Top 3 Innovation Insights (ww 4): Wright Bros., Innovation Labs & 6 Strategies

The following articles are the Top 3 Innovation Insights this week with a brief snapshot summary of their strategic importance to your firm.

Six Lessons on Innovation from the Wright Brothers (Forbes)

Snapshot: Imagination creates the future. Without the Wright Brothers incessant experimentation and belief in themselves, the world would have been a different place without the airline industry. The Wrights’ tenacity showed that it wasn’t luck that enabled them to succeed; it was hard work, common sense and flexibility. Some of the lessons learned include:

  • “Don’t worry about failure,”
  • “Don’t expect instant success,” and
  • “Keep going no matter what.”

You can read the full article here (with all six lessons) on Forbes.

Strategic Impact: Too often companies invest in innovation teams and expect instant results. Testing ideas, testing designs, test marketing and other means of checkpoints along the way are vital to any mission critical success. Theories must be proved in order to help leaders, investors and customers understand the value in new inventions, processes and services. It’s not just about creativity, it’s about practicality too.


[Source: Sephora]

[Source: Sephora]

Inside Three Retail Innovation Labs (Retail Dive)

Snapshot: At least three retailers work on applying Silicon Valley startup strategies in order to create a sustained competitive advantage: Sephora, Kohl’s and Sears. The one company that has the most to benefit from is Sears – founded in 1886. It is one of the few 100+ year-old companies in the US. Yet all three are seeking to:

  • create new apps,
  • engage customer experiences,
  • improve online shopping and
  • collaborate with startups to diversify their products and services to enhance their financial growth.

For more on this article, click here to read via Retail Dive.

Strategic Impact: Any company seeking to integrate digital technology within brick and mortar locations would benefit from establishing an Innovation Lab – a place to experiment while testing the waters for real world interactions. Collaborating with startups also minimizes the risk, cost and time it would take if each retailer were to create new IP in-house. Collaborating with other startups is the stepping stone for accelerating innovation.


Six Strategies for Putting Innovation to Work in Your Organizations (B2C)

Snapshot: Sparking corporate innovation not only takes the right mindset, but also takes the right strategies. Dr. Alvind Mahotra, the lead professor of Strategy & Innovation at UNC’s online MBA program articulates six strategies to put innovation to work within teams. The first three are:

1) Nurture collaboration;

2) Question and discard, if needed and

3) Embrace “What if?”

To read all six strategies, click here for the B2C Community article.

Strategic Impact: The underlying value of corporate innovation is to increase stakeholder value (profitability) and sustain a long-term competitive advantage. Applying these six strategies (and others) would provide a catalyst for generating new innovations from a bottoms-up and top-down approach. Companies can continue to learn more about how to innovate in new and different ways by applying new strategies being developed by MBA entrepreneurship programs across the country.

Are there other articles you’ve read recently that you would consider highlighting? Let us know via

If you’re interested in how to provide innovation training and/or foster an entrepreneurial mindset in your company, contact us.

[Ed Valdez is Vice President of Global Business Strategy at G51.]




How to Accelerate Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The # 1 challenge facing CEOs today is the rapid pace of technological innovation.* Change is happening at such a rapid rate that:

  • The average S&P 500 company lifespan is 15 years and
  • 32% of public corporations won’t be around in 5 years.**

Jim Clifton, CEO and Chairman of Gallup, and bestselling author of “The Coming Jobs War” notes that two out of the three key energy sources for job creation in America are the country’s Top 100 cities and Top 100 universities. Since SMBs (Small- & Medium-Sized Businesses) comprise 99% of all businesses within the US, most jobs are created when entrepreneurs start companies. I referred to this resource in my Boston College commencement speech and have used the top cities and universities as a founding principle for our innovation research and services with global clients.


G51 Amplify ProcessToday we are launching G51 Amplify services. G51 is focused on accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship by connecting corporate and private equity capital with high-potential companies and entrepreneurial university ecosystems. The high-potential companies can range from the Seed stage, A and B series funding to growth stage firms and Exit Planning. See diagram to the right.

Our proprietary process of curating startup deal flow and applying a rigorous method of research will help:

  • Corporations augment their global business growth and enhance their competitive advantage and
  • Family Offices diversify their investment portfolio with high-potential startups that align with their strategic objectives.


Venn Metcalfe's LawThis enables us to leverage what Bob Metcalfe, G51 Advisor and founder of the Ethernet, has coined as the Network Effect: the value of the network is directly proportional to the square of the number of users.


We offer a glimpse of the road ahead for emerging and disruptive technologies through a portfolio of G51 Amplify services. More importantly, we help streamline the corporate innovation process through an Outcome-Driven Innovation tool.


Each week we will feature blog posts that will highlight:

  1. A key insight about innovation that stems from our market research, emerging vertical market trends and our Venture Scholar program and/or
  2. A quick snapshot of the Top 3 articles about innovation that made headlines in the prior week with a brief commentary about why each is strategically important.

Stay tuned for future blog articles that can help you keep a finger on the pulse of innovation, emerging technologies and high-potential startups that can provide the tipping point for your business and investments. You can subscribe to our blog by clicking here. To keep updated on a daily basis follow us on Twitter and/or like us on Facebook.


[Rudy Garza is Founder and Partner of G51 Amplify]

*Fortune 500 Survey (June 2015)

** The Innovation Game, Cap Gemini (July 2015)