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Interviews with Innovation Authors


The Smartest Are Not Us

The Smartest Are Not Us

Interview with Alan Gregerman, Author of The Necessity of Strangers, Surrounded by Geniuses, and Lessons from the Sandbox, Part 2
Feb-24-14. By Vern Burkhardt
‘What we should believe is that “it’s not whom you know but whom you could know” that determines our success.’ The Necessity of Strangers, page 16

Expertise — Asset or Liability?

Expertise — Asset or Liability?

Interview with Alan Gregerman, Author of The Necessity of Strangers, Surrounded by Geniuses, and Lessons from the Sandbox, Part 1
Feb-16-14. By Vern Burkhardt
“In a world where it is estimated that knowledge is now doubling every twelve months, we should be way more humble and way more open to the ideas and insights of others.

Wild Cards, Boiling Frogs, and Elephants in the Room

Wild Cards, Boiling Frogs, and Elephants in the Room

Interview with Alan Iny, Co-author with Luc De Brabandere of Thinking in New Boxes, Part 2
Feb-08-14. By Vern Burkhardt
'Sometimes when everything superficially appears to be moving along just perfectly, the truth is that you are a “sitting duck.”’ Thinking in New Boxes, page 196

Not the Hammer’s Fault

Not the Hammer’s Fault

Interview with Alan Iny, Co-author with Luc De Brabandere of Thinking in New Boxes, Part 1
Feb-03-14. By Vern Burkhardt
“We believe the story of creativity is an epic of freedom. You have to be free in order to create, but you must first recognize you are a prisoner in order to break free.

Inventive Principles Illustrated, Part 5

Inventive Principles Illustrated, Part 5

Interview with Jack Hipple, Author of The Ideal Result: What It Is and How to Achieve It
Jan-23-14. By Vern Burkhardt
“…a physical contradiction …is frequently the root cause of the conflict between parameters. It sometimes takes more thinking time to think about this and identify a specific physical property that is at the root cause of the conflict.

Inventive Principles Illustrated, Part 4

Inventive Principles Illustrated, Part 4

Interview with Jack Hipple, Author of The Ideal Result: What It Is and How to Achieve It
Jan-18-14. By Vern Burkhardt
“Consider your current product or business. Go through each of the 40 principles and spend some serious time considering how each could improve your process, product, or business.” The Ideal Result: What It Is and How to Achieve It by Jack Hipple, page 103.

Inventive Principles Illustrated, Part 3

Inventive Principles Illustrated, Part 3

Interview with Jack Hipple, Author of The Ideal Result: What It Is and How to Achieve It
Jan-11-14. By Vern Burkhardt
“Whenever you are involved in a product or process design issue, make sure you have defined it in terms of a contradiction, not just making something ‘better’. Focus the meeting in terms of what the contradiction(s) is or are.

Inventive Principles Illustrated, Part 2

Inventive Principles Illustrated, Part 2

Interview with Jack Hipple, Author of The Ideal Result: What It Is and How to Achieve It
Dec-27-13. By Vern Burkhardt
“Some TRIZ software vendors have subdivided these [40] principles and will claim that there are 70, 160, or as many as 400 principles, so make sure that when discussing TRIZ inventive principles with someone that you are having an ‘apples and apples’ discussion.

Inventive Principles Illustrated, Part 1

Inventive Principles Illustrated, Part 1

Interview with Jack Hipple, Author of The Ideal Result: What It Is and How to Achieve It
Dec-11-13. By Vern Burkhardt
“In the analysis of millions of patents, we find that there are a limited number of inventive principles that are constantly reused, across virtually all areas of technology and business, to solve the same contradictions that reoccur in all areas.” The Ideal Result: What It Is and How to Achieve It, page 105

Something that Does Not Exist

Something that Does Not Exist

Interview with Jack Hipple, Author of The Ideal Result: What It Is and How to Achieve It, Part 2
Nov-22-13. By Vern Burkhardt
“The real challenge is not to use anything in the first place.” “…isn’t that what engineers get paid to do – design things to add to systems that will solve some kind of problem created by some aspect of the current process or system?

Inventive Problem Solving

Inventive Problem Solving

Interview with Jack Hipple, Author of The Ideal Result: What It Is and How to Achieve It, Part 1
Nov-13-13. By Vern Burkhardt
Your attitude, when you start a personal innovation journey or try to implement one inside an organization, is critical. You must ask about your attitude toward newness, your attitude toward threats to your business, and your attitude toward thinking about things and processes in a different way. The Ideal Result: What It Is and How to Achieve It, page 1

The Lions are Coming

The Lions are Coming

Interview with Gijs van Wulfen, Author of The Innovation Expedition – Part 2
Nov-04-13. By Vern Burkhardt
“Organizations innovate continuously. At least, that’s what they say. There is a difference between what they say and what they really do. Of course there is a department continuously working on new concepts.

Never Bet on One Horse

Never Bet on One Horse

Interview with Gijs van Wulfen, Author of The Innovation Expedition – Part 1
Oct-29-13. By Vern Burkhardt
“Don’t just do things better; that will only kill you in the end. Think different at the right moment. Hear the misfits, the rebels and the troublemakers. Think change.” The Innovation Expedition, page 109

Is Your Lens Too Narrow?

Is Your Lens Too Narrow?

Interview with Ron Adner, Author of The Wide Lens
Nov-13-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"If you begin the innovation process by looking at the innovation ecosystem, and your place in it, it is possible to avoid investing time and resources in endeavors that were doomed from the beginning. Developing a better understanding of the odds is the key to making better bets." The Wide Lens, page 228

Innovation Junkies

Innovation Junkies

Interview with Saul Kaplan, Author of The Business Model Innovation Factory
Oct-01-12. By Vern Burkhardt
Innovation Junkies

Staying Relevant

Staying Relevant

Interview with Saul Kaplan, Author of The Business Model Innovation Factory
Sep-17-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"Over all of my years as an innovation junkie, the common denominator, among the innovators I have connected with and the most successful enterprises I have observed and worked with, is passion." The Business Model Innovation Factory, page 88

Sparks of Surprise

Sparks of Surprise

Interview with Soren Kaplan, Author of Leapfrogging
Sep-03-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"…the single most important factor in fostering true game changers [is] the way leaders and organizations handle the discomfort, the disorientation, and the thrill (and pain) of living with uncertainty, finding clarity from ambiguity, and being surprised." Leapfrogging, page 10

The Impact of Social Media on Open Innovation

The Impact of Social Media on Open Innovation

IdeaConnection Interview with Stefan Lindegaard, author, speaker and strategic advisor focused on open innovation
Aug-20-12. By
In the second part of this two-part interview series Stefan Lindegaard discusses the intersection of social media and open innovation. It's also the subject of his forthcoming e-book, Social Media for Corporate Innovators and Entrepreneurs: Add Power to Your Innovation Efforts which will be published in the late summer.

Stefan Lindegaard on Maximizing the Potential of Open Innovation

Stefan Lindegaard on Maximizing the Potential of Open Innovation

IdeaConnection Interview with Stefan Lindegaard, author, speaker and strategic advisor focused on open innovation
Aug-11-12. By
Stefan Lindegaard is an author, speaker and strategic advisor who focuses on open innovation, social media and intrapreneurship. His books include Making Open Innovation Work and The Open Innovation Revolution and he also runs the popular blog 15inno.

Stat Free Six Sigma – An Excellence Innovation

Stat Free Six Sigma – An Excellence Innovation

IdeaConnection Interview with Praveen Gupta, Author of The Innovation Solution, Business Innovation in the 21st Century, The Six Sigma Performance Handbook, and Six Sigma Business Scorecard and Co-author of Stat Free Six Sigma, The Six Sigma Green Belt Handbook, Six Sigma Deployment and more
Jul-21-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"Six Sigma does sound statistical in nature; in reality, however, it is a strategic initiative with a touch of statistics." Virtually Stat Free Six Sigma, page 112

Profitable Growth

Profitable Growth

IdeaConnection Interview with Praveen Gupta, Author of The Innovation Solution, Business Innovation in the 21st Century, The Six Sigma Performance Handbook, and Six Sigma Business Scorecard and Co-author of Stat Free Six Sigma, The Six Sigma Green Belt Handbook, Six Sigma Deployment and more
Jul-02-12. By Vern Burkhardt
Even if ideas do not turn into products or services, people need to continue to play or create. The persistence and perseverance will eventually lead to innovation on demand." The Innovation Solution, page 82

Guest Intimacy

Guest Intimacy

IdeaConnection Interview with Bill Capodagli, Co-author with Lynn Jackson of Innovate the Pixar Way, The Disney Way, The Disney Way Fieldbook, and Leading at the Speed of Change
Jun-18-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"Innovation cannot be ordered like a pizza. It requires dedicated leadership and a collaborative culture!" Innovate the Pixar Way, page 149

The 'Good Show'

The 'Good Show'

IdeaConnection Interview with Bill Capodagli, Co-author with Lynn Jackson of Innovate the Pixar Way, The Disney Way, The Disney Way Fieldbook, and Leading at the Speed of Change
Jun-11-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"…Walt Disney, Ed Catmull, and John Lasseter never lost that childlike innocence. They knew how to Dream, Believe, Dare, Do. But first, one word of caution: 'Innovate, don't imitate'" Innovate the Pixar Way, page 11

Frictionless Sharing

Frictionless Sharing

IdeaConnection Interview with Andrew Keen, Author of The Cult of the Amateur and Digital Vertigo
May-21-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"But it's our contemporary mania for revealing our location which is most chilling of the Web's new collective architecture." Page 40, Digital Vertigo

The Innovator's Pledge

The Innovator's Pledge

IdeaConnection Interview with Scott D. Anthony, Author of The Little Black Book of Innovation and Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, of Innosight
Apr-30-12. By Vern Burkhardt
Innovation is, "Something different that has impact." The Little Black Book of Innovation, page 16

You are Unaware of How Unaware You Are

You are Unaware of How Unaware You Are

IdeaConnection Interview with David McRaney, Author of You Are Not So Smart
Apr-16-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"Stories make sense on an emotional level, so anything that conjures fear, empathy, or pride will trump confusing statistics." You Are Not So Smart, page 144

The DNA

The DNA

IdeaConnection Interview with Hal Gregersen, Professor of Leadership at INSEAD, and Co-author of The Innovator's DNA and other books including It Starts with One and Global Explorers
Mar-13-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"For there are few things as useless — if not dangerous — as the right answer to the wrong question," The Innovator's DNA, page 68

