MUSINGS & WRITINGS 2018-05-08T22:09:55+00:00

Musings & Writings

Is Your Company Primed For Innovation?

Does your corporate culture support or hinder innovation? Most companies have no idea.

Worse yet, many companies who invest in innovation often face a scarier problem: they believe the investments they are making—such as increasing R&D budgets or creating an innovation department or appointing an innovation czar—are helping them create an environment to stimulate innovation. In fact, the reality […]

Why Companies Lose Their Best Innovators

Corporations fail to innovate because they lose their most innovative talent. Internal innovators, the people most likely to create new value, find themselves leaving the company they work for to start their own ventures, often creating vast amounts of customer and shareholder value. This value could have been retained by the original corporation if it knew how to […]

The Myth of the Solo Superstar

The most exceptional individuals, those whom we personally know and those known to the world, never achieve their brilliance by themselves. Sure, they are immensely talented, but the outsized success of exceptional individuals in every field-be it Roger Federer or Usain Bolt or Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs or Bill Gates–are based on a team of expert collaborators.

No […]

Creating The Most Innovative Company In The World

How can you make your company the most innovative in the world? Is it even possible? Can your company become more innovative than the ones you admire most? No matter who you are, what industry you are in, whatever potential disruptors may be out there, with the right actions you can transform your company to become the most […]

The Best Innovations Are A Cluster

Many people consider the wheel as one of the great innovations in history. Introduced over 3,000 years ago the wheel enabled the earliest information and commerce highway. The invention of the wheel closed distances and led to unity and collaboration, but also war and destruction.

When you study the invention of the wheel, you learn that building the wheel […]

The First Step Towards Becoming Exceptional

It was a hot, sweltering triple-digit day in in early July. They were crammed into a tight conference room in a cheap motel just outside Phoenix for their first meeting. As uncomfortable as the surroundings were, this group of about 40 wide-eyed young men could not be more excited. They had just won the athletic lottery, they […]

The Four Attributes That Will Win The Masters

Eighty-seven of the world’s finest golfers will tee it up this week with hopes to win the Masters Tournament, golf’s grandest stage. These players represent the past, present and future of the game. And while no one knows who will be victorious on Sunday afternoon, I have a pretty good idea as to the qualities and attributes […]

Why Your Innovation Initiative Will Fail

Every company knows the importance of innovation. Everyone knows that without innovation you are headed to irrelevance. As a result, every company tries to innovate in the best way it can. Companies invest in innovation officers and teams, who are charged with creating new value. These teams very often implement programs they read about–or imitate programs they […]

How To Turn an Innovation Failure Into Success

Most people realize that failure is necessary for innovation, and failure in innovation is expected. In fact, failure is something increasingly celebrated. Companies around the world now talk about “wearing failure as a badge of honor.”

But should companies really celebrate failure? Do these companies know how to deal with failure, and what are they really learning from […]

For Big Innovation, Think Small

Organizations trying to innovate are wired to think big. They want to make a big impact, set big goals, and talk about big plans and big successes. No one is interested in anything that appears small. At first blush, this makes sense: in order to move the needle on your P&L you need to have a big […]

The #1 Reason Innovation Efforts Fail

Despite the countless books and articles written about innovation, we don’t have a good understanding about what drives innovation within organizations. Instead, we have multiple, often conflicting, theories about what makes innovation happen. We follow the one that resonates best with us or is in vogue. As a result, innovation efforts at many companies suffocate as they […]

New York Just Lost An Opportunity To Create Its Very Own Amazon

While everyone has their own views about who won and who lost in Amazon’s decision to no longer build a New York City Headquarters, one sure thing is that longer term innovation in the New York community just took a big hit. This is not simply the innovation that would happen within the walls of Amazon. This […]

The Exceptionals

Being exceptional is special. We have all been amazed by the achievements of a special set of incredibly gifted and talented individuals. In every field there are people who have achieved a rare and elite status. Their talents and accomplishments are admired and envied and emulated, all at the same time. These are the individuals that have scaled the top of the […]

It’s not all about Grit

Most of my research recently has been around what makes certain individuals exceptional. What makes a very small subset of people achieve a rare and elite level of excellence in their field. They may be athletes who are household names, or people you have never heard about who have invented lifesaving medicines or are recognized as Nobel Laureates […]

The single most important skill to teach your kids

When my children were young, I used to tell them to study anything they wanted in college, as long as it gave them quantitative skills. I was effectively telling them to become a “quant” in some way. While I can count on one hand the number of times my kids have actually listened to me, my son did end […]

Recognizing Innovation Right in Front of You

This post originally appeared in ThoughtLeaders July 30, 2018
By Kumar Mehta

Establishing the conditions that encourage innovation is the best way for your company to consciously develop an environment that consistently lets you produce offerings with new and novel value – innovations in the eyes of your users. The most innovative companies do this instinctively – perhaps because of […]

The Full Innovation List – 2018

Worlds top 2500 R&D companies along with many relevant stats. How does your company compare to every other:

Download the Full Excel Version or View as an HTML document

Past data: 2016
Download the Full Excel Version or View as an HTML document

Driving Innovation

Kumar’s recent interview on driving innovation with The Smart Manager. Read the full interview below.

Download the PDF

The Only Way to Innovate (really)

There are thousands of books and millions of articles written about innovation. However, there is still no clear view on what innovation is and how companies can become more innovative. And as important as innovation is to the continued success and very existence of a corporation, the process of innovation is a jumbled mess, with multiple and sometimes […]

How You Can Start Betting On The Right Ideas

This article originally appeared in The CEO Magazine Jan 4, 2018
By Kumar Mehta

Every business leader wants to bring transformative and world changing innovation to their customers. They want to bring new and novel value to the world, and in doing so reap the vast rewards that come with being a trailblazing innovator. They often have multiple ideas and […]

Cultivate Innovation From Within

This article originally appeared on ExecuNet on December 6, 2017
By Kumar Mehta

All business leaders want to innovate and release those rare, inspirational and highly desirable products that their customers line up to buy. In their quest to learn how to innovate they often look outside their organizations and wonder how successful entrepreneurs did it. They want to […]

Roger Bannister

Sad to learn about Roger Bannister’s passing. Sharing his story and how his innovation, being the first human to run a mile in under four minutes, influenced my research on innovation and book The Innovation Biome. (


On a windy day in May 1954, one of the biggest barriers in sports, a feat that was considered by […]

How a smaller country can become an innovation leader

This article originally appeared on on January 10, 2018
By Kumar Mehta

There are approximately 35 countries with a population range of 1-5mn people (the population of Oman is approximately 4.5mn).

There are also approximately 35 countries with populations greater than 40mn people. This latter set of countries control the world’s innovation. They spend the most on R&D and […]

Failure in Innovation

Failure in Innovation, what does it really teach you?

New value creation is a leap of faith, and a high degree of failure is expected. If you study the most innovative companies you can think of, you will find that they have had far more failures than successes, more misses than hits. No one knows beforehand what will work […]

Unleashing Creativity — the first step to innovation

We revere and admire the great innovators, the people who have truly changed the world over the course of history. We often think of these people as geniuses or imagine they have some particular trait we can learn or hire for that will lead to unbridled creativity and priceless innovation. Well, the truth is, there is no single […]

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BoldTV Facebook Live interview with Kumar

Experience Pros Radio Show interview with Kumar

The Pivotal Leader EPISODE 54: DOES YOUR CULTURE INSPIRE INNOVATION? interview with Kumar

FastLeader interview with Kumar

Working Tech on SoundCloud

School For Startups Radio

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