Business Innovation and the 'I' in Team

Innovation counselors and organizational consultants alike extol teamwork as the key to shared success. For projects or new initiatives to succeed, it’s said all involved have to be “on the same page” or working together as one. But does that include innovation initiatives in the corporate environment? Actually, look at the basketball court for comparison. This month, Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – each highly successful and well-paid athletes – gave up a chance a millions more in salary to play together on the Miami Heat. Their belief: By bringing their individual skills together on the basketball court, they had a better shot at winning an NBA title. Then there’s the tale of Michael Jordan. Some years ago, an assistant coach on the Chicago Bulls chided Michael Jordan for the star player putting on a stellar – albeit individual – performance in a team win. The coach stated … Continue reading

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Innovation Limitation - 20 Famous Quotes

Forget What the ‘Experts’ Say by Paul Sloane Experts tend to be notoriously wrong in their assumptions, especially regarding the impact of new technologies. So don’t focus your strategy or innovation efforts on their perception of what the future will – or won’t – look like. In face, the greater the expert, the more wrong they can be, either in their assumptions or their negative reactions to new ideas. Here are some classic examples: Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), the celebrated English diarist, wrote the following comments on seeing plays by Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet – “the worst play I ever saw in my life”, A Midsummer Night”s Dream – “the most insipid, ridiculous play”, Twelfth Night – “a silly play.” Dr. Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859), professor of natural history and astronomy at London University, warned that railway trains traveling at speed would asphyxiate their passengers through lack of air. He also stated … Continue reading

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Innovation Perspectives

July’s opportunity to contribute your Innovation Perspectives is now here. This monthly feature presents our loyal readers with different perspectives on a single topic all in one place – from several different authors. It gives our innovation community the opportunity to compare, contrast and discuss them in the comments here on Blogging Innovation and with the 3,250+ people in the Continuous Innovation group on LinkedIn. Here is this month’s topic from Drew Boyd for publishing the week of July 26-August 1, 2010: — How should firms identify innovation opportunities and predict market potential at very early stages and in new areas (“green fields”) and ambiguous environments? Thank you to Planview for sponsoring Blogging Innovation this month. Find out more about Planview here. The submission deadline is midnight GMT on July 24, 2010 Several contributing authors will be writing articles on this topic, but you are also welcome to submit an … Continue reading

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Intention - The Root of Creativity

If creativity is the flower of a human life, then intention is the root. Indeed, there are many bipeds among us who believe that without intention, there can be no creativity. More than its second cousins — hope, wish, dream, and desire — intention is the ground from which creativity springs. One of the main reasons why creativity is so flaccid in most people (and by extension, most organizations) is that there is very little intention — and the intention that does exist is often a simulation of the real thing — upwardly mobile fast trackers inheriting someone else’s vision, strategy or idea, but not sufficiently in touch with their own reason for being to really break through… And so, if you want to create something new and meaningful, you will need to get more deeply in touch with your intention. The force. The mojo. What truly moves you. Intention, … Continue reading

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Open Innovation and IP Protection Can Work Together

“If you do it right…” by John Steen I’ve just finished reading a nice article on IP strategy and open innovation that was published in the MIT Sloan Management Review last year. It’s worth reading because the authors, Oliver Alexy, Paula Criscuolo and Ammon Salter have been doing research in this area for a while and now have a good corpus of evidence about how to successfully manage open innovation. I’ve written a blog post previously on one of Ammon’s papers where he talks about the Gollum effect, where obsessive IP protection shuts down the possibilities for valuable innovation partnerships. The main point of the paper is that some organizations obsess about IP with a ‘one size fits all’ approach, which disables innovation. Universities in particular are becoming notorious for this and it is having a detrimental effect, as the authors explain. “For example, Rolls Royce plc finds that it … Continue reading

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Small Details Matter

Oftentimes we just want to ship something; to get it out the door as quickly as possible. This is usually a great thing. But sometimes we’ll make up tons of extra things to add to something because we fear failure (guilty as charged). So getting something out the door is a great way to build momentum, pat yourself on the back, and bask in the accomplishment of actually creating something. (Lots of people don’t usually get that far. Kudos!) But once the party hats are put away and the plastic cups cleaned from the front lawn, it’s a great idea to start looking at tuning up some of the finer details that might have been glossed over just to meet the deadline and “ship”. I’ve been trying to focus on some of the finer details in the LifeDev design. This is really small, nitpicky stuff, but I’ve been using Google … Continue reading

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The Improvement Mindset

Improvement is good; we all want it. Whether it’s Continuous Improvement (CI), where goodness, however defined, is improved incrementally and continually, or Discontinuous Improvement (DI), where goodness is improved radically and steeply, we want it. But, it’s not enough to want it. How do we create the Improvement Mindset, where the desire to make things better is a way of life? The traditional non-answer goes something like this: “Well, you know, a lot of diverse factors have to come together in a holistic way to make it happen. It takes everyone pulling in the same direction.” Crap. If I had to pick the secret ingredient that truly makes a difference it’s this: People with the courage to see things as they are. People who can hold up the mirror and see warts as warts and problems as problems – they’re the secret ingredient. No warts, no improvement. No problems, no … Continue reading

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