Rewriting Your History Before it Happens

Rewriting Your History Before it Happens

IdeaConnection Interview with Daniel Burrus, Author of Flash Foresight, Technotrends, Reengineering Yourself, the Technotrends Newsletter, Know What's Next Magazine, and much more
Feb-27-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"In the old world, the rule was: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' In today's world, the rule is: 'If it works, it's already obsolete.'" Flash Foresight, page 131

Your Visible Future

Your Visible Future

IdeaConnection Interview with Daniel Burrus, Author of Flash Foresight, Technotrends, Reengineering Yourself, the Technotrends Newsletter, and Know What's Next Magazine, and much more
Feb-20-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"One thing you can know for sure about the future: in any battle with the past, the future always wins" Flash Foresight, page 170

Understanding Creativity: Making the Impossible Possible

Understanding Creativity: Making the Impossible Possible

IdeaConnection Interview with Michael Michalko, Author of Creative Thinkering, Thinkertoys , Cracking Creativity, and ThinkPak, and Co-author of The Little Book of Big Ideas
Feb-14-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"Imagination gives us the impertinence to imagine making the impossible possible… Think of something in your business that is impossible to do, but that would, if it were possible to do, change the nature of your business forever." Creative Thinkering, page 129

Optimizing Ideation Performance

Optimizing Ideation Performance

IdeaConnection Interview with Shawn Coyne Co-author of Brainsteering: A Better Approach to Breakthrough Ideas
Jan-28-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"…the problem with traditional brainstorming is that its methodology violates many of the psychological and sociological principles regarding how human beings work best together in a group setting." Brainsteering, page 134

The Right Questions

The Right Questions

IdeaConnection Interview with Shawn Coyne Co-author of Brainsteering: A Better Approach to Breakthrough Ideas
Jan-23-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"While the lessons and ideas spawned by others who came before you may not solve your entire problem, they can certainly give you a substantial jump-start on it by being the source of great questions that help you focus your thinking." Brainsteering, page 36

How is your Annual Report?

How is your Annual Report?

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's January Column
Jan-23-12. By Rowen Gibson
January isn’t called January for nothing. Named after Janus, the Roman god who faced both forward and backward, it’s a time to look ahead and define new goals, as well as a time to look back at what we accomplished – or didn’t accomplish – in the last calendar year.

Efficiency — The Innovation Trap

Efficiency — The Innovation Trap

IdeaConnection Interview with Jeffrey Phillips, Author of Relentless Innovation and Make Us More Innovative, and Contributor to A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing
Jan-16-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"…I've attempted to demonstrate how a firm can achieve "innovation flow" by rebalancing the operating model between efficiency and innovation, and by refocusing middle managers and encouraging them to embrace innovation." Relentless Innovation, page 196

From Success to Significance

From Success to Significance

IdeaConnection Interview with Scott Schwefel, Author of Get a Job Fast and I Think I'll Stand Up, and Contributor to GPS (Goals & Proven Strategies) for Success
Jan-01-12. By Vern Burkhardt
"…a strength overused becomes a weakness, and nowhere is that more apparent than in personality." GPS (Goals & Proven Strategies) for Success, page 6

40 Ways To...

40 Ways To...

IdeaConnection Interview with Stephen Shapiro, Author of Best Practices Are Stupid, Personality Poker®, Goal-Free Living, The Little Book of BIG Innovation Ideas, and 24/7 Innovation
Dec-20-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"The smartest organization will not survive. The company with the most money can quickly fall from grace. But the organization that adapts and evolves to address ever-changing market conditions will thrive in the long run." Best Practices Are Stupid, page 1.

New and Improved

New and Improved

IdeaConnection Interview with Professor Jeff DeGraff of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Author of Innovation You, and Co-author of Leading Innovation, Creativity at Work, and Competing Values Leadership
Dec-05-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"Every approach to innovation costs something – every kind of creation involves creative destruction – which is why some of the most effective decisions to enable innovation are more about stopping current practices than starting new ones. You just can't afford to carry around commitments and attitudes that don't help you reach your innovation goals." Innovation You, page 88

The 20-80 Rule

The 20-80 Rule

IdeaConnection Interview with Professor Jeff DeGraff of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Author of Innovation You, and Co-author of Leading Innovation, Creativity at Work, and Competing Values Leadership
Nov-28-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"When you start thinking of your entire life as a portfolio of innovation 'investments', you take a crucial step in becoming a lifelong innovator. You stop thinking of innovation as something you do in individual projects and shift to the overall journey." Innovation You, page 207

Navigating from the Future, Creating Magical Performance

Navigating from the Future, Creating Magical Performance

IdeaConnection Interview with Charles Smith, Author of The Merlin Factor and Navigating From the Future
Nov-14-11. By Vern Burkhardt
From space, the astronauts tell us, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide us become less important and the need to create a planetary society with the united wills to protect this "pale blue dot" becomes both obvious and imperative. Even more so, many of them tell us that from the Overview perspective, all of this seems imminently achievable, if only more people could have the experience.

Turning Waste into Value

Turning Waste into Value

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's November Column
Nov-04-11. By Rowen Gibson
Stephen Johnson’s excellent book “Where Good Ideas Come From” devotes a lot of ink (or pixels if you prefer the digital version) to the correlations between the way we innovate in business and culture and the patterns of innovation we find in biology. “Nature’s innovations” he writes, “rely on spare parts” – they are based on “taking available resources and cobbling them together to create new uses”.

On the Other Side

On the Other Side

IdeaConnection Interview with Vijay Govindarajan, Co-author of The Other Side of Innovation, Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators, The Quest for Global Dominance, Management Control Systems, Global Strategy and the Organization, The Many Facets of Leadership, and three more
Oct-29-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"Instead of asking, 'How do I make this very important initiative a success?' they [businesspeople] ask, 'How do I make innovation happen throughout my organization?' But you have to learn to walk before you learn to run." The Other Side of Innovation, page 16

The Hunt – An Innovator's Perspective

The Hunt – An Innovator's Perspective

IdeaConnection Interview with Fred Thomas, Engineer and Inventor
Oct-03-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"It is not uncommon that the most strategic inventions evolve based on the entrance of a new material or technology being available that, if combined with an existing product, improves the utility." Fred Thomas

Inner Work Life

Inner Work Life

IdeaConnection Interview with Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, Co-authors of The Progress Principle
Sep-18-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"Inner work life is the confluence of perceptions, emotions, and motivations that individuals experience as they react to and make sense of the events of their workday….Creativity, productivity, commitment, and collegiality are all higher when the three components of inner work life are positive." The Progress Principle, pages 20 and 51

The Intangible Beast

The Intangible Beast

IdeaConnection Interview with Nigel Collin, Author of Herding Monkeys and Think BITS
Aug-05-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"I want to change the creative landscape of the world. That's it. And I would love you to join me, because I can't do it alone." Herding Monkeys, page 134

Red Rags, Poison, and Food

Red Rags, Poison, and Food

IdeaConnection Interview with Nigel Collin, Author of Herding Monkeys and Think BITS
Jul-24-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"The truth is that creativity is very difficult to define. And there lies a trap: the very act of defining creativity destroys the essence of what it is." Herding Monkeys, page 28.

The Right Moment

The Right Moment

IdeaConnection Interview with Gijs van Wulfen, Author of Creating Innovative Products and Services
Jul-09-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"Many new products which are launched on the market are only 'new to the company' and usually a variation or, or a successor to, an existing product, or a direct copy of a product form the closest competitor. Research into the introduction of 24,000 new products onto the European market has confirmed this theory." Creating Innovative Products and Services, page 10

Solving Customers' Frictions

Solving Customers' Frictions

IdeaConnection Interview with Gijs van Wulfen, Author of Creating Innovative Products and Services
Jun-26-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"People are actually 'creatures of habit' and are not inclined to change. Yet they are the people to whom we want to introduce new products or services. It can only work if the new product or service actually is attractive to them and solves an existing and relevant friction. Creating Innovative Products and Services, page 106

The Innovation Genome

The Innovation Genome

IdeaConnection Interview with Professor Jeff DeGraff of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Co-author of Leading Innovation, Creativity at Work, and Competing Values Leadership
May-08-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"An organization can grow in two ways. The first way is through acquisition – buying another company or product, or hiring away a competitor's best people….Companies can also grow organically. This type of growth is fueled by innovation, which makes an organization better and new." Leading Innovation, page 3

2,500 Innovation Articles

2,500 Innovation Articles

IdeaConnection Interview with Braden Kelley, Author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire
Apr-17-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"One of the lesser-known innovation truths is that a true innovation is often more than just a single idea, but is often several ideas coming together to serve a new key insight." Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire, page 52

Quality Innovation Execution

Quality Innovation Execution

IdeaConnection Interview with Braden Kelley, Author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire
Apr-10-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"While generating ideas is important, organizations that can turn those ideas into a mature product or service that the marketplace finds useful and valuable will be successful." Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire, page 78

Engaged

Engaged

IdeaConnection Interview with Clint Swindall, Author of Living for the Weekday and Engaged Leadership
Apr-02-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"But ultimately, where we are today is the result of the choices we've made in or lives, and where we end up will be the result of all future choices we make." Living for the Weekday, page 212

Balancing Innovation

Balancing Innovation "Supply and Demand"

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's March Column
Mar-28-11. By Rowen Gibson
To build and sustain a robust innovation capability, your company needs to carefully manage both the supply side and the demand side of innovation. By "supply" I mean the sheer flow – and the quality – of new ideas entering your innovation pipeline and moving through its various stages. By "demand" I mean the natural, reflexive pull for those ideas within and across the businesses.

Unblocking the Energy

Unblocking the Energy

IdeaConnection Interview with Dale Dauten, Syndicated Columnist and Author of It's A Wonderful Job (an eBook), The Laughing Warrior, Great Employees Only, Better than Perfect, The Gifted Boss, The Max Strategy, Taking Chances, and Quitting, Knowing When to Leave
Mar-27-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"While many executives can tell you the percent of capacity of their plants, none can tell you the percent of capacity at which their employee's brains operate; after all, creativity and initiative are unlimited resources." The Laughing Warrior: How to Enjoy Killing the Status Quo, page 128

What Have You Tried?

What Have You Tried?

