Latest Articles, Case Studies, Research, and More


Learnings From the Sudden Death of the World’s First Social Robot

2019-10-16T13:00:00+01:00By Blade Kotelly, Contributing Writer

Blade Kotelly, former Vice President of Design at Jibo, shares the story of creating the world’s first “social robot,” and what led to its ultimate failure. 


High-Tech on the High Seas


Once you’ve identified some promising technologies, how do you test and deploy them in the real world? To find out, we went to Miami to visit Royal Caribbean.


Staffing Innovation Teams?


What…information might there be about innovation staffing? In-sourced vs. out-sourced? Types of roles/functions on innovation team?


The 20 Mistakes New Corporate Innovators Make


Being tapped to lead innovation inside a big, established organization is a tough assignment. Here are the 20 most common mistakes that we see new corporate innovators make.

KPMG Roundtable in Chicago 2019

‘Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2020’ Roundtable in Chicago


To coincide with the release of our Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2020 report, sponsored by KPMG, we gathered innovation professionals to discuss the  findings.


Scouting Emerging Technology

2019-10-08T10:00:00+01:00By , Molli DeRosa

How do you scout for new technology that’s the right fit for your business? Marc Lavallee, Head of R&D at The New York Times, shares best practices…

Navigator of the Seas

How Royal Caribbean is Deploying New Technologies


We go inside Royal Caribbean’s innovation lab in Miami and on board their ship, Navigator of the Seas, to see the company’s digital transformation in action. 

Boston Field Study 2019

Inside the Boston Ecosystem: Wayfair, Blue Cross & More


In our 2019 Boston Field Study, attendees visited Wayfair, Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Well-B space, PTC, Suffolk Construction, and LearnLaunch.


Failing Fast: An Illustrated Fable

2019-10-04T14:00:00+01:00By Dan Roam, Contributing Artist and Founder, The Napkin Academy

“We kicked off in a sequestered innovation lab, well protected from the unpredictability of the market…” Dan Roam draws you a picture of what happened next…


Five Pieces of Advice to Jumpstart Your October


As the third quarter of 2019 comes to a close, innovators approach the future with positivity. Looking for other ways to share the optimism? Get advice here…


Does It Scale?


How do you successfully scale new ideas? To find out, we traveled to Shell TechWorks in Cambidge, Mass. Experts from ESPN and KPMG also shared their advice. 


Insights from Winners of the 2019 Impact Awards


In this webcast, several winners of our 2019 Impact Awards share tips on how they’ve been making change happen inside their organizations. 


Running More Innovative Meetings?


“[Is] there any…content/statistics around smart meetings and techniques that companies are employing in the brainstorming process to encourage innovation?”

Alex Slawsby Headshot

How to Win Over the Two Kinds of Customers That Matter

2019-09-26T14:00:00+01:00By Alex Slawsby, Contributing Columnist and Director of Innovation, EmbraerX

Every idea needs a strategy to win over two kinds of customers in parallel: internal customers and external customers. Alex Slawsby of EmbraerX, serves up five tips.

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Seven Techniques to Tell a Great Innovation Success Story

2019-09-24T16:32:00+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. There are many stories of creativity and perseverance by lone inventors or small teams who beat all the ...

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How Can Failures Fuel Learning?

2019-09-24T16:29:00+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 ...

Ned Calder, Innosight

How Do You Launch a New Business?

2019-09-24T16:26:00+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 companies, it faces new competitors…


Finding Your Innovation Allies


How can you find innovation allies? We pull insights from our recent Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2020 Report, and head over to the Bose headquarters to find out…


Here’s Our List of 2019 Impact Award Winners


This year’s winners include companies in the US, Portugal, and Germany that leveraged analytics, virtual reality for education, software “robots,” a totally digital accelerator program, and venture capital investing.


Our Podcast Recommendations for Corporate Innovators


Our podcast, Innovation Answered, is back for its third season! Looking for more shows to binge? Here are five podcast recommendations for corporate innovators. 


Innovation as a Career Path & Breakthrough Capabilities


Large organizations have a history of stopping and starting when it comes to breakthrough innovation. Babson’s Gina O’Connor and Andrew Corbett tackle these pain points.


Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2020


If you work in the realms of innovation, R&D, or strategy within a large organization, you already know that making change happen and delivering tangible business results is incredibly difficult. And at most organizations, there’s pressure to do more — faster — in order to keep pace with changing market and customer dynamics. The latest edition of Benchmarking Innovation Impact collects data, insights, and advice from more than 200 of your peers to help you overcome those challenges.

Copy of innovation answered

Innovation Answered, Season Three


We’re back and better than ever. Listen to the trailer to see what’s in store, and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts for new episodes starting next week on Tuesday. 


How Customer-Centric Innovation can Lead to Big Wins


Olivier Toubia of Columbia Business School discusses factors leading to failure, how connecting with customers lays the foundation for success, and the role machine learning should play in sifting through ideas.


Why Innovations Fail (and How to Avoid It)

2019-09-10T14:00:00+01:00By Josh Bernoff, Author, Former SVP of Idea Development at Forrester Research

Why do some innovative ideas fail and others succeed? Bad timing, corporate politics, and rigid regulations are among the culprits. Here are some tips to avert disaster.


How Tiffany & Co. is Turning Prototypes into Products Faster


The legendary jewelry-maker Tiffany & Co. dates back to 1837. A new Jewelry Design & Innovation Workshop is changing how the company creates products…

2019_08_26 Moves the Needle Feat Image

Getting Leadership on Board with Corporate Innovation


Learn how to get executives on board with your innovation program in this webinar replay. Brant Cooper, CEO of Moves The Needle, demonstrates how to build strategic consensus.


Five Innovation Tips to Start Your September


Vacation season is over, so brush up on what you missed while you were at the beach. Check out five takeaways from our August coverage of corporate innovation…


Working with Startups after Acquisition?


“I’m looking for insights into how to work with a startup when they are bought out,” one member asks. “We…wonder if someone has insights they would be willing to share.” 


‘If This Works’: The Secret to Avoiding Projects that Become Too Big to Fail

2019-08-29T14:00:00+01:00By Zeeshan Sheikh, Contributing Columnist and Director of Emerging Technologies, Everbridge

A common mistake when companies try to become more accepting of failure and to act like a startup is that the effort becomes “too enterprise-y.” Zeeshan Sheikh explains…


The Five-Step Approach to Disruptive Thinking


Luke Williams of NYU walks through the five steps of disruptive thinking, the “hybrid” approach to innovation, and what innovators can learn from professional chefs…


Finalists for Innovation Leader’s 2019 Impact Awards


The 2019 awards will be handed out this October in San Francisco, at the year’s biggest gathering of corporate innovators, Impact 2019. Here’s a look at who made the cut as finalists…


Expedia Exec: Three Elements for Successful Innovation


David Krieger, Sr. Director of Strategy and Business Development for, shares his advice on making innovation happen inside large organizations, and three trends his team is watching. 


A Magna Carta for Corporate-Startup Collaborations


In this book excerpt, Trond Undheim, entrepreneur and former head of the MIT Startup Exchange, shares four elements of effective corporate-startup interactions, and some of the factors that can lead to failure or frustration.


Inside Autodesk’s SF Technology Center

2019-08-13T16:00:00+01:00By , video edited by Rachel Callahan

Autodesk’s San Francisco Technology Center is an innovator’s paradise, equipped with a wide array of tools and a skilled staff to help with the prototyping process…

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Inside Intel’s New VC Strategy: Fewer, Bigger Bets


Intel Capital has put over $12 billion into 1,500 startups since it was founded in 1991. Mark Rostick offers explains how it has endured.

Dan Roam

Closing the Innovation Blindspot with a Visual Story


Using just a pen and paper, Dan Roam shows you how to tell your innovation story under 10 minutes — even if you can’t draw to save your life. 

Prime Air in-flight 2

Five Truths about Amazon


No one there is going to tell you to stay in your lane, explains former Amazon program manager Jerry Gupta. He shares other insights about the corporate culture inside…

Minneapolis Roundtable Moves the Needle 2019

Minneapolis Roundtable on Embracing Failure


In July, we brought together 15 innovation and R&D leaders from large organizations in Minneapolis. The gathering was hosted at Target’s headquarters.


Five Corporate Innovation Tips to Kick Off August


Looking for the advice to kick start your month? Check out five takeaways from our July coverage of corporate innovation…

New York City

Innovation at The Nature Conservancy


Jennifer Chin of The Nature Conservancy discusses the organization’s Sustainability Accelerator, and what corporates can learn from nonprofits…

Chicago Roundtable PA Consulting 2019

Chicago Roundtable on How to Achieve Organizational Agility


In mid-July, we brought together 10 innovation and R&D leaders from large organizations at Hyatt Hotels’ headquarters to discuss organizational agility. 


How Brands Adapt to Disruption in Retail


Thought leaders with experience at Amazon, Ahold Delhaize, Roche Brothers, and L.L. Bean share industry trends discussed at Revolution Retail, a food retail pop-up.

London Field Study 2019

Inside London's Ecosystem: General Assembly, Barclays’ Rise & More


Our 2019 London Field Study brought executives together to discuss creating an innovative culture in established organizations. See pictures from the event here…

For Abacus

Inside the Mind of Bob Metcalfe


What’s the difference between innovation & invention? Bob Metcalfe shares. He also discusses founding 3Com and the company culture that allowed him to invent Ethernet…


What NASA has Learned about the Power of the Crowd


Crowdsourcing can help your team discover new ideas. Steve Rader of NASA’s Johnson Space Center will discuss his experience with harnessing the power of the crowd. 

Suzi Hamill Play Video

Suzi Hamill on the Power of Play


 Suzi Hamill, the former Vice President of Design Thinking at Fidelity Investments, shares how play can help teams work more cohesively. Watch the video…

Bharat Rajaram

Aflac Exec on Growing a Venture Capital Fund


Bharat Rajaram of Aflac discusses how the company grew its corporate venture fund in a year and the role of Aflac Venture Labs. Get advice here…


Advice on Ecosystem Development & Co-Creation


Andy Michuda of Sopheon, Shannon Lucas of Ericsson, and Michael Britt of Southern company explore best practices for ecosystem development. Get advice here…


Advice for Horizon Three Innovation?


We asked the Innovation Leader community: “Who does [H3 innovation] well? Do you have best practices or process overviews on this front?” Get advice here…

Boston Roundtable 2019

Execs Discuss Digital Challenges at Google


Our June roundtable focused on the challenge of creating an organization that is digital at its core. Photos inside…

Paul Campbell

‘Culture Matching’ with the Right Startups

2019-07-03T11:00:00+01:00By Paul Campbell, Contributing Columnist & Chief Innovation Officer, Gore Innovation Center

“Corporate innovation…teams spend little time assessing culture’s role in…[working] with startups,” writes W.L. Gore’s Paul Campbell. Get advice on how to avoid that fate…


Top 15 Global Hotspots for Corporate Innovation

2019-07-01T20:22:00+01:00By ,

For our list of the top cities for corporate innovation around the world, we examined an array of factors that create a constructive context for big companies that want to engage in ecosystems outside of their home turf.

Experian Podcast

At Experian, Data is an Innovator’s Best Friend


How are big companies working with data? Find out how Experian’s DataLabs spread innovative data solutions across the company. Listen to the full episode here…


Inside AXA Next’s Innovation Avenues

2019-06-20T11:30:00+01:00By , Graphic by Rachel Callahan.

AXA Next unites the French insurance company’s innovation initiatives. Learn more about AXA’s different innovation funds and how the company explores the insurtech.

Captain Steve Lauver Featured Image

Five Elements of Successful Startup Engagement from the US Air Force


Steve Lauver, a Captain in the US Air Force, shares five elements of successful startup partnerships. He also discusses AFWERX, a program innovating within the Air Force.

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Partnerships at Bayer’s Innovation Center


Dr. Chris Haskell discusses how Bayer partners with startups, academic institutions, and other corporates at the company’s Innovation center.


Six Tips From Google on Implementing AI


During a talk at MIT, Rajen Sheth, Product Manager for Google Cloud, outlined the six lessons he’s learned while implementing AI at Google and other companies.


Chick-fil-A’s Hatch Innovation Center & the Future of Fast-Food


Innovators throughout Chick-fil-A gather at Hatch — the company’s hub for innovation — to solve common problems in the business. Get insights from the initative…


How Construction Giant Bechtel is Building the Future


David J. Wilson of Bechtel says, “It’s becoming…a necessity to find ways to improve construction productivity…” Wilson explains what Bechtel is doing, including its “Future Fund.”


ExxonMobil Exec on Getting Your Innovation Program Started


Starting in 2014, Christopher Bailey helped to create a new Digital Ventures team and new innovation programming within ExxonMobil’s IT organization, under an umbrella group that was known as #innovation. Here’s his advice on getting a program started. 


Evolving the Innovation Mission at Humana


Humana’s Roberto Roitz talks about the importance of creating a common language around what innovation means for the organization, and getting buy-in from operational colleagues. Roitz is a Director of Stratgeic Partnerships at Humana, the $57 billion health insurance and managed care provider based in Louisville, Kentucky. 


EmbraerX Director of Innovation on Competing for Budget


We sat down with Peter Berger, Director of Innovation at EmbraerX, a disruptive innovation group inside Embraer, the world’s third-biggest maker of aircraft. Among EmbraerX’s projects is development of EVTOLs — electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles — in collaboration with Uber. 

Boston Roundtable Deloitte 2019

Execs Discuss Elevating the Human Experience in Boston


We brought together innovation, technology, and R&D leaders from large organizations in Boston. One topic of interest was responsible data stewardship. Photos inside…

Arjun Chowdri and Tenniel Chu

The PGA’s First Chief Innovation Officer on His 2019 Agenda


The PGA of America represents 29,000 golf professionals and runs top golf championships. The PGA’s Chief Innovation Officer discusses his plans for catalyzing innovation.

Coca Cola 3

How Coca-Cola Created the Soda Fountain of the Future


The inside story how how a skunkworks team of Coca-Cola engineers created the Freestyle soda fountain back in 2007 — and what they’re working on and imporving for the second iteration.

New York City Deep Dive 2018

Expanding Innovation at Our NYC Deep Dive


At our recent New York City Deep Dive event, leaders from around the US met in New York to discuss tactics for starting and expanding innovation initiatives. See photos…

Podcast Season 2 Episode 7

Inside Silicon Valley’s Innovation Culture


We ask, “What makes FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google ) more innovative than other companies?” We ask Faisal Masud of Wing Aviation to find out. 

The Innovation Universe

Building the Right Foundation for Innovation


Nancy Tennant, a professor the University of Notre Dame and the former Chief Innovation Officer at Whirlpool, explores how to build the right foundation for innovation at your company. 

Jason Hsu

Taiwan’s ‘Crypto Congressman’ on Infusing Tech into Government


Jason Hsu of Taiwan discusses cryptocurrencies, blockchain in Taiwan, and the culture of innovation in his office. 

Revera Senior Living

Revera Senior Living on Tackling the Challenges of Aging Collaboratively


From involving residents to running internal idea challenges to partnering with young tech companies, Revera Senior Living seeks to innovate aging collaboratively. 

Comcast Danielle Cohn

How Comcast NBCUniversal’s LIFT Lab Created a Startup Program


Over a four years, Comcast NBCUniversal’s Danielle Cohn built LIFT Labs, a startup engagement program. She shares advice on how to design a startup strategy.

Podcast Season 2 Episode 6

Remaking R&D at the Kellogg Company


How is Kellogg reimagining their business through R&D? We sat down with SVP of Global Research and Development Nigel Hughes to find out. 


Agile AF: How Kessel Run Lab Innovates in the Air Force


In the Air Force, passing clearances reigns, slowing down projects. But, Kessel Run seeks to go from ideation to getting software to users in as fast as 88 days.

London Map

25 Corporate Innovation Hubs in London

2019-04-29T19:18:00+01:00By , with additional research by Caitlin Harper and Scott Kirsner

Explore our interactive map to see the key players in London’s ecosystem, from corporate innovation labs to venture capital funds to accelerators.


‘Office of New Urban Mechanics’ Nudges City Gov to Take Risks


Boston’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is a civic innovation incubator and R&D lab. It’s also the city’s “risk team, the failure team,” says co-founder Nigel Jacob.

Master Class

Balancing Sustaining and Strategic Innovation


In our most recent Master Class, Larry Schmitt and Steve Schwartz from The Inovo Group discussed how to balance sustaining and strategic innovation. 

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. 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…

Podcast Season 2 Episode 5

Innovators vs. the Rulebook. Who Wins?


How do you get innovation wins in a highly regulated industry? Mohan Nair of Cambia Health, Steve Faktor of the McFuture Podcast, and Ludwig Melik of Planbox share…


Startup Engagement: Best Practices for Large Organizations


Learn how some of the top-performing organizations in the world design strategies to engage with startups.

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Innovation Answered: The Podcast for Corporate Innovators


Innovation at large, established companies is hard. So we made a podcast to help you overcome obstacles and create change at your organization.


