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InnovationFixer
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Good article, John. I'm not sure it's a question of portfolios vs none. I agree that spreading resources too thinly is wrong, but that doesn't mean a portfolio approach is also wrong. Portfolios often arise because large companies identify lots of opportunities and want to pursue them. If they have a focus problem with innovation portfolios, they likely have the same problem with other elements of their business. I agree with your point about the psychology. Large companies are inherently more conservative than start ups, so we shouldn't expect them to show the same "do or die" attitude. They do need to show more persistence rather than giving up too early. Narrower portfolios will help with this. The approach to portfolios can learn from small entrepreneurs. Firstly, I agree there should be more focus on a number of options that can be resourced appropriately. Second, allocate leaders who are passionate about the options. Third, learn as much as possible, as soon as possible. Last, rely more on judgment and belief and less on "facts". I think pivoting is less of an issue with large companies; after all, they have more options! Kevin
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Jun 4, 2013