Innovation Quarterly – Summer 2014

This is our eighth installment of our Innovation Quarterly (you can now see past issues on our website here). Since we launched the IQ in the Fall of 2012, we’ve expanded our team, moved into new offices and started a few social networking activities. Here are some of the things we think you may find interesting.
  • Brian Christian’s review of the book ‘Cultural Strategy: Using Innovative Ideologies to Build Breakthrough Brands’ by Douglas Holt and Douglas Cameron. In this review, Brian summarizes the important contributions the authors make on the value of brand innovation and how to achieve breakthrough brand impact in a crowded consumer brand space. Well worth a 5-6 minute read.
  • A short take on the Future of Innovation. This is an introductory piece to a series of posts that will appear throughout this summer and fall discussing what innovation will look like in the future.
  • Information on our 4th annual Inovo Innovation Summit September 22-23 in Chicago.
  • Introduction to our new blog and a new LinkedIn Group ‘Innovate Innovation Now.
  • A short item about how we are using ‘Test and Learn’ principles to create our new office space.

We are interested in your feedback and opinions. Please comment on any of our blog posts, contribute to the new LinkedIn Group or drop us a note.  And remember to always strive to…

Own the Unknown

Inovo’s 4th Annual Innovation Summit

Our 4th annual innovation summit is set for September 22 – 23 in Chicago. We have an excellent lineup of participants who themselves are helping to determine the agenda.  There are no ‘talking heads’ or lengthy presentations, just innovation leaders from many industries having deep, substantive conversations with each other about their own companies’ experiences.

For the past three years, Inovo has held this invitation only summit for large corporations who are committed to advancing their company’s innovation efforts. The summit is limited to 20 – 25 individuals and is structured so that the discussions and interactions among the participants are the focus.  We will have a report on the outcome of the summit in our Fall installment of the IQ but, in the meantime you can follow summit activities on twitter using the hashtag #IISummit4.  If you would like more information on the summit, or think you would like to attend our 2015 summit, please,

Inovo Launches New Blog and LinkedIn Group

Since the launch of our new web site in 2012, we have wanted to create a platform for those who are passionately interested in the theory, models, processes and practices of innovation.  With the launch of our new blog ( and the new LinkedIn Group (‘Innovate Innovation Now), we have started two channels for doing just this.

The Inovo Blog contains articles and posts of our thoughts about innovation. The LinkedIn group is for identifying interesting developments and insights related to the innovation process itself. We invite your interest, contributions or comments, even if it is just following either or both of these sites.

Our New Offices – An Example of ‘Test and Learn’

We moved into new offices in downtown Ann Arbor January 2014. After six months, the universal opinion is that we love being in the center of Ann Arbor, an active, vibrant place where we can have constant connection to the large network of academics, entrepreneurs and social organizations that are here.

One of the issues facing us in designing our new offices was one that many companies struggle with. How open do we make our workspace? How do we balance the different personalities, workstyles and types of work we do which involves a combination of intense focus and concentration, active collaboration and a lot of teleconferences? What we decided to do was to take an evolutionary approach. Instead of trying to design a ‘perfect’ office up front, we would design a ‘minimally viable office’, move in and see what we needed to change.  It’s been six months now and we are ready for iteration #2 (there have been numerous minor ‘tweaks’ over the past 6 months including standing desks, brown noise, low lighting). We have a much better idea of what each of us needs now than we ever had when we were just imagining the space and looking at blueprints. Our ‘pivot’ will be in the way we balance private, semi-private and open spaces to reflect our dynamic project work and our workstyle preferences.  Not everyone has a chance to design their working environment this way but if you can, try it. It works.


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