Pull out the list of the “most innovative companies” from your favorite business magazine. With the exception of their brand recognition, which is the entry fee for these beauty pageants, they have few innovation practices in common that would distinguish them from the rest of the rabble, whether it’s unique strategies, unusual financing, or novel ways of hiring and staffing.

The fact is that one size never fits all. What makes innovation companies unique is, well, unique. They are highly adapted for their specific situation. (more…)

You run the innovation playbook – a prophetic strategy, a product development obstacle course of a process, a portfolio management radar detection system and a wide array of eccentric creativity methods. You and your team have integrated these plays to the best of your abilities and maybe even trained up some rookies just in time for the season kickoff. Now it’s just a matter of keeping score – pipeline flow, yield rates and that game changer share price. But for some reason you never get the big wins. Well there is always next season. So you add a few plays – experimental technology, chatty social media, a new globalization formation and the like. There is progress but still no big gains. What’s going on? Apple can do it. So can the software startup across the street as well as the menacing tattoo parlor down the road in dodgy part of town. So why doesn’t innovation work where you work? Because you don’t understand what makes the innovation game so different from everything else you do at work and haven’t adjusted your playbook to accommodate these differences.

So what exactly is it about the innovation game that even the best leaders get wrong? (more…)

Marketing to your target and targeting your market are two very different concepts. Finding a target market is something your business does once it is established and growing. Before getting that far though, your business must know what market or in other terms, what industry you belong in. You need to know who your competitors are and who they are marketing to. You need to know the art of the sale. (more…)