Blank Checks for Innovators and ‘Getting the Hell Out of the Way’


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.

Foundations 1

Foundations: A Five-Day Email Program for Getting Corporate Innovation Started


Foundations: A Five-Day Email Program for Getting Corporate Innovation Started

World Medical Innovation Forum

Philips, GE Healthcare, Siemens CEOs Talk AI in Healthcare


Read highlights from a conversation with CEOs from GE Healthcare, Philips, and Siemens Healthineers approach AI at their companies.

Georgia Pacific Point A Center

Innovating the Supply Chain Georgia-Pacific’s Point A Center


Georgia-Pacific’s Point A Center launches collaborative pilots between different companies to tackle complex supply chains with increased visibility and sustainability.


Co-Creation & Ecosystem Development


Get data from 275 innovation professionals on co-creation and ecosystem development.

Times Square

How the Shubert Organization Puts Startups on the Broadway Stage


We sat down with Kyle Wright, the Digital Projects Director at Shubert Ticketing, to learn more about the company’s innovation focuses and their new Broadway Tech Accelerator.

Podcast Season 2 Episode 4

Bringing Star Wars to Life at Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB


What will the entertainment of the future look like? We sat down with Vicki Dobbs Beck of Lucasfilm’s Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment ILMxLAB to find out. 


What Powers the Business Models of Apple, IKEA, and Uber?


In this book excerpt, Langdon Morris lays out a framework and questions that can be helpful in designing new business models or improving existing ones.

March 2019 Roundtable - PA Consulting

Organizational Agility & Emerging Tech at Our NYC Roundtable


In late March, we brought together 15 innovation and R&D leaders from large organizations in New York City to discuss organizational agility and emerging tech.


Innovation & Risk


How well-aligned is your innovation group with colleagues in legal, compliance & security? Our 50-page report is packed with advice.

Podcast Season 2 Episode 3

Playing In the Startup Sandbox


Should big companies even try to plug in to the startup ecosystem? We talk with Arvind Purushotham, the Head of Venture Investing at Citi Ventures, and others to find out.


How Truck Manufacturer PACCAR is Innovating for the Long Haul


 Tesla isn’t alone in the ring of companies experimenting with electric, autonomous, and smarter commercial vehicles.

Podcast Season 2 Episode 2

Can the Retail Industry Stay Relevant?


Can the retail industry stay relevant with today’s consumers? We went to New York City for NRF’s Big Show to find out. Guests work at Footlocker and Retail Minded. 

San Francisco Field Study 2019

Inside the Bay Area's Ecosystem: Target, W.L. Gore, and More


Inside Gore Innovation Center, Target Open House, the Bolt makerspace and venture firm, AppDynamics, the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium, RocketSpace, and Andreessen Horowitz.

Podcast Season 2 Episode 1

Inside the Mind of Clay Christensen


How do Clay Christensen’s ideas apply in 2019? Innovation Leader’s Scott Kirsner discusses his coverage of Christensen. Clips from interviews with Christensen are played throughout.


Whose Approval do you Need to Spend Your Budget?


We asked the Innovation Leader community the following question: “What’s the top innovation issue you’re going to tackle in 2019?” Inside are a few of the best responses…

Alexander Osterwalder

Overcoming the Challenges of Business Model Innovation


Alex Osterwalder, inventor of the Business Model Canvas, shares how testing new business models can help companies prepare for the future.

Mark Nitkey

Citi Ventures Leader: Not All Transformations are Digital

2019-03-11T11:54:00+00:00By Beth Devin, Contributing Columnist & Head of Innovation Network & Emerging Technology, Citi Ventures

As software continues to “eat the world,” there’s a tendency to assume that all transformations are digital. But that is not entirely true. Beth Devin of Citi Ventures explains.

Unlocking Play Webcast

Unlocking Play, the Secret Ingredient of Teams that Work


Suzi Hamill, the former Vice President of Design Thinking at Fidelity Investments, shares strategic approaches to designing play into work.

Quad Bicycle

The 25 Best Anti-Innovation Quotes Ever

2019-03-06T12:19:00+00:00By Dan Wheeler, Contributing Columnist & SVP of Marketing & Innovation, Wahlburgers

Many of history’s most respected intellectuals — not just the senior leadership at your company — have said silly things about new ideas that had not yet realized their potential.

Podcast Bonus State of Innovation 2019

The State of Innovation 2019


What are corporate innovators thinking about in 2019? We sat down with Professor Gary Pisano of Harvard Business School and Innovation Leader’s Scott Kirsner to find out.


An Annotated Map of 25 Corporate Innovation Hubs in New York City

2019-02-22T20:38:00+00:00By , additional research by Kaitlin Milliken & Caitlin Harper

It’s hard to compete with Wall Street when it comes to global influence and importance. In fact, in 2018, New York’s financial hub surpassed London in one key ranking (thanks, Brexit!).

Mall of America. Photo by Meet Minneapolis.

Why Agile Retail Needs to be on Your Radar

2019-02-15T13:01:00+00:00By Lindsay Angelo Contributing Columnist & Former Strategy Manager at lululemon

As 2019 unfolds, physical retail is undergoing a major transformation — one characterized by freshness, nimbleness, and curation. Lindsay Angelo explains…

American Greetings moved their headquarters from Brooklyn to Westlake, Ohio in 2016.

Inside American Greetings, Where ‘Meaningful Connections’ Are Made


Most think of American Greetings as a purveyor of greeting cards. But VP of Innovation Carol Miller says the company is in the “meaningful connections” business.

Participants at CHILL

How Cisco Brings Multiple Companies Together to Innovate


Cisco executive Kate O’Keeffe explains the format of the company’s 48-hour “living lab” program, which brings together multiple companies to explore opportunities.

Master Class

How Innovators and Risk Managers Can Work Better Together


In this Master Class, Mastercard’s Bob Reany and Innovation Leader’s Scott Kirsner shared best practices for working productively with security, legal, and compliance teams.


How a Network of Innovators Impacted the Culture at Pfizer

2019-02-07T13:00:00+00:00By Daniel Seewald Contributing Columnist and Senior Director of Innovation Pfizer

Daniel Seewald, Head of Worldwide Innovation at Pfizer, shares how Pfizer created and honed a global program called "Dare to Try," and the organizational impact it has had so far.

Marvin Ellison, CEO of Lowes

What Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison Talks ‘Retail Fundamentals’


Lowe’s CEO has a mantra for the company: “Retail fundamentals.” Read highlights from his talk at the National Retail Federation’s annual conference in New York.

Robots inside Autodesk's BUILD space focuses on the future of the architecture and construction industries.

50+ Corporate Innovation Hubs in Boston and Cambridge


Boston houses a fertile innovation scene that attracts corporates who want to keep an eye on the latest research; hire recent grads; and invest in startups. See 50+ hubs here…

Podcast Bonus TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays and AI? The Chains’ Chief Experience Officer Explains


How are companies implementing AI? We talked to Sherif Mityas, the Chief Experience Officer of TGI Fridays, to find out how AI helps the company stay relevant with customers.

Society of Grownups CEO Nondini Naqui shares learnings so far, and expansion plans for 2016.

Foundations Day 4: What Does Your “Influence Chart” Look Like?


If you’ve got a whiteboard or a piece of paper handy, who are the 3-6 key influencers you need a constructive relationship with? Find out what your influence chart looks like in this video.

Harvard Business School professor and author Len Schlesinger

Foundations Day 2: Understanding C-Level Executives


Leonard Schlesinger of Harvard Business School discusses how CEOs think about Box 1, Box 2, and Box 3 innovation — and offers advice for innovation leaders working with their CEOs. 

Jeffrey Schnapp Piaggio Video

How Piaggio Fast Forward Brings Engineering Cultures Together


How do you ensure that an innovation lab takes advantage of the engineering smarts of the core business? Find out how Piaggio Fast Forward tackled the challenge.

Management Systems Wheel

How Management Systems Can Support Innovation


How do companies become innovative for the long haul? Nancy Tennant, an adjunct professor at Notre Dame and UChicago, addresses this question in her new book.

Albert Vita (right), Director of Store Strategy, Insights, & Visual Merchandising at The Home Depot.

Four Ways Retailers are Combatting Disruption in 2019


At the National Retail Federation's Big Show 2019, attendees discussed how to vie for attention from customers in the age of Amazon and thousands of options at their fingertips.


What’s Your Top Innovation Issue for 2019?


We asked the Innovation Leader community the following question: “What’s the top innovation issue you’re going to tackle in 2019?” Inside are a few of the best responses…

Tenure by Title

How Long Do Corporate Innovation Jobs Last, and What Happens Next?


How long do people typically stay in corporate innovation roles — at all levels? And where do they go next? We analyzed data from over 150 LinkedIn profiles to find out.

Genevieve Juillard, Managing Director, Global Expansion Credit Services, Experian

Big Corporates Can’t Innovate — And Other Myths

2019-01-22T20:09:00+00:00By Genevieve Juillard, Contributing Columnist & Managing Director, Experian

Genevieve Juillard of Experian, the $4.6 billion credit reporting agency,  writes that large companies “must change the way they approach innovation.” Here’s how…

Setting the Agenda 2019

What Innovators are Thinking about in 2019

2019-01-22T20:01:00+00:00By , Photos by Kara Swenson, Contributing Photographer

To start off the new year, we brought together some members of the Innovation Leader community for breakfast, to discuss their innovation agendas and goals for 2019. Photos inside…

Podcast Bonus Lyft

Lyft, Tesla & the Future of Mobility


What will the future of mobility look like? We talked to Jon McNeill, COO of Lyft, about what consumers can expect moving forward. Jon also discussed his experience at Tesla.

Allegion Live Call

Finding the Right Mix of Internal and External Innovation


Rob Martens of security company, Allegion, discussed how his team uses venture capital to balance internal and external innovation. Elliot Parker of venture firm High Alpha also shared his experience.

Aaron Proietti, author of Today's Innovator.

Advice on Innovation Governance, Budgeting, Metrics


In his new book, former Transamerica exec Aaron Proietti talks about innovation not as an outcome, but as a competency that helps organizations escape the status quo.

Brian Cornell

Target CEO on Making Bricks-and-Mortar Stores Work Harder


Read edited highlights from Target CEO Brian Cornell’s speech and onstage Q&A session with NRF CEO Matthew Shay.


Inside Cadillac’s Brand Building Initiative, Cadillac House


Opened in 2015, Cadillac House space includes a free art gallery, pop-up stores, a café, as well as the latest Cadillac vehicles. Take a look inside the space in this video.

Embraer X's current projects include electric-powered vertical take-off and landing concept aircraft, or eVTOL.

An Annotated Map of 50 Corporate Innovation Hubs in Silicon Valley

2019-01-03T17:19:00+00:00By , with additional research by Caitlin Harper

Our list of sites for "big company" innovation in the Bay Area looks at the region though the lens of public companies investing in R&D, innovation, or corporate venture capital. 

Kate O'Keefe

Kate O’Keefe on Building an Innovation Bootcamp with Impact


In our "Building Idea Challenges that Work" conference call, Kate O'Keeffe, founder of Cisco's Hyper Innovation Living Lab (CHILL), shares how she built a 48-hour bootcamp with impact.

Steve Blank Video

Steve Blank on Building Innovation Teams


Silicon Valley-based serial entrepreneur, Steve Blank shares how companies can set up a system that fosters innovation and effectively creates change. 

All birds

Innovation and Blurring Sectors: Where Will You Blur the Lines?

2018-12-28T13:01:00+00:00By Lindsay Angelo Contributing Columnist & Former Strategy Manager at lululemon

Contributing columnist Lindsay Angelo says we'll see more sectors colliding in 2019 to create something bigger and more impactful than each could do on its own.


Best Innovation Coverage of 2018


We pulled data on the most popular reports, case studies & resources that our team produced in 2018. Get insights from our 12 top resources and another 15 from our partners.

Vicki Dobbs Beck, Executive-in-Charge at ILMxLAB

VR, AR, and Hyper-Reality Star Wars Experiences at Lucasfilm

2018-12-21T13:30:00+00:00By , video by Pablo Miner

Vicki Dobbs Beck, Executive in Charge at Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB, discusses Star Wars, immersive experiences, and bringing people together through story. Watch the video excerpts…

Atlanta Roundtable

Atlanta Innovators Discuss Idea Generation and Execution


The latest roundtable dove into the challenges of sourcing ideas, moving those ideas through pilots, and eventual releasing them into the world. See photos inside...

Atlanta Field Study

Inside the Atlanta Ecosystem: NCR, Honeywell, and More


Our 2018 Atlanta Field Study brought over 50 executives together to discuss strategies for cultivating talent and building competitive advantage. Photos inside...

Pano Anthos Live Call

The Right (and Wrong) Ways to Engage with Accelerators


 Pano Anthos, managing partner of New York-based retail accelerator XRC Labs, shares best practices for working with accelerators.


What Software Do You Use for Managing Ideas?


One member of the Innovation Leader community asked: “What software do you use for managing ideas — specifically, dealing with an idea backlog?” See the responses inside…

Lyft COO Jon McNeill

Lyft COO Talks Tesla, “Peak Car,” and the Future of Mobility

2018-12-07T15:13:00+00:00By , videos by Pablo Minier

Lyft's COO Jon McNeill has spent his career scaling companies in the mobility industry. McNeill discusses the innovative culture at Tesla, Lyft’s mission, and the future of mobility.


What Metrics Do You Track for Your Innovation Center?


We asked the Innovation Leader community: What metrics do you track to prove out the value of your innovation center? Here are some of their answers.

Podcast Season 1 Episode 8

Startup Culture in Big Companies


Can big companies behave like startups and capture their culture? To find out, we interviewed Steve Blank, a key player in the lean startup movement. This episode also features insights from Lyft COO Jon McNeill.

Christie McCarthy, Director of New Product Realization, Corning Life Sciences

How Corning Focuses R&D Efforts and Sources Ideas


Christie McCarthy of Corning’s life sciences division, discusses the 345 Model, the importance of patience, scalability, and where ideas come from. 


Successful Collaboration and Partnerships with Outside Teams


Bob Klein from Digital Scientists explains how to partner with outside teams, including four types of partnerships: startup collaborations, staff augmentations, teams for hire, and collaborative teams.

Leo Chan, Senior Innovation Lead, Chick-fil-A

How We’re Building a Culture That Supports Innovation at Chick-fil-A

2018-11-19T14:59:00+00:00By Leo Chan, Contributing Columnist & Senior Innovation Lead, Chick-fil-A

Imagine if your team joined the world’s most innovative companies like Apple, Netflix, or Amazon. It’s possible, writes columnist Leo Chan, but only with the right culture.

Volocopter and Car2Go at the grand opening of Lab1886's Atlanta location. © Daimler AG

How Daimler’s Lab1886 Develops and Rolls Out New Businesses


Susanne Hahn, Director of Lab1886 Global shares how the company inspires and supports its employees to innovate, and why they chose Atlanta for Lab1886’s newest addition.


Fidelity Investments CEO Talks Blockchain, VR, and Deflation


At a FinTech Sandbox event, Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson discussed the history of the company’s innovation unit; some recent innovations; and the company’s goals for the future. 

Podcast Bonus Sports

Sports iLab’s Angela Ruggiero on Sports and Technology


How are sports and technology converging? Angela Ruggiero, CEO of the Sports Innovation Lab, talks about how technology can help teams avoid disruption...

Podcast Season 1 Episode 7

Innovating the World of Sports


What’s disrupting the world of sports, and how are teams adapting? To find out, we talked with Angela Ruggiero of the Sports Innovation Lab, and Jack Elkins of the Orlando Magic.

Podcast Season 1 Episode 6

Moving Fast...Full Speed Ahead!


Can a big, slow company really move fast? And is faster necessarily better? To find out, we talked to Rachael Schwartz, formerly of Keurig. This episode also features Trip Advisor CEO Steve Kaufer.

Seattle Roundtable

Seattle Roundtable Exploring the Process of Getting Ideas to Market


Our latest roundtable dove into the challenges of sourcing ideas, and how to move those ideas through prototyping, pilots, and eventual release into the world. 

Jennifer Hyman, Co-Founder and CEO of Rent the Runway.

Spanx and Rent the Runway Founders on Building Brands


Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman and Spanx Founder Sara Blakely discuss brand building, using humor, and empowering women at Forbes 30 Under 30.


How to Build a Winning Business Case for Innovation Management


Ludwig Melik from our strategic partner, Planbox, focuses on how to manage the innovation pipeline and pitch innovation to the C-suite. 

Podcast Season 1 Episode 5

What's Digital Transformation, Anyway?


What’s the right strategy for making digital transformation? To find out, we interviewed Patrick Bass, the CEO at thyssenkrupp North America, and Marcelo De Santis, formely of Mondelez International and Pirelli. 

