Author Archives: Paul Sloane

Enter the Car Parts Incubator

Across the world millions of babies die within the first week of birth. Most could be saved with the use of incubators, which are widely available in the developed world but not in under-developed countries. Much of the medical equipment that is donated to hospitals in these countries falls into disuse because of the lack of spare parts or shortage of trained technicians. There is also a common problem with interrupted power supply.

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Who Killed Our Business?

We can broadly simplify innovations into two kinds - incremental and radical. Incremental innovations are improvements to current products, methods, processes, services, partnerships and so on. Customer complaints and suggestions are a good source of ideas for incremental improvements. So are the people who work in the organization. If you ask customers how your product could be better or if you ask employees how their job could made easier they will come up with plenty of proposals.

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Issue a Declaration of Innovation

Many CEOs and leaders talk about the importance of innovation in their organizations. But often their words are bland and vague – just a form of management-speak. If you want people to really believe then why not explain exactly what you mean with a Declaration of Innovation.

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Using the Disney Method

The Disney Method is a parallel thinking technique which has some similarities with the Six Hats. It is particularly useful as a group analysis tool for an issue and it leads to idea generation and idea review. The team adopts four different thinking modes as outsiders, dreamers, realisers and critics.

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9 Tips for Getting Innovation Approval

A common complaint that I hear when I run innovation workshops is this, ‘I have plenty of really creative ideas but my boss just isn’t interested in trying anything new. What can I do?’ Let’s leave aside the possibility that this view is itself distorted and take it at face value. It is a tricky situation that most of us will experience at some time. What can be done?

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Another Kind of Job Transfer

Get the Customer to Do More Online check-in for flights is a great innovation. Instead of standing in line at the check-in desk I can select my seat and print my boarding card at the computer on my desk (or on my smart phone). For me, the passenger, online check-in offers time saving, control and convenience. For the airline it ...

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Does your Structure help or hinder Innovation?

The traditional top-down structure in organizations can be a powerful inhibitor to innovation. It is a reflection of a command and control style of leadership where orders are issued at the top and followed by the ranks. People lower down the organization who have great ideas can feel inhibited about promoting them. They feel it is disrespectful to challenge the ...

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Streamline Your Innovation Approval Process

Try this exercise. Draw a flow chart diagram of your organization’s approval process for innovations. Pick an example for a theoretical new idea. Suppose it is a good idea to improve customers’ satisfaction that would involve significant spending and the co-operation of several departments. What levels of approval and authority would it need to see the light of day? Who ...

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Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing on the Rise

Imagine that you are planning a big surprise party. You want it to be entertaining, spectacular, memorable and different. You could plan and project manage every element of the party yourself: the theme, venue, music, food, drink, entertainment, games, diversions etc. Or you could involve a number of people to help you with their ideas and their skills. One person ...

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