Tech & The District » Financial Times Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 en hourly 1 Innovation and Leadership – Gotta Have Vision Thu, 04 Nov 2010 21:46:02 +0000 duncanburns Sometimes a quote in an article grabs your attention – for its simplicity and clarity of insight.

In a great story on innovation in the FT by Philip Delves Broughton, there’s this quote…

“There are so many opportunities, technologies and ideas, all of which are easily accessible,” says Roberto Verganti, professor of management of innovation at Politecnico di Milano. “So, the key challenge for companies is not having the ideas, but making sense of them and having a vision. The companies that are most successful are the ones that understand the meaning behind the technology.”

Professor Verganti crisply captures something I’ve been thinking about for a while, that it’s not enough in the current (tech and telco) marketplace to have the best ideas – ideas are more accessible (and prevalent) than ever – but how companies and leaders within them spot the trends and make bets on specific ideas and against a specific vision is the competitive advantage.

A succinct and compelling vision for a company acts as a magnet for ideas, helps drive critical mass and business successes that are more than one off hits. Though it’s not always easy to define and stick with a vision it can not only drive corporate focus, but also allow companies to cope and overcome failures. Not sure I can think of a successful tech company that hasn’t had product failures…  (Philip Delves Broughton lists several in his article). But that ability to make sense of this abundance of ideas, and communicate the reason they make sense is going to be increasingly at the centre of business leaders’ jobs and at the heart of their companies’ successes and failures.

I encourage you to read the FT piece!

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Why innovation still gives me hope, and worries me a little Tue, 13 Oct 2009 20:46:09 +0000 duncanburns Sometimes one just has to admire invention and innovation. I don’t think I’ve given fan design much thought in my life, except when really hot. I certainly don’t think I’ve given any thought to how one could improve them. So reading the ever-superb Paul Taylor’s article on James Dyson’s new Air Multiplier Fan made me feel reassured in two ways.

Firstly, that there is an everlasting culture of innovation out there – and while many of us are content to use, others continue to strive and improve even the most every-day of gadgets. Secondly, that Dyson continues to innovate – his third act – and as a Brit that makes me proud that we still can foster innovation, despite some of the doom and gloom. Finally, though it has me a little worried, that we somehow will trip over the laws of unintended consequences and find a way to blow cool air on all the other unknown James Dyson’s out there around the world, as we look for ways out of the recession and to alleviate some of the pain that’s been caused.

What do you think? What innovation have you read about that warmed your soul?

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