Innovation
ARTICLES

Authors and thought leaders, submit your scholarly and informative articles about innovation. Add them to your Innovative People profile, or submit them independently. Add original articles, or link to content already available on the internet.


5 Steps to Embed Innovation in Your Daily Working Life

Jul-19-15. By James Gardner

Innovation is a word that’s been heard on the lips of more CEOs, read in more broadsheet papers, and detailed in more business magazines in the last ten months than ever before. It’s well regarded that those businesses that fail to innovate risk death; consider the sad fates of longstanding companies like Woolworths, Polaroid, Blockbuster, and Borders over the last ten years. But how, as an individual, can you incorporate innovation and creative thinking into your everyday working life, all while keeping up with the already manic pace of modern business?


Brainstorming vs. Braincalming

Jul-19-15. By Mitch Ditkoff

If you work in a big organization, small business, freelance, or eat cheese, there's a good chance you've participated in at least a few brainstorming sessions in your life. You've noodled, conjured, envisioned, ideated, piggybacked, and endured overly enthusiastic facilitators doing their facilitator thing. You may have even gotten some results. Hallelujah! But even the best run brainstorming sessions are based on a questionable assumption -- that the origination of powerful, new ideas depend on the facilitated interaction between people. You know, the "two heads are better than one" syndrome.


Changing the Workplace Environment for Innovation?

Jul-16-15. By Paul Hobcraft

You can’t escape the reality that having the right environment for innovation means different things to different people. What we should be all able to agree upon is that the environment for innovation houses many of the conditions that connect innovation in people’s minds.


A Case of Successful Failure

Jul-13-15. By Daniel Gross

You know the company, in part because its name is synonymous with high-profile failure. Eager to ride the wave of a hot new technology, it participated in a controversial government-funding program, staged a flashy initial public offering, and plowed hundreds of millions of dollars into research and new factories that would create jobs, reinvent an ailing domestic industry, and help the environment. Then there’s this other company you may have heard about. Having spent nearly 15 years patiently developing an important new technology, it suddenly finds itself in the sweet spot of a megatrend. Here’s the thing. Both scenarios describe the same firm: A123 Systems. And therein lies a cautionary tale about how we judge success and failure.


Innovation is a Cultural Phenomenon

Jul-09-15. By Jeffrey Phillips

There's really no easy way to say this, so I'll come right out with it. It's your culture that's holding you back when you try to innovate, but no one wants to admit that. Most consultants and executives want to focus on interesting innovation tools, or idea management software, or creative design concepts, because these are flashy and new, and distract attention from the real challenge at hand. Which is your culture. If culture "eats strategy for breakfast", what do you think it eats for lunch and dinner? Crazy innovation activities mostly.


Innovation is the One Thing you can't Delegate

Jul-06-15. By Jeffrey Phillips

Peter Drucker made the claim that the modern corporation has two real purposes: marketing and innovation. Everything else, he said, are costs. If Drucker was right, what does that say about most executives, who are busy managing costs? In effect Drucker is saying that they are ignoring the two most important functions of a business.


You Were Born to Innovate

Jul-06-15. By Phil McKinney

It’s really astounding how many people I meet who tell me, “I’m not creative” or “I wasn’t born an innovator.” How many times have you told yourself this story? No matter how convinced you may be that you are not creative or you were not meant to change the world, I believe that EVERYONE is a born innovator! The simple fact that you have grown up and learned how to be an adult in this world means you have already gone through a process of continual innovation – and creating something totally new is often a matter of recapturing that mindset.


Taking the Guesswork Out of Innovation

Jun-29-15. By James Gardner

Innovation has become a bit of a business buzzword. Every CEO and CIO worth their salt wants to be seen to be on the forefront, bringing new products and services to a market. However, it doesn’t always go to plan, and rushing in to things head first without the proper due diligence can land a company in hot water.


To Innovate You Must Have a Beginners Mind

Jun-29-15. By Phil McKinney

Crippled by knowledge and information, we too often live in a tomb of disenchantment. Too serious to dance in the rain, too cautious to build sandcastles by the sea, we are frozen by our own experience, expertise and fear. The art of innovation and of staying beginners is to empty our cups again and again, to remain childlike and playful with eyes always open and fresh.


The 2015 Breakthrough Innovation Report

Jun-29-15. By Drew Boyd, Jacob Goldenberg

The Nielsen report is based on a two year study examining over 3000 products launched in the US. It debunks conventional wisdom that new product success is random. Instead, it shows that success in new product innovation is repeatable and scalable when the science of innovation is applied.


Ten Things I Learned Researching Ten of the World’s Fastest Growing Startups

Jun-27-15. By Morgan Brown

By scouring the Web for interviews, videos, past profiles and more, we pulled insight from dozens of sources for each case study. Based on our research we were able to piece together what made these companies so successful—and in the process reverse engineer their growth engine.


