Why Does the Creative Fire Have to Die?

Earlier this year I had a great idea for a web application. I mapped out potential site features, sketched out a design, and started researching how to put the thing together. I was completely immersed in the flow of creating. The idea was fresh, new, and exciting, and I loved every minute I had working on it. But then after a few months, the idea hit a stage where it turned into a grind. I loved the idea still, but I didn’t love working on it. The fire behind the idea had officially died. *** There are going to be days when inspiration fades. Ideas are sexy in the beginning, but over time developing them can become a grind. And as if some unknown source is trying to lure me away from the original idea, another “better” idea will pop into my head. It can be draining to develop an … Continue reading

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Innovation Metrics - Part 2

Continuing the thoughts on metrics from Part 1 last week! : 2. Plan the Path – Now that you have a direction to point your innovation efforts at, it’s time to plan the path to get to that effort. In the same way that strategy documents are formulated with multiple time points to set milestones for where the company wants to be at 1,3, and 5 years – so should your innovation plan and strategy as to how you’re going to help the company achieve those aims and the contribution the innovation program will make to the company’s strategic aims. Your innovation pipeline will be led and directed by the strategic context of the program (see step 1 from last week) below, which follows the general form of: i) Find and Identify the problems or barriers to achieving the strategic objectives and define each tightly in terms of applicability, feasibility, … Continue reading

Posted in Finance, Innovation, Management, Strategy | 2 Comments
5 Signs Your Brand is in Trouble

Several years ago I started doing a presentation on lessons in turnaround brand building. The presentation features strategic lessons in raising a brand from the brink of collapse to tremendous success. The lessons are applicable to not only brands, but also to departments in companies, projects, and even personal life. With the subsequent dramatic economic meltdown, many once-stellar brands have disappeared for various reasons and a new niche has developed in predicting which brands will vanish in the near-term. In these cases, any type of attempted strategic brand turnaround has obviously failed. In my own corporate experience, I witnessed a significant unraveling of the incredible turnaround and brand building work that had been done. As an early step in refreshing and re-orienting the turnaround branding content, here are five observations about what happens to strategic thinking when a brand is in distress. Consider these early warning signs for a potential … Continue reading

Posted in Strategy, marketing | 2 Comments
Don't Stockpile Ideas, Make Them Flow

There was a good post recently by Michael Schrage concerning the recent article making the rounds claiming that America is suffering a creativity crisis. In short, he’s not buying that proposition. Here is one of the key quotes: “This point is vital: genuine creativity isn’t about ideas. It’s about translating ideas into ingenious products, services and solutions. Ideas are the seeds, not the substance, of creativity. Getting them to take root is easier than it’s ever been. That’s why cover stories declaring creativity droughts in America feel so faux. Sure, they’re provocative. But the underlying science is psuedo; the overarching solutions are silly.” I agree with nearly all of the post, and it reinforces a couple of points that we have consistently tried to make here. The first is that any time we talk about ideas (and it doesn’t matter whether we frame the issue as “creativity” or “innovation”), we … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Innovation | 1 Comment
The Need for Agile Innovation

We are in the midst of a paradigm shift in the way we think about our businesses. In a previous post I argued that the efficient use of ideas would become a new mantra, similar to the efficient use of capital. I think that’s true because it appears we’ve extended the concept of financial engineering and the efficient use of capital about as far as it can go. Additionally, we’ve reached the point where we aren’t creating any new value with the financial assets at our disposal. But that’s not the only reason for the paradigm shift. Along with the exhaustion of the efficient use of capital comes the increasing pace of change. Now, the fact that the pace of change is increasing is not news to anyone, but the impact it will have to our business models and the way most businesses work is dramatic. …

Posted in Innovation, Leadership, Management, Strategy | 1 Comment
Contest - Nominate the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers

Blogging Innovation is looking for the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers, and we have more than $10,000 worth of prizes as rewards available to a select few people who take the time to nominate someone. Do you, or does someone you know, write articles about innovation? Or do you just have someone that you like to read that writes about innovation, or some of the important adjacencies – trends, consumer psychology, change, leadership, strategy, marketing, management, collaboration, or social media (as they relate to innovation)? Well, Blogging Innovation is looking to recognize the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers and you can help us find them (JUMP TO THE BOTTOM TO SEE WHO’S ALREADY BEEN NOMINATED). People who nominate someone to be included on the list (or vote for someone) will be entered into the prize drawings for a range of great prizes (more than $10,000 worth), including: 1 ticket to the World … Continue reading

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Does Your Culture Support Innovation?

There’s a lot of people talking about innovation these days, myself included. The good news is that business leaders seem to be sitting up and taking notice of this important subject. The bad news is that once a topic becomes popular in the media, people have a tendency to see it as the next “management flavor of the month.” In other words, they perceive it as a quick fix solution rather than a long-term change in the way they do business. Remember a few decades ago when everyone jumped on the continuous improvement bandwagon? Very quickly, companies of all shapes and sizes began implementing six sigma, lean manufacturing, and other types of process improvement programs. Many had no clue what they were doing or worked hard without a link to overall strategy and success. And most had very unrealistic timelines and expectations for the results they hoped to achieve. Not … Continue reading

Posted in Culture & Values, Headlines, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Psychology, Strategy, culture | 1 Comment