Magazine Cover Fall 2019

Thought Leadership

This page features recent articles written by Innovation Leader’s Strategic Partners and published in our magazine.

Twice a year, we also compile a handful of useful Thought Leadership pieces into a downloadable PDF called Pointers. See the latest issue of Pointers.

Thought Leadership


Building a Startup to Rapidly Solve Difficult Business Problems

2022-09-09T13:39:00+01:00By Elliott Parker, CEO, High Alpha Innovation

Elliott Parker, CEO of High Alpha Innovation, shares how the venture studio built amplio, a cloud-based supply chain software that helps leaders detect problems before they occur, with Koch Industries. Parker shares how the process happened, and why building external ventures can be valuable for corporations.

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Start With People: Building Digital Ventures the U+ Way

2022-09-08T15:00:00+01:00By Sean Sheppard, Managing Partner, U+

Sean Sheppard, Managing Partner at U+, explains how the firm focuses building its ventures around people, not products. He explains how the firm uses stage-relevant teams to make venture building easier for its clients. Sheppard will also join us for a webcast this fall, as part of our venture studio initiative.


Is Your Corporation Ready to Build Startups?

2022-08-22T15:00:00+01:00By Elliott Parker, CEO, High Alpha Innovation

“While external building is increasingly becoming a standard tool in the corporate innovation toolkit, for many organizations, external building is still new,” writes Elliott Parker, CEO of High Alpha Innovation. In this piece, Parker explains the support, access, and strategy corporates need to have in place before they’re ready to build new ventures. 


Answers to 10 of the Most Popular Tech Scouting Questions

2022-08-22T10:00:00+01:00By Ludwig Melik, CEO, Planbox

As part of our Fourth Industrial Revolution series, Ludiwg Melik, CEO of Planbox, serves up answers to the most common questions he fields on scouting new technologies.


How U+ Helped Bridgestone Solve a Pandemic-Era Problem

2022-08-17T13:00:00+01:00By Sean Sheppard, Contributing Columnist

U+, a venture builder, helped Bridgestone Corporation to build Firestone Direct, a service that sends a mechanic straight to customers or workplaces. As part of our venture studios series, Sean Sheppard, Managing Director at U+, contributed this case study to show the impact a studio can have on a corporation. 


Build, Buy, Partner, Invest… Spin-out? How Venture Studios Help Create Portfolios and Optionality

2022-08-02T13:00:00+01:00By Benjamin Yoskovitz, Founding Partner, Highline Beta

As part of our venture studios series, Ben Yoskovitz, Founding Partner at Highline Beta, shared his thoughts on why corporates might partner with a venture studio, the best way to do it, and what sets Highline Beta apart from other venture studios and builders. 


How Highline Beta’s Venture Studio and American Family Built a New Startup Together

2022-07-25T13:00:00+01:00By Marcus Daniels, Founding Partner & CEO, Highline Beta

As part of our exploration of the venture studio landscape, Marcus Daniels, Founding Partner & CEO of Highline Beta, shares the story of a successful partnership between the studio and Fortune 500 insurance company, American Family Insurance.


Buyer Beware: 3 Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Innovation Platform

2022-07-12T10:30:00+01:00By Doug Williams, Director of Ideation, Lumevity

Impulse shopping often ends poorly. We have all been there: placing late-night Amazon orders for kitchen gadgets we won’t use, buying junk-food at the market while we’re hungry, or getting those sort-of-ugly shoes that were marked down 75 percent that we end up never wearing.


Making the Case for Web3: Finding Your Way in a Vast Ecosystem of Opportunity

2022-05-31T12:00:00+01:00By David Jarczyk, David Pessah, Scott Wolfson, and Chris Corteen, KPMG LLP

Web3 will fundamentally change the internet as we know it. But investing without a strategy won’t yield a high ROI. KPMG takes a three-step approach to help businesses learn the Web3 landscape, seize its potential, and launch successful pilot programs.


Sustainability is a Must: It’s Time for More Meaningful Innovation

2022-05-24T10:00:00+01:00By Ludwig Melik, Planbox

As environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns rise, there is renewed impetus to adopt foundational, long-lasting practices that are consistent with the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Ludwig Melik lays out a path for progress.


