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Top 50 Innovation Twitter Sharers of 2013

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My friends over at Innovation Excellence are always hard at work writing and curating materials relevant to those of us in the Innovation space.  They compiled Top 50 Innovation Twitter Sharers of 2013. The names appear in no particular order. 


Top 50 Innovation Tweeters of 2013:

•    Paul Hobcraft (@paul4innovating)

•    Kevin McFarthing (@innovationfixer)

•    Ralph Christian Ohr (@ralph_ohr)

•    Tim Kastelle (@timkastelle)

•    Braden Kelley (@innovate

•    Greg Satell (@digitaltonto)

•    Gregg Fraley (@greggfraley)

•    Jeffrey Phillips (@ovoinnovation)

•    Nicolas Bry (@nicobry)

•    Jeffrey Baumgartner (@creativeJeffrey

•    Matthew E May (@matthewemay)

•    Stefan Lindegaard (@lindegaard)

•    Mike Brown (@brainzooming)

•    Deborah Mills-Scofield (@dscofield)

•    Shaun Coffey (@shauncoffey

•    Rowan Gibson (@rowangibson)

•    Bill Fischer (@bill_fischer)

•    Dave Gray (@davegray)

•    Drew Marshall (@drewcm)

•    Paul Sloane (@paulsloane

•    Jorge Barba (@jorgebarba)

•    Calestous Juma (@calestous)

•    JR Reagan (@ideaxplorer)

•    Cathryn Hrudicka (@creativesage)

•    Juan Cano-Arribi (@pull_innovation

•    Vincent Carbone (@insitevc)

•    Sarah Caldicott (@SarahCaldicott)

•    Eric Shaver (@ericshaver)

•    Max McKeown (@MaxMckeown)

•    Boris Pluskowski (@bpluskowski

•    Doug Collins (@innoarchitect)

•    LDRLB (@ldrlb)

•    Andrea Meyer (@andreameyer)

•    Stephen Shapiro (@stephenshapiro)

•    Marc Sniukas (@sniukas

•    Saul Kaplan (@skap5)

•    Nilofer Merchant (@nilofer)

•    Alex Osterwalder (@alexosterwalder)

•    Graham Hill (@grahamhill)

•    Jose Briones (@brioneja)     

•    Arie Goldshlager (@ariegoldshlager)

•    Scott Berkun (@berkun)

•    Julie Anixter (@julieanixter)

•    Ross Dawson (@rossdawson)

•    Ian McCarthy (@toffeemen68

•    John Hagel (@jhagel)

•    Jose Baldaia (@jabaldaia)

•    Frank Piller (@masscustom)

•    Scott Anthony (@ScottDAnthony)

•    Gary Schirr (@ProfessorGary

Bonus tweeter Jatin Desai (@jhdesai) 

The Takeaway

Innovation is a vast, ever changing field.  Keep up with some of the leading thinkers by following folks compiled in the list. 

It is your turn.  Share your wisdom.  Please comment below.

1.      Who do you follow on Twitter that is not on the list and what is their Twitter handle?

2.      Where else do you gain knowledge from Innovation thinkers?

3.      What is the most interesting piece of Innovation knowledge you have gained this month?

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Recognize Intrapreneurs Before They Leave

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Govindarajan-Jatindesai Any CEO can tell you that finding ideas is not the always the problem. The real issue is selecting and spreading the best ideas, testing quickly, and executing flawlessly. An "innovation engine" is an organization's capability to think and invest in long-term opportunities along with the competence to drive continuous innovations for top-line growth each year.

To build your innovation engine, your firm must excel at operationalizing ideas from your energized people who are willing to do everything they can to fight off internal resistance without creating chaos. This is your bench of corporate innovators: your intrapreneurs.

You already have natural intrapreneurs in your company. Some you know about, but most are hiding. These individuals are not always your top talent or the obvious rebels or mavericks. But they are unique and certainly the opposite of "organization men." When you find them and support them correctly, and magic will occur.

Intrapreneurs can transform an organization more quickly and effectively than others because they are self‐motivated free thinkers, masters at navigating around bureaucratic and political inertia.

In a firm with 5,000 employees, we've found, there are at least 250 natural innovators; of these at least 25 are great intrapreneurs who can build the next business for your firm.

Read the entire article at Harvard Business Review >>>

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Intrapreneurs Must Reference World Authorities To Build Proposals

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Intrapreneurs are the purple horse in the room. They are working as entrepreneurs within a larger enterprise. Gifford Pinchot III coined the term Intrapreneur to describe them. They want to innovate. Often, corporate culture limits or prevents their ability to succeed.

Business Cases and Proposals Need Research

When I teach intrapreneurs to certify them in the DeSai body of knowledge they learn to create a business case. To turn that case into a full-blown, well researched proposal the intrapreneur needs to reference credible worldwide authorities.

My Favorite Sources

20 of my favorite sources are shown below. These sources are universal. They can be used by for profits and non-profits, large companies as well as small ones. Good luck and may "the force be with you" during your research process.

