Empowering Enterprises Innovation


From the 4th Innovation Thought Leader Roundtable

Culture development is an ongoing topic that keeps coming back in every roundtable. A lot of progress has been made yet, CULTURE is something that neither can’t be created nor changed overnight.

Another interesting topic surfaced at the last Innovation Thought Leader roundtable: Unrealistic and non-substantiated expectations regarding time to ROI of innovative solutions. Things like ROI in three years or more than €50 Million in revenue after two years were some expectations we heard for breakthrough innovation.  What is certainly possible for improvements – and then it is even too low – is for a few hard reasons not applicable for groundbreaking innovation.

After our meeting, we looked at the company history of some of the biggest and most innovative companies and how they started.

Empowering Enterprises Innovation

Often times it helps to look into the past to understand the presence and direct the future
The content below is from their respective website:

Johnson & Johnson
It was in 1885 that he was joined by his brothers, James and Edward, in his project to create a new type of ready-to-use and packaged bandages, so as to avoid any risk of contamination. 1899, with the collaboration of many American surgeons, J&J developed the production of a new type of adhesive dressing containing zinc oxide , which became very useful in surgery thanks to its adhesive and non-irritating qualities. [It took almost 15 years]

Nothing has changed. It takes a few years until any market on planet earth finds enough early adopters to buy into breakthrough innovation.


Another one you may like is from Robert Bosch (Bosch website | German)
Robert Bosch
Lehr- und Wanderjahre hatten in Robert Bosch früh den Wunsch reifen lassen, sich selbstständig zu machen. 1886 richtete er eine Werkstätte für Feinmechanik und Elektrotechnik in Stuttgart ein. Die ersten Jahre waren geprägt von Höhen und Tiefen und erst ab Mitte der 1890er Jahre ging es dann rasant und unaufhaltsam aufwärts. [It took roughly 10 years to see an early success]
And here another company that is highly engaged in innovation: BP:

BP British Petroleum
Starting in 1901, William D’Arcy was close to despair. He had gambled his considerable fortune on oil, and now he was on the verge of losing it all (both country houses, the mansion on Grosvenor Square). 1902 Drilling begins in November in the Chiah Surkh mountains, 350 miles west of Tehran, under the direction of engineer George Reynolds. For six years drilling for oil was poitless. In 1908 Burmah Oil provides another £40,000 and the drilling of two wells begins. Finally, on 26 May, a 25 metre-high fountain of oil bursts into the sky. [It took seven years to really start]

And to put it into perspective. Younger companies, considered super innovative:

APPLE Computers
Founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne created Apple Computer Co. on April 1, 1976. For more than three decades, Apple Computer was predominantly a manufacturer of personal computers, including the Apple II, Macintosh, and Power Mac lines, but it faced rocky sales and low market share during the 1990s
. [Apple I came after ALTAIR 8008 – it took almost 30 years to get truly innovative]

And finally

Tesla was founded in 2003. In 2012, the first year of production Tesla sold ~2,800 cars. In 2019 was the breakthrough with a million cars, roughly 1% of global car sales. Three years later it was the most valuable car brand. [It took 10 yers to get off the ground]

Empowering Enterprises Innovation
The closer one gets to the here and now the more likely the innovation is still questioned and considered overhyped. IMPORTANT TO KNOW: It is not the act of innovation that takes so long, it is the broad market to accept something interesting after many others tried it out first. Finding those EARLY ADOPTERS is one of the key aspects to innovation success – and failure causes even great innovation to get shut down. Innovation is by far the most counterintuitive business process known.

Today’s corporate management simply tends to forget or never knew, what it took their founders to get innovation into the respective market.

The price that companies pay including their management, shareholders, employees, business partners, and customers: is no breakthrough at all.
Is it the executives’ fault because they don’t act? NO, because they never got confronted or trained in what it takes to get breakthrough innovation to work and into the market?
Is it the employees’ fault because they can’t produce? NO, because there is only a little education on how our brain created breakthrough ideas.
Is it the shareholders’ fault because they want short-term gains? NO, because they rarely had an opportunity to invest in a startup that became one of those disruptive businesses. So they can’t tell the difference.
Is it the education system’s fault because they don’t teach innovation other than theoretical ideas how it possibly could work? NO, because there is no research and no public knowledge available yet.
Who to blame?
Let’s blame time and do what we can:

Empowering Enterprises Innovation
We need to jointly develop an understanding of the Innovations Paradigm and all its counterintuitive bits and pieces. That’s what the Innovation Thought Leader Roundtable is all about.

Thanks to everybody who joined and looking forward to the next roundtable on June 23.


5th Innovation Thought Leader Roundtable June 23, 2022

The new innovative enterprise generation
For humanity to thrive, get prosperity, and have equal opportunities, we need to continue to innovate. Not just startups that rise to Unicorns, but also those who started innovative in the past and just lost their ability to innovate. The innovation DNA already exists in every single enterprise alive today. Now those enterprises need to re-activate that DNA to stay relevant.  In the developed world more than half of the population works in enterprises. The probability to find innovative minds in each of them is nearly 100%.

Who else would build the next generation of solar energy generation or geo-energetic power generation, ultra-high-speed freight trains, space exploration, next-generation virus protection, waste management, purified water, food production, sanitation, and so forth?

If you want to listen in, register here

Continue Empowering Enterprises Innovation


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