Author Archives: Paul Sloane

Try the Gestures Icebreaker for More Creative Ideas

It is well known that our physical attitude can affect our mental attitude.  If our posture is more positive then our thinking is more positive.  Researchers Slepian and Ambady report an experiment in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.  They had some subjects move their arms in big fluid movements and other subjects moved their arms in short, precise movements.  Then ...

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Government has a big Role to play in Innovation

Steve Jobs announced the iPhone to the world on 9 January 2007.  This iconic product became a sensational success and propelled Apple to become the most valuable company on Earth.  It created a new product category, the smartphone, which has become the must-have item for people in all nations.  It launched a platform for secondary markets in apps, music and ...

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Clayton Christensen: Competing Against Luck [Case Studies]

Competing Against Luck is the rather curious title of a new book by the eminent innovation guru, Clayton Christensen, et al. It is an important work which makes some big claims. The 'Jobs-to-be-Done' idea has been around for a while but this book puts it into an academic framework, gives many examples of how it has been used and advises methods for how to harness this approach.

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13 Smart Questions for your Management Meetings

Most management meetings are dull affairs stacked full of short-term problems that need fixing. Discussions focus on routine operational issues and of course these things have to be addressed. However, from time to time you and your team should lift your heads and think about a bigger, brighter future. You should brainstorm strategic and innovative options. The kind of question you ask makes a big difference.

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Grow a Miracle in a Miracle Garden

I recently visited Dubai to give a class on Innovation.  I asked the hotel concierge for a recommendation of where to visit on a free morning.  He listed all the main sights but I had already seen them. He then suggested something new, the Miracle Garden.  It is a remarkable place in the Western outskirts of the city.  Dubai is ...

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Why are Children more Creative than Adults?

I came across an interesting article entitled 10 Great Inventions Dreamt up by Children.    They range from earmuffs to crayon holders to an underwater talking device.  The stories of their young creators are inspiring for anyone interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.     The article begs some questions.  Why are children so much more creative than adults?  How does that ...

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Three Insights for Innovators from Elon Musk

Elon Musk was born in South Africa in 1971. He got his first computer at the age of 8 and learned to program. At 17 he went to University in Canada and subsequently settled in the USA where he founded a company, Zip2, which provided online travel guides. Zip2 was an early internet success and in 1999 he sold it ...

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Planned or Emergent Innovation?

Most innovation initiatives are planned. We focus on a challenge, generate some great ideas and then put together teams to implement the best ones. For new products the projects might go through a stage-gate process where they have to clear certain hurdles in order to have extra resources released. There is a program and the projects adhere to it. Most ...

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Should the Manager be in the Ideation Meeting?

You want to hold a meeting with your team in order to generate some really creative ideas. You would like the group to challenge assumptions, think differently and come up with plenty of radical proposals.  Here is the dilemma. You naturally want to lead the meeting but should you be in the room at all? Unfortunately for managers, your presence ...

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