The week in innovation: Uber, Best Buy, and smart racquets

Boards establishing innovation-oriented committees

unseem-michaelIn a recent column, Wharton Professor of Management Michael Useem discusses companies like Diebold, Pfizer, and Procter & Gamble, whose boards of directors have created innovation-oriented committees. “New products are, of course, the province of R&D teams or research partners,” he writes. “But new strategies and structures are squarely in the board’s domain, and we have seen any number of governing boards innovating with, not just monitoring, management.”

Manufacturers say partnerships will help spur innovation

Key data point from KPMG’s 2014 Global Manufacturing Outlook, a survey of the world’s leading manufacturers: “Almost half…plan to double their investments on research and development in the next two years and the majority of them feel partnerships will drive innovations.”

Best Buy: We need more innovative products

joly-hubertBest Buy used the word “innovation” 10 times in a recent call with Wall Street analysts. But not in a good way. The retailer’s sales are lagging, and it’s focusing the blame squarely on a dearth of hot products cranked out by Silicon Valley behemoths. “We need some new excitement” from new tech products like TVs, phones, tablets, or wearables, said Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly.

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