Author Archives: James Gardner

Innovation Doesn’t Matter

One of the greatest myths of our time is if you create something genuinely new, something completely unprecedented, you’ll have a better than average chance of getting rich. So ingrained is this idea that a whole generation of young university graduates have stopped seeking a steady career in the large safe corporations their predecessors held dear, pursuing instead the dream of the startup.

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The Technical Innovation Debt

The other day I noticed something which is pretty obvious in retrospect: there seems to be some kind of relationship between the degree of innovation and technical debt in products and services. Technical debt is a term which was coined by Ward Cunningam, who explained it thus:

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Confusing the Pilot and the Prototype

I found  an innovation team the other day that spends its life doing pilots Now, don’t get me wrong. That is a perfectly good way to make innovation investments. Pilots are an important outcome of the innovation process because they let an organization “suck it and see” before they take whatever-it-is to a broad base of customers. But I was struck, when talking with this ...

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Innovation-In-A-Box Operating Instructions

Dear Customer, Thank you for buying Innovation-In-A-Box, the only product you’ll ever need to buy to drive innovation across your organisation. Unpacking Instructions Innovation-In-A-Box contains fragile components, such as creativity, precious flip charts, and colorful posters. These can be damaged if care is not exercised during unpacking. Also note the consultant inside the box is a real, live creature and will be upset if you don’t treat it with love and attention.

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10 Epic Idea Management #Fails

1. You install a tool and imagine your work is done. Actually, the work is just starting, because getting a working community built is actually really hard. Noone, but noone, shows up because you have a cool tool. On the other hand, they’ll come if their colleagues are already participating. Hard, hard work is the only way to solve this particular chicken and egg problem. 2. You declare success because you’ve got lots of ideas. Getting the ideas is one thing, but doing something with them is something else. Doing something usually has nothing to do with a tool, no matter what the features of the tool are. Turning ideas into action is a sales activity, an influencing activity, and a leadership activity. Nothing there can be delegated to technology, no matter how smart.

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