Design Constraints Fuel Innovation

Jun-25-15. By Rich Nadworny

Hacks. Sprints. Ideation sessions. People and organization use these structures to bring people together in order to come up with new ideas. I’ve organized hackathons and I’ve judged them. I run innovation and design workshops for the public and for private companies. Over the years I’ve come to a startling conclusion, one that has inspired me to start establishing a challenging design constraint for participants: Come up with as many creative solutions as you can but the solution may not be a Web site or an App.


How Far Can Crowdsourcing Go?

Jun-21-15. By James Gardner

The term is widely accepted to have been coined by Wired magazine in 2006, in an article analysing how businesses were beginning to outsource tasks, usually handled by an individual to a larger number of people, in the expectation it would gain faster results for a cheaper price. Since then, business use of crowdsourcing techniques has become more established. Crowdfunding, for example, has become a common way of raising funds, while Spigit Engage customers provide a great example of how businesses are applying crowdsourcing to the innovation process. However, such is the potential and power of ‘the crowd’, just how far can crowdsourcing be taken – not just in business, but society as a whole?


The Interplay in 3 Essential Change Points for Innovation

Jun-20-15. By Paul Hobcraft

There is always a certain impact that innovation brings, it should change habits, alter perceptions, improve our lives or alter the way we work and think. Each change brought about by innovation does have different impact effects upon three important market constituents: customers, the markets and the industries themselves but also and often totally under-appreciated, internally on the innovator driving the change.


Are You Ready to Change the Future of Innovation?

Jun-17-15. By Stefan Lindegaard

The future of innovation needs to change. Will you help make it happen? This is what I believe in. The future of innovation – and business – is driven by three global mega-trends: Everything moves faster, everything will be connected and there will be a much higher degree of transparency. Thus, we need a different approach on innovation. Here you have my current thoughts (work in progress) on this.


Mind Wandering "Ahas" versus Mindful Reasoning: Alternate Routes to Creative Solutions

Jun-17-15. By Claire Zedelius, Jonathan Schooler

Based on mixed results linking both mindfulness and its opposing construct mind wandering to enhanced creativity, we predicted that the relationship between mindfulness and creativity might depend on whether creative problems are approached through analytic strategy or through “insight” (i.e., sudden awareness of a solution).


Creativity Through Restriction (Constraint Based Innovation)

Jun-15-15. By Phil McKinney

Creativity is usually associated with open spaces, uninhibited freedom, and a lack of anything to stifle expression. However, sometimes it can be beneficial, even essential, to build walls, make rules and impose constraints on ourselves in order to get our creativity flowing.

The fact is that unlimited options are very difficult to contend with – they keep us staring at the proverbial blank page. Our minds need some guidance; if there are no rules or restrictions in place, it’s hard to begin the creative process and even more difficult to remain focused or purposeful.


Innovation Needs Different Time and Thinking Horizons

Jun-01-15. By Paul Hobcraft

We often constrain our innovation because we ‘shoe horn’ any conceptual thinking into a given time, usually the yearly budgetary plan, so it dominates the actions decided and can exercise a large influence in this constraining of ideas to realization.

We should make the case that different types of innovation operate and evolve over different time horizons and need thinking through differently.

We have three emerging horizons that need different treatment for innovation.


What Goes into the Perfect Elevator Pitch?

May-29-15. By Emily Moorhead

Prepare the perfect elevator pitch now, so when someone inquires about your invention, you can impress them with your knowledge and eloquence.


Innovate Your Processes Before Innovating Your Products

May-26-15. By Jeffrey Phillips

In order to innovate successfully, a company must innovate and update its existing internal processes before trying to innovate products and services. Companies worry about the investment and time associated with developing a new product, concerned that customers won't accept or adopt a new product.


Tesla’s New Strategy Is Over 100 Years Old

May-19-15. By Josh Suskewicz

Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Edison did not invent the lightbulb. Twenty or so inventors and labs had already come up with similar designs when he patented his in 1879. What Edison really invented was affordable and accessible electric light.

Edison’s breakthrough was guided by a fundamental insight: any given product is only as powerful as the system in which it is deployed.


Pioneering Drone Technology to Replant Trees on an Industrial Scale

May-19-15. By Teodora Zareva

Every year 26 billion trees are cut down, roughly representing the area of England.

An interdisciplinary team from University of Oxford and Singularity University, has come together to create a new way to replant trees that can match the rates of industrial-scale deforestation. Their company, BioCarbon Engineering, intends to plant 1 billion trees a year globally.


The Most Overlooked Way of Stimulating Team Creativity

May-15-15. By Jake Levine

Some companies attempt to inspire bursts of creativity using crazy perks, but there’s an often-overlooked strategy for fueling long-term inspiration: creative discomfort. An environment of discomfort contributes to creativity by breaking people out of their normal thought patterns, encouraging original thinking and risk-taking.


Are you Playing too Safe? Review your Innovation Portfolio

May-07-15. By Paul Sloane

Many companies plough money into innovation projects without a clear strategy for their overall portfolio. Here is a method which gives a framework for sorting and reviewing our innovation initiatives.


