In the depths of winter, my thoughts often turn to warm visions of summer: barbeques, the beach, and graduations. As we run up to the New Year, I share a little commencement advice to those who hope to graduate or at least advance a grade in the curriculum of life: (more…)

[In last week’s part-one installment of this three-part article, I highlighted all the things that make innovation so radically different from all other forms of value creation. The strategies we normally bring to organizational growth aren’t enough when it comes to innovation. We need a new strategy to help us go into uncharted territory.]

How do you make plans in a world where plans were meant to be changed? Innovators are adaptors. They’re flexible leaders who run multiple experiments at once and make adjustments along the way. Rather than create something completely new, they build onto things that already exist. (more…)

Cool, shiny, sleek: these are the qualities we associate with top-shelf innovations. That’s because we’re constantly confronted with magazine and Internet lists of the most innovative companies that are essentially just beauty contests. At the top of all these shimmering lists are blustery bands and glitzy gadgets and chic designers.

But take a closer look and you’ll see that these sparkly objects aren’t really the best innovations. If you used these lists as an investment tool, you wouldn’t actually beat a composite growth index like the Russell 3000–you would lose your purse, your swagger, and your assumptions about what makes an innovation valuable. (more…)