Here are 11 top blogs and resources we curated for every innovator to include in his arsenal.
To be a good innovation manager, you have to be well-read. The job requires a curiosity and passion for knowledge that isn’t common in every professional field.
For innovation to happen, things have to change. By definition.
This is one of the best things about the job. But it also means that leaders need to be searching for ideas and inspiration constantly. New technologies, strategies, and working techniques need to be tested and explored.
So to help, we’ve compiled 11 of the best innovation management blogs out there. These are the go-to sources for both classical concepts that every manager should know by heart, and the latest breakthroughs that could be just able to revolutionize industries.
Let’s begin with a few all-around greats.
Some of the resources below are tailored to specific aspects of innovation - especially strategy. Others are better for breaking news and trends.
But the sites in this section have it all. They’re the most complete and comprehensive innovation blogs you’ll find - the ones you absolutely have to read on a regular basis.
Harvard Business Review is pretty much the gold standard for innovation management resources. A search for the word “innovation” brings back more than 7,000 results. “Innovation management” returns more than 4,000. And those are only the free articles.
All of these articles have the depth and insights that you’d expect from one Harvard University. More importantly, many of the contributing authors literally invented some of the key innovation management concepts we read about every day.
If you want authoritative and thoroughly researched ideas that you won’t find in any old business blog, this is the place to come. And while some content is only for paying users, there’s more than enough for the casual reader who’s not quite ready to invest.
As a blog, Idea to Value is already a great resource. It features lots of interesting stories from innovators themselves, and also analyses of how major companies build their strategies.
But the best part about this site is the range of media it offers. First, most blog posts include a video recap of the topic discussed. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to reading - or you just don’t want to read - you can listen to the audio while checking your emails.
Idea to Value also has its own podcast. Host Nick Skillicorn (also the blog editor) interviews innovation and marketing leaders in well-known companies about how they promote change in their jobs. Again, this is a great resource for those anyone driving or exercising, or for those who don’t feel like reading.
Finally, there’s a active community. It’s free to sign up, and this gives you access to discussions with other innovation managers, plus templates to use on the job.
At first glance, this looks like a long-forgotten personal blog from the early 2000s.
In fact, it’s the highly informative and enlightening site of teacher, author, and public speaker Steve Blank. After 21 years in technology companies in Silicon Valley, Blank retired (if you can call it that) and began writing books on entrepreneurship. He went on to create the LeanLaunchpad programs at Standford and UC Berkeley, which teach students a scientific way to approach building a business.
All of that is to say that there’s a lot to learn from his thoughts. He only posts a few times a month (on average), but each is long and detailed, usually with diagrams and added information. They’re also full of links to other useful resources from all over the industry, and just one post can keep you reading for hours if you follow each aside.
As a bonus, there’s also a section for Blank’s “A Secret History of Silicon Valley” - a fascinating and thoroughly researched talk beginning in World War II.
This claims to be “the online home of the global innovation community.” And what’s great about a site with a community focus is that it’s easy to find out what other innovation practitioners care about.
Each month, Innovation Excellence publishes the top articles from the month before, based on their popularity. So if it’s your first time visiting, you can immediately see what other users were interested in recently.
And many of the authors are world-renowned for their books and thought leadership. Among others, you’ll find articles from Greg Satell, futurist Tom Koulopoulos, and Arlen Meyers. Plenty of keynote speeches and TED talks between them.
Overall, the site provides a nice mix of thought-provoking, timeless pieces, and trending topics in the innovation world. Which makes this one of the best places to check regularly if you want to stay up to date and well-informed.
If you’re looking for innovation management resources, this Swedish blog puts it right there in the title for you.
As the authors explain themselves, this site is for and by people interested in “learning how to optimize innovation programs; generate new projects, products, and solutions; and track new mindsets and technology trends.”
More concretely, it offers a mix of news, advice, and analysis from innovators all over the world. And crucially, every single piece has information of value to innovation managers in companies.
This blog is especially valuable for those trying to develop a foundation in innovation theory or building an innovation strategy for the first time. The information is clear and easily-digestible, and doesn’t complicate matters with jargon.
Science and entrepreneurship are constantly unearthing incredible new discoveries. As an innovation manager, it’s your job to keep an eye on these breakthroughs and consider how they might improve your own work.
