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Last week, we discussed the importance of the business case as a vehicle to comprehensively frame new opportunities for internal consideration. Many R&D personnel are currently unfamiliar with the components of a business case, as this document is traditionally prepared by business people. It doesn't need to be a mystery.

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Many R&D professionals lament their ongoing inability to earn their Marketing colleague's interest in new initiatives they try to bring forward. As a former R&D manager myself, I've been there. But, I've also worked in corporate new product Marketing. So, R&D shouldn't just give up. To improve their success prospects, they should tackle this challenge differently than their current approach.

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We've all heard the expression, "ahead of its time" used to described an idea that didn't catch on because the moment wasn't yet right for its broad acceptance. This prompts a question: can one accurately predict when to introduce a (disruptive) innovation?

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By adopting specific external technologies to technical challenges, companies develop a series of ad hoc solutions. However, if they were to also encourage internal collaboration, they could generate substantial additional value by developing multiple usage applications.

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One of the more inspiring aspects of innovator success stories is the innovator's own tremendous persistence against adversity. While tenacity is often necessary to achieve any worthy end, at some point some prospective innovators may need to decide it's time to pursue a different venture.

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Companies can realize substantial benefit by leveraging open innovation team input (including tech scouts) during the new product concept development process...instead of waiting until concepts are fully formed.

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Given the considerable resource investments that companies are making in externally enabled innovation, teams can and should do more to increase productivity and get more big hits. A good way to achieve this end is to ask more questions.

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I define innovation as the intersection of: opportunity (should do this), feasibility (can do this) and capability (will do this). Many companies struggle with feasibility more than they should, especially when open innovation is a key consideration.

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No tech scouting brief ever directs a scout to only identify technologies that can support specific marketing claims as that would be overly restrictive. However, it can be valuable for R&D (and OI teams, in particular) to be aligned with their Marketing customers on desired marketing claims prior to seeking to identify potential technology options, particularly in highly regulated product categories.

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Prospective innovators can become prematurely occupied with pursuing product execution options before they have even confirmed that their value proposition is sound. This approach virtually assures wasted time, energy and resources.

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In recent months, I have been discussing with corporate open innovation managers the barriers to OI success they've identified within their businesses. What can be done to address these challenges?

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Every business person should continually consider new opportunities to fuel their firm's growth. Here are some exciting business building ideas I'm entertaining. What do you think of them?

3 Terrific Business Building Ideas!

I've been ideating some new business building approaches. Frankly, I'm pretty excited about them. I'm sharing them below for whatever inspirational value they may offer you. What do you think of them?



Drive-up Innovations Window: It is well known that creative ideas are often conceived away from the office...such as while driving to and from work. If you're looking for a little extra creative assistance, help is available at BFS Innovations' convenient drive up window. Either call ahead, or drive right up and request the type of assistance you require. Assorted coffee drinks are also available at the window, upon request. There's only one location, but I've been told that Ohio is pretty easy to get to.

BFS Innovations Gift Cards: What to give to the person who already has everything...except for a new product launch candidate ready for 1st Quarter 2015? BFS Innovations gift cards, of course. Available in $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 denominations, they're sure to be a hit. Double fuel points, too!

Slightly Irregular Technology Leads: Would you like to license a patented, wrinkle cream that will help you to look weeks younger? Or, a dandruff shampoo that doesn't really work that well, but is made with natural-sounding ingredients? These leads are not quite as good as much more rigorously vetted technologies, but they're a whole lot less expensive.*   

We'll return to more traditional content next week. :-)

*Thanks go out to The Onion for the inspiring this one!

Could your innovation team benefit from coaching tips to help improve its internal selling effectiveness? Consider giving me a call at 614 937-2408.

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