Winning in the Metaverse: 5 Lessons Learned from Gaming

2022-05-11T11:30:00+01:00By Nikola Ognjanovic and Michal Pol, KPMG LLP

As more brands venture into the metaverse, they can learn a lot from the ever-evolving gaming industry. Here are five lessons to consider as you develop your strategy.


Transforming the Great Resignation into the Great Innovation

2022-03-01T10:30:00+00:00By David Dabscheck and Joshua Cohen, GIANT Innovation

Here’s how Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport created an e-learning course to promote the idea that everyone can — and should — participate in the innovation process.


2022: A Year for Positive Transformation and Impact

2022-01-20T20:08:00+00:00By Simon Hill, Wazoku

“As we look to bounce back from the tragedy and challenges of the past two-plus years,” writes Wazoku CEO Simon Hill, “the tools of innovation will be critical, and those who get it right will emerge stronger, more agile, and future fit.” More of Hill’s perspective inside…


Don’t Brainstorm — Ideate

2021-12-17T16:26:00+00:00By Ray Tilkens, Innovation Academy at Notre Dame’s IDEA Center

It’s hard to overstate this simple fact: the beginning of an innovation process is where the opportunity lives or dies. If you don’t set the stage for innovation with the proper context, you won’t achieve the kind of outcomes that can transform your business.


Make the Right Bets on Emerging Technologies

2021-12-08T15:45:00+00:00By Martin Sokalski, Greg Corlis, and Michael Krajecki, KPMG LLP

The term “unprecedented disruption” has been so overused it has almost lost its meaning. However, as the pandemic continues to turn business models on their heads, it is increasingly clear that the future of business is being rewritten before our eyes. This piece offers five tips for making the right bets on emerging technologies — today — to ensure that digital disruption is deliberate and strategic.


How Great Design Will Inspire the Next Generation of Ingenious Solutions

2021-11-18T14:00:00+00:00By John Edson & Brett Lovelady, PA Consulting

Ingenious design is found everywhere in today’s competitive business landscape. John Edson and Brett Lovelady of PA Consulting discuss how to bake design into company culture, and the lessons designers can learn from top brands, such as Apple.


Why Startup-Corporate Partnerships Matter Now

2021-09-06T12:30:00+01:00By Catarina Madeira and Irina Sigalovsky, MIT Corporate Relations

Startup-corporate partnerships play an increasingly important role in the corporate innovation journey and startup evolution. Catarina Madeira and Irina Sigalovsky of MIT provide an overview of Innovation Leader’s latest research report.

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​Three Experts on Redefining the Role of Design in Your Organization


Three experts from PA Consulting share advice and best practices on reinvigorating a company’s approach to design.


The American Jobs Plan Innovation Managers Needed

2021-06-16T16:16:00+01:00By Roy Levy, Spyre Group

A look at the $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan, from Roy Levy of Spyre Group. One challenge Levy highlights: the capacity of local governments and large businesses to work with, and source from, fast-paced startups and small businesses.


The Innovation Equation: Balancing Inside-Out and Outside-In

2021-06-04T13:00:00+01:00By Stephanie Kim, Sr. Director, Enterprise Innovation, KPMG LLP; Zach Olson, Managing Director, KPMG Spark; and Jonathan Walker, Director, Strategy and Business Development, KPMG Spark

Finding the sweet spot between inside-out and outside-in activity should reflect the current and future business outlook for your sector, how much disruption your corporate culture will embrace, and whether there are enough folks in your organization with an entrepreneurial mindset to make the pursuit of innovation a reality. 


Democratizing Data: How Organizations Can Eliminate Silos

2021-06-03T13:00:00+01:00By David Jarczyk, Principal, Innovation, KPMG LLP and Martin Sokalski, Principal, Advisory, KPMG LLP

From sales and supply chains to finance and tax, even the best-managed organizations have scrambled to become more agile and collaborative. Despite some temporary fixes, it’s clear that taking decisive action in a constantly changing environment is hindered by data that remains heavily siloed by function and department.