Innovation From Repurposing

May-04-15. By Phil Mckinney

If you look up the Merriam-Webster’s definition, it says that innovation is “the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods.” However, in a world of continuous technological and ideological advancement, how much is really new? The truth is we are creative beings, but we don’t create alone. While some will try to make the claim of being the sole creator of an innovation, the majority of our ideas are inspired by things and processes already in existence.

This is true of one of history’s most important innovations: Henry Ford’s creation of the assembly line. This innovation has changed countless industries by altering the universal production process and it came from an unlikely source.


How to Outsmart the Crowd

May-03-15. By Greg Satell

There’s comfort in numbers, so it’s easy to go along with the crowd. However, crowds are often stupid. Simply going along with them can lead us horribly astray.

In the 1950’s, Solomon Asch, a prominent psychologist at Swarthmore College, conducted a series of conformity experiments that shed light on our capacity to go along with the crowd. The design of the study was simple, but ingenious.


Tell Your Change Story

May-01-15. By Annette Franz

When you're ready to make or introduce a change in your organization, how do you tell employees about it? Or do you?

We know that stories are not only a powerful communication vehicle but also an important teaching tool. Stories allow you to deliver a message in a way that engages people, inspires them, and helps them understand a desired or intended outcome as a result of a series of steps or actions taken. So it's not surprising that stories become an important tool in your communication toolbox.


Five Forces of Complexity and Change

Apr-27-15. By Landgon Morris

Langdon Morris examines five forces of change: technology, science, culture, the human population and climate change. The convergence of these five trends largely defines the modern world and the market environment to which we must adapt and respond. Understanding them will set the framework for the choices you will have to make, and the processes you will implement in order to create and implement your own organization’s innovation process.


How to be Disruptive without being a Disruptor

Apr-27-15. By Cyndy Trivella

I acknowledge and applaud those who have chosen to stand up for change. I support, and many times agree with, what is being espoused—but sometimes I see the freedom of digital speech go wrong. Too many times blogs begin with a discussion about an important or interesting topic but the post quickly goes south when all eyes are made to focus on the person writing the article and not the topic at hand. These individuals want to be labeled the new, cool term “disruptor” and be regarded as those who go against the grain. There’s even a group that calls itself Disrupt, comprised of individuals (many are bloggers) who waive their disruptor banner proudly.


Deadly Innovation Sin: Believing Process will Save You

Apr-27-15. By Jorge Barba

Inside established organization innovation is killed before it even gets a chance to make its case. The reasons are many, and while there are many Sins of innovation,from my POV the one that kills most projects focused on transformational outcomes are ones where there needs to be a fixed “process” for achieving those outcomes.


Universities Get an "F" for Innovation

Apr-21-15. By Jeffrey Phillips

On one hand the American university and collegiate system is perhaps one of the finest in the world, drawing students from many countries and cranking out many exceptional graduates. On the other hand, I'll assert, it is failing our students and our economy miserably, because the educational system is rote, designed for a production age when we are clearly in an informational and innovation age, does not encourage risk taking or experimentation, and is far too comfortable and complacent, far too unwilling to change.


What Happens after you've Ignited your Creative Spark?

Apr-17-15. By Linda Naiman

I received an interesting newsletter from Marshall Goldsmith today, about being the optimist in the room. He says, "When people initiate a personal campaign to improve themselves, there is a high probability they will fail. At some point early in the game or near the finish line, most people will abandon their campaign to get better."


Why Creative People Shouldn't Work 9 to 5

Apr-15-15. By Starre Vartan

Many people have no clue what kind of schedule works for them for the simple reason that they've never had the opportunity to figure it out. But especially if you do creative work, you might want to take the time to determine what is best for you.


Game-changing Innovations are Right in Front of You, So Why Don’t You See Them?

Apr-12-15. By Evan Shellshear

Your greatest innovation opportunity may be right in front of you. The problem is you don’t see it. Every day for the last decade of your life this problem has annoyed and frustrated you. Its solution is worth billions of dollars and would open up a totally new market. The problem is, like the millions of other people who have this problem, you don’t think of it as a problem anymore. You’ve been desensitized. You’ve lost your ability to innovate because of something called habituation.


The Peer-to-Peer Economy Is Growing

Apr-09-15. By Patty Seybold

I just returned from Africa, where P2P money-swapping via mobile phones is ubiquitous. The primary form of banking for most families is Savings and Credit Associations (SACCOs) that are formed by groups of villagers in every community. People put in a few dollars each week, and borrow money at interest from the kitty when they want to buy a pig or fix their roof. At the end of each year, the profits are distributed out based on the amount each person has saved/invested. This tried and true model has been flourishing for decades in third world countries.


4 Key Ingredients for Creating an Ideas Incubator

Apr-09-15. By Gavin Kelly

Before large corporations seek to emulate the scrappy creativeness of startups, it is vital for leadership to understand the four key ingredients that make startups hot houses of innovation but also fundamentally different from established firms. All these factors and the spirit of innovation that goes along with them should be encouraged, not squashed.