Kathy Fish

P&G’s Top R&D Exec on Startup Disruption and Lean Innovation


Kathy Fish, P&G’s Chief Research, Development, and Innovation Officer, discusses lean innovation, data science, and measuring productivity. Our exclusive interview is inside…

Impact 2018

Innovation Leader’s Impact 2018 Conference in Boston


Innovation Leader brought together 350 strategy, innovation, and R&D executives from around the world to Boston for Impact 2018. Photos from the conference inside...

Sunil Gupta

Peloton, Goldman Sachs, and Designing a Digital Strategy


In a recent interview, Harvard Business School professor Sunil Gupta talks about going beyond the buzzword “digital transformation” to design a digital strategy that works.

Podcast Season 1 Episode 4

(Better) Business Model Innovation


 Can changing your business model make your company an innovation powerhouse? We sit down with Rick Paster of Walmart Global eCommerce and Mark Johnson of Innosight to find out. 


Partnering with Startups to Drive Innovation


Brian Christian from The Inovo Group offers advice on how to forge meaningful relationships with startups, and explores the reasons companies work with startups.

Bonny Simi, President of JetBlue Technology Ventures

How JetBlue Navigates the World of Corporate Venture Capital


JetBlue Technology Ventures has put money into 20 startups, which build everything from weather prediction tech to AI assistants that manage travel plans.


How Platform is Changing What it Means to be a Mall


Despite the dire forecasts in the retial industry, Joseph Miller and his partner, David Fishbein, set out in 2013 to create something that was anything but mall-like.

Podcast Season 1 Episode 3

The Ex-Files


What is it really like to head innovation at a large company? We talked to former innovation executives from Nike and Manulife John Hancock to find out — warts and all.

Pontus Siren

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.

Mariko O’Neill

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…

Bob Klein_DS

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…

London Executive Forum 2018

London Innovators Discuss Risk-Taking and Experimentation


Our 2018 London Executive Forum brought 25 executives together at Royal Bank of Scotland to discuss how to create a culture of risk-taking and experimentation. See photos inside...


Crafting a Winning Innovation Strategy Using Data


In our most recent Master Class, we delved into data from our recent “Benchmarking Innovation 2018” report and explored how innovation teams could use the findings to improve their innovation strategies. 

Moon Javaid

How the San Francisco 49ers are Gathering Real-Time Fan Data


Moon Javaid, Vice President of Strategy and Analytics at the 49ers, discusses his team’s goals, with a special focus on how they collect real-time data to improve the fan experience.


Integrating Strategic Planning with Portfolio Management


Innovators face a common challenge: aligning their investments with product strategy. Our friends at Sopheon discuss how strategic planning can help…

Podcast Season 1 Episode 2

Those Darned Millennials


Are millennials really killing established brands? We sat down with Nondini Naqui, a millennial engagement consultant and former CEO of Society of Grownups, to find out.

The Impact Award trophy.

Winners of Our 2018 Impact Awards


Innovation Leader’s Impact Awards honor companies that have achieved extraordinary outcomes related to their programs. Here's the full list of winners and runners up for 2018...

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner tosses a Nerf Football with Hasbro employees Nate Fernando and Kate Martino.

Hasbro CEO on Resistance, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Game Evolution


Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner shares how Hasbro navigates the changing retail landscape and why changing things as fast as the market demands can often run counter to human nature. Part three of three...

KPMG Roundtable in Chicago 2018

‘Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2018’ Roundtable in Chicago


To coincide with the release of our Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2018 report, sponsored by KPMG, we gathered a group of innovation professionals to discuss the report’s findings.

Podcast Season 1 Episode 1

The Innovation Survival Guide


What kills innovation initiatives at large companies? And what can you do to survive? To find out we talked to Innovation Leader’s Editor Scott Kirsner and Assistant Editor Kelsey Alpaio.


Hasbro CEO on Idea Generation & How Innovation is Structured


Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner shares how the company navigates the changing retail landscape; how they managing Wall Street’s expectations; and more. Part two of three…

Hugh Molotsi

Exclusive Book Excerpt: ‘The Intrapreneur’s Journey’


“Giving employees time and freedom to work on their own ideas makes great business sense,” write Hugh Molotsi and Jeff Zias in the forthcoming book “The Intrapreneur’s Journey.” 

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner

Innovating in Physical & Digital Realms at Hasbro


In the decade since Hasbro Chairman and CEO Brian Goldner took charge, the company has begun to take a “digital-first” approach to everything it does. Read our three part interview…

Podcast Bonus Marcelo

Former Pirelli Exec on Digital Transformation as a Team Sport


What role should digital transformation play at your company? Former Chief Innovation Officer Marcelo De Santis shares advice in this podcast bonus episode...

Kelloggs NYC

Inside Kellogg's NYC Cereal Café


At Kellogg's NYC, playing with your food is encouraged. Kellogg's launched its New York City cereal café in 2016. See how the brand connects with its customers. 

Jennifer Dunn of HYPE

Your Innovation Questions Answered


We had our members ask us anything on their minds. HYPE Innovation’s Jennifer Dunn and Scott Kirsner from Innovation Leader answered questions.


Where Does Innovation Fit & Who Should It Report To?

2018-08-28T12:00:00+01:00By Rachael Schwartz

Former Keurig Green Mountain VP Rachael Schwartz lays out the pros and cons of several different org structures in our newest downloadable resource.

Gwen Nguyen

How Big Companies are Using Indiegogo Enterprise


Indiegogo Enterprise allows brands to test products with consumers and get their feedback on the experience. Watch this video for more.

What is an innovation leader

What is an Innovation Leader? Three Definitions


When people talk about innovation leaders, there are three definitions: the individual, the company, and the community of corporate innovators.

Daniel Seewald, Senior Director of Worldwide Innovation at Pfizer

Leveraging the Power of Crowds to Enhance Design Thinking

2018-08-22T12:01:00+01:00By Daniel Seewald Contributing Columnist and Senior Director of Innovation Pfizer

Crowdsourcing should take place before a design session, contends Pfizer exec Daniel Seewald. In fact, it can be the difference between a mediocre session and a high impact one.

Blueprints - Report Spread

Blueprints for Corporate Innovators


One of the big projects we’ve been working has been building tools, templates, and other resources to help people working on innovation in large organizations…


Storytelling Skills for Innovators


Noted author Evan I. Schwartz, Director of Storytelling at Innosight, discusses the storytelling devices that innovators need to know. 


How the I-Team is Working to Amplify Civic Innovation in LA


LA’s i-team tackles ambitious projects, from improving recruiting at the Los Angeles Police Department to helping residents stay in their homes as neighborhoods gentrify. 

Embraer VTOL

How the Aerospace Firm Embraer is Pursuing Disruptive Innovation


David Rottblatt of EmbraerX, a disruptive innovation team at Embraer, explains how the team is set up and some initial projects, including a collaboration with Uber. 

Baker Hughes Energy Innovation Center

Inside Baker Hughes’ Energy Innovation Center


Four years ago, Baker Hughes opened its Oil & Gas Technology Center in Oklahoma City. This July, the company reinvented the facility, unveiling the Energy Innovation Center.

New York City Round Table 2018

Exploring Business Model Innovation at Our NYC Roundtable


At our roundtable in New York City, co-hosted with Innosight, we gathered 10 innovation professionals to discuss the intricacies and challenges of business model innovation...

Dennis Devine at Cleveland Field Study

Why KeyBank is Investing in Digital Innovation and Acquisitions


KeyBank is one of the biggest in the US, with over 1,100 branches. While investing in its digital relationship with customers, it remains committed to face-to-face interactions.

2017 Dairy Accelerator participants visit the Land O'Lakes cheese plant in Melrose, Minn.

Lessons from the Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator


Change is coming to the shelves of your neighborhood grocery store. And the $13.7 billion dairy giant Land O’Lakes is looking to startups to help it cope.

Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2018 Round Table SF

‘Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2018’ Roundtable in San Francisco


To coincide with the release of Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2018, sponsored by KPMG, we brought together professionals to discuss some of the report’s findings.


The Best Ways to Communicate Innovation Activities?


A member of the Innovation Leader community asked the following question: “What are some of the most effective ways to communicate what the innovation team is up to?”

Fidelity Key Ring

How Fidelity Used a Key Ring to Capture Project Learnings


What happens after the debrief on a project you’ve completed? At Fidelity Investments, the innovation team came up with a clever way to capture their learnings.


Assessment: How Sophisticated is Your Startup Engagement Strategy?


Are you ready to engage with the startup ecosystem? How comprehensive is your startup strategy? Answer these 15 questions to find out.


L’Oreal VP on the Effective Use of Design Thinking in Business


Jackson Wang shares his advice on the most effective ways to use design thinking, highlighting lessons from his work as VP of Retail Design at L’Oreal and Procter & Gamble.

Fire Alarm

What’s the Level of Innovation Urgency at Your Organization?


How much urgency is there around innovation at your company? Check the answers that describe your organization, and get an instant assessment of where you stand.

Cleveland Field Study 2018

Inside Cleveland's Ecosystem: Cleveland Clinic, KeyBank & More


During our Cleveland Field Study, we toured the offices of Cleveland Clinic Innovations, American Greetings, KeyBank, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Progressive Field.

"Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2018" Launch

‘Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2018’ Launches in New York


Alongside the release of our Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2018 report, sponsored by KPMG, we gathered 16 innovation professionals to discuss the report's findings. See photos...


Does Measurement Kill Innovation?


Watch this Master Class to find out the difference between “activity metrics” and “impact metrics,” where to start, and how to evolve your measurement regimen over time. 

COVER - Benchmaring 2018

Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2018


Innovating inside large organizations is not easy. So how do you deliver concrete, tangible impact — over the short-term, medium-term, and long-term? Innovation Leader and KPMG have collaborated to create the go-to resource on corporate innovation, based on detailed survey data and interviews with senior executives at Whirlpool, Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, Southern Company, General Motors, and more.


Inside the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Transformation


Greg Harris, CEO of Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, shares what innovation means to his organization, as well as how he measures its impact.

Digital Transformation Round Table 2018

‘Underground’ Roundtable on Digital Transformation


At roundtable in Chicago, we tackled several topics around digital transformation: how to define it, who should be involved, and how to overcome cultural barriers...

Cleveland Clinic

How Cleveland Clinic Sifts Ideas and Spins Out New Ventures


Cleveland Clinic seeks to help as many inventions as possible find their way into the health care system. Executive Director Pete O’Neill explains how they do it…

A graphic explanation of the gap Co.Create fills between academia and the healthcare industry, shown on

How a New Lab at Mass General Hospital is Spurring Innovation


Julia Jackson, the Managing Director of Mass General's Healthcare Transformation Lab, explains the three pillars of what the lab works on.


Navi Radjou on How You Can Implement Frugal Innovation


Navi Radjou, whose TED talk on frugal innovation has garnered over 1.6 million views, explains some of the values driving the phenomenon, and answers questions.

Debbie Brackeen, CSAA

CSAA Insurance Preps for the Future of Transportation


How does the world of car insurance not only survive, but find opportunities for growth? Debbie Brackeen of CSAA Insurance Group, explains the company's approach...

Healthcare Deep Dive 2017

Testing and Scaling New Ideas in Healthcare Deep Dive


At our recent Healthcare Deep Dive event, co-hosted by PA Consulting Group, executives gathered in Boston to discuss topics related to testing and scaling new ideas in the industry.


Startup Studios: Snake Oil or Elixir for the Corporate Innovator?

2018-05-15T20:01:00+01:00By Rick Waldron Contributing Columnist & Former VP of Innovation Strategy Nike

Startup studios are gaining traction. But will this strategy help innovators overcome enterprise challenges? Former Nike and Intel exec Rick Waldron makes the case...


Has Your Company Centralized Its Innovation Services?


We asked our community if they had centralized or harmonized innovation approaches into one umbrella department. Learn about their approaches…

New York Field Study 2018

New York Field Study Drops in on Nasdaq, Dow Jones, and Kickstarter


Our 2018 New York Field Study brought over 70 executives to Manhattan and Brooklyn, stopping at the offices of Dow Jones, Nasdaq, and more. See photos here…


The Ex-Files: On The Front Lines of Corporate Innovation

2018-05-01T18:50:00+01:00By , Illustrations by Todd Detwiler

What it’s really like on the front lines of corporate innovation, according to those who’ve been there. 


Advice on Piloting and Scaling New Ideas in Healthcare


Few industries are as regulated as health care. Leaders from Anthem, Pulse@MassChallenge, and Boston Children's Hospital share their advice on innovating.


Are You Developing a Strategy for Amazon Alexa?


We asked the Innovation Leader community if they were developing products, strategies, or solutions for Amazon Alexa. 

Ace Moghimi, Former Global Head of Innovation and Digital Strategy, Manulife/John Hancock

Why Innovators Can’t Afford to Ignore Politics & Internal Conflicts

2018-04-26T16:00:00+01:00By Ace Moghimi, Contributing Writer; Venture Partner, NextGen Venture Partners

Ace Moghimi, an experienced insurance industry innovator, offers his tips for creating significant change in large organizations.

Nestlé Global Innovation Director Gerardo Mazzeo at a 2016 networking event in London.

Three Tips on Better Stakeholder Engagement at Nestlé

2018-04-23T05:01:00+01:00By Gerardo Mazzeo, Global Innovation Director, Nestlé

According to the director of Nestlé's open innovation initiative, three strategies were crucial when engaging stakeholders and making the new initiative a success. Gerardo Mazzeo explains...


Nurturing New Ideas About Food at Campbell Soup Company


Megan Bozzelli, Disruptive Innovation Manager at Campbell Soup Company, explains the tactics the disruptive innovation team at Campbell’s utilizes to harness innovation.

Bayer Slide

Cultivating an Ecosystem of Consumer Health Startups at Bayer


Over a century after patenting Aspirin, Bayer is investing in ecosystem engagement initiatives to discover partnerships with players and startups outside its walls.


What Rewards Have You Offered Employees for Developing an MVP?


We asked corporate executives how their companies reward employees who develop a proof of concept or MVP. Cash, stock, and recognition were among the answers

The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center emergency room.

Testing Emerging Tech in a 12,000-Employee Hospital System


How do you innovate in an environment where everything is legitimately an emergency? John Halamka of Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center shares his advice.

Campbell's Soup Soulfull Project

How Campbell’s Soup Launched a New ‘Buy One, Give One’ Product


Direct-to-consumer products are rare at Campbell’s Soup. Here's a look at how the Soulfull Project launched one.


What New York Life Has Learned from Six Years in Corporate VC


New York Life’s Ventures has been amping up its investments in “frontier technologies” that can improve the client experience, streamline operations, and help grow the business.


NYC and San Francisco Roundtables with PA Consulting


At roundtables in New York City and San Francisco, executives gathered to discuss learnings around becoming customer-centric and applying AI and machine learning.


Tactics and Timelines for Changing Culture


What does it mean to try to change the culture to drive innovation, and how can you make your goals specific? Gary Getz and Michel van Hove of Strategos explain.

Wim Vandenhouweele of Merck with Bill Gaussa of Phillips Healthcare.

What are the Biggest Challenges of Customer-Centric Companies?


In a recent New York City Underground Roundtable with PA Consulting Group, participants discussed the biggest challenges of leading a customer-centric company.


Are There Recruiters Who Help You Hire for Innovation Roles?


We recently asked members of the IL community if they used executive recruiters to find talent for innovation roles. See which strategies and recruiters they recommended.

Healthcare Report

Healthcare Innovation from the Leading Edge


Healthcare organizations are an extremely complex environments for innovation. Our report explores how healthcare companies have set up new initiatives that deliver results.

closed store

These are the 14 Things That Kill Once-Great Companies


These are the 14 of the common things we at Innovation Leader see companies doing, thinking, and saying that lead to decline and eventual irrelevance.


Why Burt’s Bees is Lending Market Knowledge to Startups


The Natural Launchpad at Burt's Bees is an annual grant program for natural products. Ten startups each receive $10,000, mentoring, and access to the other entrepreneurs.

Gutowski at Innovation Leader's 2017 Teach-In

GE VP: ‘The Way We Sold in the Past Isn’t Going to Work’


GE VP Cate Gutowski discusses how the company approaches innovation and the importance of weaving the digital thread. Listen to the full call…

Digital Platform Comparison Chart

Digital Platforms that Help Corporates Scout Startups


Gearbox, KITE, and Startgrid are among seven digital services that help corporates map the startup landscape. Here’s our comparison chart.

Edward Roussel, Chief Innovation Officer, Dow Jones

How Dow Jones is Innovating in an Era of ‘Fake News’


Edward Roussel of Dow Jones discusses the company’s relationship with new gatekeepers like Facebook, and how the company explores new technologies.


Innovation by the Numbers


In our latest Master Class, “Innovation by the Numbers,” we explored the metrics and analytics behind innovation efforts with Innovation 360’s CEO Magnus Penker.


Do You Have a Cross-Functional Innovation Team?


In last week’s Q&A email, we asked about cross-functional teams that focus on the front end of the innovation process. Find out how members of the IL Community responded.

Southwest Team

Southwest Airlines President: ‘If You Don’t Like Change, You’re Going to Hate Extinction’


We spoke with President Tom Nealon about how Southwest is working to address customer and employee pain points.