Do the Hard Work to Make Innovation Easier

2021-06-01T18:32:00+01:00By Cliff Justice, Principal, and Shannon Gilmore, Managing Director, KPMG

More than ever, companies must have a robust innovation capability to develop solutions that meet changing customer and market demands…


How To Monetize Your Digital Bank

2021-03-23T14:38:00+00:00By Shalina Vadivale, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

How can banks shape digital banking business models to be attractive to customers and profitable in the long term? Deloitte embarked on a mission to answer this question with a new study. 

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911, What Are Your Innovation Emergency OKRs?

2021-03-08T17:00:00+00:00By Ludwig Melik, CEO of Planbox

Corporate life expectancy is at an all-time low — down 300 percent since the 1980s. But why is it that an organization’s survival has become such a critical challenge?

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The Blind Men & The Elephant: An Open Innovation Blueprint

2020-12-04T14:00:00+00:00By Ludwig Melik, CEO of Planbox

Businesses no longer have the same amount of knowledge about a situation, nor can they accurately predict its outcomes. This trend is paving the way for an entirely new generation of open innovators.

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To Drive Innovation Success, You Need These Safety Belts

2020-11-12T17:00:00+00:00By Kevin Bolen, Global Head of Market Intelligence and US Leader for Strategic Investments, KPMG

Kevin Bolen, Global Head of Market Intelligence at KPMG LLP, offers three guiding principles for managing periods of disruption and uncertainty.


How Would You Reimagine School?

2020-09-11T14:51:00+01:00By Simone Stolzoff, Senior Communication Designer at IDEO

In two months, education underwent a shift faster than it had in 200 years. How might we adapt to remote learning, while also using this moment to reimagine education?


Digitizing Innovation: A Call to Action

2020-09-07T13:00:00+01:00By Peter Gardner, CEO, Startgrid

Digitizing the management of startup ecosystems is no more daunting than managing complex processes in sales, marketing, or supply chain automation. Get best practices…

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How Can You Foster Purpose-Driven Innovation?

2020-09-01T14:52:00+01:00By Larry Schmitt, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, The Inovo Group

Every innovator is motivated by the desire to create positive impact in the world. But the positive effects often have unintended consequences.

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What Should You Look For in an Innovation Leader?

2020-09-01T14:51:00+01:00By Ludwig Melik, CEO of Planbox

The best innovators recognize that discipline is not innate. We have identified five key areas leaders should focus on in order to build a strong innovation discipline. 


Where Should You Focus Innovation Resources?

2020-09-01T14:51:00+01:00By Colin Nelson, Chief Consulting Officer, HYPE Innovation

During times of massive cuts, the building blocks for innovation are vulnerable — despite innovation being more important today than ever before. But what happens next? 


Living in the New Reality: The Reinvention Ultimatum

2020-07-29T13:00:00+01:00By Fiona Grandi, KPMG LLP

Fiona Grandi of KPMG LLP shares a simple framework to reinvent your business strategy across five primary pillars: employees, customers, financial model, supply chain and ecosystem, and unknown-unknowns.


Why Underinvesting in Innovation is Riskier Than Ever

2020-06-26T17:10:00+01:00By Ali Geramian, KPMG LLP

As the world grapples with the current public health crisis and its long-tail impacts on society and the economy, many CEOs and their boards of directors are looking for reasons not to invest in innovation.


Batten Down the Hatches and Innovate

2020-06-15T16:00:00+01:00By Ludwig Melik, Planbox

Leaders navigating the uncertain seas of innovation are a lot like sailors preparing to brave a long journey. Planbox offers tips on preparing for a storm ahead. 


From Our Sponsors: Advice for Challenging Times


We asked our strategic partner firms to share their latest resources and advice for corporate innovators who are grappling with uncertainty.

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Seven Techniques to Tell a Great Innovation Success Story

2019-09-24T18:32:00+01:00By Ludwig Melik, Planbox

Everyone loves a good story. Stories are a great way to inspire, engage, and share lessons learned, and this is especially true for companies that want to step up their innovation game. Without stories, everything is just a report.

Ned Calder, Innosight

How Do You Launch a New Business?