Complacency, Stagnancy, and Their Effects on Innovation

Apr-04-15. By Robert Brands

Celebrating success and discouraging failure is a familiar binary for most, but what would happen if a business decides to reverse that paradigm? What if we celebrated failure, and discouraged dwelling on our successes? This may seem completely counterintuitive and many would balk at such a consideration, but consider this: how often has a given company released a successful product only to find itself shuffled into irrelevancy a few years down the road?


Eight Possible Pitfalls or Sinkholes around Innovation

Apr-04-15. By Paul Hobcraft

For me, innovation has eight possible pitfalls or sink holes that we need to consciously try to avoid. Some are in our hands, others are clearly out of our hands but all we can do is try to be aware of them so we can avoid them the as best we can. We sometimes need to be more prepared for these traps based on our judgement and experience.


What to Look For in an Innovation Partner

Apr-01-15. By Jorge Barba

If you’re a successful company, you’re probably not used to innovation. You’re used to being good at what you do, and that’s the opposite of innovation. Smart innovation that evolves a new and marketable product often requires an innovation partner. There are a lot of reasons for that. But they boil down to a deceptively simple concept: Two heads think better than one.


Preparing the Next Generation of Innovators: 3 Critical Skills S11 Ep2

Mar-30-15. By Phil McKinney

From my perspective, the focus on “test scores” results is a system that generates the worlds greatest test takers — where success is defined by memorization of facts and formulas. Graduates that memorize yesterdays’ answers using yesterdays technologies will not be the workforce for tomorrow’s innovation economy. I didn’t want what the education system was producing. I need an organization staffed by highly innovative individuals who will have the skills to solve problems we don’t even know exit using technologies that haven’t been invented yet.


Boost Your Innovation Confidence

Mar-30-15. By Catherine Palmieri

Know your customers, understand new technologies, embrace failure, then take a leap of faith. Consumers are incredibly poor predictors of the next big thing. Their knee-jerk reaction to new technology is almost always to say they don’t need it and will never use it. For many company leaders, this creates a significant business challenge: They know they must drive change to stay competitive, yet they have no way to determine with confidence which moves will be successful.


Emergence: The Next Efficient Evolution of Crowd-Sourced Innovation

Mar-29-15. By James Gardner

Microsoft recently announced it would cut thousands of middle management jobs to ease the flow of information and decision making, ‘no longer respecting tradition but only innovation’. This move illustrates how large corporations are starting to realise that by engaging a huge swathe of the workforce, they can harness this collective innovation brainpower to solve challenges and find the next ‘big idea’. Crowd-sourced creativity has gained serious traction; even the NHS has challenged its workforce to find novel ways of improving patients’ experiences.


Innovation from Boredom

Mar-22-15. By Phil McKinney

It might happen while you’re taking your morning shower, or maybe you’re in the middle of your morning commute when a flash of creativity strikes: a great idea for a mobile app, a way to hack your Ikea bookshelf to solve a pressing storage problem or a brand new business idea. Why does it seem like our best ideas come when we are doing absolutely nothing?


Innovation Needs Time, Talend and Temperment

Mar-20-15. By Jeffrey Phillips

We are all making innovation far too complicated, and we need to stop dressing up the activity with lots of talking points and stop working ourselves and our management into a tizzy about commitments and investments. Of course all of these are important. But what we should be asking, in much the same way the "lean startup" folks are asking about bare essentials and "minimum viable products", is: what is the minimum investment it takes to make my (team, product group, line of business, company) more innovative? I'm going to argue that it's simply three "T"s: time, talent and temperament.


Building an Effective Corporate Incubator / Accelerator: A New Approach

Mar-17-15. By Anthony Ferrier

With so much focus on establishing corporate innovation incubators and accelerators, more attention needs to be paid to maintaining effective employee connections back into the business units that will support the newly formed ideas.


Linda A. Hill on the Creative Power of the Many

Mar-16-15. By Jan Swetzoff

Imagine you asked two teams to tackle the same challenge, and the groups came back to you with entirely different proposals. Would you instinctively green-light the one that seemed more promising? Or would you allow both teams to play out their approaches for some time (maybe even years) before deciding how to proceed?

Successful leaders of innovation would make the second choice.


Open Innovation and Intellectual Property Trends in China

Mar-15-15. By Jeff Lindsay

China is undergoing a revolution in the realm of IP and innovation. In just 3 decades, China has gone from no IP law to leading the world in patents filed and litigation to enforce patents. The level of innovation in China may well be the next big surprise for many in the West.


What is Stopping Open Innovation?

Mar-12-15. By Paul Sloane

There are still large swathes of businesses which remain untouched by the Open Innovation initiative. They refuse to join the bandwagon. The leaders of these organisations pay lip service to open innovation and claim that their people are open to outside ideas and collaboration but the reality is very different. There appear to be a number of very real impediments.


