Author Archives: Paul Sloane

Flipping the Script on Innovation

“If the Door is Shut, Open it. If the Door is Open, Shut it.” Change of State Innovation In looking for innovations it is sometimes helpful to consider whether your product or service is open or closed.  If it is open what would happen if you enclosed it?  If it is closed what would happen if you opened it?  The ...

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How do you get the World to Adopt your Great Idea?

Sometimes the idea is simple and obvious but getting it adopted is very tricky.  Containerization was a massively important innovation which powered the expansion of global trade but it was a difficult idea to implement. Before containerization,  goods were physically manhandled as break bulk cargo. At the factory or warehouse goods were loaded onto a truck, driven to a port ...

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Try this Ideation Method – The Ideas Exchange

The Ideas Exchange is a brainstorm method which works well for larger groups.   It is easy to run, quick and effective.  This is the procedure: The problem is clearly stated. Everyone is given two colored cards (or post-it notes). Say one white and one pink. Working silently and individually they write down a sensible idea to solve the problem ...

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Innovation is a Cruel Game

So get your patent filed! Sometimes the idea is tremendous but it fails because of the current state of technology or infrastructure.  Consider the common remote control for your TV set.  The Zenith Radio Corporation launched the first wireless remote control for TVs in 1955.  The ‘Flashmatic’ shone a beam of light onto a photoelectric cell in the TV.  Unfortunately, ...

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Why are we so Gloomy about Human Progress?

How well-informed are you about the state of the world? Please try this short quiz. How did you get on? Most well-educated people do badly in this little test. The average person gets only two or three questions right out of 13. This is because we generally hold a distorted view of the world – we see the world as ...

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The Little Innovation which Transformed Online Shopping

Ready or Not? Black Friday Online Shopping Frenzy - Innovation Excellence

It is clear that the internet has transformed how we shop.  More people are buying more products and services on-line than ever before.  High-street retailers and big brands are suffering at the hands of on-line merchants large and small.  There is one often overlooked innovation which has enabled this trend.  It is buyer/seller feedback. A key component of any business ...

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More Ideation means more Innovation – Simple

Spigit is a leading innovation management software company.  They recently published a research paper entitled ‘Quantifying a Culture of Innovation.’  Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management carried out a study of data from 154 corporate customers of Spigit over a five year period.  The findings are instructive.  They report a significant correlation between ideation rates (generating good ideas) and profit ...

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Three Key Ways to Measure your Innovation Capability

Many organizations have top-level goals for innovation but struggle to measure progress toward them.  How can you assess the current state of your innovation capability?  There are three critical areas to consider. First, you should measure your ability to fill the pipeline by monitoring the number of new ideas being generated.  If you have a suggestions scheme you can scrutinize ...

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We Need Leaders who can Change Their Minds

Sound Like a Leader

Why do we find it so hard to change our minds?  Why are we so critical of people who do change their minds? John Adair, the leadership expert, says that the most important (and often the most difficult) sentence for a leader to utter is, ’I admit that I was wrong.’  But on the rare occasions when political leaders change ...

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