Entries by Ripi Singh

Lead People, Manage Processes … What About Innovation?

We still struggle to understand whether innovation is process, people, mindset, or some combination of all of those. We know innovation is a lot about exploratory action and leadership that empowers action. There’s still room for managing innovation and risk, particularly in corporate settings. There’s also a lot written about leadership vs. management — and […]

Follow the Map

During my management years, I was challenged by limited training budgets, ever increasing demands for new skills, and HR departments’ approaches to tracking training. In spite of our sincere efforts to match employee skill levels with job description and project requirements, we always had a list of gaps to be filled and training sessions to be […]

The Great What?

The COO of Warren Pools called a special meeting of the senior staff to address a pressing issue, the so-called great resignation. Almost all the department heads were on edge due to their losses of staff members over the past nine months and because the great resignation was on the TV news every day. For […]

The Show’s Over

Cleopatra Dunns, CEO of Dunns Cosmetics, wrapped her annual speech to the staff, laid out her plans for 2022, just as she’d done for the past six years, on the last Friday of every January. Once again, the popular keyword was innovation. She opened with a vision statement, “Be the most innovative cosmetic creator out […]

Countdown to 1985

In 1985, I had a discussion with one of my professors about design projects. He suggested students are minimalists: They don’t want to work any harder than they need to. That professor didn’t know my father always encouraged me to go above and beyond and to challenge the status quo. I went to our department […]

Good to Great to … What?

In 2001, Jim Collins published Good to Great, noting discipline in three areas —people, thought, and action — were the most significant factors in determining a company’s ability to achieve greatness. Collins argues companies need to define a narrowly focused objective, based on a core competency, and focus all their resources accordingly. He warns that […]

Why Not Start with Why Not?

In 2009, Simon Sinek published a book: Start With Why. Given its practical rationale for establishing your purpose, it became a bestseller. But purpose is only one aspect of innovation. Since true innovators question things more than they comment on them, they typically start with this question: Why not? Think about it: Tough research problems have […]

Deliberate Innovation: Part Four

The previous posts in this series (here, here, and here) covered the concept of innovation as a single comprehensive system. We’ve now reached the point at which we can discuss the results your organization can generate from that system and from the ability to innovate consistently. In the context of that discussion, we can also identify […]

Deliberate Innovation: Part Three

In our previous post, we covered the importance of identifying your purpose in any innovative endeavor. In this post, we’ll cover the reasons that the pursuit of a purpose in a competitive environment requires a process to convert ideas into value. One of the most abused phrases in the English language is value chain. That’s because […]

Deliberate Innovation: Part Two

In the first post in this series, we discussed the needs for systemically open minds and systematically linked processes. In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of purpose in any innovative endeavor.