Innovation of the Week: Cultivating Innovation with Alessi

Posted by: meikah | 12 March 2009 | 10:38 pm

sixsig innovation of the week

For me, sustaining a company’s innovation streak in an old company is not an easy task. Because that would mean motivating and inspiring your employees every step of the way.

The McKinsey Quarterly carries a very interesting interview with Alberto Alessi, the head of his family’s Alessi design factory. Alessi talks about how they have preserved and maintained their iconic reputation through the years. Their secret is cultivating open innovation.

Some insights about innovation from the interview:

  • Address a creative thought instantly. “We start talking about it, designing it by telephone. If something interesting comes out of this, we start developing it over fax or through the mail. Then we meet.
  • Creativity or innovation should start from within.Their creation process starts from intuition, not from market research.”
  • Innovation should be coupled with sensibility, intuition, and prudence. Cater to “customer dreams” carefully. “Speak to the masses in a new sense, like a well-made film.
  • Live on the edge.Live as close as possible to the borderline, where you are able to really explore a completely unknown area of products.”
  • Persevere and be patient. Despite economic downturns, “my future is to continue to be a gardener. A gardener has to properly prepare the ground, then plant the seeds, then wait. Then, as the flower appears, a gardener has to take care of it—in a way that will permit it to express its nature, its best possibilities.”

Read the interview.

Filed under: Alessi, Innovation, Innovation Update

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