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Experience is what you get just after you needed it. Or so the saying goes, suggesting that if only you had known beforehand what you learn afterwards, you would have avoided mistakes and achieved a better result. That’s largely true (in my experience!) but it isn’t a blanket statement that’s applicable in all cases.
Someone in your firm comes up with a great idea -- is your first thought to keep the intellectual property confined within the enterprise firewall, or would you rather share those ideas with external partners, peers, and even competitors?
Unlike design thinking and crowdsourcing, which rely on the art of ideation, my process is rooted in the art of criticism. Instead of soliciting early input from customers and other outsiders, it engages a company’s own employees. It helps them articulate their individual visions and then compare and discuss their contrasting perspectives in order to distill them into a handful of even better proposals. The views of outsiders are sought only at the end.
Today’s leaders are challenged with making important decisions in a rapid and highly dynamic business environment. These decisions will be crucial to the survival of the existing business model, while also to the search and discovery of future growth engines. But the current process where leaders narrow down possibilities and choose from the best existing alternative is broken. It results in a business culture that values refining and polishing an untested idea that does little to reduce risk or uncertainty.
There are 2 tactics for corporations looking to launch new startups. The first one is called Pull, it relies on identifying relevant existing startups in the startup ecosystem, to “Pull” startup, knowledge, founders and even capital toward the corporation. The second one called Push fits well the corporate taste for control, in that case the corporation “Pushes” ideas, capital and products outside in the form of a startup.
The most creative people in the world--think Einstein, Picasso, and Steve Jobs--didn't get their best ideas by waiting around for lightning to strike. So how do you engineer more creativity when you need it?
Last week, IBM announced that it lead the list of companies receiving US patents for the 23rd consecutive year. IBM’s patent leadership is extreme. It not only consistently tops the list, but outpaces the number two company on the list, Samsung, by 50%. That’s pretty impressive.
For large companies trying to keep up with the pace of innovation, the biggest challenge isn’t the competition. It’s adapting their sclerotic businesses to rapid change.
Are all innovators alike, and can we all learn and develop the skills to become innovators? Yes. I’m big on fundamentals, and though you can’t create a Mozart or David Bowie, you can unleash your innovation capability by applying the skills necessary to be creative and innovate.
Thinking like a futurist means being in a constant state of learning, absorbing emerging trends and concepts, then considering the impact they might have globally as well as longer term. It means being open and receptive to change, both within your organization and outside. It means considering future possibilities, not just what’s happening right now.
Not all entrepreneurs are innovators, only a handful. The result is that the vast majority of businesses out in the world were not born from creative ideas, rather derivatives. And when these non-innovative businesses want to explore innovation, they enter a dilemma: In order to innovate, an existing business must keep running the core business while also trying to find the revolution; exploit and explore.
Innovators and analysts have apparently decided that trying to convince organizations to simply become more innovative is too difficult. Innovation distracts from highly efficient day to day operations. Therefore we innovators, and other management thinkers, create a new way to think about introducing innovation, acknowledging the importance of efficient operating models while emphasizing the importance of innovation.
Zipcar counts as a disruptive innovation. Uber doesn’t. The latter is according to Clayton Christensen, Michael Raynor, and Rory McDonald in their recent HBR article “What is Disruptive Innovation?” The authors explain that disruption “describes a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses.” They also write that “disruptive innovations originate in low-end or new-market footholds.”
I'm reading a lot about "disruptive" innovation from firms that I think have a lot to protect and preserve. When I read that, I become fairly suspicious, because I'm not sure it's possible to simultaneously protect what is "important" and disrupt at the same time, unless the disruption is taking place in a market or business adjacent to or distant from whatever the corporation is trying to protect. Can you simultaneously protect and disrupt the same product, segment or market? I think the answer is "no". So what are all of these corporations disrupting?
The idea that a team should be made up of representatives from contributing divisions (such as marketing, sales and engineering) is being replaced with the concept of bringing together a hacker, a hustler and a hipster. The thinking being that the hacker creates rapid prototypes, the hustler engages customer feedback to capture users, and the hipster frames beautiful user interfaces and brings important connections to the team. While this team structure is well suited to startups working on a blank canvas, it ignores the unique challenges faced by companies with established products and services.
There are areas in the research on teams where the findings are all very clear, as are the prescriptions for leaders. Creativity and innovation are not among them. We know how some factors affect creativity and innovation, but we’re only just beginning to understand some of the more complex relationships.
