Innovation Notes: February 1, 2009

by Jason Haley 1. February 2009 07:32

Zurich's Sagalow Pursues "Customer-Centric Innovation", Anthony O'Donnell
This is a short article on Ty Sagalow's move from AIG's COO of eBusiness Risk to Zurich North America Commercial's Chief Innovation Officer. A good quote from the article:

"Regardless of the industry you're in, innovation is the foundation of growth," says Sagalow. "One needs to respond to clients' needs with new solutions to new problems, and more than that become a thought-leader, anticipating problems before your clients are even aware of them."

Want Your Insurer To Be More Innovative?, Mike Gantt
This is a short review of the 12 page report Innovation and Agility in Insurance IT (which currently will run you $1,500 - so I have only read the review).  A good quote from the review that makes it sound like an interesting report:

The long-standing argument for innovation groups is that line-of-business organizations are too pressured for recurring operational results to have sufficient freedom to innovate.  The long-standing argument against such separate groups is that only line-of-business organizations can execute and achieve innovation so assigning the responsibility somewhere else just makes for organizational confusion.

Is Brainstorming a Waste of Time?, BQF Innovation
This entry is Mike's response to a blog entry by Mark McGuiness: Is Brainstorming a Waste of Time? (which looks like a good read too).  Mike also points to another blog that is another response to the same blog entry: Is Brainstorming a Waste of Time? on Mindjet's blog.  A good quote from Mike's entry:

I believe that a well-facilitated brainstorm will generally produce great ideas for a well stated problem.  The question of whether individuals can produce better ideas on their own is beside the point.  It is a bit like arguing that the 11 players in a soccer team would get more exercise if they all went jogging instead of playing soccer.  The point is that both approaches are valid, worthwhile and different.  They are both 100 times better than doing nothing!

Mapping the Innovation Gap, Innovation in Practice
This is an interesting entry on using innovation to obtains specific growth targets.  The steps outlined for "Mapping the Innovation Gap" are:

    1. Determine your revenue goals in each year over a specific time horizon
    2. Break these annual revenue targets down over a mix of products, new and existing, in each year
    3. Estimate your Innovation Yield (number of new ideas needed to produce one new product).
    4. Estimate your typical idea-to-launch Lead Time (how much time it takes to develop and launch a product once it is conceived).
    5. Plot the number of new ideas needed in each year to produce the necessary new products in subsequent years.

A good quote from the entry:

The bottom line:  to grow, companies need a systematic innovation method, and it needs to be applied systematically.

"Innovation is Dead", Jeffrey Phillips
In this entry Jeffrey does a great job of explaining his thoughts on Bruce Nussbaum's article "Innovation" is Dead.  Herald The Birth of "Transformation" as The Key Concept for 2009.  I agree with Jeffrey's view of Bruce's article.  A good quote from Jeffrey's entry:

I doubt anyone would argue that businesses still need to be creative and generate new products and services and target unmet or undiscovered customer needs.

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