IdeaConnection Interview with Dale Dauten, Syndicated Columnist and Author of It's A Wonderful Job (an eBook), The Laughing Warrior, Great Employees Only, Better than Perfect, The Gifted Boss, The Max Strategy, Taking Chances, and Quitting, Knowing When to Leave
Mar-21-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"What better way to reinforce creativity than to see ideas blossom into innovations." The Gifted Boss, page 62

Performance Paradox

Performance Paradox

IdeaConnection Interview with Stephen Shapiro, Author of Personality Poker®, Goal Free Living, The Little Book of Big Innovation Ideas, and 24/7 Innovation
Mar-13-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"We can conclude that creativity is about being present, just as pit crews changing the tires on a Formula 1 car need to be present." Stephen Shapiro

Four Innovation Styles

Four Innovation Styles

IdeaConnection Interview with Stephen Shapiro, Author of Personality Poker®, Goal Free Living, The Little Book of Big Innovation Ideas, and 24/7 Innovation
Mar-03-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"Remember that, first and foremost, you will learn about your innovation style – that is, the way in which you can best contribute to innovation and how you sometimes detract from innovation. By understanding your style, you can determine which steps of the innovation process are the ones where you can provide the greatest input." Personality Poker, page 8

Making Better Models

Making Better Models

IdeaConnection Interview with Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management, and Author of The Opposable Mind, The Design of Business, and The Responsibility Virus and co-author of Diaminds and The Future of the MBA
Feb-13-11. By Vern Burkhardt
Integrative thinking is the "ability to face constructively the tension of opposing ideas and, instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generate a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new idea that contains elements of the opposing ideas but is superior to each." The Opposable Mind, page 15

Diving Into Mysteries

Diving Into Mysteries

IdeaConnection Interview with Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management, and Author of The Design of Business, The Opposable Mind, and The Responsibility Virus and co-author of Diaminds and The Future of the MBA
Feb-06-11. By Vern Burkhardt
"The velocity of movement through the knowledge funnel, powered by design thinking, is the most powerful formula for competitive advantage in the twenty-first century." The Design of Business, page 26

Your Brain Will Thank You, Part 2

Your Brain Will Thank You, Part 2

IdeaConnection Interview with Eric Maisel, Co-author of Brainstorm, and Creative Recovery, and Author of Coaching the Artist Within, Fearless Creating, The Van Gogh Blues, and Thirty-One Other Books
Dec-12-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"People waste their brains… A brainstorm is the full activation of your neuronal forces, an activation in support of an idea that you intend to cherish and elaborate, so powerful that it amounts to a productive obsession." Brainstorm, pages 1 and 3

Your Brain Will Thank You, Part 1

Your Brain Will Thank You, Part 1

IdeaConnection Interview with Eric Maisel, Co-author of Brainstorm, and Creative Recovery, and Author of Coaching the Artist Within, Fearless Creating, The Van Gogh Blues, and Thirty-One Other Books
Dec-05-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"A productive obsession is an idea that you choose for good reasons and pursue with all your brain's power….Productively obsessing is the mind-set of the creative person." Brainstorm, pages x and xi

Business Model: Blueprint for Success

Business Model: Blueprint for Success

IdeaConnection Interview with Alexander Osterwalder, Co-author of Business Model Generation
Nov-28-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"We believe a business model can best be described through nine basic building blocks that show the logic of how a company intends to make money. The nine blocks cover the four main areas of a business: customers, offer, infrastructure, and financial viability. The business model is like a blueprint for a strategy to be implemented through organizational structures, processes, and systems." Business Model Generation, page 15

Service Innovation - Getting the Job Done

Service Innovation - Getting the Job Done

IdeaConnection Interview with Lance A. Bettencourt, Author of Service Innovation
Nov-21-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"True service innovation demands that a company expand its horizon beyond existing services and service capabilities and give its attention to the jobs that customers are trying to get done and the outcomes that they use to measure success in completing those jobs." Service Innovation, pg 1

Innovate To Thrive!

Innovate To Thrive!

IdeaConnection Interview with Robert F. Brands, author of Robert’s Rules of Innovation
Nov-14-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"And the basis of this successful innovation? A natural curiosity, open-mindedness, an ability to see the big picture – combined with hard-headed business acumen." Robert's Rules of Innovation, page 39

Search and Combine Ideas

Search and Combine Ideas

IdeaConnection Interview with David Kord Murray, author of Borrowing Brilliance
Nov-07-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"Originality became a concept born of possession, not a concept of creativity. Today the cult, the illusion, of originality creates a fog of misunderstanding that smothers creativity." Borrowing Brilliance, page 272

Trigger Ideas and Metaphors

Trigger Ideas and Metaphors

IdeaConnection Interview with Edward Glassman, author of Team Creativity At Work I, Team Creativity At Work II, Creativity Handbook, The Creativity Factor, For Presidents Only, and numerous articles about creativity and leadership
Oct-31-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"We create new & useful ideas by making remote association between two or more internal thoughts & external objects and stimuli. The more unrelated and the more remote the combined thoughts and stimuli, the more creative the new & useful idea." Team Creativity At Work II, page 83

5 Ways To Improve Your Innovation Pipeline

5 Ways To Improve Your Innovation Pipeline

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's October Column
Oct-29-10. By Rowen Gibson
How healthy is your company's innovation pipeline? Is it already operating at peak performance, helping you pump out a torrent of new growth opportunities across product, market, and industry spaces? Or would it be fairer to say that there is still room for improvement?

Overcome Mind Funnels

Overcome Mind Funnels

IdeaConnection Interview with Edward Glassman, author of Team Creativity At Work – I, Team Creativity At Work – II, Creativity Handbook, The Creativity Factor, For Presidents Only, and numerous articles about creativity and leadership
Oct-23-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"Whether you use advanced creative thinking procedures in team meetings, in permanent creativity teams, or when you work alone, you will achieve higher quality solutions to important problems. These procedures work even better in a Creativity Meeting." Team Creativity At Work – I, page 3

Innovation Opportunities

Innovation Opportunities

IdeaConnection Interview with Christian Terwiesch, co-author of Innovation Tournaments and of Matching Supply and Demand
Oct-16-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"A theme of this book is that innovation can be managed as a process. Innovation isn't just hoping for serendipity and counting on bolt-from-the-blue inspirations. Organizational decisions therefore must be made for innovation processes, and yet too often companies fail to make them. As a result, their decisions end up being made informally – if at all. Innovation Tournaments," page 185

The Happy Ending

The Happy Ending

IdeaConnection Interview with Warwick John Fahy, author of The One Minute Presenter
Oct-08-10. By Vern Burkhardt
'Here lies the paradox. There is a big gap between knowing and doing. Between saying and doing. So we tend to say, "Yes, I know." When really what we mean is, "yes. I have heard about it, but I haven't actually done it.' The One Minute Presenter, page 53

New Paradigm of Innovation

New Paradigm of Innovation

IdeaConnection Interview with Stefan Lindegaard, author of The Open Innovation Revolution and Next Stop: Open Innovation
Oct-03-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"It is my firm belief that open innovation should be a hot topic at every company that is serious about innovation. Why? Because the idea of combining internal and external resources to increase innovation productivity and prowess is just too good a value proposition to miss out on." The Open Innovation Revolution, page 5

Beginner’s Mind, Part 2

Beginner’s Mind, Part 2

IdeaConnection Interview with Charles E. Smith, Senior Executive Coach and author of Navigating From The Future and The Merlin Factor
Sep-24-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"I have come to believe there is an inverse relationship between new possibility and the insistence on certainty." Navigating From The Future, page 93

Beginner’s Mind, Part 1

Beginner’s Mind, Part 1

IdeaConnection Interview with Charles E. Smith, Senior Executive Coach and author of Navigating From The Future and The Merlin Factor
Sep-18-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"Inevitably organizations with the most available energy will prevail. This refers to energy, aliveness, and vitality. Energy is equivalent to the power to act, which in turn determines success." Charles E. Smith

Innovate We Can!

Innovate We Can!

IdeaConnection Interview with Avanti Fontana, Author of Innovate We Can!
Sep-12-10. By Vern Burkhardt
Vern Burkhardt (VB): You are a Management Educator at the Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia in Depok, West Java. How did you become interested in the topic of innovation?

Pitching Creative Ideas

Pitching Creative Ideas

IdeaConnection Interview with Sam Harrison, author of Zing!, IdeaSpotting, and IdeaSelling
Sep-05-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"If you can't describe your concept without having to take a breath, you probably haven't nailed your theme." IdeaSelling, page 133

Innovate with Good, Crazy, Stupid, and Funny Ideas, Part 2

Innovate with Good, Crazy, Stupid, and Funny Ideas, Part 2

Interview with Praveen Gupta, Author of Business Innovation in the 21st Century, Six Sigma Business Scorecard, The Six Sigma Performance Handbook, and co-author of a number of other books
Aug-29-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"The four components of a good innovation process are resources, knowledge, play and imagination." Business Innovation, page 326

Innovate with Good, Crazy, Stupid, and Funny Ideas, Part 1

Innovate with Good, Crazy, Stupid, and Funny Ideas, Part 1

Interview with Praveen Gupta, Author of Business Innovation in the 21st Century, Six Sigma Business Scorecard, The Six Sigma Performance Handbook, and co-author of a number of other books
Aug-19-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"…any individual can become innovative if he or she practices the process of innovation….The challenge is in accepting that everyone can be innovative and produce innovative solutions on demand." Business Innovation, page 166

Meaningful Play

Meaningful Play

IdeaConnection interview with Bill Capodagli, co-author of Innovate the Pixar Way: Business Lessons from the World's Most Creative Corporate Playground
Jul-10-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"Have you ever watched the interplay of children in a sandbox? The younger ones watch with curiosity how the older children build their sandcastles… Kids don't need to take "Sandcastle Building 101" to learn how to build a sandcastle. They learn from intense observation and by trial and error in a collaborative environment."

"Can-do" Attitudes

IdeaConnection Interview with Patricia Seybold, Author of Outside Innovation, The Customer Revolution, and Customers.com, and co-author of BRANDchild
Jun-26-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"It is a great example of customer-led innovation in the sense that the people themselves are creating the results they want. There are no top-down handouts being given to anybody. They have to work together to figure out how to make their lives better."

A Different Way of Thinking and Working

A Different Way of Thinking and Working

IdeaConnection Interview with Andy Bruce, co-author of Fast Track to Success: Innovation, Creating a Market Sensitive Culture, and a number of books in the Dorling Kindersley Essential Manager Series
Jun-21-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"The starting point for managing an effective innovation team is to manage yourself. Whenever we see a manager setting career and personal development activities for members of their team we are often impressed by their professionalism. Unfortunately, all too often they have not been so diligent with their own personal development planning." Fast Track to Success: Innovation, page 116.

Total Life List

Total Life List

IdeaConnection Interview with Bruce Rosenstein, Author of Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker's Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life
Jun-12-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"The current era is a challenging, even wrenching time for knowledge workers. We all need a sense of hope, backed by solid strategies of what to do to create a better tomorrow." Living in More Than One World, page 129.

