Author Archives: Paul Sloane

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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Why does Roger Federer serve Double Faults?

Why does Roger Federer serve double faults? Every double fault is a failure – it gives a precious point to his opponent. He could easily cut out all double faults by slowing down his second serve to ensure that it lands safely in the service box. Yet in most long matches Federer, like most other top players, will serve at ...

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Challenge Your Assumptions

Every time that we approach a problem, in any walk of life, we bring to bear assumptions that limit our ability to conceive fresh solutions. Brilliant thinkers are always aware of assumptions and are always happy to confront them. There is a story told about a northern pike, a large carnivorous freshwater fish. A pike was put into an aquarium, ...

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21 Great Innovation Methods

How hard is it to innovate? Not once but over and over? How can you repeatedly implement great new products, processes or services? Continuous innovation is not easy and if you keep using the same method you will experience diminishing results. Try innovating how you innovate by employing some of these ideas. Copy someone else’s idea. One of the best ...

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Innovation Leadership versus Traditional Leadership

There are many different ways to lead. CEOs with markedly divergent styles can be successful in different ways. The same leader will often adopt different styles in different circumstances. There is no one correct way to lead or manage. Ultimately the right way is the one that works for you and for the organization in delivering the goals you set ...

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Are you an Innovation Venture Capitalist?

The most innovative leaders have a mindset like that of a venture capitalist. They take a portfolio view of innovation projects. The venture capitalist will invest in a basket of different start-up companies, fully knowing that most will fail. A few might break even and one or two might be successes. But one big success can pay back the costs ...

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