Sometimes, it is important to take a step back from your own work, and highlight some of the best work from other people around the world.
This is especially true in the field of innovation management, which are so broad that it would be impossible to highlight every diverse opinion on how to approach the subject.
So here I have highlighted a small selection of what I believe are some of the best articles, videos and thought pieces on innovation from some of my colleagues from 2016 on their own websites.
In no particular order, let’s begin:
1. David Burkus: TEDx Talk on why your colleagues should know what you get paid
David has continued to push boundaries in the field in 2016, especially with the release of his new book “Under New Management“. In this hit TEDx talk, which has more than 1 million views on TED’s website, David dismantles some of the core beliefs about what it takes to run an innovative organisation, including why your colleagues should know how much you get paid.
2. Ralph-Christian Ohr: Key Innovation Issues for 2016 and Beyond
In this beast of a post, Ralph-Christian outlines some of the insights which executives need to keep in mind when thinking about how to approach innovation in the coming year and beyond. What I love about this article (unless you want to call it a book, it’s almost long enough) is how he goes into deep detail explaining actual management principles to be thought about, instead of just skimming the surface. With the inclusion of numerous case studies and references to recent research, there is enough here to actually help CXOs make a strategic decision. He is also one of the leaders in developing the Three Horizons Framework, which a lot of other writers use to illustrate new management principles.
3. Greg Satell: The 9 Rules Of Innovation
Greg’s articles always seem to resonate with his readers, which is why they have some of the highest sharing rates of all innovation articles. In this excellent insight piece, Greg outlines 9 Rules which are vital to understand what makes innovation succeed, but with enough detail and sources behind them to take this above the standard “listicle” article and make it actually usable.
4. Gijs van Wulfen: The Tesla of Bikes Got a Brilliant Idea
Even before interviewing him in 2016, I have always been a fan of Gijs for his way of showcasing new case studies to people when he sees good examples of innovation. In this article, he discusses the multitude of ways which an electrified bicycle manufacturer is innovating in its business, not just with the product itself but with the intelligent way they solved the problem of bikes being damaged during shipping by drawing the outline of a large HDTV on the boxes. Genius!
5. Board of Innovation: HOW IS INNOVATION MONITORED IN YOUR ORGANISATION?
One of the things I have been focused on in 2016 was building out my methodology model in regards to management and tracking of innovation programmes. When I saw this article, it gave me quite a few new insights to consider, especially around the concept of Innovation Accounting. You can always rely on BoI to provide a few really insightful pieces each year, and this one is what I consider to be their finest.
6. Paul Sloane: Are you Open-Minded
Also showcasing his knowledge on the TEDx stage this year was another one of our own contributing authors Paul Sloane, asking whether you are Open-Minded or not, and giving us three tips on how you can overcome dangerous thinking habits.
7. Sarah Miller Caldicott: How Blind Spots Sink Leaders: 2 Remedies From Microsoft And Rovio To Sustain Your Leadership Edge
You can expect interesting innovation insights from someone who is a direct descendant of Thomas Edison, and this is Sarah’s best piece of the year. I’ve been a keen admirer of how Satya Nadella has turned around Microsoft’s innovation strategy since taking over as CEO, and this article highlight some of the key lessons which other leaders can apply to their own businesses.
8. Paul Hobcraft: Applying innovation thinking in different horizons
Paul always has interesting, in depth-articles every year, even if sometimes they can be slightly more complicated to digest. This year has seen him collaborate more frequently with other authors, including his recent joint-venture blog with Jeffrey Phillips called the Ecosystems4Innovators. But the article I liked the most this year was his continued development of his ideas on the Three Horizons Framework (which other authors like Ralph-Christian Ohr also work on). The article linked here is an especially popular one as it gives some interesting new insights on what happens at key transforming points in the innovation journey.
9. Stephen Shapiro: The innovation minute(s)
It’s important to continue to try new things in the field, and I like what Stephen has tried here with his series of short, sharp videos called the Innovation minute. Even though a couple of the videos ended up being longer than a minute (tisk tisk) it’s a great idea to get an introduction to complicated concepts.
10. Mark Bidwell: The Innovation Ecosystem Podcast
I have a confession to make. I am insanely jealous of the quality of Mark Bidwell’s podcast, especially as I am in the midst of setting up the Idea to Value podcast. He is churning out consistently excellent audio interviews with innovation experts, in addition to the full detail on the podcast pages with transcripts and relevant links. I can see this one gaining a lot of traction very quickly.
11. Wazoku: The everyday innovation report
It’s important for the industry that some of the larger companies put time and resources behind serious pieces of thought leadership on innovation. And while this isn’t a link to an article, it is a report I think everyone who cares about innovation should download and read. With responses from over 1,000 people involved in innovation in various ways across some of the largest enterprises in the UK, it becomes clear how challenging it can be to translate innovation as a word into action. Includes insights from Chris Beswick and Simon Hill.
12. Tim Kastelle: Treating Discovery Like Execution Will Kill Innovation
Sometimes it is the simple ideas which resonate the most. This piece of insight from Tim came from his involvement in assessing new businesses and why many new Startups fail to get the business model right. He argues that how companies approach the discovery and execution phases of work will vary depending on how mature they are, and that young startups often get tangled up in the process.
13. Holly Green: How to build real accountability
One of the most important aspects of companies actually excelling at innovation is that someone has the permission and obligation to take actions forward. In this article, Holly provides some of the simple strategies and questions which companies must ask in order to excel at this difficult challenge.
14. Stefan Lindegaard: The Elevator Pitch – How to Sell Your Vision and Ideas
Even though he no longer writes at his own blog, Stefan is still actively publishing on Linkedin, and this was probably his best article of the past year. Elevator pitches are vital, but also one of the things many entrepreneurs struggle with the most as they try to cram as much information into a short time slot as possible, resulting in a jumbled message. His simple tips on how to prepare for such chance encounters could be invaluable to anyone trying to pitch an idea.
15. Nick Skillicorn: What is innovation? 15 experts share their innovation definition
You didn’t think I would end without the most popular innovation article of the year, did you? In this post which went viral, I asked 15 of the world’s top innovation experts (many of whom are listed here) how they talked about innovation. What we found out was that even within this field there is a wide breadth of ways people talk about the subject, leading to confusion around what it actually means. But by analysing the responses, we managed to find the common threads which seem to unify the ultimate definition of innovation, so lovingly outlined in the image above. Which definition was your favourite?