Pioneer Mode Weekly 1/25/2016

News Roundup

  Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review

Companies Are Now Making Innovation Everyone’s Job

for The Harvard Business Review by Michael Schrage

“Enterprise innovation conversations seem to be shifting more from the “how” to the “who.” Process and methodology debates have turned into the operational challenge of how best to boost people’s capabilities. For many firms, the innovation agenda is now as much about human capital investment as delivering new products and services.” 

“This new function relies less on bold, big-buck (or -euro) initiatives than on pervasively influencing how their firms value, and evaluate, innovation behavior. These folks effectively rebrand how people perceive innovation inside the enterprise. Being diligent, dedicated, and super-competent used to be enough to get the job or win the promotion. These companies now want prospective hires and promotion candidates to show they’re ready, willing, and able to collaboratively create new value. Innovation attitudes, not just aptitudes, matter. The ethos is as much about culture as competence.”

“I can’t help noting that entrepreneurs-turned-trainers are improvising just-in-time curricular mash-ups of TED talks, Big Think videos, and articles in their efforts to transform innovation conversations firm-wide.”


  Designers Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo (both seated) at their Mayfair boutiqu

Designers Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo (both seated) at their Mayfair boutiqu

Our fantasy frocks make business sense

for Financial Times by Mark C O’Flaherty

“We want to incubate new brands. We want to create something similar to the LVMH vehicle for talent. We are creating an infrastructure that we can control, and taking new talent to the next level. I could bring in a new designer tomorrow and give them PR, marketing, finance, HR and help with sourcing fabrics. So many times I see something well designed, but it’s not well made. We can make that happen.” – Michael Russo

“Right now, the Ralph & Russo atelier is full of work-in-progress, fantastical gowns for the red carpet (including pieces for Monica Bellucci, Bollywood star Sonam Kapoor and the Chinese media sensation Fan Bingbing), 1950s shapes and elegant convex silhouettes reminiscent of Balenciaga. But it’s also an arresting snapshot of contemporary global wealth, with a predictably large client list from the Middle East and a developing order book from South America. There are relatively few Disney-princess shapes amid the mannequins. Instead, many of the studio dummies veer more towards Leigh Bowery than Barbie. These are gowns for real, rich, often large women — something that flies in the face of the way luxury fashion continues to be marketed, and ready-to-wear is sized and made.

In this age of fast fashion, when many designers — including Jean Paul Gaultier and Viktor & Rolf — have dumped their ready-to-wear lines to focus on haute couture, it’s also something that still has real power. By waving a magic wand of business logic as well as fashion fantasy, and by heading for the highest ground, Ralph & Russo may also be creating a new model for the British fashion industry.