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The whiplash journey of Mattel’s beloved kids’ toy range perfectly sums up the fundamentals and key challenges of managing continuous, successful corporate innovation.

Avoid He-Man sized innovation mistakes

And now for something a bit different: key lessons from the history of Mattel’s kids toy range, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. The brand’s journey perfectly demonstrates the fundamentals and challenges of managing continuous, successful corporate innovation.

In highly competitive market conditions, Mattel instinctively undertook the innovation process (well before Design Thinking and Lean Startup were even things), and they won big. But that triumph led to monumental downfall within a heartbeat. Learn how and why He-Man’s extreme success didn’t translate into an engrained and sustainable growth engine, innovation culture, and repeatable capability.

He-Man and his friends looked like they could break a Jedi in half physically – and did so (financially, that is).

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Mike Pinder

Mike Pinder is a cross-industry business innovation expert & consultant, thought leader, author, lecturer & international keynote speaker on innovation. He's driven by using innovation to leave the world a better place than we found it. Mike is a co-founder of Wicked Acceleration Labs (an industry-academia research lab aimed at tackling wicked problems), Member of Board of Advisors at Global Innovation Institute (GInI), & Honorary Practice Fellow at Imperial College London Business School. Mike consults and leads across innovation strategy, Design Thinking, Lean Start-up, Business Model Innovation in both B2B and B2C, guiding c-level innovation strategy, innovation accelerator design, co-creation, capability programs, academic research, executive education (Exec Ed) university program design, intrapreneurship, digital transformation, sprints & more.