Innovation Perspectives - Three Legged Stool

This is the third of several ‘Innovation Perspectives’ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on ‘What are three specific actions that a non-innovative company can take to become more innovative?’. Here is the next perspective in the series: by Paul Sloane Three things your organization can do to become more innovative: Set goals for innovation in terms of new products, services, methods, ideas etc and incorporate them into the the objectives of all the senior team. Establish and resource an employee ideas scheme. Encourage suggestions on specific topics. Ensure all ideas are quickly evaluated and the best are implemented. Allocate time, money and people to innovation. Give people some time for brainstorming and experimentation. Appoint innovation champions to help drive through the best ideas. You can check out all of the ‘Innovation Perspectives’ articles from the different contributing authors on ‘What are three … Continue reading

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It's the One You Don't See That'll Kill You

How widely do you plan for a different future? Do you think British Petroleaum’s (BP’s) engineers and managers knew there was a chance of a major problem coming from deep water drilling? It seems illogical to think they didn’t know the chance existed. Yet, they seemed pretty ill-prepared for the problem. As did the federal government agencies and responders – as well as all the businesses that make a living out of cleaning up water-based oil spills. sums up the issue pretty succinctly in the article “What is Your Company’s Deepwater Horizon?” According to the article, the problem at BP is one that lots of companies have; most businesses simply don’t put enough effort into planning for worst case scenarios. Actually, the problem is worse than that. Most companies only plan for one scenario – more of the same. Planning processes rarely do …

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Innovation Perspectives - Truth Serum

This is the second of several ‘Innovation Perspectives’ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on ‘What are three specific actions that a non-innovative company can take to become more innovative?’. Here is the next perspective in the series: Creativity is not top priority for the emergence of an innovation culture by Yann Cramer An injection of creativity serum for all employees – if such a thing was ever invented – is not what the enterprise seeking to become more innovative needs. Essentially for two reasons: Firstly, creativity is part of human nature, though often repressed and suppressed. In the right environment it will naturally re-emerge and bloom. No need for chemical boost! Secondly, and perhaps more counter-intuitively, creativity is only a small component of innovation, one that may not make the real difference: the creative enterprise is full of ideas, the innovative enterprise … Continue reading

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Targeting the Hidden Buyer

If I ran a bath & body shop, I’d probably market hard to men. I wouldn’t create products for men. But I’d work hard to get them to come and buy from my shop. I’d make it super-easy for them to delight their wives, girlfriends, daughters, sisters, mothers and other important women in their lives. I’d launch a wish list that my female customers could fill out and keep on file (both at the store and online) so that men could come in, see what they want, and make an easy selection. Easy. Done. Men know that the important women in their lives use and want this stuff, but have no idea how to shop for it. They’re intimidated by the sheer thought of walking into such a store. Make it easy for them, demonstrate that you can offer a quick translation and quicker …

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Time to Retire Strategic Planning and Adopt Innovation Strategy

It’s almost that time of year again. Strategic planning teams all over the world will gather behind closed doors in a vain attempt to predict the future – except for the visionary ones who are saying “Enough!” They have realized that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is, well, simply crazy. Remember the first James Bond movie you ever saw? Regardless of who was playing 007, you couldn’t help but be swept up as he outgunned and outsmarted the bad guys and saved the day. Now think of the last James Bond movie you saw. Did it give you the same thrill? Or did you almost fall asleep? It’s not the actor, or the mind-numbing car chases and explosions to blame. It’s the fact that we’ve seen it all before, year after year, we know how it ends. We’re left feeling vaguely unsatisfied, hoping … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Strategy | 10 Comments
Ideation Do's and Don'ts

There is a right way and a wrong way to run a brainstorm or ideation meeting. A little preparation pays dividends. It is very important to separate the two phases of the meeting. The first part of the meeting is idea generation when you use divergent thinking. The second part is idea selection when you use convergent thinking. Here are my top tips for a meeting that will produce great ideas: Before the meeting Choose a diverse group. Six to ten people is ideal. If at all possible bring in some provocative outsiders to challenge the conventional thinking in your team. Appoint a facilitator. Ideally the facilitator should be external to the group. They can use different techniques to manage the process. The manager is often a poor choice for this role as they cannot stop themselves shaping the content. Meet off-site. Getting away from the office somehow helps to … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, collaboration | 2 Comments
Are You an Idea Addict?

There are lots of things in this world that people get addicted to: alcohol, nicotine, heroin, sex, and iPhones just to name a few. But perhaps the biggest addiction of them all is the addiction to our own ideas. Here’s how it works: We think something up. We feel a buzz. We tweak it, we name it, we pitch it, and POOF, the addiction begins. At first, like most habits, it’s a seemingly casual pursuit with a thousand positive side effects: increased energy, renewed focus, and a general feeling of well-being. Like wow, man. But then… We think about it in the shower. We think about it in the car. We think about it when people are asking us to think about other things. We even dream about it. Soon we want everyone to know about our idea. We want them to feel the buzz. We want them to nod … Continue reading

Posted in Apple, Innovation | 5 Comments