Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Pursuit of More Ideas

In Jim Collins’ book How the Mighty Fall, Collins gives the five steps that most companies go through on their way from success to failure. The second stage is the “undisciplined pursuit of more”. This is the stage of decline where the company becomes successful and starts to believe that anything they do will turn to gold. No idea is ...

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Don’t Let Fear of Change Block Innovation

The question came up during a recent innovation training session about how to deal with the fear of change which can cripple efforts to introduce innovative business ideas into an organization. One of the best ways to conquer this innovation roadblock is the widespread understanding and belief that an organization’s current path will be much worse without innovation. Think an ...

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Innovating Designed Products and Experiences

There’s a good, short recent article in the Irish Independent which states that people want designed, not designer products. While I doubt that many people are going to rush out and give up their BMW cars or Breitling watches, I suspect that the notion of “designed” products, services and experiences is really the next big opportunity for innovation. And the ...

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Who are the Pundits in Your Company?

I recently came across a very interesting book that provides convincing evidence that we’re all more human than we think, including the experts we turn to for political and economic advice. Expert Political Judgment, by Philip Tetlock, a psychologist who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, presents findings from a nearly 20-year project in which he asked 284 “pundits” ...

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The Surprising Effect of Innovation

A question always present when discussing a portfolio of innovation projects is: – How to define if this is an innovation project or not? Whenever I take part in this kind of discussion, I usually bring my own definition of innovation: – “Innovation is something that you will easily recognize when you see it, because it is always surprising and ...

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Right or Wrong is the Enemy of Innovation

I have long been fascinated by Iman Wilkens’ groundbreaking book Where Troy Once Stood, which argues that the city of Troy was located in England, and that the Trojan War was waged by Celts from the continent who, at the end of the Bronze Age, had run short of tin (an essential component in the manufacturing of bronze) and intended ...

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The Real Product of Innovation

I think we’ve been thinking about innovation all wrong, at least conceptually speaking. I don’t mean that terms like “incremental” or “disruptive” are wrong, or that techniques like crowdsourcing or “open innovation” aren’t often effective. What I think many firms are getting wrong is their expectation about outcomes, regardless of the tools and techniques. You see, what they miss is ...

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Social Media Responsibility

My wife pointed me to an LA Times story a couple of days ago that made me cringe… The article recounted how TV personality Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”) suddenly passed out while speaking at USC. While this caused a tense moment, he appears to be okay now. However what incensed me was how the crowd reacted. Witnesses noted the ...

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Sweet Innovation – The Chipwich Story

You probably haven’t heard of Richard LaMotta but I bet you have heard of and enjoyed his innovation, the Chipwich ice cream sandwich. I rank the Chipwich right up there on my list of all-time favorite innovations along with Guttenberg’s printing press and Apple’s iPhone. Like most great innovations the Chipwich didn’t require inventing anything new, just recombining existing elements ...

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