2019-09-24T15:26:00+01:00By Ned Calder, Innosight

Through waves of technological change, the Bose brand has remained synonymous with state-of-the-art sound. But like many successful companies, as it faces new competitors and blurring industry boundaries, the company’s search for new growth has forced a kind of existential dilemma: Are we an audio company? Or something more? 

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How Can Failures Fuel Learning?

2019-09-24T07:29:00+01:00By Ludwig Melik, Planbox

Failure in some of your innovation initiatives is, more often than not, inevitable. The lack of visibility into the ROI of innovation activities and the fact that today’s duds can sometimes become tomorrow’s commercial successes tells you everything you need to know about this problem. Innovation remains the most elusive ...

By Ken Toombs, PA Consulting

How Do You Unlock Innovation?

2019-04-24T20:11:00+01:00By Ken Toombs, PA Consulting

Ingenuity isn’t the preserve of a select few. It’s the fundamental driving force of humanity. It pushes us all to go further, faster, and it’s central to innovation. Get five aspects of agility that can help your team unlock innovation.

Larry Schmitt, The Inovo Group

Can Corporate Innovators Learn to Dance?

2019-04-24T20:08:00+01:00By Larry Schmitt, The Inovo Group

The tension between operational excellence and transformational growth has been exposed. Find out how your company can balance the two…


Sure, You Should Act Like a Startup…But Can You?

2019-04-24T20:04:00+01:00By Katherine Londergan, IDEO Cambridge & David Schonthal, IDEO Chicago

Big companies know they should act more like startups, but how do you actually achieve that culture in your organization? Get insights from our partners at IDEO…

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Extending Your Business in the Digital Era

2018-10-04T20:27:00+01:00By Pontus Siren and Utsav Bhatt, Innosight

In the digital era, both extension strategies are viable. Look at the choice from the point of view of companies who are incumbents in their industries.

Ludwig Melik, CEO Planbox

10 Most Popular Innovation Management Questions

2018-10-04T20:24:00+01:00By Ludwig Melik, CEO Planbox

Here is a collection of the most popular innovation management system questions we have been asked over the years and strategies to address them.

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Does Measurement Kill Innovation?

2018-10-04T20:21:00+01:00By Steve Dry, Mariko O’Neill, Allison Cook, and Saba Tahseen, PA Consulting

Measuring innovation can feel sterile, uninspiring, and judgmental. Here are three subtle changes to your measurement process to improve your program…

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Accepting the Challenges of IoT

2018-10-04T20:18:00+01:00By Bob Klein, CEO Digital Scientists

Understanding the challenges of IoT will open unimagined opportunities—changing the way you do business, even changing the nature of your business…

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How Does the ‘Power of Yes’ Apply to Innovation?

2018-02-09T20:40:00+00:00By Shawn Nason, CEO of Nason Group

Why, you ask, the power of yes? And, how the heck does the power of yes connect with innovation? Find out more from the Nason Group…

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How Do You Get Your Company Unstuck?

2018-02-09T20:38:00+00:00By Sandy Croucher, Nottingham Spirk

Here are some of the common and surmountable impediments to innovation that happen frequently and tips for overcoming them. 

Gary Getz, Strategos

How Can You Harmonize Innovation Initiatives?

2018-02-09T20:36:00+00:00By Gary Getz, Strategos

Corporate innovators appreciate when they don’t have to start from scratch. Find out how to create harmony between existing initiatives…

Hsiu Mei Wong, US Chief Innovation Officer, PA Consulting Group

How Do We Get Our Culture to Allow Ideas to Flourish?

2018-02-09T20:31:00+00:00By Hsiu Mei Wong, US Chief Innovation Officer, PA Consulting Group

Incremental innovation is great. But a change is coming that will call for a more fundamental shift. Find out how to build a culture that prepares for the future…

Chris Townsend, Chief Marketing Officer of Imaginatik

How Do You Go Beyond Innovation Theater?

2018-02-09T20:29:00+00:00By Chris Townsend, Chief Marketing Officer of Imaginatik

It has become fashionable for pundits, consultants, and startups to decry the ills of “Corporate Innovation Theater.” Learn how to go beyond theater…