While many CEOs have excellent intentions of inspiring their employees to be innovative and creative, putting those intentions into practice takes hard work and truly active leadership. By definition, the CEO has to concern himself with high-level executive functions at the company he’s running. He can’t be involved in every detail of every project in every department, nor should he be. But too often, this position keeps the CEO totally out of the loop of internal communication, and the places in the company where innovation is or should be happening.
One of the biggest challenges in any business, large or small, is overcoming the natural human preference for status quo, or fear of change. It means that most team members and executives alike have a natural tendency to prefer killing innovations rather than implementing them. Even customers, while they all want the next big thing, want it to happen with minimal new learning.
The ability to automate work and use artificial intelligence to augment everyday tasks is now here. And, the nature of change in the workforce is accelerating as robots start to walk outside factories, the whir of drones grows louder in the air, and driverless cars are poised to join us on the streets in cities nationwide.
On the evening of April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg in the north Atlantic and sunk two hours and 40 minutes later. Of its 2,200 passengers and crew, only 705 survived, plucked out of 16 lifeboats by the Carpathia. Imagine how many more might have lived if crew members had thought of the iceberg as not just the cause of the disaster but a life-saving solution. The iceberg rose high above the water and stretched some 400 feet in length. The lifeboats might have ferried people there to look for a flat spot.
Most efforts to change an organizational culture fail. Efforts to create an innovative organizational culture are typically even less successful. Yet some succeed. One extraordinary example is SRI International (SRI), the creator of Siri, the personal assistant on the iPhone.
Innovation – the word that's on everyone's lips right now as organisations grapple with the realities of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity in today's somewhat turbulent world. But innovation doesn't just happen by "being more innovative" or hiring creative types and putting them in special "innovation" teams. For innovation to happen, a considerable body of research shows that there are certain organisational conditions that must be tackled.
A report by Accenture noted that one beacon that has drawn large companies and entrepreneurs together is “open innovation,” a concept introduced more than a decade ago that has since become a catchphrase for a broader and deeper form of collaboration. Yet they contend in this report that large companies and entrepreneurs believe collaboration and open innovation are, as yet, under-delivering on their promise. One reason for this shortfall is the fact that open innovation is a journey of multiple phases. Too often, large companies remain stuck in the early phases—those that primarily involve corporate ventures and incubators or accelerators. Too seldom do large companies collaborate in a spirit of joint innovation.
Although most organisations acknowledge the desperate need for change, they are still at a loss when it comes to taking action. Workforces are a goldmine for the insight needed to drive change in an increasingly competitive business environment - but this knowledge must be captured to unlock innovation.
Unfortunately, disruption theory is in danger of becoming a victim of its own success. Despite broad dissemination, the theory’s core concepts have been widely misunderstood and its basic tenets frequently misapplied. Furthermore, essential refinements in the theory over the past 20 years appear to have been overshadowed by the popularity of the initial formulation. As a result, the theory is sometimes criticized for shortcomings that have already been addressed.
The problem is that technologies for collaboration are improving faster than people’s ability to learn to use them. What can be done to close that gap? A year ago we set out to find the answer, drawing on the collective experience of dozens of collaborative communities and learning organizations. Here’s what we found.
The pursuit of innovation has pushed large companies to launch accelerators, incubators and hackathons. Some companies succeed in finding new ideas and others don’t. Why the disparity? How can companies crack the code and reap the most benefits from these investments? There are no easy answers, but there are a few necessary elements.
The last 40 years have seen an explosive adoption of new technologies (social media, telecom, life sciences, etc.) and the emergence of new industries, markets and customers. Not only are the number of new technologies and entrants growing, but also increasing is the rate at which technology is disrupting existing companies. As a result, while companies are facing continuous disruption, current corporate organizational strategies and structures have failed to keep pace with the rapid pace of innovation.
Sooner or later it occurs to the leaders of nearly every organization that their own employees should be a source of ideas that can improve their businesses. They then set about to tap into this valuable source of knowledge. Many of their efforts go astray, however, and result in idea systems that fail and are even counterproductive, in that they demotivate rather than motivate. Why do they go wrong?
Open innovation presents more efficient working that can benefit projects both large and small, and across international borders. As seen with Sponge UK, cross-team collaboration maximises the use of individual skillsets and strengthens project delivery. This approach can be applied to any sector, and can also be used to deliver efficiency in large projects.
