Southern Growth Studio

Once upon a Time, in Business

By Michael Graber / October 6, 2018 /

In business and daily life, we are wired for stories as a species. One creation myth begins by saying God created humans because he needed good stories. Stories bind us together, creating an emotionally connected narrative through which we make sense of the world. I want to share a Here’s What I Love About My Careerstory with you.…

Read More

Doing Right is Good Marketing

By Michael Graber / August 25, 2018 /

The vehicles of marketing have transformed more in the last 10 years than in the previous 100 years. The communication tools and methods of the Industrial Era do not work in our shared world of instant informa­tion exchange.

Read More

Denying Apoptisis or Atrophy? Unhealthy Corporate Ailments

By Michael Graber / January 18, 2018 /

Corporations are not absolute and monolithic entities, but are instead as alive and dynamic as the people who work there. When corporations mistakenly presume rigidity, act as it immortal and refuse to adapt, they get a form of cultural cancer. Let’s explore this insidious conceit in more depth.

Read More
Why Hesitate? Innovate. Start, and Learn. - Innovation Excellence

Why Hesitate? Innovate. Start, and Learn.

By Michael Graber / November 21, 2017 /

Innovation is not a linear, analytic process where a business case is built, investments made and products launched. Rather, it is a recursive, iterate framework for spending small increments of time and money to learn more and design a solution for a real problem.

Read More
Revisiting Jill Lepore's Debate with Clayton Christensen - Innovation Excellence

Revisiting Jill Lepore’s Debate with Clayton Christensen

By Michael Graber / October 10, 2017 /

Jill Lepore’s New Yorker article about how Disruptive Innovations have failed and how the theory is bogus completely underestimates the forward-thinking and world-changing power of disruptive innovation in business.

Read More

What’s Your Innovation Definition?

By Michael Graber / September 5, 2017 /

So many organizations set out to innovate, but lose their way close to the finish line. All of the time, money, and energy invested loom over them like an ominous shadow of failure ready to overtake the whole scene. What happened? There was so much momentum, good will, collaboration, and then—the painful, public crash into the wall.

Read More

Anxiety Hits Middle Managers the Hardest

By Michael Graber / July 21, 2017 /

“What are the metrics?” We get this question all the time from nervous managers, directors, and VPs who are struggling with the philosophical underpinnings of front-end innovation. They are eager to launch an innovation program, but want to be able to foresee the outcome before embarking on a journey of discovery.

Read More

Private Label Becomes the Branded Product

By Michael Graber / June 24, 2017 /

Almost everyday the Studio faces challenges that private label competitors impose upon our branded products clients. More and more private label brands are taking lessons out of the innovation and brand strategy playbooks and getting ahead of the once category-leading brand product.

Read More
Lip Service or Real Metamorphosis? How Real Innovation Happens

Lip Service or Real Metamorphosis? How Real Innovation Happens.

By Michael Graber / May 5, 2017 /

When we get called into a company it is often because a very expensive innovation effort failed. One of the huge global innovation firms was called in to create a new platform and what happens next is very much like a bad action movie—you know the story. No surprises. The company received breakthrough concepts but they don’t know…

Read More

Essential Tactics for Innovation Intrapreneurs

By Michael Graber / April 10, 2017 /

For authentic innovation to occur at an organization, you have to craft the culture of a place to accept and embrace new ways of working together and being in the market. More often than not, teams or outsourced agencies follow an innovation method, create many concepts that are new to the market and certain to…

Read More