Successful Innovators are "True Believers"

Mar-10-15. By Jeffrey Phillips

After my "don't rock the boat" post a few days ago, I was asked by a few folks a very interesting question. Which was: what does it take to be a good innovator in a corporation? Note that I placed some scope or constraints on the question. After all, it's fairly easy to be an innovator in a small company or as an entrepreneur. In fact you need to rock the boat in small companies or startups or you will struggle to differentiate and grow. But what about large companies? What does it take to be a successful innovator in a large corporation? Either a culture that welcomes and encourages innovation or a true believer mentality.


The 7 Deadly Sins of Customer Experience

Mar-03-15. By Annette Franz Gleneicki

The 7 Deadly Sins are mortal sins (as opposed to minor sins) and are considered to be the root of all other sins. If you commit these sins, failure is certain. Are there more than seven sins in customer experience? Yes, probably. But I think these are the most egregious; if you are guilty of these, you won't successfully transform the customer experience for the better.


Making Innovation a Valuable Habit

Feb-24-15. By Jeffrey Phillips

Aristotle noted something about his fellow humans. He said that "you are what you repeatedly do". He recognized that the more we do certain things, the more we followed certain norms, the more they influenced who we are and how we look at the world. This is interesting in itself, but troubling from an innovation standpoint. Because if we are what we repeatedly do, we'll never innovate. If we are what we repeatedly do, we're all efficiency managers, not innovators. That could explain a lot about the barriers innovation faces in large corporations.


Why You Didn't Meet Your Innovation Goals in 2014

Feb-23-15. By Lisa Bodell

If your organization isn’t meeting its innovation goals, take a close look at the past year. Answering a series of questions about your innovation investments and activities can show you where things went wrong, and start you on a better path for the year to come.


Innovation and Organizational Culture

Feb-21-15. By Ralph Christian

Recently, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has published key findings of their latest “Most Innovative Companies 2014” survey. Beside the annual ranking, headed by the top three companies Apple, Google and Samsung, some insightful outcomes with regard to organizational and cultural requirements have striked my eye. According to BCG’s research, successfully innovating companies approach innovation as a system. The system is rooted in experimentation, and, like all adaptive systems, it evolves over time as the external environment and internal needs change.


Combining Open Innovation with Employee Networks to Drive Success

Feb-19-15. By Anthony Ferrier, Adi Gaskell

As business leaders seek additional impact from Innovation Programs, new ways to leverage and scale existing resources are being explored. One approach is to link externally sourced ideas with networks of innovation-minded employees, to generate additional business impact.


Incubator Nation: The Rise of Immersive Collaborative Innovation

Feb-10-15. By Doug Collins

Of late, I have observed amongst the enterprise clients an emerging trend that appears to be moving to dominance: externally focused incubation. By externally focused incubation, I mean the practice by which the enterprise partners with a third party in order to co-locate their employees in a space where they can collaborate with people not directly tied to the enterprise—members of start-ups, often—who are pursuing ideas in allied fields: an immersive, in-person experience for all involved.


Innovators are Pattern Breakers

Feb-09-15. By Jeffrey Phillips

Most corporations believe that their customers' needs begin and end within the manner in which the corporations or the industry have defined their solutions. As long as a new product or service can be delivered within those definitions agreed by the industry, then innovation is easier for the corporations to pursue. But when a need or demand arises that falls outside of, or just adjacent to, the way an industry or corporation defines its solutions, everything falls apart. Increasingly, innovation will be at the intersection of markets and industries, and corporations need to become far more flexible in how they define the market, the boundaries of their service offerings.


5 Important Points About Business Models

Feb-09-15. By Tim Kastelle

Business model innovation is a critical management skill. It’s extremely hard to innovate without it as part of your overall toolkit. Whether you’re running a startup, or are in an existing business, you need to think about your business model.


The Eight Cs of Transformational Change

Feb-08-15. By Langdon Morris

The shift from focusing on comprehensive documentation to delivering software that works resulted in programmers who were liberated to get better at execution. Programmers were freed from death-by- meetings and could instead concentrate on the thing they loved (programming). However, accomplishing this required a new social contract, a new way of organizing, because it changed the nature of accountability and coordination.


There's More Innovation Opportunity Than You Think

Feb-02-15. By Jeffrey Phillips

... how we define an opportunity may lead us to ignore a valuable market opportunity, but changing how the market or segment is served may open what appears to be a closed or highly competitive market.


Before You Crowdfund an Invention, Consider Patent Protection

Feb-02-15. By Kendall Almerico

Crowdfunding has become a successful way for an inventor to raise the money needed to create, manufacture and distribute a new product. As a crowdfunding attorney, I caution excited product creators about one important aspect of the online crowdfunding process: Legally protect your invention, if possible, through the patent process.


You Can’t Win With Average

Jan-26-15. By Tim Kastelle

Research has shown that the average corporate acquisition destroys value. And yet… …the firms that are outstanding at Mergers and Acquisitions use this skill as a significant point of strategic difference.


