Innovation Sales

Why this twice-acquired entrepreneur says an innovation lab is a terrible idea if you actually want innovation (and what he does instead)

In a fast-paced world of change, many companies don’t know how to keep up or worry new innovations will push them out of business. In response, companies big and small created the idea of the innovation lab – a sandbox environment where brilliant minds can test new ideas that will, if successful, integrate into the core business offering. But that’s not a good idea if you actually want innovation, according to one entrepreneur that works with companies on innovation projects. 

Paul Crowe’s company Intersect, formerly BNotions, got acquired twice. Along the way, Crow learned a thing or two about innovation. Symbility Solutions acquired his small development shop. CoreLogic then acquired Symbility and Intersect. Each time, Intersect retained some independence with clients but also became a center-of-excellence for the acquirer. Now, two acquisitions later and scaling Intersect’s innovation strategy, Crowe is convinced that creating an innovation lab – whether using a hired group of people or an acquired company’s employees – is a horrible idea if you actually want to create innovation.

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