Author Archives: Paul Sloane

Evaluating Ideas

Generating a large number of ideas is a key part of the creative thinking process. The more ideas you come up with the more likely you are to find something truly innovative. But having a long list of ideas creates an issue. How do you select the best ideas to carry through to implementation? Have you ever been in a ...

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Innovators Welcome Ambiguity

Brilliant thinkers and innovators are very comfortable with ambiguity – they welcome it. Routine thinkers like clarity and simplicity; they dislike ambiguity. There is a tendency in our society to reduce complex issues down to simple issues with obviously clear solutions. We see evidence of this in the tabloid press. There have been some terrible crimes committed in our cities. ...

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Who Killed Our Business?

Most business managers go through the annual ritual of budgeting. We plan the next one or two years based on the actual results of the most recent year. We draw up a spreadsheet and plan line by line – sales revenues up 10% and costs held to a 5% increase means a modest improvement in profits. We should have learned ...

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Creating Innovation Best Practices of Tomorrow

Directors constantly strive to increase efficiency, implement best practice and deliver increased shareholder value. They seek to improve cash flow through efficiencies of scale and cost reductions. But there are limits to cost saving. In a global economy your competitors in lower-cost countries can beat you at that game. The best way to create value is to innovate your way ...

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Leading Innovation with Passion

People will not follow an unenthusiastic leader. They will follow someone who has a vision and is passionate about it. Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela showed great passion for what they believed – it was what made them outstanding leaders. The sales training expert Robin Fielder says, “Never, ever forget that people are more persuaded by your ...

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Battlefield Innovation Lessons for Business Leaders

Let’s be clear, business is not war. But if you are operating in a fierce marketplace then it can feel like it. Many of the methods we use in our sales campaigns, marketing strategies and competitive tactics are based on military analogies. So what lessons can business leaders today learn from the history of warfare? Here are some that seem ...

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Innovation by Subtraction

We tend to think that the best way to innovate is to add new features to our products or services. What can we add that increases the appeal of our offering? This route can easily lead to extra cost, feature overload and customer fatigue. Sometimes a better answer lies in subtraction. Michael O’Leary, the founder of Ryanair, looked at the ...

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Innovating on the Cheap

The problem is the recession. It is hurting businesses large and small. The answer is innovation. Innovation can help you to cut costs, improve margins, retain customers, acquire new customers, gain market share and ultimately to survive. But when you are cutting costs and squeezing resources in all areas how can you find the people, time and money for innovation? ...

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Innovation is Not Free

One of the most common barriers to innovation is lack of time. People are just too busy doing their day job to spend time trying new things. The common assumption is that working hard and working long hours are good things and sufficient for success. The mantra is “focus on delivering this quarter’s results.” But doing more of the same ...

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