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Nintex CEO: Why and How to Embrace Business Innovation

Our CEO is posting an occasional blog on, and we're going to summarize it here.  This month, he talks about business innovation!

jb.jpg(by John Burton)

Everyone’s heard the story of a dominant company that lost its way by not embracing business innovation – or by going about it the wrong way.

In “Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World,” Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler tell the story of Eastman Kodak. In 1996, Kodak employed 140,000 people, had a $28 billion market cap, and controlled 90 percent of the film market and 85 percent of the camera market.

But fearing that the digital camera would undercut its photographic film business, executives buried the technology, which Kodak researcher Steven Sasson had developed, in 1976.

In contrast, Fujifilm developed a three-pronged strategy in response to the anticipated rise of the digital camera – get as much money out of the film business as possible, prepare for the switch to digital and develop new business lines, according to “The last Kodak moment” in The Economist.

For many years, Hewlett-Packard was admired for innovation in refreshing its printer business. With startling frequency, it would introduce a new printer, often with more functionality at a lower price, that rendered a prior model obsolete.  Most agree that HP lost its enthusiasm for this type of innovation, which was a major factor in its overall decline.

As these stories illustrate, the biggest reason to embrace business innovation is to survive and thrive. One of the themes of those stories is grow or die. But beneath the surface is innovate or decay.

What’s the Impact of Business Innovation?

For the most part, change is uncomfortable to people and to businesses, particularly when things are going well. Yet this is the ideal time because evolving from a solid foundation is far easier than from one that is eroding.

Most companies don’t grow or innovate past a certain point. The reason?  Most companies have either a problem creating its “second act” or can’t find the enthusiasm to focus past its first success.  I view this as the blessing and curse of the installed base –immediate customer and competitive needs can easily consume all available resources.

But how do you know which strategies for business innovation to take on and which to set aside?

John provides five questions to ask to help decide on the right business innovation for your company. Visit the Nintex Blog to read "Why - and How - To Embrace Business Innovation.!"

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