Author Archives: Mike Shipulski

Healthy Dissatisfaction

If you’re dissatisfied, there’s a reason. If you’re dissatisfied, there’s hope for us all. If you’re not dissatisfied, there’s no forcing function for change. If you’re not dissatisfied, the status quo will carry the day. If you’re not dissatisfied, innovation work is not for you. If you’re dissatisfied, you know it could be better next time. If you’re dissatisfied, your ...

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How To Innovate Within a Successful Company

If you’re trying to innovate within a successful company, I have one word for you: Don’t. You can’t compete with the successful business teams that pay the bills because paying the bills is too important. No one in their right mind should get in the way of paying them. And if you do put yourself in the way of the ...

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Defy Success and Choose Innovation

Innovation is difficult because it requires novelty. And novelty is difficult because it’s different than last time. And different than last time is difficult because you’ve got to put yourself out there. And putting yourself out there is difficult because no one wants to be judged negatively. Success, no matter how small, reinforces what was done last time. There’s safety ...

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Six Important Questions for Innovation

Here are six important questions for innovation: 1. What’s the Distinctive Value Proposition? The new offering must help the customer make progress. How does the customer benefit? How is their life made easier? How does this compare to the existing offerings? Summarize the difference on one page. If the innovation doesn’t help the customer make progress, it’s not an innovation. ...

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The Courage To Speak Up

If you see things differently than others, congratulations. You’re thinking for yourself. If you find yourself pressured into thinking like everyone else, that’s a sign your opinion threatens. It’s too powerful to be dismissed out-of-hand, and that’s why they want to shut you up. If the status quo is angered by your theory, you’re likely onto something. Stick to your ...

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Just Say No to Cubicles

Whether it’s placing machine tools on the factory floor or designing work spaces for people that work at the company, the number one guiding metric is resources per square foot. If you’re placing machine tools, this metric causes the machines to be stacked closely together, where the space between them is minimized, access to the machines is minimized, and the ...

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Drive Out Fear for innovation to Flow

The primary impediment to innovation is fear, and the prime directive of any innovation system should be to drive out fear. A culture of accountability, implemented poorly, can inject fear and deter innovation. When the team is accountable to deliver on a project but are constrained to a fixed scope, a fixed launch date and resources, they will be afraid. ...

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You Can’t Innovate When …

Your company believes everything should always go as planned. You still have to do your regular job. The project’s completion date is disrespectful of the work content. Your company doesn’t recognize the difference between complex and complicated. The team is not given the tools, training, time and a teacher. You’re asked to generate 500 ideas but you’re afraid no one ...

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Three Rules for Better Decision Making

The primary responsibility of management is to allocate resources in the way that best achieves business objectives. If there are three or four options to allocate resources, which is the best choice? What is the time horizon for the decision? Is it best to hire more people? Why not partner with a contract resource company? Build a new facility or ...

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