Raising Their Self-Image

Raising Their Self-Image

IdeaConnection Interview with Jack Foster, Author of Ideaship: How to Get Ideas Flowing in Your Workplace
Jun-05-10. By Vern Burkhardt
The mind can alter the mind. People can alter their attitudes. Sometimes they need a little help to raise their self-images, to think better of themselves. A good leader can provide that help.

E-tailing and the Net Generation

E-tailing and the Net Generation

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's May Column
May-31-10. By Rowen Gibson
“Hey Dad, can I have your credit card number? I need to buy something online”. This is not just an annoying question my sixteen-year-old son seems to ask me two or three times a month. It’s a harbinger that e-tailing is set to go ballistic as soon as today’s teenagers get their first paychecks.

Business Model Innovation

Business Model Innovation

IdeaConnection Interview with Mark Johnson, Author of Seizing the White Space, and Co-author of The Innovator's Guide to Growth
May-29-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"Conceiving a truly innovative new business model does not need to be purely (or even mostly) a matter of imagination, inspiration, serendipity, or luck. It can be an orderly process…." Seizing the White Space

Innovate to Grow

Innovate to Grow

Interview with Mark Johnson, Co-author of Innovator's Guide to Growth, and Author of Seizing The White Space: Business Model Innovation for Growth and Renewal
May-22-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"The resource allocation process is at the root of the innovator's dilemma. Without active management, this implicit, often invisible process will direct money and human resources toward efforts that bolster a company's current business. The process will deflect money and human resources away from the disruptive innovations that power future growth." The Innovator's Guide to Growth.

Thinking Creatively and Effectively

Thinking Creatively and Effectively

IdeaConnection Interview with Michael Gelb, Author of Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking, Discover Your Genius, How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, Innovate like Edison and eight other books.
May-12-10. By Vern Burkhardt
'The overemphasis on the "nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel" attitude that still drives so many lives often results in flatter noses and frozen shoulders.' "Hard work, diligence, and perseverance are essential elements in long-term success, but they need to be balanced with appreciation of beauty, playfulness, pleasure, and joy to ensure that success includes fulfillment." Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking, pages 22 and 23

A New Possibility

A New Possibility

IdeaConnection Interview with Warren Berger, Author of Glimmer, Advertising Today, and Hoopla, and Co-author of Nextville and No Opportunity Wasted
May-09-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"Whether it's applied to business, social, or personal challenges, design thinking opens up new avenues of progress, suggesting fresh answers to old and difficult questions. It is about infinite possibilities. And perhaps more than anything else, it's about optimism." Glimmer, page 16.

Learn to Think Differently

Learn to Think Differently

Interview with Paul Sloane, Author of How to be a Brilliant Thinker, The Leader’s Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills, and The Innovative Leader, and co-author of many books containing lateral thinking puzzles
May-02-10. By Vern Burkhardt
“Brilliant thinkers recognize that there are many different views of the world and that each is incomplete. Our current mindset frames how we view the world, but we must be ready to admit that it is just one of many views…” How to be a Brilliant Thinker, page 3

A Tribute to CK Prahalad

A Tribute to CK Prahalad

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's April Column
Apr-26-10. By Rowen Gibson
Of all the management “gurus” I have met and worked with, CK Prahalad will always stand tall. His sad and sudden departure a week ago has robbed the world not only of a great mind, but also of a great heart. I bid him farewell.

Be a Sunrise Person, Part 2

Be a Sunrise Person, Part 2

Interview with John Hunt, Author of The Art of the Idea
Apr-22-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"We add to the stretch of our brain the more we stimulate it. Experimentation with the unknown is not something to be contained and watched with a beady eye. In the land of ideas, a comfort zone is not an environmentally friendly place to be." The Art of the Idea, page 118

Be a Sunrise Person, Part 1

Be a Sunrise Person, Part 1

Interview with John Hunt, Author of The Art of the Idea
Apr-16-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"Increased volume rarely marks you as a fresh thinker. Air is stirred, but little energy is released." "Great ideas often come from quiet people who take stimuli from their surroundings, but work in solitude with their mind." (John Hunt)

Beyond Incremental Innovation, Part 2

Beyond Incremental Innovation, Part 2

IdeaConnection Interview with Langdon Morris, author of Permanent Innovation, and Managing the Evolving Corporation; and co-author of Fourth Generation R&D
Apr-10-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"An innovation capability is therefore not just a change neutralizer – it's a change maker." (Langdon Morris, Permanent Innovation, page 213)

Making Innovation a Systemic Capability

Making Innovation a Systemic Capability

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's April Column
Apr-06-10. By Rowan Gibson
When I go into a large company, one of the first questions I usually ask is this: Does your organization have a worldwide innovation infrastructure where anyone, anywhere can get access to the cash, the talent, and the management support they need to turn their ideas into market success stories? No prizes for guessing the answer.

Beyond Incremental Innovation, Part 1

Beyond Incremental Innovation, Part 1

IdeaConnection Interview with Langdon Morris, author of Permanent Innovation, and Managing the Evolving Corporation; and co-author of Fourth Generation R&D
Apr-05-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"There is no genius in fear, or intimidation, or mediocrity. But there is genius in dreams, in creativity and innovation, and in breakthrough thinking!" (Langdon Morris, Permanent Innovation, page 236)

Learning to Organize with Chaos

Learning to Organize with Chaos

Ideaconnection Interview with Joseph Roevens' 4th Year Students, "Organize with Chaos Change Unit:"
Mar-29-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"The practical challenge for any executive today is not so much to try and eliminate chaos, but to learn to understand and use it strategically as a vital, creative resource. In times of chaos, values come before vision."

Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

IdeaConnection Interview with Joseph Roevens, Author of Systemic Constellations Work in Organizations and Co-author with Robin Rowley of Organize with Chaos
Mar-21-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"The ancient Greeks regarded Chaos as the source of all things. Everything emerged out of it."

Innovation of Meanings, Part 2

Innovation of Meanings, Part 2

IdeaConnection interview with Roberto Verganti, author of Design-Driven Innovation
Mar-14-10. By Vern Burkhardt
Vern Burkhardt (VB): "When it comes to radical innovation of meanings, a product's culture reflects the culture [values, norms, beliefs, and aspirations] of the executive who has launched it." Is it that important?

Escaping the Internet Commodity Trap

Escaping the Internet Commodity Trap

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's March Column
Mar-11-10. By Rowan Gibson
The Internet is like a black hole that relentlessly sucks in, digitizes and democratizes content of every kind. While that may be generally good news for consumers (hey, look at all the great stuff we can now get for free), it has turned out to be unbelievably bad news for the content providers.

Innovation of Meanings, Part 1

Innovation of Meanings, Part 1

IdeaConnection interview with Roberto Verganti, author of Design-Driven Innovation
Mar-06-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"[Design-driven innovations] escape the law of imitation and obsolescence typical of functional products, simply because even though competitors may imitate and surpass the innovations' functions, they can not replicate their meanings."

Thinking Together, Part 2

Thinking Together, Part 2

IdeaConnection Interview with William Isaacs, Author of Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together
Mar-01-10. By Vern Burkhardt
Vern Burkhardt (VB): "By changing the way we talk, we change the way we think, not just as individuals, but all together."

Thinking Together, Part 1

Thinking Together, Part 1

IdeaConnection Interview with William Isaacs, Author of Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together
Feb-22-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"…neither the enormous challenges human beings face today, nor the wonderful promise of the future on whose threshold we seem to be poised, can be reached unless human beings learn to think together in a very new way."

Ignite Your Idea Process

Ignite Your Idea Process

IdeaConnection Interview with Sam Harrison, Author of IdeaSpotting, Zing!, and IdeaSelling
Feb-15-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"If an idea pops up, write it down. If a vision drifts in, sketch it out."

Theory of Constraints, Part 2

Theory of Constraints, Part 2

Interview with Michael A. Dalton, author of Simplifying Innovation
Feb-07-10. By Vern Burkhardt
Vern Burkhardt (VB): Last week we briefly talked about the concept of the bottleneck and the "critical chain" project management in improving the process of innovation. Is there anything more related to those concepts we haven't talked about?

Theory of Constraints, Part I

Theory of Constraints, Part I

IdeaConnection Interview with Michael A. Dalton, author of Simplifying Innovation
Feb-01-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"Traditional improvement efforts work on the premise that strengthening each process step makes the whole process stronger. Unfortunately, in most cases, this dilutes your efforts, which is contrary to your goal."

Unlocking Creativity

Unlocking Creativity

IdeaConnection's interview with Patrick Harris, Author of The Truth About Creativity
Jan-25-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"If knowledge is the mind of the Talent Age, creativity is its heartbeat."

Follow up to Blind Spots

Follow up to Blind Spots

IdeaConnection has Three More Questions for Madeleine L. Van Hecke, author of Blind Spots and Co-author of The Brain Advantage
Jan-18-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"…either it's better to trust your intuitions and go with your gut OR it's better to always stop and think, be very analytic. This kind of simplistic dichotomy is rarely helpful."

Illuminating Blind Spots

Illuminating Blind Spots

Interview with Madeleine L. Van Hecke, author of Blind Spots and Co-author of The Brain Advantage
Jan-11-10. By Vern Burkhardt
"Our minds work for us in wonderful ways – 80 or 90 percent of the time. But the rest of the time, functioning in the very same ways, our minds work against us."

Group Creativity

Group Creativity

IdeaConnection Interview with Paul Paulus, co-author of Group Creativity
Jan-02-10. By Graham Duncan
Even with the information explosion and the growing necessity for specialization, the development of innovations still requires group interaction at various stages in the creative process.

The Power of Fun

The Power of Fun

IdeaConnection Interview with Ann Weimer Baumgardner, author of Pretend You're Normal: But Only When Absolutely Necessary
Dec-20-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Take the principles of the business world and apply them to the home. Or take the principles of the home and apply them to business. For the past ten years, Ann Weimer Baumgardner has been teaching mothers of preschoolers to do exactly that.

Rock On, Part 2

Rock On, Part 2

Interview with Peter Cook, Author of Sex, Leadership and Rock'n'Roll and Best Practice Creativity
Dec-14-09. By Vern Burkhardt
VB: Would you talk about "creative leaders?" Are they the ones whose organizations are the most innovative?

Rock On, Part 1

Rock On, Part 1

Interview with Peter Cook, Author of Sex, Leadership and Rock'n'Roll and Best Practice Creativity
Dec-06-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"Music has become global language in the last forty years." "By contrast, the language of leadership put forward by so-called professional management consultants is dry, unnecessarily complex and does not rock."