Why should you expand your network and what do you expect to gain from it? Too often, we see companies, teams as well as individuals, who network just for the sake of it. There has to be a purpose to our networking efforts if we want to maximize the value we get out of it. If not, this can be one of the major suckers of the resource that is so precious to all of us; time.
Government funding of basic science has long been regarded as the foundation of the technological economy and thus an investment that returns far more in economic growth and other benefits than it consumes. Mr. Ridley says no, this is all wrong. The returns on publicly funded R&D are negligible. Patents and Nobel Prizes are “fundamentally unfair things.” When a government pays for scientific research, it actually harms science itself by crowding out the “good” science that corporations and philanthropists would otherwise fund on their own.
“Innovate or die” has become almost a mantra for companies in this era of rapid technological change and globalization. When we consider such conditions as extreme air pollution in Beijing, factory collapses in Bangladesh, drought in California, and deadly heat waves in India, the darker side of this foundational belief stands out in high relief. Yet we continue to settle for and cling to consumption-based business models that add to these global threats. Many large companies have survived and thrived for decades by selling high-calorie, sugary drinks or distributing apparel made by people working in extreme poverty for unfair wages in unsafe conditions.
Do you actively express interest in wanting to know more about something? Are you constantly testing your campaigns to uncover trends and patterns? Do you find yourself asking a lot of questions? People that are curious by nature tend to fall into this category. And they're often the kind of person you want on your team, representing your company, and building out your brand. Why? Because they work hard, they learn, become more efficient, and ultimately solve problems -- both for themselves and for the customer.
I study disruptive technology, specifically innovative technology that gains so much momentum that it disrupts markets and ultimately businesses. In the past several years, disruptive technology has become so pervasive that I’ve had to further focus my work on studying only disruptive technologies that are impacting customer and employee behavior, expectations and values and affecting customer and employee experiences.
One of the most common excuses we hear from folks who are reluctant to embrace innovative thinking is that they "are not creative" or not "right-brain thinkers." We like to gently remind them that the ability to think innovatively is in fact a learned skill, and can be improved with rigorous practice. In fact the old myth of right-brain versus left-brain predominance is incorrect. New technology is allowing researchers to begin to identify the brain processes and structures that are involved in creativity: While there are still many unknowns, evidence points to it as a combination of several cognitive processes instead of just one.
Frugal innovation is associated with resource-constrained and low-income emerging economies such as those of Africa, India, and China, but we have recently seen the rise of frugal innovation efforts in developed nations including the U.S. and in Europe. These are not primarily cost-cutting measures, a response to financial constraint or a tepid economy. Rather, across the developed world, companies are beginning to use frugal innovation as a growth strategy.
Over the past several years, we have compared successful and unsuccessful innovation teams in a dozen global organizations. One of our key findings was that teams functioning more like machines – blindly following highly defined processes and execution plans — were the least effective at achieving their goals and coming up with innovations. The most successful teams, on the other hand, operated less like highly efficient machines and more like ant colonies.
Exciting as it may seem, when you get down to it, creative work can be a grind. It requires chair time, focus, sitting through the discomfort of uncertainty, and resisting the temptation of countless distractions coming at you from all directions. "I don’t kid myself into thinking that it's supposed to feel good all the time," says Gilbert. "One of the delusions people have is that creativity is supposed to be a fun life. A lot of the work is very tedious."
No matter how popular and beloved your brand may be, its survival depends on your organization’s ability to adapt. Postmortems on companies like Blockbuster Video and Borders Books have pointed to issues with organizational structure, capabilities, and technology. But at the center of those corporate demises is the failure to innovate. Through more than a decade of innovation training with the world’s top organizations, I’ve isolated five innovation nightmares that, if course-corrected early enough, don’t have to result in imminent doom.
Perhaps we ought to take a deeper look at how Uber might expand into different industries and become a frontrunner in the on-demand economy (ODE).
Innovation calls us to do the impossible: to build for a future we can't yet see. The very notion of innovation is riddled with paradoxes. It asks us to embrace wildly different--even contradictory--ideas at once: creativity and pragmatism, foresight and hindsight, breakthrough visions and incremental change.
“Innovation is one of the main buzz words in business today with 80 percent of CEOs saying it’s the most important thing for their business, but only 10 percent say they are any good at it.” John Coyle, Maddock Douglas. Maddock Douglas has isolated common hurdles and pitfalls that predominantly account for this cavern between the stated innovation priority and tangible outcomes.
