Author Archives: Paul Sloane

Eight Reasons why Innovation beats Efficiency

If you are running an organization of any kind then making it more efficient is a key priority.  It is important to speed up processes, eliminate waste, improve quality, reduce costs and generally please customers.  And if you work hard at it you can do all of these things.  But it is also important to prioritise innovation – finding new ...

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We Overvalue Knowledge and Undervalue Ignorance

We value knowledge and certainty, and disdain ignorance and doubt. Ignorant is an adjective of derision. Perhaps we over-value knowledge and underestimate the power of ignorance; or should I say the awareness of ignorance. Why is this? Because knowledge can breed certainty, hubris and closed minds. We need to be open-minded and even doubtful about our knowledge because what was ...

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For Innovative Ideas try a Cluster of Strangers

I recently ran a workshop for a group of CEOs of small companies from different sectors and industries.  We ran the following exercise.  Each person started with a blank sheet of paper on which they answered the following questions about their organization. What are your main products or services? List three or four. What are your main markets? These can ...

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The Top Seven Impediments to Innovation

What is impeding innovation in your organization today? I’ve highlighted the Top Seven Impediments to Innovation in this list and included them in this short video with explanations and solutions: No Clear Vision or Purpose No Time to Try New Things The Organization is Risk Averse Long Approval Process Departments Work in Silos Innovation is Not in My Objectives There is ...

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Overcome Customer Concerns – Transfer the Risk

During the economic depression which followed the financial crash of 2009 car sales slumped across America.  Automobile makers tried all sorts of promotions, many featuring big price cuts, but they could not lure buyers onto their forecourts and persuade them to buy.  Rebates and other traditional incentives just were not working.  Hyundai USA took a different approach.  They kept asking ...

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What is your Waterproof Teabag?

Consider for a moment these self-contradictory innovations: The solar-powered flashlight The inflatable dartboard The underwater hairdryer The waterproof teabag The concrete liferaft At first sight they look silly but each contains the germ of an interesting idea. You can charge up a solar-powered flashlight in daylight and then take it into a cave. The inflatable dartboard is easy to transport ...

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Profit from Your Idea with a Patent

A patent can be taken out on almost any new implementable idea.  It is not just about protecting your idea.  Your patents are part of your Intellectual Property (IP) and can be valuable assets.  Often a start-up company will be bought for its IP rather than its products or sales revenues.  Here are some tips on patents. You do not ...

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Ask, ‘Who benefits most from my innovation?’

Sony and Philips developed the Compact Disc (CD) which they launched in 1982.  It was originally designed to store and play music. It offered much higher quality of recording than vinyl records.  It later became used for data storage; it held far more data than most personal computer hard drives. Mickey Schulhof had joined Sony in 1974 as an engineer.  ...

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A Lateral Idea – Turn the Shop Around

Consider for a moment the shopping experience for a housewife in the 1920s.  She would go from one small store to another – meat from the butcher’s, bread from the bakery, fish from the fish monger, cans and vegetables from the grocer’s, household items from the hardware store and so on.  At each shop she would have to wait in ...

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