The Most Effective Innovators

The Most Effective Innovators

Interview with Tim Jones, Leader of the Innovation Leaders Programme and Programme Director at Future Agenda
Nov-30-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"Innovation leaders, those companies that are able to better understand emerging opportunities, access and exploit new technologies, develop successful new products and services or even change their business models, are the corporate heroes of today."

You've generated some great ideas  – now what?

You've generated some great ideas – now what?

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's November Column
Nov-30-09. By Rowan Gibson
One of the most prevalent and dangerous misconceptions in innovation is that it's all about coming up with ideas. So when companies catch the innovation bug, their tendency is to run off and immediately launch fun initiatives like online suggestion boxes, creative competitions, open innovation programs and offsite brainstorming sessions.

Think Inside the Box

Think Inside the Box

Interview with Micael Dahlén, Author of Creativity Unlimited, Nextopia, and Marketing on the Web
Nov-23-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"Creativity is not about taking chances. Creativity is about ensuring success."

Promiscuous Hostility, Positive Neutrality, Part 2

Promiscuous Hostility, Positive Neutrality, Part 2

Interview with John Sweeney, Author of Innovation at the Speed of Laughter and Return to Civility, and Owner of The Brave New Workshop
Nov-15-09. By Vern Burkhardt
VB: You report that the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota found that national employers consider leadership to be the single most important aspect of a MBA. And that the two key ingredients of leadership are self-confidence and the ability to declare one's point of view. How does one discover one's point of view?

Promiscuous Hostility, Positive Neutrality, Part 1

Promiscuous Hostility, Positive Neutrality, Part 1

Interview with John Sweeney, Author of Innovation at the Speed of Laughter and Return to Civility, and Owner of The Brave New Workshop
Nov-08-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"Treat each other in a way that creates a culture that lends itself to more and better ideas. Then refine those ideas really quickly in order to deliver innovative products."

Matching What is Possible with What is Needed

Matching What is Possible with What is Needed

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's October Column
Oct-28-09. By Rowan Gibson
Corporate innovation has traditionally been driven from the technology side; from departments like R&D and engineering. It's an approach that can be very successful. Indeed, it has often led to great breakthroughs. But if a company wants to win in today's value-based economy, this is no longer the best way of doing things.

Understanding, Imagination, Action

Understanding, Imagination, Action

Interview with Elaine Dundon, Author of The Seeds of Innovation
Oct-18-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"As every good farmer knows, you can't expect new plants to sprout from old seeds. It takes the seeds of creative thinking, strategic thinking, and transformational thinking to cultivate the synergy that fosters new ideas."

There's No Off Season Anymore

There's No Off Season Anymore

Interview with Lee Colan, co-author of Engaging the Hearts and Minds of all your Employees
Oct-11-09. By Graham Duncan
Employee engagement is the cornerstone of achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. Creative and innovative solutions are perhaps in greater need now than ever in order to transform the workplace.

What Is and What Is Not, Part 2

What Is and What Is Not, Part 2

Interview with Luc de Brabandere, Author of The Forgotten Half of Change
Oct-04-09. By Vern Burkhardt
VB: You say "Think globally, act globally." Would you talk about this, as it seems to be at variance with the thinking that we should have to act locally to reduce humanity's negative impact on the environment? When you say, "act globally" you're thinking about businesses, aren't you?

What Is and What Is Not, Part 1

What Is and What Is Not, Part 1

Interview with Luc de Brabandere, Author of The Forgotten Half of Change
Sep-27-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"You not only need to change the reality of your situation, you also need to change your perception of this reality." It's the second change "that really counts."

Stacking the Deck in Favor of Innovation, Part 2

Stacking the Deck in Favor of Innovation, Part 2

1 of Interview with Dave Siegel, co-author of Innovation: Myths and Mythstakes, Marketing to the New SuperConsumer, and The Great Tween Buying Machine
Sep-20-09. By Vern Burkhardt
There are numerous misconceptions about innovation. And there are many "truths" about innovation that are misapplied. These myths and "mythstakes" are costly and should be avoided.

Does your firm have an

Does your firm have an "Innovation Czar"?

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's September Column
Sep-15-09. By Rowan Gibson
It never ceases to amaze me. I'm meeting with the executive committee of a major global company. I've just asked if innovation is one of their top strategic priorities. Their unanimous answer is "yes". I then ask about their individual responsibilities. "Which one of you is the CFO?" "Who is head of HR?" "Where's the CIO?"

Stacking the Deck in Favor of Innovation, Part 1

Stacking the Deck in Favor of Innovation, Part 1

1 of Interview with Dave Siegel, co-author of Innovation: Myths and Mythstakes, Marketing to the New SuperConsumer, and The Great Tween Buying Machine
Sep-13-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"It's a scientifically proven fact that the more you are laughing, the greater the quantity and quality of your ideas. For the good of your customers, your own jobs, the shareholders, and each other, have a good time. Think, joke, and be merry for today we ideate!"

Innovation Through Social Networks

Innovation Through Social Networks

Interview With Charlene Li, Co-author of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
Sep-05-09. By Vern Burkhardt
The groundswell is a completely different way people relate to companies and each other. It has changed the balance of power between companies and their customers. This new era has been created by people's desire to almost always be connected with others using interactive Web 2.0 technologies.

Innovation is Personal — It's the People

Innovation is Personal — It's the People

Interview with Stephen Lundin, author of Cats, and Co-author of Top Performer, Loops, and the Fish! series of books
Aug-30-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"Innovation is at the heart of a life well lived." "…any individual, company, or country wishing to survive and thrive in the twenty-first century will do so by developing the brain's seemingly infinite capacity to create and innovate."

What exactly is an innovation strategy?

What exactly is an innovation strategy?

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's August Column
Aug-27-09. By Rowan Gibson
At many companies, the term "innovation strategy" refers simply to an agenda for new product development or a technology roadmap for R&D. This is like picking up a single leaf in the forest and calling it a "tree." Innovation strategy is not merely about the next product launch or patent registration.

Purposeful Recognition Leads to Innovation

Purposeful Recognition Leads to Innovation

Interview with Adrian Gostick, co-author of The Carrot Principle
Aug-20-09. By Graham Duncan
Drawing on case studies from leading companies including Disney, DHL, KPMG, and Pepsi Bottling Group, bestselling authors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton show how the transformative power of purpose-based recognition produces astonishing innovations and results – whether measured by return on equity, return on assets, or operating margin.

Diversity Drives Innovation

Diversity Drives Innovation

Interview with Debbe Kennedy, Author of Putting Our Differences to Work and Breakthrough!
Aug-14-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"…the people most likely to bring us the paradigm-shifting innovations we need to create new wealth are almost always outsiders, people who know little or nothing about the normal way of doing things – people different from us. This is true at every level of every enterprise, community, and country. New wealth is the result of innovation. And innovation is driven by diversity."

Attracting Innovative Employees

Attracting Innovative Employees

Interview with Peter Cappelli, author of Talent on Demand
Aug-10-09. By Graham Duncan
The new way of managing talent is fundamentally different from what came before it. The traditional model is extinct. Yet most companies are doing little to plan for and meet their needs for talented staff. Many rely on outside hiring to solve their problems but this creates other problems. In Talent on Demand, Peter Cappelli uses supply chain management models and numerous company examples to present new strategies organizations can use to ensure they have the staff they require.

Solving Problems with Pictures

Solving Problems with Pictures

Interview with Dan Roam, author of The Back of the Napkin
Aug-01-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"We can use the simplicity and immediacy of pictures to discover and clarify our own ideas, and use those same pictures to clarify our ideas for other people, helping them discover something new for themselves along the way." Pictures can be used to discover, develop and share business ideas—and have some fun.

Innovative Lateral Thinking

Innovative Lateral Thinking

Interview with Paul Sloane, author of The Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills and The Innovative Leader, and co-author of many books containing lateral thinking puzzles
Jul-25-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Innovative leaders "use creative and lateral thinking techniques to transform their organization into a hotbed of entrepreneurial spirit brimming with new ideas." They manage change by focusing "on developing the skills of the team in innovation, creativity, risk taking and entrepreneurial endeavor."

Innovation in Africa

Innovation in Africa

Interview with Vijay Mahajan, Author of "Africa Rising" and Co-author of "The 86% Solution"
Jul-19-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"The rise of Africa is hidden in plain sight." "The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Africa."

The Genius Dream Team

The Genius Dream Team

Interview with Michael Gelb, author of "Discover Your Genius", "How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci", "Innovate Like Edison" and eight other books
Jul-13-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Was your mother right when she looked into your eyes when you were born and saw the 'spark of the genius', the miraculous potential of the human brain?

Building a company's

Building a company's "Innovation Capital"

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's July Column
Jul-13-09. By Rowan Gibson
As usual it was Peter Drucker, the godfather of modern management, who said it first. Right back there in 1966 (!), in his landmark book "The Effective Executive", Drucker argued that companies would need to build a new kind of organizational capital as the industrial economy gave way to the knowledge economy.

A Culture of Engagement

A Culture of Engagement

An Interview with Clint Swindall, Author of Engaged Leadership: Building a Culture to Overcome Employee Disengagement
Jul-06-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Imagine you've been tasked with hiring a new employee for your organization. After an exhaustive search, you found the perfect candidate. You've made the offer, but before the person will accept, the person asked to have a quick meeting with a group of randomly selected employees. The perfect candidate says it's no big deal... just wants to learn a little about the culture of your organization.

Design Thinking for Innovation

Design Thinking for Innovation

Interview with Tom Kelley, General Manager of IDEO, and Author of The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation
Jun-28-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Vern Burkhardt (VB): What are some of the most interesting and exciting parts of your job as General Manager of IDEO?

The Wisdom of Teams

The Wisdom of Teams

Interview with Jon Katzenbach, co-author of The Wisdom of Teams
Jun-20-09. By Graham Duncan
Many companies overlook the potential of teams to turn around lagging profits, enter new markets, and make exciting innovations happen because they don't know how to successfully use teams. Authors Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith talked with hundreds of people in more than thirty companies to find out where and how teams work best, and how to enhance their effectiveness.

Making Sparks Fly

Making Sparks Fly

Interview with Dorothy Leonard, co-author of When Sparks Fly and Deep Smarts, and author of Wellsprings of Knowledge
Jun-15-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"Perhaps the most crucial way to tap the creativity of groups is to promote passion among members – passion for the organization, for the job, and for the product."

Gearing up for China 2.0

Gearing up for China 2.0

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's June Column
Jun-11-09. By Rowan Gibson
Pick up your iPod and turn it around. Note the cool and somewhat snobby phrase that's printed on the back of the device: "Designed by Apple in California.

