Innovation Tournaments: Creating and Selecting Exceptional Opportunities

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Harvard Business Press, Jun 9, 2009 - Business & Economics - 256 pages
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Managers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists all seek to maximize the financial returns from innovation, and profits are driven largely by the quality of the opportunities they pursue. Based on a structured and process-driven approach this book demonstrates how to systematically identify exceptional opportunities for innovation.

An innovation tournament, just like its counterpart in sports, starts with a large number of candidates, with opportunities as the players. These opportunities are pitted against each other until only the exceptional survive.

This book provides a principled approach for the effective management of innovation tournaments - identifying a wealth of promising opportunities and then evaluating and filtering them intelligently for greatest profitability. With a set of practical tools for creating and identifying new opportunities, it guides the reader in evaluating and screening opportunities. The book demonstrates how to construct an innovation portfolio and how to align the innovation process with an organization's competitive strategy.

Innovation Tournaments employs quirky, fresh examples ranging from movies to medical devices. The authors' tool kit is built on their extensive research, their entrepreneurial backgrounds, and their teaching and consulting work with many highly innovative organizations.

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A Primer for Innovators
Generating Opportunities Internally
Sensing Opportunities Externally
Screening Opportunities
Pulling Opportunities from Strategy
Analyzing NearHorizon Opportunities
Forming Opportunity Portfolios
Managing FarHorizon Opportunities
Shaping the Innovation Funnel
Organizing and Governing Innovation
An Innovators Guide to Getting Started
About the Authors

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About the author (2009)

Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich are professors at The Wharton School, where they teach in the innovation and product development field. They have helped dozens of organizations in a wide range of industries—including consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, financial services, and high technology—to become more innovative. Terwiesch and Ulrich ground their teaching and research on their wealth of practical experience as innovators, product designers, and entrepreneurs.

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