An exceptional article by PWC worth your time, particularly for large organizations:

Getting beyond novelty

How discipline and failure foster innovation

By Christoper Wasden

MM: Wasden spends quite a bit of time discussing the tension in the process of innovation, particularly the need for failure and how successful innovators quickly move beyond failures. I especially found the focus on discipline and markets to be refreshing, which is almost entirely missing in the U.S. policy of large scale R&D investments, for example; and big pharma which has a similar culture.

Some of the suggestions here are not universal — for example the quick failure model we and others employed in the mid 90s worked well for e-commerce and software applications, but it didn’t work for Thomas Edison, nor has it worked for Kyield.  Many of the best inventions and innovations require a long-term effort, and if killed off quickly — would never be born. Kyield’s key patent for example wasn’t even filed for nearly a decade after some of the lessons were learned from the predecessor; speaking to many issues, not least of which include the persistence often required for revolutionary innovation to hatch, rather than the incremental innovation promoted by entrenched vendors who were leading innovators during their own revolutionary times. While the ‘kill quickly’ formula isn’t applicable for every situation, there is a great deal of value here for almost anyone involved with innovation.

Mark Montgomery
Founder & CEO – Kyield
Twitter: @kyield

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