Author Archives: Scott Bowden

Building Innovation

I have always admired the work of great architects.  The challenges they face when designing a new structure seem overwhelming at first glance.  The architect must design a building that is sound from an engineering standpoint, functional for its occupants, integrated into the physical site (whether natural or within an urban area), cost-effective, able to be built in a reasonable ...

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Lessons from Monet: Impressions of Innovation

Innovation Excellence

I did not set out to chronicle the innovative characteristics of the great painters (my previous writing was on Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings), yet somehow I ended up following precisely that path as I read a new book by Ross King on Claude Monet’s famous Water Lilies. In Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies, King examines ...

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Innovation Lessons from Santa Claus

The Holiday Season for innovation practitioners is a time for reflection on the previous year, its highlights and lowlights and all those days in between.  Most of us will take a well-deserved break from work this month as we prepare for the inevitable challenges of the coming new year.  In the spirit of the season, I decided to spend some ...

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Postal Innovation

Postal Innovation

It’s the time of the year when we are deluged with packages, many of which are delivered by the US Postal Service (USPS).  The surge in e-commerce has resulted in challenges for the main delivery services, and the USPS has responded with creative solutions such as Sunday delivery.  I was in Atlanta on a Sunday recently and noticed a USPS ...

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Mimic Nature for Innovation

Nature can serve as a powerful source for innovation, as the increasingly prominent study of bio-mimicry in innovation can attest.  The concept of mimicking nature to drive innovation dates as far back as Leonardo da Vinci.  Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Stephen Budiansky, a prominent historian of science, notes that Leonardo “was beguiled by the idea that nature holds ...

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Innovation Doubts

One of the first concepts I learned in a university course on statistics was not about regression analysis or significance of results but, rather, on the importance of doubt. Our professor drilled home the point that no matter how large our dataset and how clever our hypothesis, our results should always be presented using language such as “suggests” or “points ...

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A Shining Light of Innovation in the Syrian Civil War

A Shining Light of Innovation in the Syrian Civil War

Innovation practitioners sometimes complain about the interruptions of daily life that make our jobs of developing creative new ideas challenging.  We bemoan full inboxes of emails arriving daily or a calendar stacked with back-to-back meetings with no time available to think deep (and hopefully great) thoughts about whatever problems we are trying to solve.  We complain about the traffic jams ...

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Learning Innovation from Leonardo Da Vinci

This article focuses on a series of observations about Leonardo’s work and applies those to the challenges of the present-day innovator. When one thinks of Leonardo da Vinci and innovation, the typical picture that emerges would be some of Leonardo’s amazing designs for flying machines, military equipment, or even the Vitruvian Man, perhaps the most famous drawing in history.  I ...

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7 Days Sans Voiture for Innovation

7 Days Sans Voiture for Innovation

One of the activities I undertake to force my brain to step outside of any regular patterns is to listen to an internet stream of an all-news French radio station, known as FranceInfo. I lived in Aix-en-Provence, France, in 1991 and FranceInfo was my favorite local station. I recently heard an interview with a French government official discussing an upcoming ...

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Innovation from the Summer of 1927 – Part II

This is the second in a series of articles based on Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America, 1927, which takes a whirlwind tour through a series of major events that occurred in the summer of 1927.  Bryson relays the story of the architect Harvey W. Corbett, whose ambitions were larger than physics would permit.  Corbett, Bryson notes, “predicted that skyscrapers would ...

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