Founder and CEO of Best Thinking, Inc., dedicated to commercializing innovation with over 1,100 expert contributors.
COO and GM for practice management at the LexisNexis Group of Reed Elsevier, one of the world’s largest online publishers of scientific, medical, legal and business journals and websites.
Founder and CEO of Time Matters Software, one of the most widely used information and document management systems in the U.S. legal market.
20-plus years in virtually every leadership position in high-tech innovation from startups to global companies, including building and successfully exiting his own startup, nurturing startups in his accelerator, venture investing, and driving strategy and numerous acquisitions for a major innovation initiative at a large global company.
Testified before Congress on alternative energy, participated in White House meetings with the VP on economic development, and quoted in the Wall Street Journal on Internet taxation.
The process of innovating to drive growth begins with the realization that there is a distinction between:
It is routine for companies to use internal capabilities or undertake acquisitions to fill product or service gaps, to expand existing markets, technology or talent, or to otherwise fortify the core business.
The operative distinction is the word "new." The innovations that drive companywide double-digit growth create new products or services, open new markets, add new technology, add talent, or otherwise expand the core business into new areas. Once a company has started facing recurring declines in growth not caused by a specific, identifiable exogenous factor, improvements in the core business rarely are sufficient to drive significant growth.
Most companies already have tried everything they could think of to sustain growth by improving their core business.
Often the technology and the talent from those efforts are abandoned as a result of the mistaken belief they were the cause of the disappointment. These initial innovation efforts have frequently left companies worse off than if they had done nothing to reverse their declining growth.
The starting point for a successful outcome is the commitment to the principle that for an innovation initiative of sufficient scale and scope to drive companywide double-digit growth, the innovation project must be undertaken in the context of companywide change. Innovation cannot be looked at as an isolated independent project or acquisition that is strictly additive to the core business.
The following scenario is all too common:
The nine Best Practices detailed here are critical to successfully executing the organizational planning, preparation and change to ensure that innovation initiatives – whether originated internally, through acquisition, or both – meet the objective of restoring the company to sustained companywide double-digit growth.