Our whole understanding of innovation is changing; there are numerous shifts occurring. We are opening up our thinking in where and with whom, to collaborate.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, research and development was a highly guarded and elite practice. Imagine laboratories peopled by white-coated scientists who had passwords to protect the doors to their office. This kind of research and innovation was highly successful for a long time – it gave us electrocardiography, DNA fingerprinting, and many Apple products. But with the advent of the internet and online collaboration, things like intellectual property, organizational boundaries, and the identification of new markets became a much more public and shared experience.
Success in innovation isn’t going to happen overnight, nor does it happen as a matter of chance. There’s nothing preordained about successful innovation. There are a number of factors that can contribute to the ultimate success or failure of your latest idea, but the basic formula that I’ve learned over the years is: success = idea + hard work + timing + luck.
Successful businesses grow. Through better products and processes, they win the favour of customers, increasing their volume and margins. That success often translates into further advantages as they invest in new and better equipment, develop expertise and gain bargaining power with suppliers. So it’s curious that so many successful businesses fail. Today, in fact, only 13% of the original Fortune 500 companies from 1955 are still around.
As I look to write on the topic of “Leading Innovative Change” within schools, we are looking to develop educators as innovators. To be innovative, you have to look at yourself as an innovator first, and to create schools that embody this mindset as a “culture”, we must develop this in individuals first.
When asked recently to name the one attribute CEOs will need most to succeed in the turbulent times ahead, Michael Dell, the chief executive of Dell, Inc., replied, “I would place my bet on curiosity.” Dell was responding to a 2015 PwC survey of more than a thousand CEOs, a number of whom cited “curiosity” and “open-mindedness” as leadership traits that are becoming increasingly critical in challenging times.
No matter what profession you’re in, it’s important that you’re able to think creatively and look at your work with fresh eyes every day. Unfortunately, however, it may feel like a challenge to constantly be at the top of your game. The common question I get is “what exercises do you perform to keep your creative muscle in top shape?”. Here are the set of daily warm-up exercises I do to keep my creativity in top form.
High performing teams seem to generate their own energy and elevate everyone on the team to their full potential. Despite achieving more, work on these teams seems less taxing, the workday shorter and less frustrating. Low performing teams are plagued by dysfunction and produce more frustration than progress.
Developing a product can be different for every inventor, depending on their ideas and invention. There are continuously new trends in product development in each industry, due to technology, social media, manufacturing, marketing and more. All of these factors play a role in the development of a new product. Here are four new trends in product development that might fit your invention’s needs.
The last 50 years have seen at least five waves of innovation driven competitive challenges, always bringing the same dilemma together with the exploration enthusiasm. This is why new entities have often been more effective than large organizations in exploring new concepts, without any concern to protect existing revenue streams.
The question is: what keeps businesses from innovating effectively? The answer that I think most leadership teams want is: good ideas. After all, it's easier to explain away the lack of innovation if you can say that most teams lack good ideas. But a lack of good ideas is almost never the appropriate response to the question. Most companies teem with reasonably good ideas, and in some cases great ideas. No, the reasons that corporate innovation fails are many and varied, almost as differentiated as the number of industries and business models and management styles that are in evidence.
What’s the best way to change something? There’s no easy answer to this question – but if we’re trying to design changes in the way our organisations work, we need to have a deep understanding of what’s going on in them.
Now that just about every business seems to have realized that it is unlikely to survive, let alone flourish simply by doing what it has always done, the word “innovation” has become a standard part of the executive’s lexicon. Because of this – and the related fact that it means too many different things to different people – it has become something of a “motherhood” and “apple pie” issue. Just as it has become commonplace to talk of employees as “the greatest asset” and, latterly, as “talent,” so it is standard for companies to claim to be innovative. Even when they are serious about it, much of the discussion focuses on the mechanics of idea generation and exploitation – R&D pipelines, brain storming, market research and the rest – rather than what actually makes it happen.
Innovation has a lot to do with the scientific method and can be practiced scientifically. This statement may not chime well with people who believe it’s more of an art than a science; an inspirational “Eureka” moment where creativity is unconstrained and the driven genius launches the breakthrough market disrupter.
Playfulness is at the root of creativity. So why on earth have we created a corporate system where everyone feels the need to be so serious? I see time and again that injecting a sense of fun into work situations gives everyone permission to be more authentic and to take risks. Out of that comes greater innovation, more collaboration and richer learning.