The Search for Certainty and Fit kills Innovation

Jan-21-15. By Paul Sloane

Most managers when looking at a radical proposal will try to reference it against an existing model of success. And of course it does not fit. They compare it with current products and markets. They try to use existing products as benchmarks because that is what they understand best. But if the idea is revolutionary then existing products are useless as comparisons because they are so different.


Starting at Sprint Zero: A Better Way to Innovate

Jan-19-15. By Langdon Morris

How is Agile changing the world? Let’s begin with a bit of background. If you are new to Agile Software technique, then the term sprint zero, as used in the title of this chapter, may not mean much to you, but for Agile practitioners it means the initial phase of work where you sort the project out to make sure you start properly when you’re about to tackle a large programming endeavor.


Mash-Ups for Innovation

Jan-19-15. By Gregg Fraley

To say the least Mash-Ups hold great promise in helping people and organizations find useful and sometimes breakthrough innovations. Mash-Ups, put simply, are combinations. In innovation work the desire in doing a Mash-Up is to get to that wonderful fresh snow of new thinking. It’s new thinking that creates new products and services. When solving a complex business challenge it’s difficult to get to that lovely off piste mental space where nobody has ever been before. It certainly doesn’t happen in most brainstorming sessions. Mash-Ups, in its various permutations, is a power tool and a fast path for combining disparate elements to creatively problem solve. Mash-Ups can indeed get you to that elusive fresh thinking that leads to innovative solutions.


Pink Boxes, Assumptions and Innovation

Jan-16-15. By Stephen Shapiro

Everyone has unconscious biases. We make assumptions about everything. This is not necessarily bad. The brain is wired for survival. Everything we have done in the past has kept us alive, and therefore the brain wants to perpetuate the past. If we didn’t make assumptions, we would have to process all information as though it were the first time we were in that situation. However, there are times when assumptions can be dangerous.


Innovation: Creating vs. Problem Solving

Jan-16-15. By Patty Seybold

Innovation is different. Innovation doesn’t arise out of problem-solving, but out of creativity. It takes you to a different place. In industry, innovation often involves different business models, different materials, different processes, different disciplines. Typically, the “problem” doesn’t get solved; it vanishes. It doesn’t show up. It’s no longer relevant.


Agile Innovation: The Revolutionary Approach to Accelerate Success, Inspire Engagement, and Ignite Creativity

Jan-12-15. By Langdon Morris

Charles Darwin said it quite well: “In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” Innovation, collaboration, and improvisation are indeed essential forces shaping all of business and all of modern life, and they’ve become vitally important for the individual, the organization, and indeed for all of society.


7 Invention Trends to Follow in 2015

Jan-09-15. By Emily Moorhead

It can be difficult to identify new fads before they become old news. Read the technology section of newspapers, set a Google alert for “invention” and “innovation,” and pay attention to what opinion leaders are saying. By using these tactics, we’ve identified some of the innovation trends for 2015.


Why Small Ideas Can Matter More Than Big Ideas

Jan-08-15. By Scott Berkum

The basic logic we use is the bigger the idea, the bigger the value, but often that’s not true. There’s a myth at work here: the assumption that big results only come from radical changes. There’s good evidence for a counter-argument. The problems that plague organizations, or hold them back from greatness, are often small things that happen to be consistently overlooked.


7-Tips To Consider Around Your Innovation Training Efforts

Jan-05-15. By Anthony Ferrier

In recent years an increasing number of innovation professionals have been exploring opportunities to train, connect and engage employees around innovation skills. As this competency becomes more established, chatter and analysis is generated and, perhaps inevitably, vendors create some interesting solutions. It is pretty exciting.


The Top Technology Failures of 2014

Dec-31-14. By Antonio Regalado

What do the latest technologies to flop, fizzle, and flame out tell us about innovation? All successful technologies are alike, but every failed technology flops in its own way.


How to Design for Outcomes

Dec-28-14. By Tim Kastelle

It’s always a bit dangerous to be “inspirational.” The problem is that inspiration doesn’t always lead to action – and that’s what we ultimately want. This is a lesson that Timothy Prestero and his organisation Design that Matters learned painfully.


Government sets up entity for Innovation Society

Dec-15-14. By A.S Rao

A.P government has set up 3 entities for development of ICT Industry namely e-Governance Authority Electronics & IT Agency Innovation Society. I was invited to join Executive Council of 3rd entity -Innovation Society, Innovation Society Technology survives and thrives through innovation. All the 3 areas, namely, e-Governance,Electronics and IT are substantially technology-based and hence innovation has to be promoted. Moreover, specific capacities and skill sets are required to be built/ harnessed for successfully promoting these sectors.


How Computers will Replace your Doctor

Dec-15-14. By Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

Multiple studies have shown that software is better able to diagnose illnesses, with fewer misdiagnoses. The human we need is someone with training closer to a nurse's than a doctor's, and augmented by the right software, would be both cheaper and more effective than a doctor. What room is there left for generalist doctors in that scenario? None. They're the ones who the internet will replace; and it is nurses and other "low-skilled" health workers who will do best out of this shift. And most importantly, it will be great for patients.


