June 13, 2008
News & Opinion: Ram Charan: How to Kill an Idea
In addition to being in this month's Inc., Ram Charan was interviewed on innovation by Fast Company. Ram recently co-authored The Game Changer with Procter & Gamble's A.G. Lafley. From the interview:
You contend that innovation is a social process and that innovation failure is less often a matter of bad ideas and more often a result of failing to make the right connections. What do you mean? Let me explain some simple things. First, as Thomas Edison said, an idea is called invention. Converting an idea into revenues and profits or something a customer uses is innovation. Today, in the Internet society, you can buy ideas. You can have ideas flow to you from outside your department and outside your company. Innovation is selecting an idea and converting it to the production of a product, service, or new business model that creates growth and profit. The conversion of an idea for most companies, if not all, requires more than one person to make it happen. And that is why it is a social process.