How Can We Make the Case for Innovating in the Whitespace?


We asked our members, “How can we make the case for innovating in the whitespace, not just building things related to existing products?” Here are their answers…

Deep Dive Tech Scouting 2018

Tech Scouting in San Francisco at Our Deep Dive


For our Deep Dive, we dropped in on LinkedIn, Autodesk, and Target’s Open House, and heard how companies approach the challenges of scouting.

Fast Forward Lab Johns Hopkins

How Johns Hopkins is Turning Doctors into Entrepreneurs


Within Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Technology Innovation Center serves as a hub for budding innovators, helping them build, deploy, and test clinical solutions…


Innovation Illustrated: Measuring Innovation


Here’s Innovation Leader’s look at how you can design an effective “Mission Control” for your innovation work, along with questions to discuss with your team and senior leadership.

Reverse Pitch

What’s a ‘Reverse Pitch,’ and How Can It Help Attract Startups?


At Corporate Innovation Night, seven multinational corporations described how they’re interested in engaging with startups. Includes audio…


Nestlé Shares Advice from its Global Hunt for Big Ideas


The open innovation initiative HENRi “is all about taking on projects that matter,” explains Gerardo Mazzeo, Global Innovation Director at Nestlé. More details inside…


What Do Colleagues Hear When You Say ‘Innovation’?


When people around the company say they want "innovation," they likely don't all mean the same thing. Aaron Proietti, a former SVP at Transamerica, offers a translation guide.


FAQ: Your Corporate Innovation Questions, Answered


Innovation Leader regularly fields questions about corporate innovation and poses them to our community of strategy, technology, and R&D leaders. Here’s a collection of questions we’ve answered recently.

Walmart vs. Amazon

Walmart and Amazon Race to Build Retail’s Future

2018-02-20T17:01:00+00:00By , additional reporting by Scott Kirsner

Don’t buy into the narrative that these two companies are gladiators battling to the death. Here’s what’s really happening.


Walmart’s Major Digital Acquisitions


A list of acquisitions made by Walmart from 2011 to the present, including, ModCloth, and Bonobos.

Open Innovation guru Henry Chesbrough

Henry Chesbrough on Open Innovation


Open innovation guru Henry Chesbrough discusses how open innovation is being practiced at companies like Intel, Eli Lilly, Bayer, and United HealthCare.


Why Bissell Used Crowdfunding for a Product Launch


Chuck Martin was convinced pet care offered growth opportunities for Bissell. Here’s how he launched the company’s first dog grooming product, with help from Indiegogo.

Clay Christensen

Office Hours, Part III: What Does ‘Disruptive Innovation’ Actually Mean?


“The term disruption is being used pervasively by corporate innovators and large companies. Has the term lost its intended meaning?” Clay Christensen of Harvard Business School answers, in a short audio excerpt from our recent interview.

Nason Group - Shawn Nason

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…

Cleveland Field Study 2018

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…


Office Hours, Part II: Clay Christensen on Healthcare and Organizing R&D Teams


Part two of a three-part web series covering our interview with Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen, author of “The Innovator’s Dilemma.” 


Best Practices for Scouting Trends and Emerging Technologies


Innovation Leader's Scott Kirsner and Kyle Nel, the former Executive Director of Lowe's Innovation Labs, discuss best practices for scouting trends and emerging technologies. 

Clay Christensen

Office Hours with Clay Christensen


In the first part of our three-part web series, we asked member-submitted questions to Clay Christensen, author of “The Innovator’s Dilemma” and Harvard Business School professor.

Shannon Clute

Building a Culture of Innovation at Turner Classic Movies


As part of our IL Live series, we spoke with Shannon Clute, Director of Business Development and Strategy at TCM, about the channel’s “bottom-up” innovation strategy.

David Lee, VP of Innovation at UPS.

David Lee on Bringing New Innovation Programs to UPS


David Lee, UPS's Vice President of Innovation, oversees UPS' corporate investing arm, the Strategic Enterprise Fund. Lee discusses the initiative in this call...

Nilofer Merchant on creating a culture of innovation and ideas

Nilofer Merchant: 30% Weird is a Good Target


We sat down with the author and former Apple exec Nilofer Merchant to talk about why corporate cultures can be so hostile to ideas that are a bit off-kilter…


Do You Charge Other Departments for Your Innovation Services?


We asked our community members: “Does your team charge other groups in the company for your services? If you don’t charge, why not?” Here’s a summary of their advice…


Why Innovation Teams Get Stuck, and How to Break Free


How can sophisticated organizations can be so committed to innovation — but still get stuck? Mike Maddock of Maddock Douglas offers strategies to get “unstuck.”


Three Roles That USAA Labs Plays


Zachary Gipson explains how his USAA Labs team engages employees and members; experiments with new technologies; and works to build new businesses.

Top 10 Innovation Issues

10 Innovation Issues Big Company Leaders Face in 2018


We asked our community: What are your top-of-mind innovation issues for 2018? Here’s a summary of their answers, and a list of their favorite innovation resources.

Military Innovation: Building 3D Printed Drones

How the Marines are Accelerating Tech Acquisition


Capt. Christopher Wood discussed some of the key inflection points in the Marine Corps’ history of innovation, and how the Corps is looking to foster the spirit of innovation today.

Using augmented reality to envision the end state of a renovation project.

How Home Depot is Building the Future of Retail with AI, Google, VR


Prat Vemana, VP of Online at Home Depot, explains how the $95 billion retailer is testing technology to make in-store and online shopping seamless for customers. 

USPS Informed Delivery

How the USPS is Linking Mail to the Digital World


“The postal service for years was a very operational culture,” says Gary Reblin of USPS “We’ve got to change with the times.” 

Peer Advice

Peer Advice on Innovation Incentives


At our LA Field Study, participants used Post-Its to share what sort of incentives they offer to encourage employees and leaders throughout the organization to innovate.

Innovation Glossary

A Glossary of Innovation Terms and Strategies


The terminology used by executives involved in corporate innovation and new ventures can be confusing to newbies. Here’s our glossary of terms commonly used in the field.

Pixar Lightning

Pixar’s Founder on Failure and Risk


“Our job is not to prevent mistakes and errors,” says Pixar President and Founder Ed Catmull. “It is to respond when things go wrong…”

Naureen Meraj

The Importance of Following-Through with Initiatives


Naureen Meraj, a training and digital transformation leader, discusses why teams should be wary of “one-time-wonders” and the best platforms for gathering ideas.

Naureen Meraj

Taking Cultural Differences into Account


Naureen Meraj, a training and digital transformation leader, discusses why innovators should think about cultural differences when running training workshops.

Leslie Shannon, Nokia's Head of Ecosystem and Trends Scouting.

Nokia Blends Sci-Fi and Reality to Envision the Future


Leslie Shannon, Head of Ecosystem and Trends Scouting at Nokia, explains how science fiction can be an important bellwether of what technologies will take off.


Letting the Customer Drive Innovation at Beckman Coulter


Wido Menhardt of Beckman Coulter discusses taking the cloud seriously; employee hackathons; and letting the voice of the customer drive innovation.

Robin Beers Video

Wells Fargo Exec with Five Principles of Rapid Prototyping


Robin Beers of Wells Fargo explains the five principles of rapid prototyping, including "show, don't tell," "get customer feedback," and "document your decisions." 

Robert Perri Pepsico Video

PepsiCo Exec on Business Unit Ties & the Perils of Too Many Ideas


Robert Perri of PepsiCo, talks about the importance of budget, borrowing resources when necessary, and close ties between innovation or R&D teams and their business unit partners.

Matt Griffin Celtics Video

How the Boston Celtics are Upgrading the Fan Experience


Matt Griffin of the Boston Celtics shares how the team leverages technology and data analytics to improve the fan experience. Watch the full video...

Wendy Mayer Pfizer Video

Pfizer Exec on Creating Transformative Change


Wendy Mayer of Pfizer explains the need to separate incremental innovation work from transformational efforts and why its important to have “a process to guide you.”

Andres Ricuarte American Express Video

American Express Exec on the Customer-First Mindset


Andres Ricuarte, Head of American Express’ B2B Platform and API, discusses partnerships, APIs, and innovating with your customer. More advice from Ricuarte inside…

Shell TechWorks

Fast Prototyping and Feedback at Shell's TechWorks Innovation Lab

2017-12-28T17:28:00+00:00By ,

Julie Ferland of the Shell TechWorks innovation lab, offers an inside at the space; the types of projects it works on; and the team Shell has assembled from outside the oil and gas industry.

Naureen Meraj

How Gamification and Incentives Can Build Employee Engagement


 Naureen Meraj, a training and digital transformation leader, discusses gamification and incentivizing participation in innovation. Find out more in this IL Confidential video.

Mehmood Khan PepsiCo Video

PepsiCo Chief Scientific Officer on Innovation & Sustainability


Video highlights from the 2017 Teach-In at MIT, featuring PepsiCo's Chief Scientific Officer and Vice Chairman, Mehmood Khan.


Scouting Trends & Emerging Tech


How do large companies scout the trends and technologies that will be most relevant to their future success? Ourreport collects advice from executives...

Year in Review

The Highlights (and Lowlights) of Corporate Innovation in 2017


From Ford to Walmart, GE to Amazon, here's our run-down of the 10 most interesting corporate innovation happenings of 2017.

Los Angeles Field Study 2017

Inside the LA Ecosystem: JibJab, CBRE, LA Cleantech, and More


Our first-ever Los Angeles Field Study took participants inside Northrop Grumman, CBRE, LA Cleantech Incubator, JibJab, and Platform.

Embraer X's current projects include electric-powered vertical take-off and landing concept aircraft, or eVTOL.

Uber Isn’t Joking About Flying Cars

2017-12-12T20:27:00+00:00By Brian Steiner

Uber's Elevate initiative aims to launch a new fleet of electric aircraft that would carry a pilot and up to four passengers. We talk to two of the NASA veterans overseeing the project.


Kellogg’s Nigel Hughes on How R&D is Changing


Nigel Hughes, Head of R&D at the cereal giant Kellogg Co., talks about distinguishing between fads and “seismic shifts,” and how the R&D organization is changing.


How do You Collaborate With, or Acquire, Startups?


We asked our community: How do you collaborate with, or acquire, startups without “killing the butterfly?” Here’s a summary of the top answers…

Stanley Black and Decker Lab

Inside Stanley Black and Decker's 'Futures Innovation Factory'

2017-11-22T16:07:00+00:00By ,

Stanley Black and Decker's “Futures Innovation Factory" works on new products like smarter security cameras, automated doors, and more. Take a look inside the space...


Building MVPs to Get Products to Market Fast


Learn the latest tactics on rapid prototyping and market-testing new digital offerings in this 45-minute webcast, led by Bob Klein of Digital Scientists.

. Marriott installed 19 black and red buttons on the walls around the M Beta hotel, so that guests can provide instant feedback on their experience.

Inside Marriott’s M Beta, a Hotel Designed for Experimentation


Guests who check into Marriott's M Beta hotel in Charlotte are immersed in an environment where nearly everything is experimental, and intended to gather feedback...


Who Should be on Your Innovation Team?


We asked our community: How do you think about who should be on your innovation team? Here's a summary of the top answers...


Fifteen of the Top Innovation and R&D Labs in Los Angeles


Los Angeles is one of the most active cities in North America for innovation in big companies. We created a map to display 15 of the top innovation and R&D labs in the area.

Deloitte New York Roundtable 2017

‘Underground’ Executive Roundtable in New York


We brought together 16 innovation and R&D leaders at MasterCard Labs in New York City for a roundtable co-hosted with our partner, Deloitte. Here are some photos...


Who Should We Be Benchmarking Against?


Last week, we asked the Innovation Leader community about how they approach benchmarking. Here are their answers/advice/insights…

CEO Insights Videos

CEOs on Disruption, Culture & Executive Support


How should you be thinking about the impact of disruption in your industry? CEOs of Bose, TripAdvisor, and Eastern Bank weigh in...


Four Pillars for Winning Business Model Innovation

2017-10-31T14:59:00+00:00By Rick Waldron Contributing Columnist & Former VP of Innovation Strategy Nike

“The typical three-year corporate innovation cycle…has become all too common,” writes former Nike and Intel executive Rick Waldron. Get advice on escaping that fate.


How Should You Budget for Your Innovation Program?


Last week, we asked the Innovation Leader community about how they budgeted for the launch of their innovation programs. Here are their answers/advice/insights…

Brick Wall

Overcoming Barriers to Innovation in Large Companies


We share 11 common barriers to innovation, present a list of the symptoms for each barrier, and provide questions that can help your colleagues and better understand the barrier.


What’s a Minimum Viable Innovation Team?

2017-10-24T16:45:00+01:00By Zeeshan Sheikh, Contributing Columnist and Director, Emerging Technologies Group, Everbridge

How do you put a strategic innovation strategy in place if you’ve got a shoestring budget, and you’re surrounded skeptics? Zeeshan Sheikh of Everbridge offers a blueprint...

Renee Dye

How Do You Increase Your Odds of Success? Five Tips for Innovators

2017-10-23T14:28:00+01:00By Renee Dye

Renee Dye, the former Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Navigant Consulting, shares five keys to success, useful for new and more established innovation leaders.

Teach-In 2017

Innovators Gather at MIT’s Media Lab for the 2017 Teach-In


Over 200 corporate innovators converged at the MIT Media Lab for our Teach-In event, where participants participated in 30+ sessions on innovation hot topics, lab tours, and more.


Setting Up the Innovation ‘Shop’: Starbucks VP Shares Her Advice

2017-10-10T17:00:00+01:00By Rachel Antalek, Contributing Columnist & Former VP/Concept Innovation, Starbucks

Former Darden Restaurants and Starbucks exec Rachel Antalek says getting started was the hardest part of responding to the instruction to “set up a disruptive innovation team.”


Best Practices in Innovation Governance


Innovation Leader’s Scott Kirsner presents high-level findings from our Q2 report, joined by executives from the healthcare, insurance, and media industries.

Mona Vernon

Best Practices for Scouting Emerging Technologies


How should companies work with startups, tech vendors, and academia to scout emerging tech? Mona Vernon of Thomson Reuters Labs shares best practices. 

Thomson Reuters Ribbon Cutting

Why Thomson Reuters Rotates Talent Between Labs

2017-10-06T11:00:00+01:00By ,

Mona Vernon, Chief Technology Officer of Thomson Reuters Labs, explains why the company began rotating employees between its innovation labs. Find out more in this video…

Thomson Reuters Labs, Boston

Innovation Lab Advice with Thomson Reuters' Mona Vernon

2017-10-05T17:19:00+01:00By ,

With seven global labs, Thomson Reuters knows the ins and outs of starting an innovation initiative. Mona Vernon, Chief Technology Officer of the company, discusses best practices... 

David Crean at the Anthem Innovation Studio. (Photo by Tim Redman for Innovation Leader.)

How Anthem Thinks About Innovation Structures & Timeframes


Two slides lay out how David Crean of Anthem's Innovation Studio views the different innovation options that a company might pursue...


What Open Innovation Impact Looks Like at Electrolux


Lucia Chierchia of Electrolux discusses how she seeks out the "hidden innovators," the "ambassadors" program she launched, and more. Includes slides...

Robin Glasco Blue Cross Video

Healthcare Exec Robin Glasco on ‘Going Where the Love Is’


Robin Glasco of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts discusses why internal corporate innovation groups should “go where the love is” when pursuing new projects.


How Retailers Can Position Themselves for the Future


Pano Anthos of the retail accelerator XRC Labs discusses five roles that the store can play in the future — and the importance of new trends in the industry. 

Boston Executive Roundtable 2017

Our ‘Underground’ Executive Roundtable in Boston


We brought together 16 innovation and R&D leaders at the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in Cambridge this month. Here are the pictures...

Isaiah Kacyvenski Video

Five Major Trends Changing Professional Sports

2017-09-21T12:01:00+01:00By ,

Isaiah Kacyvenski, Co-Founder of the Sports Innovation Lab in Boston, discusses five major trends he sees impacting the future of sports, including “smart venue” and eSports.

Photo by Melissa Jacobs

Transforming a San Diego Airport Terminal into an Innovation Lab


Rick Belliotti of the San Diego International Airport, discusses partnerships, innovating in a regulated environment, and what it really takes to make airports better for travelers.

Dan O'Malley, CEO of Numerated Growth Technologies. Formerly head of Eastern Labs and Chief Digital Officer of Eastern Bank.

How Eastern Bank Launched a Lending Startup


Plenty of big companies talk about the potential for spinning them out. But few actually follow through and do it. Here's the inside story of how it happened at Eastern Bank.


Designing the Perfect Idea Scorecard

2017-09-19T12:01:00+01:00By , Contributing Writer & Former Innovation SVP at Transamerica

If you need to sort through dozens or thousand of ideas, you know it’s no small task. We developed this downloadable spreadsheet to help with evaluation and scoring. 