Biocoding For Beginners

Dec-15-14. By Ciara Byrne

DIYBio is the wetware equivalent of the maker movement: amateur biotechnologists tinkering with DNA using low-cost tools and an open source ethos. Synthetic biology, or biocoding as Garvey prefers to call it, is a subset of DIYBio, which views biological systems and organisms as technologies which can be engineered at the cellular and DNA levels. Biocoders don’t just want to use sequencing to determine the order of nucleotides within a DNA molecule but to synthesize entirely new molecules. Biocoding can be used to engineer organisms like bacteria and yeast to make everything from vegan cheese to new cancer therapies.


Innovation: We Do Not Have Time for It!

Dec-11-14. By Stefan Lindegaard

It is my experience that most corporate innovators – and corporate employees in general – work in a very special box with a clear mark on it. It says URGENT! We are stuck in the “urgent” box. Everyone is just too busy and this is a problem in particular with innovation as you really need to get some down time to reflect on what is happening and what can be done differently next time.


Innovation Through Subtraction

Dec-10-14. By Jeffrey Phillips

What's interesting about AirBnB, and another major industry disrupter, Uber, is the fact that they are offering a competitive service to consumers in a long established industry - hoteling for AirBnb and cab or car service for Uber. And both have practiced innovation through subtraction.


Innovators Widen their View of Competition

Dec-08-14. By Jorge Barba

The argument most academics and MBA’s make about competition is that it is good for everyone, not just the customer. By competing, the logic goes, businesses become better. Yes, competition makes us better, but only when we are caught by surprise.


Innovation: Snake oil, placebo or wonder drug?

Dec-05-14. By Jeffrey Phillips

Innovation has become for many people a magic elixir, capable of solving a whole host of problems. Declining revenues? Innovation! Falling market share? Innovation! As if we don't need to worry about the underlying reasons for business challenges, only focus on innovation as a cure-all for everything. I purposely titled this blog post snake oil, placebo or wonder drug, because there's a necessary and ongoing debate about what innovation is.


10 Predictions in Innovation for 2025

Dec-04-14. By Stefan Lindegaard

How will science and technology affect our lives in the next decade? Thomson Reuters resources, including the Web of Science and Derwent World Patents Index, with their coverage of current concentration and accelerating trends in today’s research and innovation, provide a look ahead with these 10 predictions.


3-D-Printing Bio-Electronic Parts

Dec-01-14. By Katherine Bourzac

A 3-D printer can already make a prototype or spare part out of metal or polymer. Researchers at Princeton University have now taken an important step toward expanding the technology’s potential by developing a way to print functioning electronic circuitry out of semiconductors and other materials. They are also refining ways to combine electronics with biocompatible materials and even living tissue, which could pave the way for exotic new implants.


The Need to Automate the Innovation Process

Nov-27-14. By Paul Hobcraft

There has always been a consistent call to automate the innovation process. Now it might turn into a stampede, based on real ‘digital’ need. We have made solid progress in the use of out-of-the box software for capturing ideas at the ‘fuzzy front end.’ We have developed pipelines and use product life cycle software systems to manage this through to commercialisation. Yet today we still have a fragmented, often broken innovation process, very reliant on the manual processes, where the human intervention dominates. Can this be changed? Technology must form a greater core of the innovation process.


To Change the Game, Change the Business Model

Nov-20-14. By Jorge Barba

Yesterday, I was a judge for a showcase of projects from marketing students of a local university. Most of the projects that were pitched are apps that exist elsewhere in some form; nothing game-changing. There were many common innovation myths that were present in many of the pitches, such as “our competitive advantage is being the first ones in Mexico”, “our competitive advantage is there isn’t something like this anywhere”, “our competitive advantage is we have no competition”.

First of all, being first doesn’t matter; being right does.

Whenever situations like these come up, I tell people that they should remember about what approach to innovating they are taking. As a rule of thumb, there are three ways to come up with a game-changing innovation.


Innovating the Department of Defense

Nov-17-14. By Jeffrey Phillips

I listened with great interest to the recent announcement by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's announcement of the new passion for innovation within the US Department of Defense.

There are few organizations that have relied so heavily on research and development, new technologies and innovation as the United States military.


Open Innovation Intermediaries: Are they Valuable?

Nov-12-14. By Wim Vanhaverbeke, Henry Chesbrough, Nadine Roijakkers

There are different types of innomediaries and the way they set up their specific services may differ from one innomediary to the next but in general innomediaries help innovating companies to find solutions for specific innovation needs, find buyers/licensees for existing IP, gain insights from subject matter experts, develop Technology Landscapes and Roadmaps, create new products, apply OI throughout the organization.


Software Designs Products by Simulating Evolution

Nov-07-14. By Gwen Kinkead

Software that can “evolve” novel component designs could help designers and engineers by automating part of the creative process.