Influencing Innovation

Influencing Innovation

Interview with Paul Gillin, Author of "The New Influencers: A Marketers Guide to the New Social Media"
Jun-01-09. By Graham Duncan
Social Media have changed the dynamics of marketing. The real influencers are no longer marketing experts, nor the traditional media that have always controlled and filtered marketing messages. The new influencers are the millions of ordinary people who are determining in direct and powerful ways what people, hear, say and believe.

The Power of Persuasion

The Power of Persuasion

Interview with Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion"
May-29-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Often when making a decision about something we don't use all the available relevant information. There is too much of it and we frequently don't have the ability to decide what information we can trust. So we rely on others.

Embracing Fear and Turbulence

Embracing Fear and Turbulence

Interview with Dov Frohman co-author of "Leadership the Hard Way: Why Leadership Can't Be Taught - and How You Can Learn It Anyway"
May-25-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"Leadership is a matter of courage: a willingness to take risks and do the unexpected; to make judgments with no data or, at best, inadequate data; to face one's fear of failure." How do we learn to lead like that? According to Dov Frohman and Robert Howard, co-authors of Leadership the Hard Way, by teaching ourselves using our wits, our intelligence, our observation, our intuition and our life experience.

Customer-led Innovation

Customer-led Innovation

Interview with Patricia Seybold, author of "Outside Innovation," "The Customer Revolution," and "Customers.com," and co-author of "BRANDchild"
May-17-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Innovation is game changing. "You create or invent a new product or a new way of doing things. You commercialize it. Customers value it. Your firm benefits through increased sales and/or usage, improved brand reputation, and better results delivered."

Virtual Teams

Virtual Teams

Interview with Jill Nemiro, Author of "Creativity in Virtual Teams: Key Components for Success", and "The Handbook of High-Performance Virtual Teams", and co-editor of "The Collaborative Work Systems Fieldbook"
May-11-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Virtual teams need to compensate for the lack of nonverbal communication. Not only can electronic communication be dehumanizing and socially isolating, it can foster a sense of anonymity. Messages in email tend to be stronger, more uninhibited, and assertive.

Innovating Healthcare

Innovating Healthcare

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's May Column
May-04-09. By Rowan Gibson
The first modern hospitals were founded in Europe and America in the 18th century. About a hundred years later, both the pharmaceutical industry and the health insurance industry began to emerge. So it's safe to say that, in much of the developed world, the healthcare business has been around for about two or three centuries. And, over time, like most other businesses, it has become bigger, better and faster.

Funky Business

Funky Business

Interview with Dr. Jonas Ridderstrale, co-author with Kjell A. Nordström of "Funky Business Forever" and "Karaoke Capitalism", and with Mark Wilcox of "Re-energizing the Corporation"
May-03-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Power has been transferred from those who sell to those who buy. "The stupid, humble, loyal customer is a thing of the past." The competitive edge in today's market economy is e-business. The 'e' stands for 'emotional business'.

Why the Hype?

Why the Hype?

Interview with Jackie Fenn, co-author of "Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time"
Apr-25-09. By Vern Burkhardt
The hype cycle occurs with almost every innovation. It's tied to the human emotional response to the new and novel. Knowing how the hype cycle works can help us avoid its traps, and also open opportunities for individuals and companies.

Team Centers, Part 2

Team Centers, Part 2

Interview with Diane Deacon, co-author with Mike Vance of "Creating Mega Results", "Think Out of the Box", "Break Out of the Box"
Apr-19-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Vern Burkhardt (VB): You say your "mission is to help revolutionize the way people work through the design of new transformational environments." Would you talk about that mission?

Team Centers, Part 1

Team Centers, Part 1

Interview with Diane Deacon, co-author with Mike Vance of "Creating MegaResults", "Think Out of the Box", and "Break Out of the Box"
Apr-10-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Walt Disney knew how to do it. So did Thomas Edison and many other giants of innovation. The highest creativity occurs within structure and organization. In work settings we can set up s. At home we need a "kitchen for the mind."

Innovation Leaders

Innovation Leaders

Interview with Jean-Philippe Deschamps, Author of Innovation Leaders; How Senior Executives Stimulate, Steer and Sustain Innovation
Apr-05-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Innovation leaders relentlessly stimulate, steer and sustain innovation in their companies. They deploy different strategies that require different innovation leadership skills to ensure their companies succeed. In Innovation Leaders, Jean-Philippe Deschamps reveals how companies at different stages of their innovation learning are building favorable innovation cultures.

How One of America’s Top Innovators Did It

How One of America’s Top Innovators Did It

A conversation with Sarah Miller Caldicott, author of "Innovate Like Edison: The Five-Step System for Breakthrough Business Success."
Apr-01-09. By Alice Bumgarner
Sarah Miller Caldicott may be the great grandniece of Thomas Edison, but she relied on more than simply family anecdotes to write her book, Innovate Like Edison. She delved into all things Edison with Dr. Paul Israel, the director of the Edison Papers at Rutgers University, who presides over an archive 5 million pages deep.

Rethinking the role of HR

Rethinking the role of HR

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's April Column
Mar-31-09. By Rowan Gibson
It's every employee's nightmare in recessionary times: finding a "pink slip" in the pay envelope, or getting a fateful phone call from HR. Over four and a half million workers in America have had that gut-wrenching experience since the economy hit a wall in 2007. And this year the global layoff tsunami will claim millions more jobs worldwide.

Creativity Myths

Creativity Myths

Interview with Keith Sawyer, Author of "Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation"
Mar-29-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"To explain creativity we need an action theory, a theory that explains how the process of doing a work results in the product." Creativity is fundamentally a social and collaborative activity. Keith Sawyer also says "Scientific creativity and business innovation are even more deeply social and collaborative than…artistic creativity."

Green Thumb Leadership

Green Thumb Leadership

Interview with Judy Estrin, author of "Closing the Innovation Gap: Reigniting the Spark of Creativity in a Global Economy"
Mar-22-09. By Vern Burkhardt
"People often overestimate the aha! factor in the invention process. That process starts with creating the right kind of environment."

A Sense of Urgency

A Sense of Urgency

Interview with Dr. John Kotter, Author of "Leading Change", "Our Iceberg is Melting", "The Heart of Change", "A Sense of Urgency", and fourteen other books
Mar-14-09. By Vern Burkhardt
A real sense of urgency is rare but it's invaluable in a world that will not stand still. "In a fast-moving and changing world, a sleepy or steadfast contentment with the status quo can create disaster – literally disaster." Frenetically activity people coping with many issues, few of which are central to the organization's success and future growth, is not a sign of a sense of urgency. It's a sign of a false sense of urgency. John Kotter says its all about leadership.

First Do No Harm, Part 2

First Do No Harm, Part 2

An Interview with Amar Bhidé, Author of "The Venturesome Economy: How Innovation Sustains Prosperity in a More Connected World"
Mar-06-09. By Vern Burkhardt
The perceived threat of loss of jobs through "offshoring" – companies contracting manufacturing and provision of services to countries in Asia, for example – is more perception than fact. Enforcing contracts and protecting intellectual property are but two impediments that discourage rampant "offshoring". In any event, it is not a zero-sum situation.

First Do No Harm, Part 1

First Do No Harm, Part 1

An Interview with Amar Bhidé, Author of "The Venturesome Economy: How Innovation Sustains Prosperity in a More Connected World"
Feb-28-09. By Vern Burkhardt
The United States and other developed countries do not need to fear being surpassed in high–level scientific and technological research and development by countries such as India and China. Indeed, they should welcome more advanced research overseas because high-level know-how tends to be geographically mobile, and entrepreneurs are able to apply these outside innovations in their own countries through mid- and ground-level innovations of products, services and know-how.

Re-tooling Your Business Model in Challenging Times

Re-tooling Your Business Model in Challenging Times

An interview with Robert Tucker, author of "Driving Growth Through Innovation, Second Edition: How Leading Firms are Transforming their Future"
Feb-16-09. By Vern Burkhardt
More than ever before incremental innovation is not sufficient for survival. Many businesses need to re-tool their business models in order to achieve breakthrough innovation.

Moving from Context to Core

Moving from Context to Core

An interview with Geoffrey Moore, author of "Dealing with Darwin: How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of their Evolution"
Feb-05-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Innovation is valuable only if it helps a company attain economic advantage.

Honing Your Creativity

Honing Your Creativity

An Interview with Gregg Fraley, author of "Jack's Notebook"
Jan-23-09. By Vern Burkhardt
Innovative ideas are always the result of creative thinking. Fortunately artists do not, contrary to popular belief, have a monopoly on creativity. With a little training anyone can develop their brain's capacity for creativity.

Is this the end of Apple?

Is this the end of Apple?

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's January Column
Jan-22-09. By Rowan Gibson
That's the bugging question that just won't go away. It seems to get asked every time Steve Jobs goes to the doctor. First it was a brush with cancer. Now it's a mysterious "hormone imbalance" that has left Jobs looking gaunt, forced him to cancel his appearance at Macworld 2009, and put him on a six month medical leave. Once again, people are wondering if Apple has lost its core.

Be a Business Unconventionalist

Be a Business Unconventionalist

An Interview with Anja Foerster and Peter Kreuz, authors of "Different Thinking: Creative Strategies for Developing the Innovative Business"
Dec-27-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Innovate, don't imitate.

Effective Teams

Effective Teams

An interview with Glenn Parker, Author of "Team Players and Teamwork: New Strategies for Developing Successful Collaboration"
Dec-21-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Teams are everywhere. During this first decade of the twenty-first century the role of teams and the use of teams to address organizational issues has increased dramatically. Teams in many forms are seen as critical to the creative and innovative success of companies.

Detroit's dismal Decline and Fall

Detroit's dismal Decline and Fall

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's December Column
Dec-17-08. By Rowan Gibson
In March 2008, British Airways discontinued its decades-old daily service between London Heathrow and Detroit. Not exactly world-shattering news, you might think. But BA's decision was quite significant. They made it because passenger numbers had dwindled so pathetically low that the flights were no longer profitable. It's just one of a whole kaleidoscope of symptoms that signal Motor City's dismal decline.

Ideas: The Wheels of Progress

Ideas: The Wheels of Progress

Interview with Jack Foster, author of "How to Get Ideas"
Dec-14-08. By Vern Burkhardt
No one is criticized for having too many ideas. Such a person is more likely to be known as the genius with all the ideas, but all of us can learn how to get ideas—a lot of ideas. We need to learn to be ever more idea-prone, to idea-condition our minds. But in the final analysis we need to have the moxie to put our ideas into action.

