Category Archives: Innovation

Corporate Tolerance with Innovation

One of the directly associated problems with innovation, is that a company can tolerate letdown for small ventures, but can’t bear setback for a big one. Accordingly, we can notice Ford, an automobile giant which undertakes loads of tests and trials in order to make failure tolerable. The cause behind making failure acceptable, is due to the risky nature of innovation.

In line with preceding notion, it is worthy to mention that people appear to overlook Apple’s first phone, the Rokr, the one which was extremely catastrophic that even Steve Jobs himself decided to kill it immediately. Nevertheless, what Apple did learn from that experience helped them to lay-down a solid bedrock for the forthcoming series of innovations.

Unfortunately to that, in most other companies, if they would fail with the first attempted product release, it will most probably end up with firing the majority if not all involved individuals. In further extreme scenarios, the firing decision can be followed with a call to leave that sought-after market segment. And if Jobs had the same mentality, then the world would have never had the opportunity to enjoy the smartness and elegance of the iPhone (Enderle, 2016).


Enderle, R., (2016), ‘How Ford’s approach to innovation could help Apple‘. CIO Portal. Available online from:

Being Disruptive

Layton Christensen (2015, p.150) who is being broadly viewed as world’s principal management guru of recent times, had portrayed disruption as a diagram with both vertical and horizontal axes, with every industry having a unique metric on the vertical axis. For instance, in the airline industry, the vertical axis represents routes’ length that would ultimately measure their success. And for any airline company, they would prefer longer routes than shorter ones which is obviously due to profitability reasons. Consequently, giant airliners do focus on their business modeling, promotions and marketing campaigns on the long destinations, that has led new entrants like Ryan Air in Europe and Southwest in the United States to seize the opportunity and disrupt the area that was neglected by industry leaders, which is exactly the way that disruption basically happens.

While in the Information Technology sector, then Christensen highlighted that the vertical axis in their case is the magnitude of engagement, along with the growth potential with involved clients, where usually large IT firms focus more on big accounts and clients due to the same profitability reason mentioned in the earlier example. Consequently, the room will be opened for smaller IT players to grasp the market with less attention, and try to do the disruption there.


Christensen, C. (2015), ‘Disruptive Innovation is a Strategy, Not Just the Technology’, Business Today, 23, 26, pp. 150-158, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost. Available online from:

The Top 3 Innovation Measurement Traps :

The first trap is to have a list of limited measurements, with the majority of companies sticking with only 1, in a time there is no magical innovation measurement model up to this very minute that can give a holistic insight over the health state of the ongoing investment. Thus, it will be much more prudent to have a blended flavor of multiple metrics, that will increase management’s awareness and minimize uncertainty along with associated risks.

Moving to the second trap, that is primarily through having an environment that encourages a sustainable behavior of paying too much attention on those innovations that promise highest incremental inflows, which is inadequate for corporations seeking momentous growth.

The third trap is basically when the management outweighs inputs versus outputs. And to put that point into further context, we can refer to the 2006 study for U.S. companies with largest R&D budgets, to find Ford on the top of that list, but without a trace when it comes to the list of most innovative companies. Thus, results and outcomes do matter a lot.


Jaruzelski, B., Dehoff, K. and Bordia, R., (2006), ‘Smart Spenders: The Global Innovation 1000’. Booz & Company. Available online from:

Business Digitization

Business digitization is not just the concern of the IT executives; it is strategically significant and serious to business leadership that should take a strong stand through adjacently running both the operations and technology. Considering this, once things are concerned with digitizing business processes, company’s leadership is generally accountable for managing and controlling the transformation.

As a result, digital transformation is becoming more of a management concern, which where it should be. Digital transformation at the same time shall consider agility and speed as fundamental factors whenever business processes are being evaluated and re-engineered. Business operations and processes are supposed to be transformed radically and operate faster, become more secure, and more resilient (Hottges, 2017).


Hottges, T. (2017) ‘Digital Transformation Is a Management Issue’, Abolhassan, F. (ed.) The Drivers of Digital Transformation. Switzerland: Springer, p. 8. (Accessed: 8 November 2018).

The prominence of sustainability in insuring company’s success

Accenture and back in 2010 surveyed more than 700 global executives, from which 93% have firmly admitted the prominence of sustainability in insuring the future success of their companies. Accordingly, the vision of integrating sustainable strategies into companies’ strategic endeavors is in the heart of most global corporations, but varies between those who just have it on papers, partially applied it and companies that lead the domain of sustainable strategies similar to Dow Chemical, Nestle, General Electric and Walmart. The majority of organizations that work on generating value out of sustainability will initially consider the required measures to increase profits on capital, which commonly signifies decreasing operating expenses via enhancing the management of natural resource, similar to waste and energy usage. Corporations can as well work on cutting unnecessary operational expenses through methodically supervising their value chains. Moreover, organizations might bring more value thru enhancing workers’ motivation or retention by embracing activities with sustainable nature or through increasing prices or attaining greater share of market by employing current or new sustainable products (Bertels 2010).

