Michael Fruhling is the founder and CEO of bfs innovations, Inc., a technology scouting firm that creates and capitalizes on consumer and market-driven business opportunities  He has 25 years of new business and new product development experience and success with companies including Procter and Gamble, Bristol Myers Squibb/Drackett and Bath and Body Works.

Product Development: Do you Know what you Really Need?

Product development requirements often change in the course of a project, sometimes for the most arbitrary of reasons. Too often, the executives who ask for these "tweaks" fail to understand the significant ripple effects these changes can cause in terms of manpower, resource allocation and time, warns Michael Fruhling.

Open Innovation: Beiersdorf’s Intimate Approach to External Partnerships

Michael Fruhling rececently spoke with Dr. Horst Wenck, Beiersdorf's Corporate VP of R+D, about his company's approach to open innovation. One key is its OI web portal, which carefully cultivates a qualified set of external partners. Once a relationship is established, Beiersdorf forms a 'project house,' where qualified partners are deeply immersed in its current technical needs and challenges and the corporate intelligence it has gathered to support its OI priorities.

Open Innovation: External Partnership Best Practices

A couple of years ago, it seemed that everybody in the external innovation business aspired to be "partner of choice." That is, they wanted to be the company that external partners would preferentially approach with unsolicited new opportunities. Michael Fruhling is pleased to report that a number of companies have really stepped up their external partnering "game."

Open Innovation: The Technology Scouting Uncertainty Principle

In any supplier/customer relationship, both sides (but quite often the supplier) desire clarity regarding the certainty of the relationship. When there is uncertainty, there is angst. Some of this is natural and necessary. However, Michael Fruhling believes that in open innovation it is needlessly excessive. How can it be reduced?

The Problem with Open Innovation Web Portals

Michael Fruhling doesn't like open innovation portals, in general. What's his problem with them?

The Critical Importance of Competitive Scenario Creation

Does your company currently consider alternative future states which anticipate your competitors' likely new product introductions? Or, new competitors, not yet known in the market? If not, it should.

How to Create a Supportive Environment for Outside Innovation Partnerships

How can organizations derive the greatest value from consulting engagements or other outside partnerships? Here are three strategies that can make a difference whenever external resources are used, such as hiring a consultant or partnering with another firm.

Technology Scouting: Rethinking the Innovation Toolbox

Companies should reconsider their technology scouting strategies to proactively seek, identify and access external knowledge, skills, capabilities and intellectual assets. These may or may not be applicable to their current needs. However, these resources could quickly be activated to help address new challenges as they arise. Sort of an innovation toolbox, according to Michael Fruhling.