Author Archives: Michael Graber

Creativity Redefined for Innovation

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The words “creative” and “creativity” have been hi-jacked by the world of advertising. The word means something specific to those familiar with Mad Men or Thirty-something advertising stereotypes. In these cases – and the cases of classic advertising – creativity was visual, copy, or positioning cleverness applied at the end of the new product process, when it was time to market downstream.

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The Truth Behind the Faster Horse Myth

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According to legend, Henry Ford scoffed at market research and what we now call Consumer Insights, proclaiming, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” While there is a certain degree of wisdom in this statement, it has been misquoted to justify bad, hubris-inspired product failures by too many corporate egos.

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Shift Things Around

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When leading a series of innovation workshops in our home town for the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team with division leaders at Memphis’ City Hall, our task was steep: change long-standing behavior patterns. Turn doers into innovators.

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Enroll the Skeptics Early

After working on hundreds of innovation projects, one fact remains. If you cannot get executive sponsorship of the final concepts, they will never launch. We recommend a few steps to get leadership engaged in solving the problem with you as part of the process.

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Turning Good Ideas into Great Products

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One innovation method is to invite customers (in a B-2-B situation) or consumers (in a B-2-C scenario) into the creative process with you. Here, they will ideate, workshop concepts that arise in the session, augment concepts provided for them, and create some new product or service ideas that do not yet exist.

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When Did We Stop Thinking?

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The theme that really defies reason is when a whole organization or market segment falls into the trap of formal rigidity, as in “it’s just the way it is.” If you can pinpoint the era when the growth engine was put to rest inside an organization, there is a good chance you can revive it.

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