Dunkin’: How a Business ‘Built on Ritual’ is Getting More Digital


Chief Digital Officer Scott Hudler discusses kiosks, intelligent virtual assistants, delivery, and driving app downloads…


Designing an Innovation Culture that Scales Globally

2017-09-12T12:00:00+01:00By Imran Sayeed

Imran Sayeed, Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, discusses the 3D Model of Innovation that he finds is most effective for innovation programs.


How MetLife Asia Finds Startups Focused on Its Challenges


The insurance industry, says Zia Zaman, has "lost its way by not focusing on the customer." Here's how Zaman of MetLife Asia, is working to change the status quo.


Lessons from Whirlpool's Internal Hackathons


Whirlpool Corporation has been working hard to get hackathons to generate real value. Subho Moulik, Head of Global Innovation, explains what they've learned so far...

Jeffrey Leiden_Vertex

Vertex CEO on Innovation: The Challenge is Avoiding Complacency


Vertex’s CEO talks about the importance of investing in R&D — and the three pitfalls for companies that have attained success in the marketplace, including complacency.

Harvard Business School professor and author Len Schlesinger

HBS Professor Len Schlesinger on How CEOs Spend Their Time

2017-08-26T12:08:00+01:00By ,

Harvard Business School professor Len Schlesinger shares insights on how CEOs spend their time; the best ways to get buyin; and innovation versus administration. 


Steve Blank on the Difference Between Steve Jobs and Tim Cook


“Innovative leaders are curious and see things others don’t—and they see further than others do,” says professor and author Steve Blank. “An execution-[oriented] CEO operates in the present or the next quarter, but very rarely sees further.”

XTuit CEO Deborah Dunsire

XTuit CEO: ‘Connect Scientists with the Outside World’


“Making sure that the scientists are connected to the external world is just so critical, to refresh and challenge their thinking,” says XTuit CEO Deborah Dunsire. 

Draper CEO Ken Gabriel

Draper CEO on Innovation: ‘Three Keys to Breakthrough Innovation’


“I don’t want to encourage failure,” says Ken Gabriel, CEO of the $600 million non-profit R&D organization Draper. “I want to encourage people not to fear failure.”

David Abney

UPS CEO: ‘Stay Grounded in Core Values, But Focus on the Future’


An interview with UPS CEO David Abney, from our “CEOs on Innovation” report in the Fall 2017 issue of Innovation Leader magazine.

athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush

athenahealth CEO: ‘Make It Clear How You’ll Change the World’


athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush discusses what his company is doing and how they partner with startups through an initiative called “More Disruption Please.”

Sascha Bopp

Former Crate & Barrel CEO on Innovation


Former Crate & Barrel CEO Sascha Bopp talks about the CEO’s mindset when it comes to experiments and how to “bring down the hurdle” for trying new things.


Marriott CEO on Innovation: ‘Don’t Try to Failure-Proof New Ideas’


Marriott CEO Arne Sorensen talks about hotels as “living labs,” and how he encourages the organization to conduct more experiments.

Staples CEO Shira Goodman

Staples CEO on Innovation


“There are a lot of great ideas out there,” says Shira Goodman. “But as a company, we need to focus on a few to get scale, and then utilize the advantages of that scale.”


‘When You’re Trying to Achieve Big Things, You Will Sometimes Fail’


In this interview, Google leaders Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg discuss the role of failure when working on groundbreaking projects. 


Getting Valuable Insights Faster by Automating Data Flows


What are data flows? The data collected and processing to run and optimize your business. Jim Knapik of Northeastern University explains how to use them to deliver insights. 


Preparing for the IoT Era


The Internet of Things will impact every department of your company. Northeastern University's Kilton Hopkins discusses the changes coming with IoT and the skills that your organization needs to address them.

Matt Muta outside the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta. (Photo by Tim Redman for Innovation Leader.)

How Delta Prioritizes Innovation in an Operationally-Intensive Culture


It's hard to think of a more operationally-intensive business than air transport. In that environment, what role does innovation play? Matt Muta of Delta Air Lines shares...

WL Gore - XL Construction

Photos: Inside W. L. Gore’s Silicon Valley Innovation Center


Take a look inside W.L. Gore's new Silicon Valley Innovation Center. In May, the company held the first public event in the space, bringing in startups in to pitch their ideas.

Verizon Lab

Inside Verizon’s ‘Window Into Innovation’

2017-08-18T13:21:00+01:00By ,

Tim Gorman of Verizon discusses the company’s innovation centers in San Francisco and the Boston suburbs. He also offers a demo of augmented reality for “smart cities.”

Rick Rundell Autodesk Video

Autodesk's Rick Rundell on Getting an Innovation Program Started


Autodesk Technology & Innovation Strategist Rick Rundell talks about starting an innovation initiative at the software company.


Navigating the Maze: A Guide to Five Stages of Innovation Evolution


Here is a maturity model showing choices, activities, and risks to consider, based on Innovation Leader research and interviews with executives at Global 1000 companies.


Medtronic’s Innovation Lab on Working with Business Units


The Applied Innovation Lab helps Medtronic evolve from being simply a maker of medical devices to one thinks more broadly about improving health and patient outcomes. 

Erica Kochi (left) and Christopher Fabian (right), founders of UNICEF's Innovation Unit.

Inside the ‘Near-Future Sensing Team’ at UNICEF


 In 2007,  Christopher Fabian and Erica Kochi founded the UNICEF’s Innovation Unit. We spoke with Fabian about innovation at UNICEF and how the venture fund operates.


Where Design Thinking Breaks Down—and How to Avoid It

2017-08-09T12:00:00+01:00By Daniel Seewald Contributing Columnist and Senior Director of Innovation Pfizer

Pfizer's Daniel Seewald discusses design thinking, and what you can do to use effective techniques to build an appropriate foundation for customer insight.


Mehmood Khan on Remaking R&D at PepsiCo & Sustainability


PepsiCo Vice Chairman Mehmood Khan talks about the links between sustainability and innovation; bringing in new skill sets into R&D; the challenge of measuring progress; and more.

Matt Weiss of IDEO and Gregory Garrett of CGS Advisors lead a session at The Network.

Innovation Experts’ Favorite Books, Podcasts, and Resources


At our Network event, we asked participants about the books, podcasts, and resources on innovation and strategy that they’ve found most useful…

Nondini Naqui

Building Consensus with Nondini Naqui


Executive champions are key to building a culture of innovation. Nondini Naqui discusses how innovators can get buy-in from top leaders. Watch here…

Nondini Naqui

Nondini Naqui on Working with Legal and Compliance


How can you engage with legal and compliance groups on innovation efforts — and make them feel part of your success? Nondini Naqui shares best practices in this video.

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 12.25.37 PM

How to Make a Vision Concrete with Nondini Naqui


Building prototypes and crafting interactive presentations can lead to progress on innovation efforts. Nondini Naqui discusses these strategies here…

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 12.27.05 PM

Understanding the User Experience with Nondini Naqui


Successful innovation efforts fulfill customers’ needs. In this video, Nondini Naqui discusses the importance of understanding your audience. Watch here…

Nondini Naqui

Nondini Naqui on Using Metrics to Define Success


Different stages of innovation ventures should focus on different types of metrics. Learn about which metrics you should be using and when from Nondini Naqui.

Nondini Naqui and Scott Kirsner

Innovation Challenges & Choices with Nondini Naqui

2017-07-25T11:00:00+01:00By ,

Nondini Naqui, an intrapreneur and innovation leader who has worked in insurance and banking, discusses the challenges innovators face and how to overcome obstacles.

Members of Intel's Work Practice Innovations team, from left: Mark Eden, Jennifer Monnig, Mikel Bookwalter, and Cindy Chung.

How Intel Is Transforming Hiring and Work Habits

2017-07-21T12:00:00+01:00By Jennifer Monnig

Jennifer Monnig spent the past three years leading an innovation team within the HR organization at Intel Corp. that sought to create a more collaborative culture...


Columbia’s Rita McGrath: Is Innovation on the Agenda?


How often is innovation the highest-priority issue at your company? Rita McGrath, a professor at Columbia Business School, says it ought to happen at every meeting...


Dennis McGrath on How Starbucks Tests New Ideas in the Real World


Dennis McGrath of Starbucks discusses how the company developed a new protocol for testing ideas, when to bring in stakeholders, and building a failure-tolerant culture.


Advice from Manulife Exec Jesse Bean on Delivering Impact


Jesse Bean of Manulife Financial shares his advice about setting up a network of labs, building support among middle management, and the “DevOps” approach.

Lindsay Angelo

Former Lululemon Strategy Manager on Retail Disruption


“[A]s a more established brand, there are a lot of headwinds out there,” Lindsay Angelo says. “[T]hink about how you can take advantage of that turbulence internally.”

Medtronic's Applied Innovation Lab in Minneapolis, opened in 2017.

Six Types of Innovation Lab: The Pros and Cons


We've now written about or visited dozens of labs run by Global 1000 companies. This list lays out the six primary types we've seen, as well as the pros and cons of each.

Washington, DC Field Study 2017

Inside the D.C. Ecosystem: Marriott, Capital One & More


Our Washington, D.C. Field Study took participants inside AARP’s “Hatchery,” Marriott’s “Underground” Innovation Lab, Capital One Labs, and more.

Governance Report

Governance, Reporting & Communications


This report collects the best insights from innovation execs at companies like Johnson & Johnson, ExxonMobil, and others, including recommendations from our members…


19 Clear Signs Your Company is Under-Investing in Innovation


Do executives at your company use the word "innovation," but hate committing budget to it? Members sent us indicators that your company is under-investing in innovation.


Creating a Curriculum to Develop Innovation Leaders


Led by Stephanie Simon, the hour-long webcast covered the training program's objectives, timeline, staffing, skills taught, external resources used, and the learnings so far. 


How Reebok is Thinking Outside the Mold


Bill McInnis of Reebok says the company wanted “a lot more speed, a lot more local, and a lot more custom.” This inspired initiatives like the "Liquid Factory" and "Cotton + Corn."


New Tools & Resources for Innovation Leaders


Recording of our May 2017 webcast, featuring Scott Kirsner and Aaron Proietti explaining how to use six of our new downloadable resources, and answering questions.

Top Cities - 1776

1776 President Peter Cherukuri on BigCo-Startup Collaborations


Startups want to engage with big companies. Companies know that startups are developing business models and technologies that will impact their industry. So where do things go wrong?


Editable PowerPoint: Making the Case for Innovation


Here's an editable PowerPoint, created by a former SVP of innovation from the insurance industry, that you can use to make the case for an innovation effort.


After the Shark Tank: BNY Mellon on Broadening Innovation Impact


Adetola Abiade of BNY Mellon, explains the nuts-and-bolts of how the oldest bank in the US runs its internal "Shark Tank" and broadens the event's impact. 

Erica Eden, Director of Global Design Innovation at PepsiCo

Designing For Women — Advice From PepsiCo


PepsiCo's Erica Eden explained some of her principles of “Designing for Women” and the steps companies should take to better understand and appeal to their women consumers.

Suffolk CEO John Fish lifts some virtual dirt at the 2016 ground-breaking.

Why Suffolk’s Chief Innovation Officer is Investing in VR


“Active visualization” has been a big emphasis for Suffolk Chief Innovation Officer Chris Mayer, creating new ways to envision projects, whether using AR or VR.


Top 10 Cities for Corporate Innovation


Companies once believed that the best innovation environment was an isolated campus. But now, the urban appeal continues to grow. Here’s our list of the top cities for corporate innovation in North America.

Ben Wiegand, Head of J&J's Disease Interception Accelerator. (Photo by Gene Smirnov.)

Inside J&J’s New Initiative to ‘Intercept’ Diseases


The pharmaceutical industry often develops drugs to manage diseases. But Johnson & Johnson posits a different model: What if you could identify people at risk and stave disease off? 


Monthly Progress Report on Innovation Impact


Here's a report you can adapt, developed by a former Transamerica innovation exec. It provides feedback to stakeholders, ensuring that you maintain their support...


Why the Los Angeles Dodgers Run a ‘Training Camp’ for Sports Startups


Baseball franchises excel at scouting players until they’re ready for the big show. But the LA Dodgers are unique in trying to do the same thing for startups…

Thomson Reuters

How to Survive a Management or Strategy Change

2017-05-06T13:00:00+01:00By ,

Preparing for shifts in leadership, as well as changes in strategy, helps innovation teams persist. Mona Vernon, Chief Technology Officer of Thomson Reuters, shares her tips.

Atlanta Field Study 2017

Inside the Atlanta Ecosystem: Delta, Google Atlanta, and more


Our first-ever Atlanta Field Study took participants to the campus of Georgia Tech, Google Atlanta, Home Depot world headquarters, and more. Photos inside...

DSC00734 copy

How Cadillac House Transforms the Vehicle Maker’s Brand


Nathan Tan of Cadillac discusses the creation of Cadillac House, a brand building initiative for the company. See photos from inside the space.

Faisal Masud

Staples CTO on Chatbots, Talent, and a Smarter Easy Button


Faisal Masud, Staples’ Chief Technology Officer, shares how the company approaches digital innovation. Topics of discussion include  chatbots, recruiting tech talent, and shifts in retail.

AARP's Hatchery

Inside the Hatchery, the Innovation Lab at AARP


AARP is not only one of the largest nonprofits, but also one of the biggest insurers and magazine publishers. Take a look inside the Hatchery…


The Key Players and Tensions in Corporate Innovation


We partnered with XPLANE, the renowned “visual thinking” firm, to create a map of the corporate innovation ecosystem, along with discussion questions.


Creating Iconic Advantage: Soon Yu Talks Innovation at VF Corp


Creating an iconic brand requires more than great design. Find out what makes a brand iconic from Soon Yu the former Global VP of Innovation at VF Corporation. 


RASCI Matrix for Building Support for Innovation Projects


A RASCI matrix is a tool that can be used to build consistent support for innovation, while mitigating against common failure modes like role ambiguity. Download it here...

The GE Fuse team has a meeting in their office at the mHub (Photo by Paul Elledge).

How GE Fuse Prototypes with an Online Community


Amelia Gandara of GE Fuse discusses the program's community, and the right and wrong ways to source solutions from outside. Read more for insights.


Retail Accelerator XRC Labs: Startups and Industry Shifts


In kicking off XRC’s 2017 demo day, Managing Director Pano Anthos discussed some of the trends he is seeing in the retail space, and what retailers must do to stay relevant. 

Business development director April Bertram of GOJO Industries, formerly an innovation management executive.

Innovation and the Business Units


Innovation Leader shares data from our  survey on the ties between business units and innovation groups. Executives from Fidelity Investments, Aon Health, GOJO Industries, and Trek Bicycle, share their perspectives. 


How Tech Scouting Ties in to the Business at Goodyear


Goodyear’s Chris Varley supports managers tasked with developing “‘something new’ on a five- or ten-year roadmap.” Get his advice on bringing ideas into a $15 billion company…


Design Thinking & Lean Startup at Adobe

2017-03-28T12:00:00+01:00By Stephen Ellison

Adobe exec Aubrey Cattell says that the lean startup approach – build, measure, learn, accelerate – has changed the way Adobe thinks about innovation.


Getting Buy-In, ‘No Time Syndrome,’ and Premature Scaling


Executives from Humana, GE, Intuit discuss why do employees and executives in large organizations resist participating in innovation efforts, and how to solve the problem.

Reliance operates the world's largest refinery, in Gujarat, India.

Creating an Place for Innovators at India’s Reliance Industries


Sushil Borde, VP of Innovation at Reliance, discusses how the company is working to institutionalize innovation and the five tenets that guide innovation at Reliance.


Why “Gretzky’s Rule” Represents the Past of Product Innovation

2017-03-15T13:59:00+00:00By Ken Durand

Most people operate markets where outcomes are unpredictable and new competitors can disrupt your entire business. Find out what on Ericsson exec had to say...


Why Italian Vehicle-Maker Piaggio Set Up a New Lab to Design Robots


Michele Colaninno is emphatic about what he didn’t want from a new lab that the vehicle-maker Piaggio Group set up in 2015.


The Corporate Innovation Roadmap: Vision to Impact


We put together this roadmap to help you think through some of the elements you’ll need to put in place to ensure that projects make it to the finish line. Download it here…

Naureen Meraj

Innovation Training with Naureen Meraj


 Naureen Meraj, a training and digital transformation leader, shares the three components of design thinking that are often over looked in the innovation process.

Karim Lakhani

HBS’s Karim Lakhani on Overcoming Resistance to Crowdsourcing


Karim Lakhani of Harvard Business School discusses why people resist crowdsourcing and if teams should run competitions on their crowdsourcing platforms.

Mastercard-Office9 copy

Inside MasterCard Labs in New York City

2017-02-21T13:01:00+00:00By Breanna Baker, Contributing Photographer

MasterCard Labs in New York houses product and technology teams that build prototypes and collaborate with partners. See photos here. 

Alan McLenaghan (left), CEO at Saint-Gobain/SAGE Electrochromics, and Minas Apelian (right), Vice President of R&D and Global Director of External Venturing at Saint-Gobain/CertainTeed, take a tour of Greentown Labs' expansion site.

