When Innovation Efforts Are a Waste

… of Money, Time, Resources by Stefan Lindegaard I just had an interesting discussion that inspired me to write down some thoughts on the innovation work I do – and have done – with companies over the years. For your information, I most often work with innovation leaders, the people in charge of making innovation happen within their companies. Occasionally, I also work directly with executives. Consultants including myself hope and believe that we can have a real impact, but we are most often kidding ourselves as well as our clients. We can bring great theories and lessons from other companies to the table, but it simply does not matter if the company is not really ready for it. This readiness is usually based in two things: The company has a burning platform. Change needs to happen in order to survive. The executives are truly committed to innovation. This is … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Leadership, Management | 1 Comment
The Future of Management (and Education)

And the State Of Design Thinking by Idris Mootee I get a lot of requests to speak to the business and design communities about the state of “design thinking” and how it is being practiced. Talking about what that means is one thing but practicing it in the real world is a different thing. Idea Couture is probably the first large scale experiment built from day one to apply design thinking in the most sophisticated setting. I see Idea Couture as a work in progress (and will be for another 3 years) that serves as a real world laboratory for fostering collaboration between the information design, engineering, foresight, visual art and industrial design in applied complex business problem solving. Our firm practices reflective collaboration – bringing interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teams together to visually model complex systems and industry structures to yield new insights and foresights. The results improve the quality … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Management, Psychology, collaboration, culture, education | 4 Comments
Has the Online Privacy Backlash Begun?

Though some may like to believe that the age of privacy is dead, recent developments in Do Not Track browser options would suggest otherwise. Microsoft recently announced a new feature for Internet Explorer 9, called Tracking Protection Lists, enabling consumers to limit the data third-party sites can collect about them. Yesterday, Mozilla announced they will incorporate a Do Not Track header into the upcoming Firefox 4.1, which would essentially notify each website the user visits that they want to opt-out of third party, advertising-based tracking. And Google just made a new Chrome extension available called Keep My Opt-Outs, which permanently opts your browser out of online ad personalization via cookies. While these efforts are underway for our browsers, tools are also being developed for our social networks. WSJ just covered a new tool called uProtect.it, whose tagline is “Protection from Facebook on Facebook.” The free app encrypts your comments and … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology, Social Media | 4 Comments
Get Ready!

A Special Message From the Editor: Very soon we will be coming to you the active members of this innovation community who have taken the time to connect with us on facebook or LinkedIn to get your input to help us build a newer, stronger, more vibrant, more valuable innovation community with Blogging Innovation at its core (but with several new content types orbiting this core). Blogging Innovation is now home to over 2,200 articles on innovation and marketing topics, and publishing 2-4 new articles every day. The site serves up some two million pages per month to people from more than 150 countries, and the community continues to grow – with over 4,600 members in the community’s LinkedIn group and over 1,000 members of the facebook page for the community. To help build a newer, stronger Blogging Innovation capable of helping organizations to build a deep innovation capability, we … Continue reading

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To Innovate - Steal Don't Imitate

When no one knows what’s going to happen we’ll naturally look at other people for clues on how to behave. This is the basis of imitation, and it’s a survival tactic. Simply said, in an environment where the world is changing, the best strategy is lots of imitation. The problem with this is we’re rarely aware of how ‘much imitation’ is necessary and outright imitation is stupid plain and simple. It’s a balancing act to decide what to copy and what not. Practice ‘Smart Stealing’ The best strategy is to ‘steal’ from different sources, ideally ‘the best’ sources outside your industry. Examples abound of companies who have ‘stolen’ from others. Apple stole Xerox’s musical interface and mouse ideas. Facebook and MySpace stole Friendster’s social network idea. Microsoft stole Netscape’s browser idea. Kobe Bryant has stolen moves from other basketball greats. It’s even happening in the Venture Capital Industry where one … Continue reading

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7 Core Qualities of an Innovator

One of the things that troubles me is that all too often we sell ourselves short, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Example: often when I give a speech or workshop, I ask people to raise their hands if they consider themselves a problem-solver. Nearly every hand goes up. Makes sense…you probably solved 25 problems (most of them tiny) before you sat down to work this morning. Then I ask them to raise their hands if they consider themselves a good learner. Again, nearly every hand goes up. THEN I ask for the true innovators to raise their hands. On a good day, maybe 2% will raise their hands. It’s not because they aren’t innovators. It’s because they think about innovation in the wrong way…about innovations. Gadgets and gizmos. Not innovation as a creative action. Here’s the thing: the iterative loop underneath problem-solving, learning (creating new knowledge, not acquiring that … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Management, Psychology | 2 Comments
Is Innovation an Unqualified Good?

I love blogging, and I love blog comments even more. I get a chance to interact, at least from a short text perspective, with people who agree, and who disagree with my writing and points of view. There’s nothing better than a dispute or debate over ideas. One of the comments on my recent post “Why Innovation makes Executives Uncomfortable” asserted that I have a bias that innovation is an unqualified good. That statement, and the issues that arise with it, are worth more than a blog post, but that’s all I’ll have time for today. The key question is: Is innovation an unqualified good, and do we innovation consultants have a bias that leads us to think all innovation is “good”? Let’s unpack, shall we? First, I believe in Schumpeter, who defined capitalism as creative destruction. But even more, I think innovation itself is creative destruction, …

Posted in Innovation | 2 Comments