The Quiet Mind and Innovation

Executives at GE, 3M, Google, Bloomberg Media, and Salesforce.com do it. Ford chairman William Ford does it, as do former corporate chiefs Bill George of Medtronic and Bob Shapiro of Monsanto. Phil Jackson, Tiger Woods, and Italy’s 2006 World Cup champion soccer team all do it. The “it” is designating daily time to calm and quiet the mind using techniques ...

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Is Innovation Expensive?

I was asked last night how companies could afford to allocate scarce resources to innovation in these unprecedented times. When every extraneous expenditure is cut back to preserve cash flow how can it be justified to lavish money on experiments that might fail? You do not get innovation for free – you have to allocate time, money and people to ...

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Coming Next Week – Spigit Innovation Summit

Last week (July 28, 2009), I had the opportunity to attend Brightidea’s Birds of a Feather 3.0 event. Next week (August 13-14, 2009) I will endeavor to bring you live coverage of the Spigit Innovation Summit from the Four Seasons Resort Aviara in Carlsbad, CA. Gary Hamel will be giving the keynote at the event, and will likely share his ...

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An Innovation ‘Quick Fix’

Recently we received a call from a potential client. The individuals I spoke with noted a number of significant issues preventing them from innovation effectively. As I recall there were several significant issues: an ‘engineering’ oriented culture, several large customers who demanded exceptionally high quality, few competitors and a complete lack of risk taking in the organization. The good news ...

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Discovering Innovation Around the House

Last night I was hungry and decided to make some tuna fish. I opened my refrigerator and found an 18 ounce squeeze bottle of mayonnaise. As I started to make my meal, I realized that the mayo had expired 6 months ago. I guess I don’t use it very often because the bottle was still 90% full. After throwing out ...

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10 Rules for Small Business Success

I attended the fantastic first Small & Special conference one afternoon in July, with more than 100 other small business owners (some just weeks into their new venture) and several excellent speakers. The energy was palpable, and the agenda was inspiring. It was clear throughout the afternoon that starting and succeeding with a small business involves a lot of hard ...

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Don't Fear Change – Embrace It

“Leading Change” is clearly more difficult than arriving at the realization that change is needed… If you want to validate the prior statement reflect back on all of the “change agents” that have crossed your path over the years and ask yourself the following question: How many of them have truly succeeded? While we’ve heard a lot about change of ...

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Is Your Innovation Drowning in Cash?

Jason Zweig writes the Intelligent Investor column for the Wall Street Journal. His recent contribution oddly echoed a query I received the prior Thursday during a speaking engagement in New York. Referencing the ‘Loss of Nerve’ principle in “When Growth Stalls”, my questioner wanted to know if it was prudent to conserve all the cash he could during the economic ...

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Innovation by Collaboration

People collaborate to innovate. But what about the other way around? Could a structured innovation approach be used to bring people closer together? In other words, collaboration becomes the endpoint and innovation becomes the means to that end? Collaboration is where two or more people or organizations work together in an intersection of common goals. Collaboration is seen as an ...

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What are you passionate about?

Visiting Panera Bread recently, I noticed employees’ name tags now include the question, “What’s Your Passion?” and the employee’s personal answer. Love the question, but I’m not sure about this application. It forces an employee to disclose what might be very personal information or fudge, sharing something more generic and not really a passion at all. For instance, the person ...

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