Author Archives: Jeffrey Baumgartner

Individual versus Organizational Innovation


When attempting to improve creativity in business, there are two approaches which may be taken, either individually or together: INDIVIDUAL CREATIVITY and ORGANIZATIONAL CREATIVITY. Individual creativity is, of course, the creativity of the individual. Everyone has what I call a creative comfort level which is based on their natural creativity quotient, their willingness to risk new ideas and their personality. ...

Read More »

Importance of Big and Little Innovation

Since innovation became a sexy word for big business, companies have been tripping over themselves to become more innovative. Some merely take a marketing approach and add a slogan that emphasizes innovation without bothering to actually become more innovative. Others struggle without succeeding. One reason is that most of these companies are looking for a big innovation: that earth shattering ...

Read More »

The Four Types of Corporate Innovation


It seems everyone is talking about corporate innovation these days. Erkki Liikanen, the European Commissioner in charge of the Information Society and Enterprise Directorates General can hardly open his mouth without speaking of European business’s need to be more innovative. Nevertheless, to look at all corporate innovation as being the same kind of innovation is dangerous. Defining categories of innovation ...

Read More »

Innovation in 3D


In medium to large organizations, idea flow is critical to innovation. Every firm has a number of highly creative individuals and many more moderately creative individuals. With optimal idea flow, their good ideas will be recognized and implemented relatively quickly and cost efficiently. With lousy idea flow, those ideas will mostly be lost. The quality of idea flow in most ...

Read More »

Destroy Your Assumptions


There is an old American joke that goes: “When you assume, you make an ASS out of U and ME.” How true. While I won’t deny their usefulness, assumptions can be dangerous things. They are particularly dangerous when made about your customers. Polaroid was a pioneer in digital imagery, having designed a digital film back for large format cameras in ...

Read More »

The Great Innovation Lie


Like any good managing director, I regularly watch what the competition and others in our field are up to. One thing I have noticed over recent months is a tendency to turn corporate innovation into a highly complex system involving numerous processes, approaches and models. Such systems are being promoted by consultants who, not surprisingly, charge by the hour for ...

Read More »

Rewarding Innovation

A reward scheme can make or kill an innovation initiative, such as an idea management process. Considering the amount of effort that goes into launching an idea management process in many companies, it is essential to get the rewards right. In this article we will look at reward schemes supporting an idea management process – one that is ideally supported ...

Read More »

Visual Brainstorming


“Brainstorming verbally frequently does not work. Visual brainstorming , that is brainstorming with images, objects and actions frequently works spectacularly well.” Why Verbal Brainstorming Fails The ugly truth about brainstorming is that more often than not it leads to mediocre results. In fact, if you’ve been involved in brainstorming sessions, you’ve probably experienced more than your share of events in ...

Read More »

The Adventures of Brainstorm Man


Episode One: Attack of the Boring Pushchairs by Jeffrey Baumgartner Willy Heckert flung the magazine across the room in frustration. “How do the Americans come up with such clever new pushchairs (baby strollers for our American readers) every year?” he demanded of no one in particular. “BabiGo has been making quality pushchairs for years. But they are boring, boring, boring! ...

Read More »

Step by Step Guide to Brainstorming


Brainstorming can be an effective way to generate lots of ideas on a specific issue and then determine which idea – or ideas – is the best solution. Brainstorming is most effective with groups of 8-12 people and should be performed in a relaxed environment. If participants feel free to relax and joke around, they’ll stretch their minds further and ...

Read More »