovation has become one of the primary catalysts of growth, companies are continually looking for opportunities to add new product lines, move into new markets and make a significant impact on business. Whether “transformative” or expansionary, the key questions are: How do you focus your search? Where should you look?

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    PD SPOTLIGHT: Kobayashi Maru Thinking: How to Get to Great Faster
    PD SPOTLIGHT: Kobayashi Maru Thinking: How to Get to Great Faster

    Author: Mark A. Hart, NPDP
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 1

    Perhaps you have heard the following riddle.

    If it takes one woman nine months to produce a baby, can nine women produce a baby in ne month?

    Initially, many people come to the conclusion that there is not a clever answer to this riddle. Often, someone suggests requisitioning nine women.

    How Long Will It Take to Complete My Project?
    This riddle is based on a statement from the classic book The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering1 by Frederick P. Brooks Jr. While at IBM, Brooks added more programmers to a project falling behind schedule. The rate of progress on his project didn’t improve. He concluded: “The bearing of a child takes nine months, no matter how The statement commonly known

    “Adding more people to a project that is already late will make it later.”
    - Brooks’ Law

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    So What did LEGO Do, Anyway?
    So What did LEGO Do, Anyway?

    Author: Visions Staff
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 1

    In the last edition of Visions, our LEGO hero was perched precariously on the edge of business collapse. the LEGO group, facing severe economic hardship, had turned to innovation to save the organization. The result? It almost went bankrupt. In a challenging and thought-provoking keynote at the PDMA’s Annual Global Conference, professor Dr. David Robertson of The Wharton School took the audience through this story. As a group of innovators, this was a moment of truth for us. Was all that we believed about new product development and innovation to be dashed by the reality of the LEGO experience? Were these truths we’ve heard and tried to promote within our professions about to be revealed as falsehoods?

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    The Missing Link in Innovative Research
    The Missing Link in Innovative Research

    Author: Anna Pettersson, August Vlak
    Issue: 2012 Visions Issue 1

    Despite continuous growth in research and development (r&d) spending, many senior leaders remain deeply concerned about their organization’s ability to innovate. For example, the pharmaceutical industry has more than doubled its spending on research and development during the last 10 years, but its success rate in finding new drugs has been disappointing. Yet new research by Booz & Company points to an unexpected and unheralded source of potential productivity: midlevel managers in the R&D function. Companies can significantly raise their R&D productivity by recognizing and activating the unique impact of leaders in the middle of the organization’s hierarchy.

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