Organizations that thoroughly follow sustainability are as well repeatedly reexamining their business portfolios for the sake to define the probable influence of developments, similar to present or probable environmental or trade regulations, which might lead to different development of market prospects. Waste management, for instance, rediscovered itself as a supplier of incorporated ecological contributions through totaling waste to energy and waste decrease solutions to its portfolio of offerings. Corporations correspondingly scrutinize strictly for unfulfilled necessities generated through sustainability developments in accordance with their strategies, and consequently recognize probable consumer segments. While on the other hand, and speaking of the range of accompanied risks as part of this process, then the improved management of risks that appear from sustainability concerns commences with identifying significant threats of operational disturbances from resource shortage, climate change, or public concerns, similar to commercial boycotts or interruptions in receiving clearance to undertake business operations (Bonini 2011).

For global corporations to develop a sustainable supply chain, they should consider some crucial constraints. The initial and most significant one is the complete backing of the executive team and board of directors, to be followed with a series of changes and enrichments on corporate procedures related to ecological enhancement, as well as to conform to legal ecological necessities, apply to ISO 14001 certification and select adequate suppliers based on ecological benchmarks. Moreover, the management should furnish the atmosphere to cooperate jointly along with suppliers in order to comply with ecofriendly objectives, in addition to allocate adequate resources to develop internal techniques and tools to asses suppliers’ credibility based on ecological standards.

Additionally, the executive team has to cooperatively work with current and potential customers in order to achieve eco-designs and undertake cleaner methods during construction. Furthermore, sustainable supply chain adoption includes the procurement of green technologies and applications, with construction designs that recycle, decrease, reclaim or reprocess energy, resources, or components, along with layouts that decrease or dodge the usage of poisonous or dangerous components (Cucchiella & Koh 2012). Nevertheless, any change experience is going to be encountered with different set of challenges, which will require a solid and proven change management methodology in place. Accordingly, it is essential to recognize the main burdens for adopting sustainable supply chain prior accepting the change. The first burden will be generated from general public, second from government regulations while the third from clients. Without ignoring that the staff working circumstances, ecological and green concerns, corporate social responsibility and sustainability are the main present barriers in front of the sought mission (Malviya & Kant 2017).


Bertels, S. (2010) ‘Embedding Sustainability in Organizational Culture’. Simon Fraser University & Network for Business Sustainability. Available online from:, (Accessed: December 12 2017).

Bonini, S. & Gorner, S. (2011) ‘The Business Of Sustainability: McKinsey Global Survey Results’. McKinsey. Available online from:, (Accessed: December 12 2017).

Cucchiella, F. & Koh, L. (2012) ‘Green Supply Chain: How Do Carbon Management and Sustainable Development Create Competitive Advantage for the Supply Chain?’ N.P.: [Bradford, England]: Emerald Group Pub., 2012. University of Liverpool Catalogue, EBSCOhost, (Accessed: December 12 2017).

Malviya, R. & Kant, R. (2017) ‘Modeling The Enablers Of Green Supply Chain Management’, Benchmarking An International Journal, 24, 2, pp. 536-568, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, (Accessed: December 12 2017).

Leadership, Innovation and Creativity

Right at the crux of visionary leadership lies the cradle of innovation and creativity, which helps to navigate business’s strategy development and execution towards achieving the sought target and market footprint. Entrepreneurship has an unbreakable bond with creativity, which helps in equipping the needed foundation for startups to gain the necessary pace and momentum, while helps established and developed businesses to sustain and thrive (Amabile & Khaire 2008).

For the sake to develop an atmosphere of creativity and innovative business culture, global leaders must work and on simultaneous basis on three crucial vectors: strategy, staff and leadership. Speaking of strategy, then companies must make it certain that the entire range of administrative hierarchy across all levels are embracing and backing the adoption of innovation and creativity.  Moreover, organizations should foster the principles of flat organizational practices through promoting hierarchal and operational resilience. Workers regardless of their organizational grade must realize how the culture of innovation can increase the levels of flexibility in terms of organizational hierarchy and communication channels. Furthermore, companies must evolve robust and effective communication structures in addition to encourage a pattern of continual change and innovation across the company (Rigby et al., 2009).