Startup Partnerships & Sustainable Tech at Saint-Gobain


Saint-Gobain has thrived for more than 350 years. Get insights inside on how the company works with startups and accelerators to innovate effectively.

Live Call

The Innovation Agenda for 2017


What are innovators thinking about as we head in to 2017? Innovation Leader editor Scott Kirsner discusses what we’re seeing corporate innovation teams focus on.

San Francisco Field Study 2017

Inside the San Francisco Ecosystem: Visa, Yelp & More


At our San Francisco Field Study, more than 70 innovation execs joined us for tours of Visa, Verizon, Yelp, Gensler, and more. Photos from the event inside…

Author Luis Perez-Breva, Director of the Innovation Teams program at MIT.

What Google, Genentech, and Facebook Have in Common


We talk to MIT instructor Luis Perez-Breva, author of the new book “Innovating: A Doer’s Manifesto,” about hunches, testing ideas, collecting feedback, and getting ready to scale.


Connecting Corporate Venture Capital to Business at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

2017-02-07T13:00:00+00:00By Amy Lucas, Contributing Writer

Zaffre Investments, a part of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has a clear objective: Finding startups solve problems in the company’s ecosystem.

The exterior of Paris' Galeries Lafayette department store, circa 1912.

Why Groupe Galeries Lafayette Launched an Accelerator Program


Galeries Lafayette’s Plug & Play startup accelerator, launched in 2016. The program seeks to attract the best fashion and retail-oriented startups from around the world. Find out more… 

Business Units Report

Innovation Teams & Business Units


Our report on building productive relationships between innovation groups and the business units includes insights and advice from AIG, Ralph Lauren, W.L. Gore and more.


NRG’s Portable Power Kiosks from Concept to the Super Bowl


NRG Go’s automated kiosks rent out fully-charged battery packs so that people can recharge their phones and tablet on the go. Find out more.

Jazz Singh leads a session at Innovation Leader's Teach-In event, in October 2016.

Pro Tips from the NFL on Mobile App Development


Working on a tight schedule to develop NFL apps, Jazz Singh uses an agile development to get everything ready in time for the big game. Here are some of his tips. 

The entry to Johnson & Johnson's Innovation Center in Cambridge, Mass.

How Business Units Work with J&J’s Innovation Centers

2017-01-24T13:01:00+00:00By Amy Lucas, Contributing Writer

When J&J makes a new investment in a startup, “50 percent of the deal funding [comes] from J&J Innovation, and the business unit provides the other 50 percent…”


How BMW’s Corporate Venture Capital Strategy is Changing


Last year, BMW said that it would invest 500 million Euros in the next decade across the tech landscape and moved its US office to Silicon Valley. Find out what’s behind the changes.


How Pfizer’s Works to Foster a Culture of Innovation


What happens if lots of divisions in a global company come up with their own approach to innovation? Learnings and slides from Pfizer inside…


Why Innovation Should be a Priority in 2018


We’ve collected into this 40-slide presentation some of the best advice we’ve gathered on getting an innovation initiative started.

Setting the Agenda 2017

Setting the 2017 Agenda Gathering in Cambridge


To start off the new year, we brought together members of the Innovation Leader community for breakfast, to discuss their innovation agendas and goals for 2017...

Jim Winkler, Global Chief Innovation Officer at Aon Health.

How Aon Health Invites Leaders to Help Set the Innovation Agenda

2017-01-11T13:01:00+00:00By Amy Lucas, Contributing Writer

Jim Winkler of Aon Health explains the process that his team uses to set the innovation agenda, and determine priorities, in collaboration with line of business executives.

Brent Stutz, SVP of Commercial Technology.

Cardinal Health SVP Offers a Look Inside Customer-Focused Fuse Lab


“When you come to Fuse, it’s all about the customers. It’s customer-in,” says Cardinal Health SVP and CTO Brent Stutz. Find out more about Fuse here...

Target Food + Future coLab

Inside Target’s Food + Future coLab


The idea behind the creation of the coLAB is that “we know less about our food than we ever have at any other time in history. We want to do something about it.”

David Butler

Coca-Cola Shutters its Founders Initiative, Which Backed Startups


Coca-Cola shut down its Founders program, which worked with entrepreneurs and invested in startups. One possible cause: a back-to-basics focus on the core business.

American Greetings' new headquarters complex in Westlake, Ohio opened in September 2016.

How the Creative and Business Sides Can Get Along


American Greetings’ Carol Miller describes how the company creates meaningful connections with family and friends, bridging creativity and the business side of greeting cards.

Imaginatik Roundtables

Innovation Roundtable Series, co-produced with Imaginatik


This fall, we brought together executives in seven cities for roundtables. The topics? Best practices in creating internal incubators, running hackathons, and more...


AIG and John Hancock Execs Talk Startups, Sensors & More


AIG and John Hancock execs discuss how insurance companies can innovate in the face of regulatory oversight, privacy concerns, and the status quo.


How Fintech Firm Fiserv is Refining Its Accelerator for 2017


In 2016, five startups participated in the accelerator's first cycle. Matthew Wilcox, SVP of Marketing Strategy and Innovation, shares what is changing in round two.


How Innovation and R&D Can ‘Increase Awesome’


Kevin Parsons of Northrop Grumman shared how his innovation group is influencing the culture and bringing business units into its process.


These Are the Things That Kill Innovation Initiatives


We compiled this list, with input from current and former innovation executives, as well as consultants who have watched programs coalesce and (occasionally) disband.

Sixers Innovation Lab

Philadelphia 76ers Innovation Lab, Offering Hands-On Help to Startups


The new lab is open to hosting early-stage consumer product companies and some B2B concepts — not just sports or fitness-related startups. Find out more…


How ESPN is Using Data to Call the Plays


George Leimer, VP of Fantasy Sports and Premium Products at ESPN, discusses how the sports network is working to build a data and metrics-oriented culture.

A spaceship sculpture at the Harvest Summit's Sonoma County venue.

Google and XPRIZE Execs on Enabling Big Breakthroughs


Google X executive Hans Peter Brøndmo and XPRIZE CEO Marcus Shingles give their insights from a session held at the inaugural Harvest Summit.


MIT’s Eric von Hippel Looks at the Rise of Consumers as Innovators


Eric von Hippel, a professor at MIT and economist who has studied open innovation since the 1980s, explores the phenomenon of consumers as innovators.


How Much are Innovation Execs Paid?


We fielded a compensation survey that analyzed the base pay and bonuses of nearly 250 executives responsible for innovation at large corporations. Get data here…

ExxonMobil's Christopher Bailey

Company Culture Through Grassroots Innovation


Christopher Bailey of ExxonMobil, discusses operationally-focused innovation and how ExxonMobil promotes innovation through its Grassroots Innovation Forum. 


The ‘Jobs Roadmap’ & Honing in on Customer Insights


Stephen Wunker, a protégé of Clayton Christensen, explains his “jobs framework” and gives insight into his book. Read an excerpt here…

Jerry Spann, Innovation Champion, Vodafone Americas during an innovation session with Sean Mohammed, Commercial Manager, Vodafone Americas.

How the Innovation Champions Program Works at Vodafone

2016-11-09T15:04:00+00:00By Sarah Jefferson, Ashoka and Jerry Spann, Vodafone Global Enterprise

Vodafone's Jerry Spann and Ashoka's Sarah Jefferson lay out the key principles for Vodafone's global innovation champions program and the benefits of the approach.

Teach-In 2016

Teach-In 2016 at the Harvard Innovation Lab: Event photos

2016-11-08T18:01:00+00:00By Kara Swenson

150 members of our community converged on the Harvard Innovation Lab this month for the Teach-In, as well as visits to Google Cambridge, Fidelity Labs, and more...

Teach-In 2017

From the Teach-In: Participants Share Favorite Innovation Books


At our Teach-In gathering in Boston, we asked participants to share some of their favorite books on innovation. Here are a few of their recommendations…


From the Teach-In: Innovation Tips from Our Participants


At our Teach-In gathering, we asked participants to share a piece of advice about doing new things in established companies on a Post-It. Get insights here...

Photo by John Werner /

How EY Launched an Innovation Program


Jeff Saviano, who runs innovation inside EY’s tax practice for the Americas, shares advice and insights on launching innovation programs. 


At Intuit and Amazon, Addressing the Customer’s ‘Job to Be Done’


Authors of Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice share an excerpt on how Intuit and Amazon determine whether they’re on the right track.


Siemens on Finding the Best Startups & Sparking Collaborations


Through the Frontier Partner Program, startups enter a low-commitment relationship in exchange for free Siemens software and mentorship.


Members Recommend Best Options for Online Innovation Training


A members in financial services asked about delivering online innovation education to a global workforce. Here are the options that others recommended considering…


How Macy’s Could Set Itself Up For Success, Not Just Survival

2016-10-21T12:00:00+01:00By Mark Nitkey Contributing Columnist and Former SVP of Innovation Ahold

Macy’s should “go small or go home.” Mark Nitkey, formerly of Apple, Victoria’s Secret, and Ahold, explains how Macy’s should approach innovation in the Age of Amazon.

Programs That Connect Corporates With Startups


We compare the programs that serve as an interface between large companies and the startup ecosystem. See the full comparison chart here…


How P&G Evolved Its Innovation Studio for Broader Impact

2016-10-17T23:34:00+01:00By Ann Brocklehurst

Procter & Gamble's Clay Street Project allows employees to foster innovation and address the problems that can prevent ideas from growing into  new products...

Live Call

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak on Ignoring the Rules


Innovation Leader editor Scott Kirsner sat down for a wide-ranging on-stage interview with Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple and a Silicon Valley legend...

Connected Products

Getting Connected Products Right


We surveyed companies active in, interested in, or developing connected products. Here’s the downloadable PDF report summarizing what we found.


Amex Exec on New Capabilities & Spreading a ‘Growth Mindset’

2016-10-05T12:01:00+01:00By Ann Brocklehurst

Amex’s Lei Chen viewed her role as having three main components. Task number one: “[Find] the right talent in place to embrace the innovation that’s opened up by technology.” 

The Capital One Garage in Plano, TX. Photo courtesy of Mecca Design.

How Capital One Garage Reimagines Customers’ Relationship with Money


Capital One's The Garage is an incubator that brings together cross-functional teams to create new products and services. Find out more...


Insights from Honda’s Silicon Valley Lab

2016-10-03T12:01:00+01:00By Stephen Ellison

While it began as an R&D outpost in 2000 and later added a venture capital team, Honda's Silicon Valley site is now a full-fledged innovation hub for the company...


What Top Corporate Innovators are Doing in 2016


Innovation Leader editor and co-founder Scott Kirsner shares seven examples of how companies like Toyota, Disney, GE, and Amazon are working to innovate better, faster, cheaper.


How Houghton Mifflin is Building an Ecosystem of Developers


Can Houghton Mifflin Harcourt remake itself into a digital platform, distributing content, software, and cloud-based services to schools? 


After an Acquisition: SAP Ariba CEO on How to Sustain Innovation


Even when acquirers pay billions, too often they squash the culture that made the company so appealing in the first place. Find out how to sustain innovation after an acquisition. 

Ron Johnson, in blue shirt at center, with Enjoy colleagues.

Former JC Penney CEO on Apple Stores, SoulCycle & Approaching Digital Commerce


Johnson discusses blending digital convenience with the offline experience, launching the Apple Store concept while working for Steve Jobs, and his time as CEO of JC Penney.


Merck Exec on Fostering Innovation in a Global Business


When it comes to innovating across the globe, Merck’s head of commercial innovation is adamant about streamlining processes and paperwork...


How Companies Can Think Like Hunters, Rather Than Farmers


Author and founder Jeremy Gutsche explains the difference between the farming and hunting mindsets, and they compare to the world of innovation.

Shirley Hill, Vernon Hill, and Sir Duffield, their Yorkshire Terrier.

How Britain’s Metro Bank Created a ‘Lighthouse Identity’


Fast Company co-founder Bill Taylor discusses his book, Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways. Read the excerpt… 

Lululemon Store

How Lululemon Brings Designers Closer to Customers


At a new "lab" store in Manhattan's Noho neighborhood, customers are just a few steps away from the designers who work in the back half of the space.


Make Your Innovation Theatre ‘Hamilton’ and Not ‘Carrie’


This week, Innovation Leader editor Scott Kirsner provides a contrarian view on “innovation theater,” the label that some put on just about any efforts at corporate innovation. 

Live Call

Should Business-to-Business Companies Deliver Experiences?


Is Uber is part of the experience economy? Should B2B companies bother to try to create experiences? Joe Pine, co-author of The Experience Economy, offers his answers.


Joe Pine on How To Create Experiences in Retail


We spoke with Joe Pine about how social media and virtual reality are changing the nature of experiences; Uber, Hilton, and Capital One; and more.


How Industrial Giant ThyssenKrupp Approaches the Era of the Smart City


Patrick Bass, CEO of ThyssenKrupp North America, shares his vision of the future of R&D which includes customers, academics, and data from IOT products.


Google VP Talks Getting Resources & Confronting the Future


Execs are too complacent when confronting seismic industry shifts, says Ivy Ross, who leads Google’s wearable computing project. “Why…stay at a hotel, versus in an Airbnb room?”


Sherwin-Williams on Using Open Innovation to Create Breakthroughs

2016-08-08T10:01:00+01:00By Molly K. McLaughlin

Victoria Scarborough of Sherwin-Williams’ Global External Innovation Team, defines her mission as identifying outside “technology that would move the innovation needle.”


Lessons from Airbus’ Foray into 3D-Printed Motorcycles


Heads turned when the the $70.5 billion aerospace giant Airbus Group introduced the world’s first 3D-printed motorcycle. Find out why Airbus brought the bike to market.


10 Startups Aiming to Change Shopping from XRC Labs

2016-07-30T14:01:00+01:00By Molly K. McLaughlin

The startups that pitched at last week's Demo Day at retail accelerator XRC Labs ranged from instant interior design services to a smart mirror that could change your routine.


Shell and Thales Execs on Innovation Outposts


Executives from Shell TechWorks and the Thales xPlor discuss what they hope to accomplish with their Boston innovation labs, and how they're being measured.

Emerging BUsiness Models Webcast

Emerging Business Models for Connected Products and IoT


Ben Einstein, managing partner of Bolt, discusses ten of the emerging business models for connected products and the "Internet of Things," and how to avoid commoditization.


Sandpaper: An Essential Item for the Corporate Innovator’s Toolbox


You may want to embrace an innovation strategy that seeks to eliminate the things that aggravate employees or customers, which pay off in a shorter timeframe, with little risk.


The Secret of Corporate Innovation Is…


Here are seven things we see having a big impact inside large organizations, and seven things that set you up for failure.

Robin Beers, Wells Fargo

At Wells Fargo, Using Prototypes to Go Beyond Talking About Products


"Rapid prototyping makes something physical and tangible, so everyone can align their understanding of what it is, versus just talking about it," says Wells Fargo SVP Robin Beers.

Terry Harris and Alec Humphries of the innovation group at Jones Lang LaSalle.

How Jones Lang LaSalle Built a Revenue Engine


Innovation VP Alec Humphries discusses how his group inside the commercial real estate firm has begun generating millions in revenue within five years of its creation.

New York Field Study 2016

Inside the NYC Ecosystem: MasterCard, Barclay’s Rise & More

2016-07-08T10:01:00+01:00By Breanna Baker

Our New York Field Study brought a group of 50 innovation executives to GrandCentralTech, Work-Bench, IBM Design Studio, MasterCard Labs, and more...


Intuit Executive On Rolling Out Lean Startup for Maximum Impact


If you’ve been debating whether to roll out lean startup methodology in your organization, Bennett Blank of Intuit has a question: What are you waiting for?

Deloitte New York Roundtable 2017

Roundtables & Other Events


Innovation Leader organizes a variety of other events that bring together corporate leaders, including our roundtable series and our one-day Deep Dive events.

Michael Perman speaks at a 2014 Innovation Leader event in San Francisco.

Former Gap Exec: Is Innovation Really Everyone’s Job?

2016-07-01T12:00:00+01:00By Michael Perman, Founder, C’Est What?; Former Dean of Global Innovation, Gap Inc.

Michael Perman formerly of Gap Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co. writes, “Yes, everyone needs to have EMPATHY, but in reality, innovation requires talent, passion, and tenacity.”

Connected Strategy Off-Site 2016

Inside Our Connected Products Strategy Off-Site

2016-06-29T21:30:00+01:00By Kara Swenson

Take a look at photos from our June 2016 Connected Products Strategy Off-Site. Thanks to everyone who participated and for our hosts who made this event possible... 


Making Lean Startup Work


Our 83-page downloadable report is filled with advice, case studies, articles, interviews, and results from our recent survey of Innovation Leader members on lean startup deployment.


How Large Organizations are Deploying Lean Startup


Slide presentation that shares some of the data, comments, and advice from our 2016 survey on how large organizations are using the lean startup methodology.


