Creating High Performance Customers

The past few weeks, I’ve been schlepping around fabric stores since Cyndi wants to recover several pieces of furniture. This is unfamiliar territory for me, which usually means an opportunity to hunt for different takes on Brainzooming-related ideas. One can imagine the most asked question in a fabric store is, “How much material is it going to take to reupholster ...

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The Front End Of Innovation Challenge

In a recent meeting in one of my network groups, we focused on the front end of innovation as a couple of the members have current challenges on how to identify and develop ideas in the very early stages. I remember attending my first Front End Of Innovation conference in Boston five years ago. Hundreds of people participated and there ...

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The Beatles and Innovation

“As usual, for these co-written things, John often had just the first verse, which was always enough: it was the direction, it was the signpost and it was the inspiration for the whole song. I hate the word but it was the template.” – Paul McCartney by Drew Boyd The Beatles were innovators, and they did it the old-fashioned way: ...

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People First, Processes Next, Then Ideas

The chief thing you as an innovation leader must realize is that when it comes to making innovation happen, people matter more than ideas. Take a moment to think about that. Many innovation initiatives fail miserably because their leaders don’t understand this simple fact. In fact, it is actually more important to have A-grade people than it is to have ...

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How to Ruin a Brainstorming Session

The brainstorming session is the most popular group creativity exercise in business. It is quick, easy and it works. But many organizations have become frustrated with brainstorms and have stopped using them. They say this group ideation technique is old-fashioned and no longer effective. But the real reason for their frustration is typically that the brainstorming meetings are not facilitated ...

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Design Thinking For Your Writing

William Bostick over at Core77 wrote a terrific post called “How (Not) To Write Like a Designer.” Design thinking is how I prefer to think about my style of problem solving. I’m not alone…IDEO and Stanford’s D School coined the term, and Tim Brown’s blog is all about it. But what I liked about this particular post was that it ...

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Social Innovation as Smart Business Strategy

Businesses Can Be Good Stewards Of Our Societies by Idris Mootee Innovation takes many forms, but social innovation is the least understood form, and today there are pressing needs and urge for the creation, adoption and diffusion of innovations. Innovation’s several forms include: technological, organizational, product, service, business model, etc. The term ‘social innovation’ has come into common parlance in ...

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Equality & Team Building

In recent months I have observed a decent amount of politically correct discourse on the topic of team building and equality. The gist of the argument seems to be that for teams to be productive, employees have to feel ’empowered’ by having an equal voice. I can sum-up my feeling on this in one word – ‘ridiculous’. To be blunt, ...

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Innovation, Jazz, and Improvisation

What do jazz and innovation have in common? Quite a bit. Many years ago, in 24/7 Innovation, I wrote… “Most businesses are run like classical symphonies – long, with elaborate compositions (detailed workflows) that leave little room for interpretation. Employees are expected to follow these compositions rote. Unfortunately, by the time they learn the score, the music would have to ...

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Five Key Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

I briefly followed a Twitter conversation yesterday afternoon that attempted to define what a real entrepreneur is. It stemmed from one individual’s frustration that some small company employees considered themselves entrepreneurs, even though they did not own or start the company. I wonder if it matters. Furthermore, I love the idea of employees – at big companies and small – ...

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