Performance Rather than Togetherness

Performance Rather than Togetherness

Interview With Jon Katzenbach, co-author of "The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization"
Dec-07-08. By Vern Burkhardt
In The Wisdom of Teams, Jon Katzenbach and co-author Douglas Smith define a team as "a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable." They also say, "No major company we know is pursuing an energized, productive work force without the conscious use of teams."

Awakening Our Childhood Genius

Awakening Our Childhood Genius

An Interview with Marco Marsan, author of "Who Are You When Nobody's Looking" and, with Peter Lloyd, "Think Naked: Childlike Brilliance in the Rough Adult World"
Nov-30-08. By Vern Burkhardt
It's okay, indeed it's smart, to cheat. Smart people look everywhere for suggestions, answers, and to stimulate their thinking. Ask someone who knows nothing about your business. Get smart help, strategic inspiration, and sage advice.

Who Killed Our Business? Part 2

Who Killed Our Business? Part 2

An Interview with Paul Sloane, author of "The Innovative Leader: How to Inspire your Team and Drive Creativity"
Nov-23-08. By By Vern Burkhardt
Last week Paul Sloane recommended that businesses should define themselves not by their products but by the benefits they deliver to their customers and how they can extend that value. Knowing there is always a better way drives innovation.

Who Killed Our Business? Part 1

Who Killed Our Business? Part 1

An Interview with Paul Sloane, author of "The Innovative Leader: How to Inspire Your Team and Drive Creativity"
Nov-17-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Innovative leaders of outstanding companies set outstanding expectations. They recognize that success can be the cause of their organization's long-term failure so they continue to drive for change, for innovation. They have a vision and are passionate when talking about it. They are prepared to invest in innovation. They don't pay lip service to innovation while their actions make it clear to their employees that taking risks is job- or career-limiting.

The Innovation

The Innovation "War Room"

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's November Column
Nov-16-08. By Rowan Gibson
There are three ways to react to an economic crisis. One way is to bury your head in the sand and hope the whole thing just blows over (good luck!). Another way is to run around in a panic-induced cost-cutting frenzy that could seriously impair your company's long-term growth potential. The third and, of course, smartest way is to recognize the impending threat to both your top and bottom line, and quickly adapt your company's strategy and business model to the new market conditions.

The How-Tos of Collaborative Innovation

The How-Tos of Collaborative Innovation

An interview with Dr. Satish Nambisan, co-author of "The Global Brain"
Nov-09-08. By Vern Burkhardt
The How-To's of Collaborative Innovation: An interview with Dr. Satish Nambisan, co-author of The Global Brain

Embracing Disruptive Change

Embracing Disruptive Change

An interview with Clayton Christensen, co-author of "Disrupting Class"
Nov-03-08. By Vern Burkhardt
We need to understand and embrace disruptive change. It will transform the way we view innovation. Businesses may be well managed, customer-friendly, and technologically advanced—they are still susceptible to failure or to being overtaken by upstart competitors.

Innovating in the

Innovating in the "Perfect Storm"

Winnovation: Rowan Gibson's October Column
Oct-31-08. By Rowan Gibson
Whoa! This is the big one! Most of us have weathered economic storms before, but nobody has ever seen anything like this. Forget the Asian financial meltdown of 1997, the dot-com implosion of 2000-2001, the blistering financial scandals of 2002 (a la Enron, WorldCom et al), and the three-year, post 9/11 global recession that finally abated in 2003.

Cracking the Riddle

Cracking the Riddle

An interview with Andrew Razeghi, author of The Riddle: Where Ideas Come From and How to Have Better Ones
Oct-27-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs thrive on their ability to be creative. New wealth tends to flow to those who successfully introduce new ideas.

The Business of Breaking Boundaries

The Business of Breaking Boundaries

An interview with Barry Nalebuff, author of "Why Not? How To Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems"
Oct-20-08. By Graham Duncan
Have you ever been in line at the grocery store, sitting in a meeting, refinancing your mortgage, programming your VCR, waiting on hold—and thought to yourself, "There must be a better way to do this!"

The Power of Diversity

The Power of Diversity

An Interview with Scott Page, author of The Difference
Oct-13-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Having smart individuals in a group does not necessarily make a group smart, a crowd wise, or a team effective. Diverse groups often trump homogeneous groups. Random collections of intelligent problem solvers can outperform groups of the best like-minded individual problem solvers.

The Canary in the Coal Mine

The Canary in the Coal Mine

An Interview with Jeff Howe, author of Crowdsourcing
Oct-06-08. By Vern Burkhardt
The crowd is talented, creative and stunningly productive. Crowdsourcing has the potential to harness the knowledge and talents of the crowd to solve our greatest problems.

Thinking Strategies of Creative Giants, Part 2

Thinking Strategies of Creative Giants, Part 2

An Interview with Michael Michalko, author of Cracking Creativity
Sep-22-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Seeing what no one else is seeing. Thinking what no one else is thinking. Merely understanding the strategies for cracking creativity will not result in the generation of creative ideas and creative solutions. If we actually use them we might even become creative geniuses—perhaps the best type of intelligence.

Thinking Strategies of Creative Giants

Thinking Strategies of Creative Giants

An Interview with Michael Michalko, author of Cracking Creativity
Sep-15-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Creative geniuses know how to think rather than what to think. They have child-like curiosity. They ask bold questions. They generate and entertain many ideas, not just the first idea that comes to mind. "If you always think the way you've always thought, you'll always get what you've always got—the same old, same old ideas."

The DNA of Innovation, Part 2

The DNA of Innovation, Part 2

An Interview with Rowan Gibson, co-author of Innovation to the Core
Sep-08-08. By Vern Burkhardt
We’ve become an innovation-based economy. The good news is all of us have the capacity to be incredibly creative—it is not the exclusive domain of famous innovators past and present.

The DNA of Innovation

The DNA of Innovation

Interview with Rowan Gibson, co-author of Innovation to the Core
Sep-01-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Innovation is now at the stage the quality movement was in the 1960’s. Many leaders of businesses and organizations are aware that their future growth and survival depends on innovation in products, business models and even management systems. But few are aware of what it takes to implement and sustain breakthrough innovation. We now have the answer—irrespective of whether we are a large global corporation or a small business focusing on a local market.

The Fight for Competitive Advantage

The Fight for Competitive Advantage

An Interview with Richard Scase, author of Global Remix
Aug-25-08. By Vern Burkhardt
The communications revolution is fundamentally changing the nature of the global economy. Knowledge based jobs are contributing to a 21st century work revolution. Alongside this, consumer markets in the Western economies are being re-invented. In Global Remix: The Fight for Competitive Advantage, Richard Scase argues that corporations, entrepreneurs, and individuals will have to reinvent themselves in this ever-changing business environment.

Promoting Creativity

Promoting Creativity

An Interview with Sir Ken Robinson, author of Out of Our Minds
Aug-11-08. By Vern Burkhardt and Graham Duncan
Being creative involves doing something. It is applied imagination, whether in art, music, mathematics, engineering, writing or business. The outcomes that are produced are original. And creative ideas are often ahead of their times.

The Brain is Plastic

The Brain is Plastic

An Interview with Dr. Norman Doidge, author of The Brain is that Changes Itself
Aug-04-08. By Vern Burkhardt
We use our brains to experience everything, study everything, and accomplish everything, but we don’t generally spend much time thinking about the brain itself. Science is now proving that by taking time to understand how the brain functions we can actually learn how to use our brains to improve themselves.

Exploring Strategic Intuition

Exploring Strategic Intuition

An Interview with William Duggan, author of Strategic Intuition
Jul-28-08. By Vern Burkhardt and Graham Duncan
Brain science tells us there are three kinds of intuition; ordinary, expert and strategic. Ordinary intuition is just a feeling, a gut instinct. Expert intuition is “a form of rapid thinking where you jump to a conclusion when you recognize something familiar”, as a professional engineer might do in his daily practice. The third kind, strategic intuition, is “thinking, not feeling. A flash of insight cuts through the fog of your mind with a clear, shining thought”. It's not fast, like expert intuition, it's slow and occurs in new situations where your best ideas are needed.

"We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything"

An Interview with Michael Gelb, author of Innovate like Edison
Jul-21-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Anyone interested in inventing, creating or innovating should acquaint themselves with Thomas Edison. We have all heard of him and we know he invented the light bulb, for which we are all grateful. What most people may not know is that he was a one person university—a careful examination and understanding of his methods should, when accurately and intelligently followed, be enough to lead to success.

Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

An Interview with Chuck Frey, author of The Mind Mapping Manefesto
Jul-14-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Innovation is an essential survival skill for the 21st century. Products and services become obsolete faster and faster. In this global economy a new competitor can disrupt your business model overnight—innovation is increasingly becoming a way of life.

Going Beyond Collaboration, Part 2

Going Beyond Collaboration, Part 2

An Interview with Raymond Miles, author of Collaborative Entrepreneurship
Jul-07-08. By Vern Burkhardt
If a firm is highly innovative it is likely an indication that its leaders and employees are skilled collaborators. Developing collaborative capabilities requires learning new values and behaviors and unlearning old habits. It takes time, training and participants who value the contributions of their colleagues. Building trust is a time-consuming but necessary component.

Going Beyond Collaboration

Going Beyond Collaboration

An Interview with Raymond Miles, author of Collaborative Entrepreneurship
Jun-30-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Innovation as the primary driver of economic development and business success is not a new idea—over seventy years ago economist Joseph Schumpeter first posited this idea.

Creativity Needs to be Rewarded

Creativity Needs to be Rewarded

An Interview with Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur
Jun-09-08. By Vern Burkhardt
"When writers, and composers and music makers for that matter, can no longer hope to make a living from their work, how many works will never be written or created?"

The Business of Innovation

The Business of Innovation

Author Scott Berkun's Television Debut
Jun-02-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Scott Berkun, author of The Myths of Innovation, is going to be a television star! He contacted me to advise that he will be a recurring expert for a five-hour CNBC special about innovation.

The Maverick Spirit

The Maverick Spirit

An Interview with Polly LaBarre, author of Mavericks at Work
May-26-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Mavericks are those individuals who eagerly make business decisions that fly in the face of business-as-usual. They deliberately turn traditions up-side-down or shut them out altogether, looking instead for new "disruptive" ideas and creative people, and in doing so find themselves on a joyous ride to success.

The Creative Frame of Mind

The Creative Frame of Mind

An Interview with Roger Von Oech, author of Expect the Unexpected or You Won't Find It
May-19-08. By Vern Burkhardt
While thinking "outside the box" is touted as a key to being creative, thinking "inside the box" with limitations of time, money and other resources often sharpens the mind. A project with fifteen people dedicated to it may take longer than one with half that number!

