Author Archives: Dennis Stauffer

The Innovation Killer – "I've got mine."

There’s always a risk, when floating any innovative idea, that it will crash against the rocky shores of personal fiefdoms, entrenched power bases and cronyism, both public and private. The often intense resistance to anything that might require real change often comes down to the same silent refrain: I’ve got mine. Don’t mess with it. It’s a stance that can stop innovation dead in its tracks. There may be no better example of how not to innovate than the current state of American politics.

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Innovation Essentials – Assimilator or Accommodator?

Innovation is different from other business competencies because it’s not about extending our expertise; it’s about repeatedly revising our expertise, at times rethinking our most fundamental assumptions and beliefs about our business. We need to recognize that when we encounter new information and observations, we must constantly check to be sure that when we see a cat we don’t assume that it’s just another doggie.

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Pitching an Innovative Idea

One of the principal challenges any innovator faces is persuading others of the value of an idea. It is a frequent source of frustration and angst, and an absolutely essential innovation skill. Without the ability to sell our ideas, we are unlikely to get any assistance from colleagues, permission from the boss or fellow decision makers, or any financial support. ...

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Innovative Thinking and Defensive Driving

Whenever I talk about the importance of innovative thinking, I can count on someone arguing that while we should be creative and explore new ideas, that needs to be balanced with what we already know how to do. We should follow established business processes I’m told and then shift to innovative thinking as needed, when we encounter a problem or ...

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Innovator Mindset – Best Problem Solvers Win

I’d like to make the case that life is fundamentally about figuring things out. We enter the world possessing a quite remarkable biomechanical device with powerful software already installed. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) there’s no owner’s manual, not even a schematic or the most minimal specs (which we couldn’t make sense of if we had them). So from the moment ...

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Innovation Requires the Courage to be Wrong

To update C.K. Chesterton: Conservatives think Liberals are too prone to make mistakes, while Liberals think Conservatives are unwilling to ever correct their mistakes. No, I don’t want to engage in any political debate, but I do think that same divide that is so prevalent in politics also comes up when the subject is innovation. When is it appropriate to ...

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Innovation and the Business Ecosystem

Innovation is driving change in the business ecosystem and the dynamics of this change are remarkably similar to those found in nature. Several years ago biologists studied the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park and its impact on plant growth. This may seem like an odd connection to explore since wolves don’t eat plants. However the elk that wolves ...

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Mindset Comes Before Innovation

In a previous post here – Innovation is Not Problem Solving, I chose a title I knew was provocative, and one I labored over. I debated with myself over whether to perhaps make it: Innovation is Not Necessarily Problem Solving, or …is Not Always Problem Solving, or …is More Than Problem Solving. I chose the blunter version partly to see ...

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