Author Archives: Braden Kelley

Innovator Lifetime Value

As I was speaking with several of the innovation leaders at Intuit on their campus in Mountain View recently, it came to me that organizations should be seeking to build and strengthen relationships with their customers, suppliers, and other potential innovation partners in ways similar to their approach to traditional relationship marketing.

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Time to Find Your Innovation Catapult

We all know that innovation is about challenging the status quo. Because of this, there are many barriers to innovation that exist within organizations that try to prevent innovators from storming the castle gates and disrupting what is safe, comfortable, and successful. So what is an innovator to do?

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Don’t Fail Fast – Learn Fast

There is a lot of chatter out there about the concept of 'failing fast' as a way of fostering innovation and reducing risk. Sometimes the concept of 'failing fast' is merged with 'failing cheap' to form the following refrain - 'fail fast, fail cheap, fail often'. The problem that I have with all of this chatter about failing fast is that does not take into account the power of language. The language focuses people on failing instead of on the goal - learning.

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Stop Praying for Education Reform

When it comes to education, we should adopt Nike's famous motto and 'Just Do It'. In the United States (and probably many other countries around the world), it has become a popular pastime to complain about the state of the public schools. People complain about school funding, teacher performance, curriculum, class sizes, and more things than I care to remember right now. So what are parents to do?

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Three Actions for a Non-Innovative Company

Sometimes I think that people out there talking about innovation try and make crafting a good innovation process sound harder than it is and the work of making innovation happen sound easier than it really is. Whether this is self-serving behavior to try and drive people to buy their books or consulting services, I'm not sure, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it's not.

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Where's Your Innovation Friction?

How should firms develop the organizational structure, culture, and incentives (e.g., for teams) to encourage successful innovation? When it comes to creating an innovation culture, often people make it far too complicated. If you're part of the senior leadership team and you're serious about innovation then your job is simple - reduce friction. If you're serious about innovation and you're not a senior leader, then your job is to do what you can to convince senior leadership that innovation is important. Then, gently help your execs see the areas of greatest friction in your organization so they can do something about it.

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The Code for Successful Innovation

I had the opportunity to attend the Front End of Innovation a couple of years ago in Boston and of the three days of sessions, I have to say that unlike most people, my favorite session was that of Dr. Clotaire Rapaille. The author of "The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do", Dr. Rapaille extolled the crowd with his thoughts on 'codes' and 'imprints'.

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Social Media is the Glue of Innovation

Social Media is the Glue of Innovation

What is the role of social media in innovation (either inside or outside the organization)? Social media serves an incredibly important role in innovation. Social media functions as the glue to stick together incomplete knowledge, incomplete ideas, incomplete teams, and incomplete skillsets. Social media is not some mysterious magic box. Ultimately it is a tool that serves to connect people and information. I'm reminded of a set of lyrics from U2's "The Fly":

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Do you have an Anti-Creativity Checklist?

In order to build a culture capable of encouraging innovation or creativity (or both), you must first do an inventory of the psychology and mental models in play in your organization. One great way to do this would be to build an 'anti-innovation checklist' or an 'anti-creativity checklist'. If you start watching the vocabulary that people use in meetings where ideas are being discussed, the behavior of senior leadership as it relates to these areas, and most importantly - how people respond - you'll get a better sense of where your organizational challenges lie with respect to innovation and creativity. Wouldn't that make such an exercise of great value to an organization?

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Trendspotting Trifecta

'Who should be responsible (if anyone) for trend-spotting and putting emerging behaviors and needs into context for a business?' I believe this question should really be broken up because there are three VERY different (and incredibly important) pursuits intermingled here:

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