The more diverse a person’s social network, the more likely that person is to be innovative. A diverse network provides exposure to people from different fields who behave and think differently. Good ideas emerge when the new information received is combined with what a person already knows. It’s really simple, interactions, not individuals, drive breakthroughs.
We need to react and become more responsive, becoming more adaptive to changing environments and business challenges, that are often unknown, unexpected, or not yet explored or exploited. Shifting to a different change model to meet the changing market conditions and customer needs will require a high level of transition; it needs us to transform our innovation management practice
I had an interesting discussion recently in which I heard arguments why big companies are not good at innovation and why this will not change in the future, which belongs to the more nimble and adaptive startups. Things will change and we will see that big companies will improve significantly on their innovation efforts in the next 3-7 years.
When you’re aimlessly browsing the internet, staring out your window, or wandering around the office, what are you thinking about? You might not even be able to put your finger on it, but chances are, when your hands and eyes are engaged in an activity that doesn’t require the full investment of your brain, you’re turning over something else in the back of your mind.
A main challenge for businesses of any size is adapting to change, how to embrace emerging technologies and adapt them to the day to day. From a big picture perspective, the simple fact is that the internet is disrupting every know industry; so adapt or die.
Did the headline of the post grab your attention? Did you think I was going to assert that dumb people are better innovators? Nothing of the sort. However, I think I can positively assert that bringing all of your knowledge to bear on a problem that needs innovation is often exactly the opposite of what you should do. Here's why.
Rowan states that if we unpack hundreds of cases of successful innovation, it turns out that there is a common signature to all of these big ideas. Time and again, visionary inventors and entrepreneurs came to their insights and discoveries not by sitting there waiting for a Eureka moment but by looking at the world from particular perspectives.
Everyone keeps talking about the size of the Internet of Things (IoT), which will connect anywhere between 20 million and 38 million devices by the year 2020 — depending on who you believe. But size isn't the issue, according to Gartner's Paul O’Donovan. He claims the real challenge is building a business model to make it the IoT worthwhile.
I have been spending some significant time on questioning the current innovation business model, from both the customers (clients) perspective and the innovation consultants’ one. For me, the process and management of innovation really does need to be definitely questioned.
The process of visioning may seem both daunting and mysterious. Indeed, it is in no way a straightforward method and there are always rocky rapids to navigate. An understanding of the make-up of this journey will create better results for this process to be a success.
Do you have a rival? Someone whose work makes you jealous? Or who you secretly want to beat at the next award show? When they do something that makes you wish you did it, do you throw out whatever you’re working on and start again? If not, find one. Your work might get better.
By definition, all advertising needs to “get” digital. Meaning it has to understand how we behave in the connected world. How we access and share content. How we expect instant access to anything we need. Brands, content, prices, entertainment, service folks, etc.
The open innovation challenge model has been widely adopted across the private sector, where it’s generally easier to implement solutions compared to humanitarian agencies who have different risks and hurdles to overcome. With so many different challenges and platforms out there, we were interested in how this model was being adapted in the humanitarian space.
Often we forget to frame what we want to really achieve in our innovation activity, instead we simply dive in and start innovating. I believe until we know what solutions we feel we need or the market wants, we will more often than not, end up disappointed in our innovation solutions. Simply generating ideas, for ideas sake, just does not cut it at all.
What is the main obstacle that stands in the way of sustainable long-term success for any business? I’d argue that it’s culture. A strong culture will recover from mistakes and figure out a way forward; while a weak one will never aim to evolve beyond what it already knows. With that said, let’s get this out of the way: you must build culture from the beginning.
Those of you who can remember old U.S. Supreme Court rulings will recognize the title. A Supreme Court justice, on ruling about pornography and when and where it could be published, recognized that in order to rule on its commercial availability, the court would have to define what pornography was. The justice was rumored to have said that he couldn't define it, but he knew it when he saw it. Unfortunately many corporations use the same approach to innovation. They expect great results, but don't know how to define what they want. In the absence of a destination, any road you take will get you where you are going.
Where do you set about to intervene and begin to change the organizations ability to innovate? There are seemingly so many intervention points it can get bewildering. The innovation environment can be made-up of how well you collaborate and network, the level of group and individual interactions, the presence and commitment of leadership towards innovation, as well as the organizational set-up and structures.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Prepare the perfect elevator pitch now, so when someone inquires about your invention, you can impress them with your knowledge and eloquence.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.