Speaking of the staff vector, then corporations are obliged to consider recruiting individuals who are creative and are willing to embrace the challenge of innovation. Foster the risk-raking atmosphere among the working staff. Advocate the spirit of positive and creative reasoning between the workforces, encourage endowment and foster the teamwork. Moving to the third vector, then companies’ leaders must embrace the values of creativeness that are built on the grounds of trust and respect for all the notions and thoughts being received from employees. Nurture the principles of unrestricted support and backing where ordinary employees can feel empowered to speak out their concerns and ideas freely without expecting any subsequent negative impact on them (Wetlaufer, 1997).

In addition to earlier said, companies’ leaders should stimulate the bonds of confidence and faith between employees and their managers. Promote the practice of unit solving practices where team members can collaborate jointly on overcoming difficulties without spending valuable time reverting back to their direct line managers. Such practice can see the light through gradual adoption of decentralized administrative practices across the organization. Additionally, companies should promote substantial encouragement through supplying employees with amusing and motivating assignments. (Catmull, 2008).

Following the previous discussion, the theoretical narrative of fostering creative climate and culture is significantly easier once compared to its tangible practices amongst global and domestic corporations. Both innovation and creativity practically all the time suffer from companies’ identity as well as mentality. Except if, when the company deliberately devotes energies to grip the slowing down forces, innovators and creators will be smashes due to the burden of hierarchy and corporate rules (Laroya 2012). As a result, beating the power draining culture must be one of the most fundamental tasks of global leaders prior setting their sights for achieving an atmosphere of creativity.


Amabile, T. & Khaire, M. (2008) ‘Creativity and the Role of the Leader’. Harvard Business Review, 86 (10), pp. 100-109. Available online from:, (Accessed: December 2 2017).

Catmull, E. (2008) ‘How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity’, Harvard Business Review, 86, 9, pp. 64-+, Social Sciences Citation Index, EBSCOhost, (Accessed: December 2 2017).

Laroya, G. (2012) ‘Why the Big-Company Monster Kills Creativity’. Huffington Post. Available online from:, (Accessed: December 2 2017).

Rigby, D., Gruver, K. & Allen, J. (2009) ‘Innovation in Turbulent Times’, Harvard Business Review, 87, 6, pp. 79-86, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, (Accessed: December 2 2017).

Wetlaufer, S. (1997), ‘What’s Stifling the Creativity at CoolBurst?’, Harvard Business Review, 75, 5, pp. 36-&, Social Sciences Citation Index, EBSCOhost, (Accessed: December 2 2017).

Innovation Portfolio Management (IPM) at 3M

The notion of Innovation Portfolio Management (IPM), is primarily correlated with the process of provisioning corporate’s resources through its portfolio of new services and products that are aligned with the business strategy (Meifort, 2016). Thus, and to ensure superior control of growing rivalry, corporates must have an efficacious IPM in place that would safeguard a constant pipeline of innovative and quality products (De Maio et al., 1994).

In this article, I will be addressing 3M company, with a target to grow into the most innovative company across the world, through utilizing an extensive variety of Knowledge Management Systems (KMSs), facilitating a suitable working environment, as well as effectively motivating its people (Brand, 1998).

In line with preceding objective, 3M realized that its structure should be a reflection of company’s portfolio management, that is principally built on two main verticals: acquisitions and restructuring. Therefore, in terms of restructuring, the company decided back in 2013 to be divided into five divisions. And through that move, it facilitated the path for 3M to attain significant reductions in terms of operational cost by improved effectiveness, throughput and scale. Moreover, it has as well assisted the company to effectually recognize industries that actually boost development and innovation. As a result, 3M disclosed a recent statement that it is stripping its business in the static control domain, in order to pay extensive consideration to further innovative and profitable business opportunities (Forbes, 2015).

While regarding acquisitions, then 3M and through its strategy is considering them as an essential move for progression, growth of products’ portfolio and reinforcing its global presence, with a target to allocate a hefty budget of as high as $10 billion on acquisitions through the year 2017 (Forbes, 2015). And with that regards, I will bring two recent examples. The first one goes back to July 2014 when 3M secured a large presence in the Japanese market, through buying 25% of Sumitomo Electric in a move that helped the company to fully acquire the joint venture enterprise Sumitomo 3M, and eventually have a bigger control in world’s third largest economy (Reuters, 2014). Speaking of the second example, then 3M realized the high potential in the healthcare IT segment with a potential to reach $66 billion by the year 2020. Accordingly, they have acquired back in February 2014 Treo solutions, a company that is specialized in providing comprehensive business intelligence systems for healthcare suppliers and users (3M News, 2014).