Zero-Gravity Thinkers

Zero-Gravity Thinkers

An Interview with Cynthia Barton Rabe, author of The Innovation Killer
May-12-08. By Vern Burkhardt
"Innovation is the application of an idea that results in a valuable improvement".

Releasing our Mental Blocks

Releasing our Mental Blocks

An Interview with Roger Von Oech, author of A Whack on the Side of the Head
May-05-08. By Vern Burkhardt
We become locked in our old ways of thinking, and we often assume our past and current successes are the path to future success. But inevitably every current success will become a future failure if we keep thinking and doing things in the same manner.

The Wisdom of Not Knowing

The Wisdom of Not Knowing

An Interview with Christopher Phillips, author of Socrates Café
Apr-27-08. By Vern Burkhardt
“The one thing Socrates knew beyond a shadow of a doubt was that he didn’t know anything beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

Using Your Mind to the Utmost

Using Your Mind to the Utmost

An Interview with Ronald Gross, author of Socrates' Way
Apr-21-08. By Vern Burkhardt
What do fifth century BC Athens and 2008 New York City have in common? A man could, and can, be seen dressed in a toga and wearing a headband, exploring complex ideas by asking probing questions of his fellow citizens.

Solving Tough Problems, Part 2

Solving Tough Problems, Part 2

An Interview with Adam Kahane, author of Solving Tough Problems
Apr-14-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Last week we learned that the authoritarian approach to solving tough problems, where the expert, the boss or the politician attempts to solve it does not work. Rather, it hurts and as Adam Kahane, author of Solving Tough Problems, learned from his dental nurse, when something you are doing hurts then stop doing it.

Solving Tough Problems

Solving Tough Problems

An Interview with Adam Kahane, author of Solving Tough Problems
Apr-06-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Tough problems in families, businesses, communities, countries and other organizations often don’t get solved peacefully. They either remain unsolved or are dealt with by force. There is another way. Talk and listen to each other in order to reach a solution peacefully.

Mental Models

Mental Models

An Interview with Indi Young, author of Mental Models
Mar-31-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Use of mental models can stimulate innovative ideas, including ideas for new products and services for customers. This is a tool that can ensure our customers are front and centre in the design process. Author Indi Young describes design as organizing the way in which you enable “digital, physical, and environmental interactions that people carry out to accomplish something”.

Demystifying Mind Mapping

Demystifying Mind Mapping

An Interview with Chuck Frey, author of Power Tips & Strategies for Mind Mapping Software
Mar-24-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Not often does one encounter a productivity tool that will support group brainstorming and creative thinking, organize complex information, help solve problems, support SWOT analysis, enhance memory, help make decisions, manage projects, support strategic planning, prepare for major meetings, take notes, write papers and presentations, manage “to do” lists, support process and quality improvement, assist teachers to structure their presentations and students to increase their learning, and facilitate individual ideation (generate new ideas). Visual mapping supported by mind mapping software may be a must tool for all knowledge workers who are increasingly inundated with data and information.

The Power of Cool

The Power of Cool

An interview with Peter Gloor, co-author of Coolhunting
Mar-17-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Jazz music fans will know the English slang “cool” means excellent. According to Coolhunting by Peter Gloor and Scott Cooper, cool goes beyond the usual definitions of “excellent” and “fun”. To be cool something must “make the world a better place” and exhibit “altruism” in its development and realization.

Don't Blink, Think, Part 2

Don't Blink, Think, Part 2

An Interview with Michael LeGault, author of Think!
Mar-10-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Last week we ended with my question to Michael R. LeGault, author of Think! Why Critical Decisions Can’t Be Made in the Blink of an Eye, regarding fear. We continue this week with his answer to that question and a number of other questions.

Don't Blink, Think

Don't Blink, Think

An Interview with Michael LeGault, author of Think!
Mar-03-08. By Vern Burkhardt
We are what we think. Faulty thinking results from the inability to think critically and a lack of will to think clearly. Critical thinking plays a significant role in our physical and mental well-being. Critical thinking depends on analysis and logic, and on action. Critical thinking requires gathering, processing and evaluating information, and creative thinking uses this information to produce a result that would not have happened without that effort. Therefore, critical thinking is the key to releasing the mind’s higher cognitive powers—creative thinking.

Myths and Methods of Innovation

Myths and Methods of Innovation

An Interview with Scott Berkun, author of The Myths of Innovation
Feb-25-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Myths simplify and distort reality but as human beings we have a propensity for believing them. When it comes to innovation the myths surrounding it can stand solidly in your way.

A Smarter World

A Smarter World

An Interview with Richard Ogle, author of Smart World
Feb-11-08. By Vern Burkhardt
We are making our world “smarter” all the time by creating more and more “idea-spaces”. Idea-spaces are those places, outside ourselves, where we store information, allowing us, as brain scholar Andy Clark says, to “be dumb in peace”. These spaces can be as mundane as a grocery list or as sophisticated as the computers that help spacecraft reach their destinations, do their jobs, and return to earth.

Right Brain Workouts Explained

Right Brain Workouts Explained

An Interview with Peter Lloyd, creator of Right Brain Workouts
Feb-04-08. By Vern Burkhardt
Last week I wrote an article summarizing my interview of Peter Lloyd and Steve Grossman, co-authors of Animal Crackers. In this article I continue to explore Peter's creative ideas.

Animal Crackers

Animal Crackers

An Interview with Peter Lloyd, co-creator of Animal Crackers
Jan-28-08. By Vern Burkhardt
People need a slight switch in their mood—in a positive direction—before they can create. When you get creative insights it is thrilling; it gives you energy.

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point

A Book Review of Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point"
Jan-21-08. By Vern Burkhardt
What is a Tipping Point? It is “that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”

We are Smarter than Me

We are Smarter than Me

An Interview with Barry Libert, co-author of We Are Smarter than Me
Jan-14-08. By Vern Burkhardt
After only a decade and a half of being in existence, the “Internet Age” is being compared to the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution. With about one billion people “connected” and the numbers growing exponentially, businesses are harnessing the power and ideas of their online community of customers, employees and shareholders to make better decisions, improve services to their customers, and make bigger profits.

Democratizing Innovation: The Shift of Innovation to Users

Democratizing Innovation: The Shift of Innovation to Users

An Interview with Dr. Eric von Hippel, author of Democratizing Innovation
Jan-05-08. By Vern Burkhardt
A major reason for the frequent commercial failure of manufacturer-developed products is poor understanding of users’ needs on the part of manufacturers’ innovators. To avoid this problem, some businesses have begun to shift the task of custom product design to their customers, in some cases providing them with toolkits for innovation.

The Power of Story

The Power of Story

An Interview with Jim Loehr, the author of The Power of Story
Dec-29-07. By Vern Burkhardt
The most precious resource we humans possess is our personal energy. The key to almost all our problems is faulty storytelling, because storytelling drives the way we gather and spend our energy. We need to constantly infuse our personal story with new thinking and new energy in order to bring about sustained shifts in happiness, excitement, enthusiasm, joy and inspiration.

How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

An Interview with Michael Gelb, author of How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci
Dec-16-07. By Vern Burkhardt
When you ask for feedback from your friends, clients, spouse, children or co-workers listen carefully to the responses you receive, especially if they are different than you expect or want to hear. Don’t explain, justify or argue or become defensive. Also, seek out those who hold a different perspective than your own and listen to their views (This sounds very much like “deep listening” which Keith Sawyer and I discussed in my article dated November 12, 2007.)

Thinkertoys: Handbook of Creative Thinking Techniques

Thinkertoys: Handbook of Creative Thinking Techniques

An Interview with Michael Michalko, Author of Thinkertoys
Dec-10-07. By Vern Burkhardt
Creators are creative because they believe they are creative. And they are not negative. To solve a problem you have to believe that you already have the answer in your unconscious. When Einstein was troubled by a problem he would lie down and take a long nap. Thinking in terms of contradictions and paradoxes are the hallmarks of creative thinking. Exposing yourself to unusual images, such as the hieroglyphics in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, sparks your imagination. The difficulty of effective collaboration is each person thinks his or her view is the correct one.

Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution

Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution

An Interview with Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs
Dec-03-07. By Vern Burkhardt
Mobile communication devices and inexpensive microprocessors linked to the Internet are allowing people to act in concert with each other. Howard Rheingold described this as the emergence of “Smart Mobs”, whose basic characteristics include:
  • mobility through the use of wireless devices, such as mobile phones, pagers and personal digital assistants
  • informal organization, and
  • social networks in which every individual has links to other individuals through the Internet.

Think Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking

Think Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking

An Interview with Tim Hurson, author of Think Better
Nov-26-07. By Vern Burkhardt
We have the potential to think better, more productively, and more creatively. Thinking better is a skill that we can learn. It’s not what you know but what you think, and there is a lot of room for improvement. Thinking is hard work. The more you practice the better you become at thinking.

The Art of Creative Thinking: How to be Innovative and Develop Great Ideas

The Art of Creative Thinking: How to be Innovative and Develop Great Ideas

An Interview with Dr. John Adair, author of The Art of Creative Thinking
Nov-18-07. By Vern Burkhardt
See or make connections between ideas that seem far apart, look to nature for models and principles to solve problems, make the familiar strange and the strange familiar, cultivate curiosity, ask lots of questions, observe, be a good listener, and read to generate questions. Reading without reflecting is comparable to eating without digesting. These are but some of the many useful bits of advice that Dr. John Adair offers in The Art of Creative Thinking.

Group Genius: Everyone can be More Creative - But not Alone

Group Genius: Everyone can be More Creative - But not Alone

An Interview with Dr. Keith Sawyer, author of Group Genius
Nov-12-07. By Vern Burkhardt
In his book Group Genius, Dr. Keith Sawyer asserts that creativity is always collaborative. The lone genius of inventions is a myth, and he backs up this point with examples such as television, email, game of Monopoly, mountain bike, ATM, the airplane, quantum physics and psychoanalysis. It is group genius that generates breakthrough innovation.

The Most Productive Engines of Creativity

The Most Productive Engines of Creativity

An interview with Peter Gloor author of Swarm Creativity
Nov-03-07. By Vern Burkhardt
Peter A. Gloor has coined the term COIN, which is an abbreviation for Collaborative Innovation Networks. A COIN, according to Dr. Gloor, is "a cyberteam of self-motivated people with a collective vision, enabled by the Web to collaborate in achieving a common goal by sharing ideas, information and work". The Internet permits these participants to develop and disseminate creative ideas to anybody across the globe almost instantaneously, and at minimal cost per transaction. This is the underpinning of ever accelerating rates of innovation and problem solving, and organizations ignore this new reality at their peril.



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