Solving the Execution Challenge by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble (Harvard Business Review Books) likens innovation to climbing a mountain where reaching the summit is THE goal. Companies often approach innovation in this way, focusing only on completing an innovation cycle. But execution – commercializing and launching products or services that are driven by the innovation – is critical to success. Xerox PARC is a good example; the mouse and the GUI were both developed at PARC, but Xerox failed to develop or execute a commercialization strategy, leaving Apple to reap the rewards. Govindarajan and Trimble point to Kodak, which blew a potential lead in digital photography. They look at how to avoid this kind of lost opportunity.
You can find a review of the book and of Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership by Warren Bennis at http://www.economist.com/node/16888745
Post written by Peter Bloch, consultant to CAS-IP