World Innovation Forum* (*Modesty is everything) everything you thought you knew about innovation is wrong* (*Except, of course, what the other presenters have said/will say) Tom Peters/New York/0524. 2006

He who has the quickest O.O.D.A. Loops* wins! *Observe. Orient. Decide. Act. / Col. John Boyd

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He who has the quickest O.O.D.A. Loops* wins! *Observe. Orient. Decide. Act. / Col. John Boyd



Summary/The SE22: “Origins of Sustainable Entrepreneurship”

  • SE22/Origins of Sustainable Entrepreneurship
  • 1. Genetically disposed to Innovations that upset apple carts (3M, Apple, FedEx, Virgin, BMW, Sony, Nike, Schwab, Starbucks, Oracle, Sun,
  • Fox, Stanford University, MIT)
  • 2. Perpetually determined to outdo oneself, even to
  • the detriment of today’s $$$ winners (Apple, Cirque du Soleil, Nokia, FedEx)
  • 3. Treat History as the Enemy (GE)
  • 4. Love the Great Leap/Enjoy the Hunt (Apple, Oracle, Intel, Nokia, Sony)
  • 5. Use “Strategic Thrust Overlays” to Attack Monster Problems (Sysco, GSK, GE, Microsoft)
  • 6. Establish a “Be on the COOL Team” Ethos. (Most PSFs, Microsoft)
  • 7. Encourage Vigorous Dissent/Genetically “Noisy” (Intel, Apple,
  • Microsoft, CitiGroup, PepsiCo)
  • 8. “Culturally” as well as organizationally Decentralized
  • (GE, J&J, Omnicom)
  • 9. Multi-entrepreneurship/Many Independent-minded Stars (GE, PepsiCo)
  • SE22/Origins of Sustainable Entrepreneurship
  • 10. Keep decentralizing—tireless in pursuit of wiping out
  • Centralizing Tendencies (J&J, Virgin)
  • 11. Scour the world for Ingenious Alliance Partners—
  • especially exciting start-ups (Pfizer)
  • 12. Acquire for Innovation, not Market Share (Cisco, GE)
  • 13. Don’t overdo “pursuit of synergy” (GE, J&J, Time Warner)
  • 14. Execution/Action Bias: Just do it … don’t obsess on
  • how it “fits the business model.” (3M, J & J)
  • 15. Find and Encourage and Promote Strong-willed/
  • Hyper-smart/Independent people (GE, PepsiCo, Microsoft)
  • 16. Support Internal Entrepreneurs (3M, Microsoft)
  • 17. Ferret out Talent anywhere/“No limits” approach to
  • retaining top talent (Virgin, GE, PepsiCo)
  • SE22/Origins of Sustainable Entrepreneurship
  • 18. Unmistakable Results & Accountability focus from
  • the get-go to the grave (GE, New York Yankees, PepsiCo)
  • 19. Up or Out (GE, McKinsey, consultancies and law firms
  • and ad agencies and movie studios in general)
  • 20. Competitive to a fault! (GE, New York Yankees, News
  • Corp/Fox, PepsiCo)
  • 21. “Bi-polar” Top Team, with “Unglued” Innovator #1,
  • powerful Control Freak #2 (Oracle, Virgin) (Watch out when
  • #2 is missing: Enron)
  • 22. Masters of Loose-Tight/Hard-nosed about a very few
  • Core Values, Open-minded about everything else
  • (Virgin)

FLASH! Innovation is easy!

“The ‘surplus society’ has a surplus of similar companies, employing similar people, with similar educational backgrounds, coming up with similar ideas, producing similar things, with similar prices and similar quality.” —Kjell Nordström and Jonas Ridderstråle, Funky Business

“To grow, companies need to break out of a vicious cycle of competitive benchmarking and imitation.” —W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne, “Think for Yourself —Stop Copying a Rival,” Financial Times/2003

“American political life [has been] overwhelmed by marketing professionals, consultants and pollsters who, with the flaccid acquiescence of the politicians, have robbed public life of much of its romance and vigor.” —Joe Klein, Politics Lost

“Consultants have drained a good deal of the life from our democracy. Specialists in caution, they fear anything they haven’t tested.” —Joe Klein, Politics Lost

Innovation’s Saviors-in-Waiting Disgruntled Customers Off-the-Scope Competitors Rogue Employees Fringe Suppliers Wayne Burkan, Wide Angle Vision: Beat the Competition by Focusing on Fringe Competitors, Lost Customers, and Rogue Employees

CUSTOMERS: “Future-defining customers may account for only 2% to 3% of your total, but they represent a crucial window on the future.” Adrian Slywotzky, Mercer Consultants

“If you worship at the throne of the voice of the customer, you’ll get only incremental advances.” —Joseph Morone, President, Bentley College

Suppliers: “There is an ominous downside to strategic supplier relationships. An SSR supplier is not likely to function as any more than a mirror to your organization. Fringe suppliers that offer innovative business practices need not apply.” Wayne Burkan, Wide Angle Vision: Beat the Competition by Focusing on Fringe Competitors, Lost Customers, and Rogue Employees

Axiom: Never use a vendor who is not in the top quartile (decile?) in their industry on R&D spending!* *Inspired by Hummingbird

COMPETITORS: “The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared for him; he does the thing he ought not to do and often it catches the expert out and ends him on the spot.” —Mark Twain

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