These resources will help.
If you’re familiar with Greg Satell’s four types of innovation, you know that basic research is key to successful business growth. He’s adamant that companies need to make better use of the mountains of data already publicly available - especially if they can’t afford to create their own labs.
Which is why Open Access Government is such a useful resource.
There are not too many other sites that give you the latest studies in sustainable jet fuel, innovation practices in Japan and Ireland, and the role of virtual reality in combating Alzheimer's.
And more than just news, OAG also has special reports written by field experts in science, government, and business. The site also features an endless supply of free ebooks to download, on a range of precise and fascinating topics.
This resource is definitely not a secret. Google just about any term in tech and business and you’ll find an Entrepreneur article.
And while it may not be as detailed or informative as HBR or MIT, it’s a great source of skimmable news to get you thinking. You might roll your eyes at “10 Things You Didn’t Realize Were Invented in the 1980s” (spoiler: many of these are famously ‘80s inventions), but for every dud there’s another piece that takes you inside the thought process of creative businesspeople.
You’ll also find short and interesting thought leadership pieces from managers at large companies. Yes, some of these are just for ego-boosting. But others actually talk about their innovation processes and the structure of their teams, and these insights can be golden.
Just be choosy about what you read. Luckily, it’s always easy to tell when an article is going to be worth your time.
Where do you go when you want to know what is being produced as a result of company innovation? Here are a few suggestions.
As the name suggests, SciTech Europa looks at science and technology trends and updates across Europe. It has sections dedicated to environment and sustainability, research and development, space, and digital innovation.
In essence, the site is not too different from Open Access Government. You’ll find news, special reports, and free ebooks to download and explore.
SciTech Europa is especially interesting for those working directly in science and R&D. Many of the stories are highly specified, like the article on panoramic photography in the image above.
But there are also great discussions on broader topics like artificial intelligence, cloud storage, and automation. It’s an excellent place to keep tabs on science and technology, no matter what industry your company is in.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - the top-ranked university in the world - has its own news site. And because MIT is known for breakthrough technology, you can believe that the topics on its site stay close to this theme.
It has a nice mix of breaking news from the tech and science sectors, as well as interviews with MIT researchers and fellows.
The university is also home to the Sloan School of Management business school. Sloan is famous for producing highly analytical managers and CEOs in diverse disciplines like sports, government, and venture capital. The site features interviews with faculty and students at Sloan, which can be both inspiring and informative to current business leaders.
If your chief goal is to improve the innovation processes in your business today, you need some better ways to approach it. These blogs look closely at the “how tos” of innovation to help companies get better results.
Every innovation expert worth their salt knows about “The Innovator’s Dilemma.” This seminal book explores the concept of disruptive technology and how some businesses used it succeed, and some to fail.
The author, Clayton M. Christensen, went on to co-found Innosight. This strategic consultancy aims to “empower forward-thinking organizations to navigate disruptive change and own the future.”
It also has a highly interesting and useful blog which includes articles and reports from around the world of innovation. Unlike Steve Blank’s blog above (which is more focused on startup methods), these “insights” are acutely focused on corporate innovation.
This is a great resource for leaders in established businesses who want to future-proof their organizations and be ready for change.
Belgium’s Board of Innovation is a hands-on business consultancy that helps established companies develop an entrepreneurial mindset. It aims to do this with a practical, no-nonsense approach.
This is reflected in the agency’s blog. Like some of the other publications on this list, the content is a mix of strategy and thought leadership. And while both are great, readers will find the strategy pieces especially useful.
The agency presents the schemes it uses in real businesses to help them innovate, educate, and scale. You’ll be able to identify the common problems you may be experiencing on a regular basis, and some useful ways to overcome these.
Even better, you’ll see what motivates and excites consultants who tackle these problems every single day.
These were just 11 of the very best blogs and websites to build your knowledge and improve your innovation strategy. Of course, there’s no end to the information out there, and innovation by its very nature keeps on changing.
To stay on top in this field, it’s vital to read, learn, and share ideas. Some of these blogs even include active discussion sections and online communities where you can interact with other people going through the same challenges as you.
These can be an invaluable source of motivation, inspiration, and knowledge.
So which sites and resources have we left out? What are your favorite places to keep on top of the trends in innovation?
Let us know below.
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