We are innovation enthusiasts. Actually we’re students of innovation, professors of innovation, innovators ourselves. We’ve studied large firms and start-ups, financial services organizations and manufacturing companies, public companies and private family-run companies. We’ve studied innovation in one form or another, as academics, for nearly two decades and worked with numerous companies beyond those we’ve studied to help them become more accomplished innovators.
Together, as part of a larger team of researchers from RPI, Babson College and RIT (that’s Rochester Institute of Technology), we have been studying how breakthrough, or radical, or gamechanging innovation works, or, rather, does not work in large established companies, since 1995, when the Research Program on Radical (or Breakthrough) Innovation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s (RPI) Lally School of Management and Technology originated. It has progressed in two phases: phase I ran from 1995 to 2000 and phase II from 2001 to 2006. We like to think we’ve got some answers to the struggles that companies are facing. That’s why we decided to start blogging about it.
One thing that is different about us compared with other professors is that we actually work together. Many professors prefer to work on their own, or with one or two people who have the same backgrounds. But we each have different backgrounds, different training, and teach different subjects, and so we argue, we debate, we challenge each other. Sometimes it isn’t pretty. But it works. It works because it helps us develop a more unbiased perspective on our subject matter.
So you might see us argue a bit in our posts. Hopefully you’ll join the fun. Because one thing’s for sure…no one has all the answers to this ticklish problem.