Author Archives: Pete Foley

5 Psychological Traits of Highly Innovative Organizations

When creating an innovation team, we often put a lot of thought and effort into bringing the right functional expertise together. Making sure we have diverse marketing, design, engineering, product supply, finance, research and innovation working together early in the process is certainly smart. But for a team to deliver big, disruptive ideas that will have separation and longevity versus competition, ...

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Empathy, Integrative Thinking and Innovation

I write and play music as a creative hobby. It doesn’t pay terribly well, but it is fun, and can also occasionally trigger insights into the creative process that translate into the broader innovation space. Most recently, it caused me to revisit integrative thinking, a concept I was first introduced to by Roger Martin in his excellent book The Opposable Mind. Whether ...

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3 Ways Our Bias to Oversimplify the Future Hurts Innovation

Estimates that attempt to quantify failure rates for innovative products and services typically sit in a range somewhere between 70-95%. As an innovator, I find this an uncomfortably large number, especially given how much time and money we invest in innovation processes, consumer research and market modeling.  But as disappointing as these numbers are, the reality may be even worse, as ...

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Game of Thrones, Star Trek and Innovation

I recently wrote a couple of articles for Innovation Excellence that explored innovation insights we can glean from science fiction writers.  In this article, I want to further expand on that topic, and ask how other authors, including William Gibson, Jules Verne and James Burke may be able to help us stretch our thinking.  And given that we are in ...

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Four Ways to Nudge Smarter Innovation

I love behavioral science. Together with related disciplines such as perceptual science, cognitive linguistics and cognitive psychology, I’ve found it to be incredibly useful in helping us both to innovate, and to communicate our innovations more effectively. However while it is wonderful for guiding our designs, it’s critical to remember that its theories are approximations that do not precisely predict ...

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Innovate Like Sir Arthur C Clarke – An Optimistic Look at the Future

Last month I wrote about some classic innovation insights borrowed from the legendary Isaac Asimov.  This month I would like to share some similar insights derived from the writings of the equally legendary Sir Arthur C Clarke, the author behind the brilliant Stanley Kubric movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, and a prolific author of quality, ‘hard’ science fiction. A Common ...

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When the Front End and Back End of Innovation Collide

This article was inspired by a recent blog by Seth Godin, where he discussed some challenges that start-ups who rely on early adopters may face when they scale up. https://seths.blog/2018/11/the-curse-of-the-low-hanging-fruit/For a start-up, early adopters who are highly engaged in a category, and/or know they have a problem, often represent easy sales.  They typically need little persuasion, are relatively easy to ...

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Innovating for Mind, Body and Soul

We all know that we need to capture both the hearts and minds of the consumer if we want an innovation to be successful.  That logic alone does not always sell is clear from the science of psychology, which tells us that emotions play a crucial role in most, if not all consumer decisions.  And for many of us, myself ...

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Proactive versus Reactive Innovation: Learning from Nature

I’ve always believed that we can learn how to innovate, and organize our businesses by learning from nature. One example is to question Wall Street’s obsession with short-term results, by understanding how giant redwoods maximize long-term growth by embracing variations based on short-term changes in resources.   https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/does-wall-street-have-growth-wrong-giant-redwood-trees-pete-foley/.  I also believe that we can learn a lot about fast, agile decision-making ...

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