Worldmapper Project
Provides cartograms - maps where countries are resized according to a range of economic, social, demographic and resources criteria

2 World Trade Organization
Trade statistics, trade news, economic research and publications

3 World Economic Forum
Research on wide range of issues related to its agenda; also organizes Davos summit annually dealing with global issues

4 World Bank
Economic and financial statistics, including commodity prices

5 Wikipedia
Open-source based online encyclopaedia, which is a good first lead for information on many topics BUT always check references and data wherever possible

6 US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Research and statistics on all aspects of the labor market in the US, plus international comparisons

7 United Nations
Data and reports relevant for many trends including economics, demographics, Millennium Development Goals

8 Strategy & Business
Surveys, articles, publications on a range of business topics, on both the Booz site and Strategy & Business site

9 RAND Corporation
Research areas include security, international affairs, science & technology, health, infrastructure

10 PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC)
Consulting/Accounting firm offering research/publications on range of business topics

11 Org. for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD)
Publications and statistics on economic and social issues, including macroeconomics, trade, education, science, innovation

12 McKinsey Quarterly
Surveys, articles, publications on a range of business topics

13 McKinsey
Surveys, articles, publications on a range of business topics

14 International Labour Organization (ILO)
Information and news on international labour standards and human rights; provides international labor statistics and research

15 IMF
Range of time series data on GDP growth, inflation, unemployment, payments balances, exports, imports, external debt, capital flows, commodity prices, more and other economic and financial indicators

16 IMD
Research, articles and information on critical business topics and issues; and home of the World COmpetitiveness Center

17 IBM
Range of research, particularly related to technology industry

18 European Commission Eurostat
Publications and statistics on economic and social issues, including macroeconomics, trade, education, science, innovation

19 CIA
World Factbook offers basic but useful country information; other reports cover security related matters e.g. fuel use

20 Boston Consulting Group
Surveys, articles, publications on a range of business topics

The Takeaway

Excellent research sources help an Intrapreneur change an idea from "I know I am correct" to "of course our company must adopt your proposal."

It is your turn.  Share your wisdom. Please comment below.

  1. What are your indispensible research sources?
  2. What techniques help you best prepare a persuasive proposal for higher management?
  3. What is the relationship between the perceived risk of the opportunity and the length of the proposal you submit?

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Should Higher Education Be Free? - An Extreme Innovation Challenge

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Govindarajan-JatindesaiOn September 5, 2013, Professor Vijay Govindarajan and I co-authored a blog about Higher Education for Harvard Business Review Blog website. To our surprise, it became one of the most popular blog ever. It reached over 225 comments in matter of few days. 

Obviously we struck a nerve. Why? 

In the article, we suggested that the time has come for new business innovation models to fix the higher education system here in the US and across the globe. Here is the beginning of it:


In the United States, our higher education system is broken.  since 1980, we've seen a 400% increase in the cost of higher education, after adjustment for inflation -- a higher cost escalation than any other industry, even health care.  We have recently passed the trillion dollar mark in student loan debt in the United States.  

Read the entire article at Harvard Business Review >>>


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Microsoft Innovative - YES according to AD in WSJ

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Microsoft is famous for its back story of a couple of nerds who changed personal computing for the entire world.  They went from a few thousand dollars in revenue to$70 billion in revenue each year.  They must have been innovative to accomplish such a feat and have $77 billion in the bank.  They just spent $7 billion of that hard earned cash to buy Nokia's Devices & Services business. 


Then, why did they have to point out not once, but twice about innovation in their full page ad on the back page of Section A in the Wall Street Journal?  Here are the two quotes with emphasis and commentary added by me. 

"By bringing together these great teams together, Microsoft will be able to deliver more choices and faster innovation to consumers in phones and smart devices of all kinds" 

I thought a couple of years ago that Microsoft gave billions of dollars to Nokia and its CEO Stephen Elop (a former Microsoft executive) to accomplish the task already.  Microsoft and Nokia were already joined at the hip as partners when Nokia gave up its own operating system in favor of Windows. 

Staples has the "Easy Button."  Perhaps, Mr. Elop has the "Innovation Button." 

"Together, we will create more unified development, manufacturing, and marketing efforts to bring innovation to market with greater efficiency and speed." 

The market did not think so, and erased 4.6% of Microsoft's share price after the announcement.  That decline in share price pretty much wiped out the nice bump in Microsoft shares after CEO Steve Ballmer indicated he would retire within 12 months.  


Ballmer went on to say in a Wall Street Journal story on the same day,"For us to really fulfill the vision for what we can do for our customers, we have evolved our thinking." 

Very recently Ballmer announced the "devices and services" approach at Microsoft after a major reorganization of the 100,000 person company (now 132,000 after Nokia acquisition).  Sounds like he is going all in for devices.  Other than the X Box gaming device, Microsoft does not have a successful record creating hardware.  See Surface Tablet and Microsoft's recent $900 million write off for unsold inventory. 

The Takeaway

You need an Innovation Engine to help create an ecosystem of innovation.  You cannot decree it, you must work hard to create it. 

Your turn.  Tell me what you think.  Please comment below.

  1. Does your business have a culture and climate of innovation?
  2. What is the most innovative new product or service your company has created in the last 5 years?
  3. Do you feel that Microsoft and Nokia can out innovate Google's Android platform and Apple's iPhone platform?

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