Articles & Case Studies by Industry


Mohan Sawhney on the Merits of Blank Checks for Innovators and ‘Getting the Hell Out of the Way’

In the innovation landscape, where budget and support are often limited, a blank check feels like a dream. But in many companies, blank checks come with a price: a tight time frame to achieve clearly defined outcomes. We talked to Northwestern University’s Professor Mohanbir Sawhney about the benefits of a blank check, getting buy-in from the C-Suite, and measuring results.

Podcast: Inside the Mind of Clay Christensen

Podcast Host Kaitlin Milliken sits down with Innovation Leader’s Editor Scott Kirsner to discuss his coverage of Clay Christensen. During the discussion, they explore the meaning of disruption, barriers to innovation at large companies, and industries that are ripe for change. Clips from interviews with Christensen are played throughout. Listen to the full episode or read the transcript.

How the labs group at publisher Houghton Mifflin is building an ecosystem of developers and partners

Can Houghton Mifflin Harcourt remake itself into a digital platform, distributing content, software, and cloud-based services to schools? That’s a big focus at HMH Labs, a group created in 2014. Labs chief Claudia Reuter explains how she has been building relationships with startups and software developers.

Harvard’s Chief Digital Officer on being relevant in the digital world

Perry Hewitt joined Harvard University in 2009 as the institution’s first Chief Digital Officer. The mission, as she describes it, was to help the university “be relevant and relatable in the digital world.” Though Facebook had been founded in a Harvard dorm room five years prior, for example, the school didn’t yet have an official Facebook page when Hewitt took the position. Here’s her advice for others in similar situations…

How publisher Pearson gets close to education startups

“Education is changing — there’s no denying that,” says Diana Stepner, VP of Innovation Partnerships at Pearson plc. Here’s what the British publishing company is doing to connect with tech startups that may help Pearson develop new products — and new kinds of connections with consumers. Also inside: the list of 10 company challenges that Pearson shared with startups.

Hacking away at hierarchies: Lessons from Houghton Mifflin

Mary Cullinane, Chief Content Officer and EVP of Corporate Affairs at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, talks about breaking down walls between print and digital products, hacking away at hierarchies, and renewing the company’s focus on the customer.