Speaking of the R&D and it is impact on 3M’s portfolio and products growth, then the company announced in its last year’s sustainability report (3M, 2015), that 30% of company’s sales are generated out of the products that were developed over the course of last 5 years. As a result, and due to company’s belief in R&D’s significance in market dominance, 3M’s management decided to allocate almost 5.6% of company’s profit on R&D activities, and to increase the allocated ratio to 6% by the year 2017 (Forbes, 2015).


After considering the foregoing elements of 3M’s portfolio management, that is accompanied with a set of innovative and distinguished range of products, we can realize how 3M managed to maintain its competitive edge and even dominate a substantial pricing power, that helped the company to sustain growth and maintain a significant influence in the market.


3M (2015), ‘Sustainability Report’. Available online from: [Accessed on November 12th 2016].

3M News (2014), ‘3M to Acquire Treo Solutions‘. Available online from: [Accessed on November 12th 2016].

Brand, A., (1998), ‘Knowledge Management and Innovation at 3M‘, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 2, Iss 1, pp.17 – 22. Available online from: [Accessed on November 12th 2016].

De Maio, A., Verganti, R., and Corso, M., (1994), ‘A Multi-Project Management Framework for New Product Development’. European Journal of Operational Research, 78, 178–191. Available online from: [Accessed on November 12th 2016].

Forbes (2015), ‘3M’s Key Growth Levers: Portfolio Management, R & D, Business Transformation‘. Available online from: [Accessed on November 12th 2016].

Meifort, A., (2016), ‘Innovation portfolio management: a synthesis and research agenda‘, Creativity and Innovation Management, 25, 2, pp. 251-269, PsycINFO, EBSCOhost. Available online from: [Accessed on November 12th 2016].

Reuters (2014), ‘3M to buy Sumitomo stake for $885 million to control Japan business‘. Available online from: [Accessed on November 12th 2016].

Innovative Culture at Google

The principal foundations of Google’s corporate strategy were always connected to diversification. Google accomplished its diversification strategy over a series of acquisitions, innovations as well as corporate entrepreneurship. Which subsequently empowered Google to extend its contributions and reduce its rivalry. Therefore, and as industry front-runners, Google utilized aggressive strategies that were reinforced by continuous innovation of its product lines, in addition to its growth into other businesses like mobile, blogging, news, phones, maps and health (Finkle, 2012).

Furthermore, Google supplied internet users with the top significant search results on as many subjects and themes as possible. This comprised outsourcing attempts of international professionals and penetrating new markets through delivering its services and range of products in foreign languages. Moreover, Google’s strategy on the business level was as well a comprehensive recognition strategy, since it presented characteristics that were not available by other search engines, such as translating from one language into another, while still providing the most relevant search results (Finkle, 2012).

From the management end, Google’s organization model was close to other companies in the high technology domain. Google acquired many of the buildings surrounding its main head office. The location, culture, and make-up of the company were very close to that of a university or college. It was not exceptional to see many personal activities undertaken in the campus, like cycling, or playing basketball. And according to the former CEO who said in an interview few years back: “I looked at Google as an extension of graduate school; similar kinds of people, similar kinds of crazy behavior, but people who were incredibly smart and who were highly motivated and had a sense of change, a sense of optimism” (Schmidt, 2009).

The organization structure along with the associated management attitude is another evidence of Google’s policy of entrepreneurial innovation. Externally, Google is structured and managed like many other companies. It has several domains and group, with having its own dedicated hierarchy of leads, managers and directors. Nevertheless, the secret recipe for success is in its very flat management hierarchy, that has continuously tried to retain the proportion of staff to managers as high as possible. Therefore, it is not uncommon for 40 personnel to fall directly under the supervision of one executive or manager. Another distinguished characteristic of Google’s culture, is originated from its fundamental principles from the famous 20 percent time policy, which permits engineers to spend nearly a day every week following projects outside their prime zone of accountability. The maximum imperative thing about 20 percent time is not how much employees are allowed to utilize on side projects, as much as that the company inspires them to think and be innovative (Copeland and Savoia, 2011).


Copeland, P., and Savoia, A., (2011), ‘Entrepreneurial innovation at Google‘. Available online from: [Accessed on November 20th 2016].

Finkle, T.A., (2012), ‘Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Silicon Valley: The Case of Google, Inc.‘, Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 36, 4, pp. 863-884, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost. Available online from: [Accessed on November 20th 2016].

Schmidt, E., (2009), ‘Inside the mind of google‘. CNBC Interview. Available at [Accessed on November 20th 2016].