The world changes.
We need to innovate the way we innovate.

Innovation is at a turning point.

Most innovation frameworks we use today (Open Innovation, Design Thinking, Disruptive Innovation, Blue Ocean Strategy) have been conceived and developed in the late '90s or early 2000. At that time the web was in its infancy, and the iPhone was far from entering our life. Nowadays markets, organizations, and people are radically different.

What are the new frameworks for innovation? Where is the new frontier?

Below are the four questions I'm currently addressing with my team.

How to find a meaningful direction in a world overcrowded by ideas?

Nurturing breakthrough visions

We live in a world awash with ideas. Thanks to the rise of the creative class, to the diffusion of creative methods, and to connectivity of the web, ideas nowadays are not in short supply. They are widely accessible and cheap. What is in short supply instead is the capability to make sense of this wealth of ideas.

How to innovate in this new world overcrowded by ideas? How to envision the next big thing without getting lost in trying everything? How to engage people and converge towards a shared direction? How to move innovation from quantity (the generation and trial of several ideas with unclear value) to quality (the design of one meaningful experience that people love)?

I address this question in my book "Overcrowded", where I explain how to take the first crucial step in any innovation journey: the design of a meaningful vision.

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How to make innovation happen for real when there is no time to act?   

Lean development and the power of experiments

The world runs at a dramatic pace. Problems change faster than than we can act on them. 

How to make innovation happen for real when there is no time to think and act? When things are uncertain and unpredictable?

I started to address this question long ago with Marco Iansiti and Alan MacCormack at the Harvard Business School (see the Management Science article "Developing Products on 'Internet Time': The Anatomy of a Flexible Development Process"). Now, in the light of this extremely accelerated world, I'm digging deeper on the role of fast experiments and evolutionary implementation. And how a clear direction is necessary to fail fast.

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How to find the most valuable application of a new technology?

Technology Epiphanies

Why some companies fail in sizing the most profitable opportunities offered by new technologies, whereas other succeed?  If you are a technology developer: how to find the most profitable application for a technology you have created? And if you are a user: how to best apply a new technology?

Organizations that miss the big opportunities focus on technology substitutions: they apply a technology to improve existing things.

Organizations that capture most value instead search for epiphanies: they apply the technology to do new things.  

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How to create effective Innovation Policies in a fluid world?

From Policies for Innovation to Policies for Innovators

Classic innovation policy is broken.

Why? Because innovation nowadays is totally different (and in contrast) than it used to be only 15 years ago. It is unpredictable, rapid, unplanned, granular, driven by several drivers (not only technology, but also design and business models). Traditional approaches to innovation policy (based on foresight, focus on specific fields, investing in massive projects and big institutions, and a cycle of calling-screening-controlling proposals) do not really work.

New innovation policies must focus on people instead of institutions, support unpredictable bottom up initiatives, and be based on an iterative experimental cycle of small experimental initiatives.

My reflections with the RISE group as an advisor to EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas

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