Innovation is about finding the kernel of marketable brilliance at the core of crazy-sounding ideas, say Delony Langer-Anderson and Cristin Moran of 3M. They say that at 3M, it is essential to do due diligence even on concepts they were inclined to dismiss. "We took that whackadoodle prototype ... and we dug down layer by layer to find the nugget the [inventors] were trying to show us," they explain.

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