Using Lean Startup to Prioritize New Ideas at Ericsson


“We have way more ideas than we can possibly implement,” says Ken Durand, the head of Ericsson’s Atlanta Idea Factory. Durand shares how his team learned to prioritize.


How Adobe’s Legal Group Met the Challenges of Innovation

2016-06-20T12:01:00+01:00By Donna Kolnes, Adobe Associate General Counsel

How do you create legal guidelines for employee innovation that allow people try new things, but keep a company out of hot water? Donna Kolnes of Adobe explains.


Advice from Cambia Health’s Chief Innovation Officer

2016-06-15T12:00:00+01:00By Mohan Nair, SVP and Chief Innovation Officer, Cambia Health Solution

Five years after starting the innovation team, Cambia Health Solutions' Mohan Nair shares what he learned about different innovators, including some you may want to avoid.


Treating Projects Like Startups & Keeping Leaders Engaged at Johnson Controls


Johnson Controls’ execs explain how new projects are funded and how they work with senior leadership to make decisions about their fate.


How PwC Turns ‘Corporate Antibodies’ Into Allies


Every company has antibodies, or necessary guardians of the enterprise. Mitra Best of PwC shares five tactics that can help productively engage these antibodies.

(Photo © Whitney Curtis)

How Science & Trends Drive Innovation at Nestlé Purina

2016-06-06T12:00:00+01:00By Alicia Kelso

Dan Smith of Purina offered Innovation Leader a look at how the pet food giant created a hit new product, and how human eating and shopping trends impact its business.


Lessons on Running Cisco’s First Company-Wide Idea Challenge


Cisco's Alex Goryachev discussed the company's recent Innovate Everywhere Challenge, including how he got thousands of employees to participate.

San Francisco Field Study 2019

How W.L. Gore Trains Employees to Explore New Business Opportunities


Friction often exists between innovators and operationally-focused departments. A program at Gore addresses the friction and trains employees to explore market opportunities.


Six Tips From Eastman Chemical on Managing a Distributed Team

2016-05-31T12:30:00+01:00By Farrell Calabrese, Creative Manager, Eastman Innovation Lab

Managing a distributed team comes with its own challenges. Creative Manager Farrell Calabrese shares tools she uses to manage the Eastman Innovation Lab.


How the Unilever Foundry Works with Startups

2016-05-25T12:00:00+01:00By Stephen Ellison

Unilever has launched more than 90 pilots with 90 different startups, scaling about half of those initiatives. Jeremy Basset of Unilever Foundry explains how and why they're doing it...

Live Call

Changing Attitudes about Open Innovation at AstraZeneca


Turning colleagues from skeptics to advocates isn't easy, but Scott Wilkins told us it has steadily begun to happen over five years of hard work at AstraZeneca...


Head of Innovation Lab at ADP on Recruiting & Hand-Offs


Roberto Masiero, Vice President and Head of ADP’s New Jersey Innovation Lab, offers lessons and recommendations for companies looking to start their own labs.


Open Innovation at $25 Billion AstraZeneca


Scott Wilkins of AstraZeneca and his colleague Rob Albert discuss the roots of the open innovation program at AstraZeneca and more.


How Viacom Uses Lean Startup & Agile to Engage Viewers


Kimberly Hicks of Viacom says in an arena where people’s media consumption and the devices change so quickly, the lean startup approach is extremely helpful.


Thomson Reuters' Catalyst Fund for New Ideas


The $13 billion created an internal seed fund called the Catalyst Fund in January 2014, which provides up to $350,000 in funding to build and test prototypes. Here’s how it works…


New York Times Disbands R&D Lab, Pulls Innovation Closer to Newsroom


The lab was founded a decade ago to look “beyond the next product cycle, identifying trends and technologies that will emerge in the next three to five years.”


When Rewarding Innovators, Do Medals Work Best or Money?


Rewarding innovators is a frequent topic at Innovation Leader. Psychologist Dr. Amantha Imber addresses that topic in her new book. Read the excerpt...


Innovation Software Survey Results: Who’s Using What?


We analyze the results of our Q1 survey of 115 innovation executives, which explored how they're using innovation software — and what software they're using...


Executive Perspectives on Innovation Software


Selected comments from the executives who participated in our Q1 2016 survey on innovation software. 


How the Sierra Club Is Broadening Its Digital Reach

2016-05-02T12:00:00+01:00By Molly K. McLaughlin

In his first five years at the Sierra Club, Chris Thomas has advocated for building new digital platforms and introduced a start-up-like culture of experimentation.


Chart: Top Recommended Innovation Software Providers


Here are some of the companies that provide software used to collect, rate, assign, track, evaluate, approve, and pursue new business ideas and opportunities.


Why Tata Communications Sends Employees to Silicon Valley


Alex Pelletier of $3 billion Tata Communications, part of India’s Tata Group, discusses why his team sends employees to Silicon Valley for “an immersion week.”


Clay Christensen on Uber, Strategy & Jobs-to-be-Done


Clay Christensen of Harvard Business School discusses Uber and disruptive business models; why a winning strategy is only temporary; and more...

Live Call

McKinsey & Co. Exec on the Perils of Innovation Committees


Marla Capozzi of McKinsey & Co.'s Global Strategy & Innovation Practice discusses why an organization’s commitment to innovation shouldn’t wax and wane and more.

The contents of an Orange Box.

How MasterCard Adapted the Adobe Kickbox Innovation Kit


Participats receive an Orange Box containing a $1,000 pre-paid card and tools to help them explore an idea and develop a pitch in 60 days. Find out more…


Dartmouth's Vijay Govindarajan on Innovation Strategy


How can organizations create the future when all their energy is spent on the present? That challenge is at the center of Vijay Govindarajan book “The Three Box Solution."

Silicon Valley Field Study 2016

Inside Silicon Valley's Ecosystem: Google, Adobe & More

2016-04-12T21:23:00+01:00By Breanna Baker

Sharing some pictures from our sold-out March 2016 Field Study in Silicon Valley, which hit Redwood City, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Mountain View...


At Shell’s TechWorks Lab, It’s ‘All About Deploying’


Shawn Murphy of Shell TechWorks shares the lab’s projects, funding, and mission — finding innovative ways to drill for oil and gas, and exploring future energy sources.


Early Data: Budgets, CEO Support, Metrics & Risk Tolerance


In February, we posted an assessment of the maturity of corporate innovation programs — and how they are being accepted by the culture. Get early results here…


Schneider Electric Exec on Decision-Making in Silicon Valley

2016-04-04T12:01:00+01:00By Stephen Ellison

Schneider Electric’s Silicon Valley outpost helps the company experiment with new services and business models. VP Paul Campbell discusses takeaways… 


How Telefónica Uses Lean Startup without Risking Reputation


The Spanish telecom company has been embracing the lean startup practices. Here’s how they make it work in an organization obsessed with reliability…


Becoming ‘Startup Friendly,’ Advice From Entrepreneurs


Innovation Leader’s Scott Kirsner recently led a session on how companies collaborate with startups. Find out what you can do to become more “startup friendly.”

Calvin Smith

EMC Exec on ‘Incubation Readiness’ and Incentivizing Employees


In this live call, Calvin Smith of EMC Corp., the data storage and cloud giant, discusses creating a central fund for innovation; incrimental versus radical innovation; and more.


How to Start and Sustain a Network of Innovation Champions


Participants in a recent Innovation Leader conference call addressed six key questions about creating internal networks of innovation “champions” or “catalysts.”


Qualcomm on Building an Internal Startup-Venture Capital Ecosystem

2016-03-21T12:00:00+00:00By Stephen Ellison

Plenty of innovation programs struggle to produce tangible impact in areas that matter to senior leadership. Navrina Singh of Qualcomm explains how they’ve been doing it…


How Companies Use Indiegogo to Assess Consumer Demand


Indiegogo SVP Jerry Needel explains how companies like GE and Hasbro have been using crowdfunding as a way to gauge consumer demand for new products.


Airbus Exec on Seizing Opportunities Outside the Airplane


Markus Durstewitz of Airbus Group, talks about how the $67 billion manufacturer is working with suppliers, passengers, and pilots to make air travel more efficient. Includes slides...


Former Pixar SVP on Creative Conflict & Why Well-Designed Offices Win


“Creative abrasion is the ability to have difficult conversations,” says Greg Brandeau, former Pixar SVP of Technology. Brandeau shares his thoughts and an assessment.


Inside the ‘AnyWare’ digital strategy at Domino’s Pizza

2016-03-07T13:01:00+00:00By Brian Steiner

The recipe for success in the pizza industry isn’t just about sauce, crust, and toppings. For Domino’s Pizza, it’s also about new digital channels that let its customers order its food.


Hearst Health’s CIO on Lab Funding, Staffing, and Focus


In our Live Call with Justin Graham of Hearst Health, we talk about the innovation lab he oversees in San Francisco, including staffing, funding, and the focus of the lab.

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 12.24.16 PM

What No One Says About Politics & Culture

2016-03-01T13:01:00+00:00By Sreten Gajic

“[C]ulture and politics both will have big impacts on the course your innovation program follows,” writes Sreten Gajic, a former executive at Assurant and Coca-Cola.


Innovation Labs: Getting Started & Delivering Results


What exactly is an innovation lab? For our report on innovation labs, we talked to more than 20 executives at companies like Walmart, Home Depot, IKEA, and others.


Failure Shouldn’t Come as a Surprise

2016-02-26T17:38:00+00:00By Julia Austin

The odds are, when you push the limits of what your company has done before, you will encounter failure. The best organizations expect it and are ready to learn. 

Innovation Leader co-founder Scott Cohen welcomes the group.

Achieving Impact: Advice from Your Peers


We gathered twenty senior innovation, product, and strategy executives, in collaboration with our partner Mindjet. The goal: to discuss how to create sustainable innovation programs.


Trek Exec on Trends, Social Media, and Why a Skunkworks Failed


Trek exec Chad Manuell discusses why one of the company’s skunkworks didn’t work. Other topics of discussion include trends in the industry and long-term thinking.


Why Assurant Designed a Strategy Game for Employees to Play


Among the goals behind Assurant’s Strategy Learning Game: helping employees understand the company’s direction and driving a shift to urgency. Melissa Kivett explains…


Operationally-Focused Innovation at ExxonMobil

2016-02-22T13:01:00+00:00By Christopher Bailey and Jeff Rosenbaugh, Innovation Catalysts, ExxonMobil

The innovation team at ExxonMobil provides a look at their Grassroots Innovation Forum, focused on sourcing and testing operational innovations.


How Collaborations Drive Intel Labs' IoT Strategy


Martin Curley of Intel Labs Europe shares how an “Open Innovation 2.0” approach is helping Intel work with customers to prototype and deploy IoT technologies.


Three Keys to Longevity in Corporate Venture Capital

2016-02-15T13:00:00+00:00By Kyle Fugere

Corporate venture capital initiatives are often a by-product of a booming economy — here today and gone tomorrow. Kyle Fugere shares strategies to help your initative thrive.


Humana’s Chief Innovation Officer: ‘Co-Creation is the New Way’

2016-02-09T19:00:00+00:00By Alicia Kelso

Chris Kay of Humana discusses how the insurer is collaborating and co-creating with startups, and outlines his process for going from ideation to market.

Naomi Fried

So You’re Trying to Innovate in a Heavily-Regulated Industry…

2016-02-08T13:01:00+00:00By Naomi Fried Contributing Columnist & Former Chief Innovation Officer Boston Children's Hospital

There are even more barriers to innovation in industries that are heavily regulated. Legal requirements can loom large and can stifle innovation — if you don’t address them. Here’s how…


Assessment: How Well Developed is Your Corporate Innovation Strategy?


Developed by Innovation Leader's Editorial team, with input from corporate innovation executives, this assessment will help you evaluate the current maturity of your organization's innovation strategy.


Four Steps to Getting Your Innovative Subculture to Spread

2016-02-05T13:00:00+00:00By Michael Foster

Michael Foster, who has developed innovation programs at companies like Dun & Bradstreet and Fiserv, provides four tips on elevating the “subculture” of innovation…

Photo Credit: Kevin Kolczynski, Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Exec on Deploying Tech to Theme Parks

2016-02-03T10:01:00+00:00By Stephen Ellison

Talking about ideas is great, but it’s just vapor. Al Callier of Universal explains how his team takes ideas from “vapor to paper to brick,” and what technology they explore.

Phil Swisher

Incrementalism is Not the Way to Disruptive Innovation


Ten observations about the politics and realities of innovating in an established organization, from Phil Swisher, the former VP of innovation at the biggest private bank in the U.S.


Why Toyota Set up New $1 Billion Research Group as a ‘Skunkworks’


The new institute has four initial mandates, including helping the carmaker explore possible products opportunities in “indoor mobility.” CEO Gill Pratt explains…


How Thales Group is Chasing Growth with New Xplor Initiative

2016-01-25T21:25:00+00:00By Stephen Ellison, additional reporting by Scott Kirsner

Pete Roney of Thales USA says that the rationale for launching a new innovation effort was clear: The company wasn’t thinking creatively enough to keep up with its peers.


How Kaiser Permanente Puts the Consumer First


Tad Funahashi of Kaiser Permanente talks about how the health care delivery system is working to become less MD-centric, and more consumer-centric…


Powering Innovation in Rolls-Royce’s Engineering Culture


Hardev Ubhi of Rolls-Royce discusses how to to bring new tools and thinking into an organization that is understandably obsessed with safety, precision, and quality.

Live Call

Alex Osterwalder on The Dual Operating System


What's one big idea CEOs and innovators will need to grapple with in 2016? Here's what Alex Osterwalder, developer of the Business Model Canvas, has to say...

Alex Osterwalder

Alex Osterwalder: ‘Business Models Expire Like Yogurt in the Fridge’


Alex Osterwalder, one of the developers of the Business Model Canvas, discusses how companies use the tool; its relationship to lean startup; and the challenges companies face.


How the Accelerator at Daimler Trains Intrapreneurs


A three-month long accelerator program at Daimler Trucks North America gets employee teams talking to customers, cultivating ideas, and then pitching the board…


How IKEA Explores the Future of Furniture & Home Design


To test ideas, IKEA built a model apartment in southern Sweden. It invites local families to move in and document their experiences with the experimental furnishings.


Running a Global Startup Competition at Spanish Bank BBVA


Scarlet Sieber of BBVA, the Spanish banking giant, explains how to attract the best startups and make sure business unit leaders are ready to work with them. 


Why Tools Giant Stanley Formed a Joint Venture to Tackle IoT

2015-12-28T13:31:00+00:00By Stephen Ellison

Two execs at Stanley Black and Decker and View Technologies explain a long-term bet on the growth of big data and IoT, and a proposition designed to work in the near-term.

Entrepreneur and Lean Startup guru Steve Blank

Steve Blank on Launching New Products No One Cares about


Steve Blank discusses the unfortunate situation many companies confront after investing millions in R&D and new product development…


Steve Blank on Enacting Lean Startup Inside Big Companies


Lean startup guru Steve Blank talks about the challenges of bringing lean startup into a large company and the decisions to be made before setting up an “innovation outpost.” 


How New CVS Digital Lab Proves Value, Works with Business Units


CVS Chief Digital Officer Brian Tilzer discusses why the company set up its new Digital Innovation Lab in Boston; how it connects with teams at headquarters; and more.

Saul Kaplan, founder of Business Innovation Factory

What are the Best Practices for Developing New Business Models?


To answer our latest subscriber question on business model innovation, we turned to Saul Kaplan, author of “The Business Model Innovation Factory.”


How Customer Interactions Guide Innovation at Toolmaker Snap-on


Bennett Brenton explains how the company gathers input from its franchisees and end-users to shape new products. Includes slides and audio...


Weight Watchers on Changing a Relationship-Based Business

2015-12-07T13:30:00+00:00By Alicia Kelso

Global VP of Innovation Dondeena Bradley talks about driving multiple new initiatives aimed at transforming Weight Watchers into a holistic, community-driven company.


Five Practical Steps for Building Startup Partnerships


One member asks how to make relationships with startups and entrepreneurs successful. Michele McConomy from rocket space shares best practices…


At MetLife, Supporting Innovation While Avoiding the ‘Danger Zone’


MetLife’s Chief Innovation Officer shares his approach to supporting innovation at the insurance company — and also on how to avoid the “danger zone” of innovation.


What Do Business Units Really Want from Innovation?

2015-12-02T18:02:00+00:00By , cartoon by Ricardo Galvao

This cartoon appears in the Fall 2015 edition of Innovation Leader magazine. Click the image to get a larger, printable version.


General Mills Exec on Running Early Market Tests


General Mills executive Jim Kirkwood discusses how the $17.6 billion consumer packaged goods giant creates minimum viable products...


General Mills VP on Getting to the First Dollar, Failure, Key Metrics


Jim Kirkwood, Chief Science and Technology Development Officer at General Mills, explains how the company “gets to the first dollar fast” with pilot tests.


