Author Archives: Jeffrey Phillips

Kindergarten is Bad for Innovation

I had the opportunity to participate in the Business Innovation Factory’s always wonderful BIF #7 last week, and like many people who attended I’m still mulling over many of the presentations, ideas and relationships. One short tweet by Saul Kaplan, perhaps a throw-away line, struck me as really important. Saul said he had trouble staying in his “lane”. In fact ...

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Innovation is the Opposite of Insanity

Today, a light hearted post in which I get to quote two of my favorite philosophers – Jimmy Buffet and Albert Einstein. Buffet write in Changes in Latitudes that if we can’t laugh we’ll all go insane. Einstein said that insanity was doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. If Buffet and Einstein, both highly ...

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USA On the Verge of Losing Innovation Leadership?

How much longer will countries outsource idea generation to the US? I was thinking recently about the challenges and possibilities of outsourcing. It’s interesting if you think carefully about it, since what we call outsourcing is to some extent simple economics. Comparative advantage was first conceived by David Ricardo, who argued that each participant in a transaction should spend its ...

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Innovation – The Knowing-Doing Gap

A recent survey of mid-western manufacturers reinforces a fairly serious issue where innovation is concerned. In the survey, the vast majority of executives recognize that innovation must start with the executive team. That’s a good thing. There are some issues of concern in the survey as well – the fact that only about a quarter of the firms survey set ...

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Innovation is a Capability NOT an Activity

I get this fairly regularly, a senior executive who is in somewhat dire straits. Their firms, once leaders in their industries, neglected R&D, postponed interesting new products and services and failed to innovate consistently. Now, they are no longer the lead dog, and are unhappy with the view from behind. To begin to remedy three to five years of focusing ...

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Do you have an innovation edge?

One of my favorite quotes is by George Bernard Shaw. The quote concerns itself with progress: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself, therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” The problem with this formulation is that few people enjoy being unreasonable, and many of those that ...

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