The California-based company, Autodesk, already makes 3-D software that’s widely used in architecture, engineering, animation, and other industries. But Dreamcatcher takes a novel approach known as “generative design.”


The Innovation Clock

Oct-27-14. By Jeffrey Phillips

Time is of the essence, and using the precious time effectively matters to coaches. But the vast majority of us live on corporate time, not sports time. We don't compete in televised events on the weekends, but instead compete every day, every minute to drive more revenue and more profit for our employers. Time is just as precious in this setting as it is in the sports world, and how we use the time allotted to us each day matters. More important, I think, is how we decide to divide the time we have, and how we strategically determine what to do with those allotments.


Measurement of ideas for innovation.

Oct-23-14. By Rui Santo

Presented the first mathematical method of measuring ideas, waiting for since 1670.

Turning ideas into numbers and know the characteristics of Ideal Idea (0.00iur) is like having a compass and know the safe harbor to where converges the minimal risks of innovation. Identify mathematically the desired ideas by user, extracted from the simplified mathematical formulation, is the Holy Grail that eliminates uncertainties, passionate discussions and unhelpful in choosing ideas.


Inspiration, Ideation and Implementation

Oct-21-14. By Paul Hobcraft

If we believe we can make a difference and even have gone that one step further, many never seem to get there, where we have an intentional process to get us to new relevant solutions that do actually create a positive impact. Then we are getting closer to that ‘magic point’ of transforming ourselves and those complex challenges, into opportunities to be designed and developed to make that difference. Now that would not be such a bad place to be.


Structured Serendipity: How Great Ideas Emerge

Oct-20-14. By Jorge Barba

Almost always great new ideas don’t emerge from within a single person or function, but at the intersection of functions or people that have never met before. As a business leader, you can engineer these connections; serendipity.


The Innovator’s Hypothesis: Michael Schrage Tells Us How to Take the First Step

Oct-12-14. By Tim Kastelle

Imagine that your organisation currently doesn’t innovate at all, but you’d like to do more (this might not be much of a stretch for some of you). What’s the best first step?


Your Creativity Evolved around 40,000 Years Ago

Oct-10-14. By Nick Skillicorn

The definition of creativity is developing an idea which is both unique (new) and useful. And this is what sets the Lion Man apart. The figurine has the head of a lion, but the body of a human. This creature does not exist, and therefore it would have been impossible for an early human to simply be copying the image of something they had seen.


Paving the Path for Innovation Purpose and Closing the Alignment Gap

Oct-06-14. By Rui Patricio, Christina Elisabeth Pettersson & Pedro Miguel de Matos Roseiro

Defining the organizational purpose and promoting organizational alignment are two key factors for creating a culture that supports innovation. In this series of articles focused on Innovation Culture, we are going to share insights and cases of organizations that implemented innovation programs (and less structured initiatives) with the involvement of a wide range of managers and employees.


How to Set Productive Collaboration into Action

Oct-06-14. By Lisa Bodell

Collaboration is essential for long-term innovation. Working together and sharing information enables employees to draw on expertise from the entire organization, avoid costly mistakes, and ultimately achieve a collective goal.


Can Creativity Be Taught? Insights from Jacob Goldenberg and Others

Sep-29-14. By Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg

“I think there are individual differences in our propensity to be creative,” says Wharton marketing professor Rom Schrift, “but having said that, it’s like a muscle. If you train yourself, and there are different methods for doing this, you can become more creative. .."


The Litmus Test for Innovation Leadership

Sep-29-14. By Jorge Barba

Leadership starts from within. People are the biggest barrier to innovation. Be it the executive who dominates every conversation, the one that talks but doesn’t walk the talk or the one that kills all ideas just because it’s not in his/her best interest.


Innovation Should Change Your Perspective

Sep-29-14. By Jeffrey Phillips

I've long wondered why innovation is considered a transactional activity rather than a engaging philosophy or "way of life". Too many people view innovation as something to do only in emergencies, when a competitor steals a march and wins new customers or introduces a new product.


On the Importance of Time in Innovation

Sep-28-14. By Tim Kastelle

Innovation is executing new ideas to create value.

If you think about that, you can see that time is important – you can’t do all three things instantaneously.

Here are two important ideas:

1. Within an organisation, innovation is the process of idea management.
2. New ideas diffuse along an s-curve.

If we put these two ideas together, we can see how time works in innovation.


The Chief Innovation Officer’s 100-Day Plan

Sep-19-14. By Scott D. Anthony and Robyn Bolton

Congratulations! Your energy and track record of successfully launching high-impact initiatives scored you a plum role heading up innovation. Expectations are high, but some skeptics in the organization feel that innovation is an overhyped buzzword that doesn’t justify being a separate function. So, what can you do in your first 100 days to set things off on the right track?


What is Innovation

Sep-18-14. By Ron Immink

What does innovation mean for SMEs. If you belief “Killing giants”, SMEs are ready, able, capable and willing to take on the giants. The author of “entrepreneur revolution” beliefs that our time is NOW.


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