How GE uses Crowdfunding to Test New Ideas


The story of the Opal ice maker shows how a large organization leveraged crowdfunding to get a concept to consumers fast.


Gap Exec on Innovation Training, Co-Creation, Customer Insights


Gap Inc.’s Dean of Global Innovation talks about creativity, co-creation, the Mindspark training initiative, and the importance of solving small problems first.


Visa Explores Future of Buying without Plastic


When people talk about connected products, they mean devices that communicate with each other wirelessly. But what if devices could buy stuff? Here’s what Visa is working on…


How Taco Bell Accelerated Progress on Digital and Mobile Initiatives

2015-11-10T11:00:00+00:00By Alicia Kelso

When Taco Bell tried to deliver new technologies, the restaurant chain felt like it wasn't moving fast enough. A 20-person team focused is changing that...

Boston Field Study 2015

Inside the Boston Ecosystem: CVS, Microsoft, iRobot & More


Our Field Study learning expedition in Boston month took participants to Microsoft Research, CVS Health's new Digital Innovation Lab, iRobot headquarters...


How Appliance-Maker Jarden is Testing New Business Models


Asoka Veeravagu of Jarden Consumer Solutions, discusses exploring new subscription business models and co-creation. The company owns Mr. Coffee, Aerobed, and Sunbeam.


Lego Executive Chairman: Create a Separate Structure


Lego executive chairman and former CEO Jorgen Vig Knudstorp talks about Future Lab, a separate team the company set up to explore new avenues for growth.


Elements of Lean Innovation


We’re about to embark on a “lean innovation” journey at our company, and I was wondering if you’d seen any studies or best practices that large corporations should consider?

kayak looking at the beach and ocean waves

Lightweight Engagement & Connecting with the Outside World


What’s lightweight? Things that can generate results in six months, with a minimum of funding. Lightweight is a kayak you can build yourself; heavyweight is a cruise liner.

COVER - Hiring

How Innovation Teams Bring on Top Talent


This report explores how companies are getting the budget they need; describing the roles they’ve created; and more. It also includes more than 20 recent job descriptions.


How Grocer Ahold Experiments with Smaller Stores

2015-10-26T16:26:00+00:00By Alicia Kelso

A new small-format grocery store from $36 billion Ahold that is integrated into a neighborhood streetscape may be the key to attracting a young, urban shopper…


How Express Scripts Leverages Data to Prevent Health Problems


The Express Scripts Lab tripled in headcount last year. One area of focus: working with data to predict which patients will need extra nudges to stick to a medication regime.


Defining Problems with Design Sprints, with Exercises


“Design Sprints” wants to teach you how to clarify the problem at hand; identify the needs of potential users; distill your ideas into one or two solutions…


How Elon Musk Builds Organizations That Can Achieve Anything

2015-10-13T12:01:00+01:00By Stephen Ellison

We talk to Ashlee Vance, author of a book about Musk, about how the founder of SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity hires people, battles bureaucracy, and dispatches problems fast.

8 programs of engagement

A Guidebook to Successful Hackathons


“I wonder if you have a kind of ‘guidebook’ or ‘top 10’ list of things to do to (a) get started; and (b) succeed.” Get the guidebook and best practices here…


How U.S. Bank Works with Voice Biometrics

2015-10-07T12:01:00+01:00By Ann Brocklehurst

The bank’s app allowa customers to use spoken commands to check their balance and make payments. Could it allow them to speak a phrase that would replace their password?


Corporate Innovation Needs a Simpler Approach

2015-10-05T12:01:00+01:00By Mark Nitkey Contributing Columnist and Former SVP of Innovation Ahold, Mark Nitkey, Contributing Columnist & Former SVP of Innovation, Ahold

Mark Nitkey has been an executive at companies like Apple, Gap, and Ahold. He writes, “Complexity is Public Enemy #1 when it comes to innovation.” Here’s a simpler approach…


How Jamba Juice is Becoming More than a Smoothie Store

2015-09-28T11:00:00+01:00By Stephen Ellison

Brian Lee of Jamba Juice, has engineered a number of new product launches. Lee lays out the steps Jamba goes through in developing a new food or drink idea…


How to Define the Innovation Portfolio


“Do you…have any best practices related to defining what should be included/left out [in projects], how they should be categorized or grouped, etc.? Get answers…”

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 9.10.48 PM

How Big are Innovation Teams at the Largest Companies?


Sharing some data that came out of our recent benchmarking survey. How large are the innovation teams at the largest companies? Here’s what our respondents said…


General Electric Exec Discusses Open Innovation


While many big companies utter the words “open innovation” with trepidation, getting bogged down in discussions about who will own what, GE has been racing ahead. 


Mondelez Shares Approach to Pilot Testing With Startups

2015-09-14T12:31:00+01:00By Alicia Kelso

Kim Yansen of Mondelez discusses the company’s Shopper Futures program; the risks when working with startups; and how consumer habits force companies to be nimble…

Live Call

Google Exec: Foster 10x Thinking or be Doomed to Incrementalism


According to Google's Todd Rowe, leaders need to understand that fostering only incremental changes and improvements will doom a company to fall behind...


How Retail Giant Walmart Remade Its Network of E-Commerce Labs

2015-09-08T12:00:00+01:00By Stephen Ellison

Walmart, the world's biggest company by revenue, restructured its tech development team in Silicon Valley in 2011. We talk to @WalmartLabs chief Jeremy King.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.03.27 AM

How Ford, Pixar & Others Innovate with Brutal Honesty


It’s common for initiatives to muddle along, because no one is willing to be honest about what might be wrong with the idea. Find out when to be honest when innovating…


Kicking Off Training Initiatives on Innovation


“We’re in the process of starting an educational / training initiative around innovation, and could use some guidance on where to start…”


How Royal Bank of Canada Moved Fast to Deploy Mobile Payments

2015-08-19T18:53:00+01:00By Ann Brocklehurst

Staying ahead of a technological shift in your industry can be tough. Linda Mantia, EVP of Digital, Cards & Payments at Royal Bank of Canada shares her experiences.

London Executive Forum 2018

How Corporations are Supporting the ‘Maker Movement’


How can a makerspace benefit a big company? That was the question asked of Google, Chevron, Saint-Gobain, and SolidWorks at an MIT panel...


Structuring an Innovation Group for IoT


“Do any of your members or partners have any thoughts on how to think about the integration process re: smart devices or the Internet of Things?” Get answers…


Moving Beyond Innovation as a Buzzword

2015-08-12T10:59:00+01:00By Erik M. Falck, Advanced Innovation Center of Excellence, The Hershey Company

Disruptive, transformational & breakthrough innovation are not the same thing, says Erik Falck of The Hershey Company. Find out how to define innovation here…


What Manulife’s Senior Tech Execs Want from New LOFT Initiative


Executives at Manulife Financial knew they needed to play more offense when it came to exploring and experimenting with new technologies.

New York Field Study 2018

Five Ways to Spread Innovation throughout the Organization


Michael Dewar of the New York Times R&D Group discussed the various ways that his group can build awareness of its projects throughout the organization...


Dell’s Chief Innovation Officer on Innovation Portfolios & Training


Dell's Jim Stikeleather opened a recent Brightidea innovation gathering in Austin with a  talk about the importance of fostering divergent thinking...


General Mills EVP on Becoming ‘Best Big Small Company’

2015-07-20T12:31:00+01:00By Stephen Ellison

Peter Erickson of General Mills, is focused on a very clear goal: to help the company, with 43,000 emloyees and brands become “the best big small food company in the world.”


Trends & Technologies Worth Watching


At the New York Field Study, a group created a list of technologies and trends that will increase in importance…


Evolving 7-Eleven through Innovation


Rob Chumley’s mission: Help 7-Eleven Inc. become more than just a quick stop for a sandwich and a Slurpee. Find out what he’s been working on since taking the role…


Why Google Does ‘Beer & Demos’ Every Friday


Craig Nevill-Manning of Google talks about why the company encourages engineers to show off raw prototypes every week over beer. Find out more here…


Disney SVP on How Its Accelerator Program Led to New Partnerships

2015-06-29T12:40:00+01:00By Stephen Ellison

SVP of Innovation Michael Abrams discusses the upside of launching an accelerator program for media and entertainment startups, including partnerships that it has sparked so far.


Benchmarking Report 2015


We surveyed nearly 200 innovation leaders, and the result is Innovation Benchmarking Report 2015, a report that gives focus to data that can help solve innovators’ challenges. Download the 40-page study here…


Expanding Crowdsourcing without Getting Overwhelmed


“We currently hold an annual crowdsourcing event… [W]e want to expand the event…but I’m not sure how people could watch even more ideas to vote on them…”


How NTT Data Diversifies Innovation


In 2014, Tokyo-based NTT Data held 11 workshops in cities. This year, the IT services giant is planning another dozen, with a specific focus on disruptive digital innovations…


NBCUniversal Shares Its Hit Hackathon Formula

2015-06-15T12:30:00+01:00By Brian Steiner

NBCUniversal’s chief technology officer and chief information officer share their advice on topics like how to link hackathons with business unit objectives.


Florida Hospital Exec on ‘Internet of Things’ Learnings


Florida Hospital has been deploying “Internet of Things” technologies — including RFID locator tags attached to equipment and worn by employees — since 2010...


How MTD Products Brought an Impossible Product to Market


Roy Keating’s mission at Ohio-based MTD Products is to help accelerate growth coming out of the recession. Learn more…


Transamerica’s Aaron Proietti on What’s Working — and What’s Not


On our latest Innovation Leader Live call, we spoke with Aaron Proietti of Transamerica about the evolution of the insurance company’s innovation program — including approaches that have worked, and those that haven’t. 


Lowe’s Exec on Innovating in a Time of Exponential Change


In the 1920s, the average time companies spent in the S&P 500 was 67 years. Today, it's 15. Find out how Lowe's is working to stay ahead of the curve....


How USAA Moved Fast to Launch Drone Program


Innovators at USAA were among the first in their industry to get approval to test unmanned aircrafts. Their objective? Speeding up the claims after natural disasters.

Panelists David Chang and Rudina Seseri.

Former Microsoft, PayPal Execs on Connecting with Startups


What's the right approach for big companies that want to plug into the startup world? Invest? Acquire? Be a customer? Get insights here...


Why It’s Crucial to Understand Your Company’s Innovation DNA

2015-05-18T12:07:00+01:00By Sreten Gajic

Every company has different DNA, which means innovation approaches need to differ. Find out how to innovate for your DNA…


Staples Exec on Building up the Retailers’ Digital Muscles

2015-05-13T12:00:00+01:00By Stephen Ellison

Since he joined Staples, Faisal Masud has embarked on a campaign to build up the company’s digital muscles. Find out more…


What Happened to ‘Team Tomorrow’ at WD-40


Graham Milner of WD-40 talks about how the publicly-traded San Diego company with the iconic blue-and-yellow cans has grown beyond a single product.


Innovate Like a Venture Capitalist

2015-05-06T21:29:00+01:00By Deborah Arcoleo

Venture capitalists are experts at creating growth businesses: think Netflix, Facebook, or Dropbox. Get winning methods…


Running Open Challenges to Solve Problems

2015-05-04T17:00:00+01:00By Amiel Kornel is only the latest company to expose a problem it is grappling with and ask for outside help with its Picking Challenge…


Q&A: Innovation Investment


“Any thoughts or guidance or framework on [innovation investment] would be much appreciated.” Get answers here…


Q&A: Innovation Software


“We’ve got what I’d call a first-generation legacy PLM [Product Lifecycle Management] system that we’re not really using…”


Starbucks VP on Working With Howard Schultz to Execute Ideas


Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks wanted to create a shrine to coffee in Seattle where visitors could learn about the bean and immerse themselves in the brand…


Q&A: Employee Engagement Issues


“We’ve been working to instill a culture of risk-taking and innovation, and are butting up against employee engagement issues.”


FedEx Exec Shares Story Behind SenseAware Service

2015-04-20T13:00:00+01:00By Brian Steiner

A FedEx innovation team has been at the center of building businesses that leverage "Internet of Things" technologies. The first is called SenseAware...

Live Call

Allstate Exec on Strategic Alignment, Metrics, Innovation Team Survival


Allstate’s Moises Norena talks about how the $34 billion insurer is measuring innovation impact and why innovation can sometimes be a tough sell in a services business.

Business team drawing a new project

Creating the Right Conditions for Disruptive Innovation


Nine senior leaders discussed how they’ve set up groups to focus on truly disruptive innovation. Find out more here…


Inside Home Depot’s Lab at Georgia Tech

2015-04-13T17:31:00+01:00By Stephen Ellison

Home Depot opened a site to connect with Georgia Tech students and explore technologies that could impact how people shop and associates work.


Sustaining, Disruptive, Blue Sky: How Microsoft Invests in Research


On a Field Study visit to Microsoft Research, Peter Lee showed one of those slides that had everyone in the group suddenly reaching for their phones to snap a picture.

Seattle Field Study 2015

Inside the Seattle Ecosystem: Starbucks, Microsoft & More


At our Field Study, we visited Starbucks HQ; Cambia Health's Cambia Grove healthcare collaboration space; the WeWork startup workspace; and more...

Steve Blank

Steve Blank: Are You Having Impact, Is It ‘Innovation Theater’?


"Lean startup" proponent Steve Blank focused on several things necessary to take pilot experiments and turn them into significant new products. Listen here...

London Field Study 2019

15 Challenging & Conflict-Ridden Jobs Innovation Execs Must Do


Few jobs are tougher than that of the innovation leader. We gathered 15 challenging and conflict-ridden jobs that they face…


Inside the Entrepreneur-Led Innovation Group at Eastern Bank


Dan O'Malley had tried to disrupt the banking industry from outside. Now, he's working within it, as the founder of Eastern Labs, an innovation group at Eastern Bank. Includes slides...


Why Ford is Growing its Silicon Valley Research Center

2015-03-18T17:48:00+00:00By Brian Steiner

Ford exec Jim Buczkowski discusses the strategy behind the expansion of the company’s Research & Innovation Center in Palo Alto, and shares several projects they’re working on.


Cambia Exec: Why We Created Healthcare Collaboration Space


Nicole Bell, Executive Director of the new Cambia Grove, discusses how and why her employer, Cambia Health Solutions, created the the facility.

COVER - Metrics

Untangling Innovation Metrics


Measuring innovation has come up in every interview, conversation, and Field Study. This report captures what we’ve learned so far — both what executives are tracking today, and what they’re still working to capture.


MasterCard Exec on Whirlpool Collaboration, Accelerator


John Sheldon shares the objectives behind MasterCard’s Start Path accelerator, and explains it’s collaboration with Whirlpool. 


Alaska Airlines’ Lean Startup Test in Airport Lounges


Two members of the airline’s Customer Innovation R&D team discuss a recent test of a new system aimed at delivering a more personalized travel experience.

Greg Williamson Headshot

How a Startup Gave Kwikset a Lead in Smartlocks

2015-03-02T15:09:00+00:00By Stephen Ellison

Kwikset had been experimenting with various keyless entry products, but nothing clicked until they partnered with a startup…


United Exec Shares Idea Scoring System, Innovation Challenges


Jason Flores of United Airlines shares his scoring system for employee ideas, and talks about the challenges of leveraging new tech…


CVS Health’s Chief Digital Officer on Navigating Two Revolutions


Brian Tilzer says the company is navigating two revolutions: omni-channel retail and “the digital enablement of healthcare…”


Inside the Creation of D&B’s Cloud Innovation Center


An acquisition in 2014 gave Dun & Bradstreet a 49-person, cloud-focused software development team in Vancouver. Here's how that group has evolved...


Co-Creation: Vodafone, Thomson Reuters Share Lessons Learned


Can two companies innovate together? Shannon Lucas of Vodafone Global Enterprise and Saidah Nash Carter of Thomson Reuters share their advice.

Many Old books

Frugal Innovation: Six Principles, a Case Study


The authors of the new book “Frugal Innovation” share six principles of frugal innovation, and an example from the book about Kingfisher…

Live Call

Coke’s David Butler on Building a Program for ‘Exponential Growth’


VP of Innovation and Entrepreneurship David Butler talks about his work to combine entrepreneurial ideas and speed with Coca-Cola’s scale and brand power.


Fast Company Founder on Corporate Innovation Challenges


Twenty years after the launch of Fast Company magazine, Bill Taylor shares the challenges that face innovators in large organizations today...


Hallmark Exec on Retail Pop-Ups & New Brands


Patti Streeper's job at Hallmark Cards is to help cultivate businesses that may not fit with the company's brand image — but ones that speak to new groups of customers...


Harvard Exec on Being Relevant in the Digital World

2015-01-27T18:08:00+00:00By Judy Quinn

Perry Hewitt joined Harvard University in 2009. The mission, as she describes it, was to help the university “be relevant and relatable in the digital world.” 

picture of speedometer

How can You Move the Needle?


We worked with a group of innovation executives to develop this list of “Innovation Approaches.” It endeavors to capture what innovation leaders are doing when they set strategy.