Creativity

Start Talking Nonsense

Though The Beatles “Abbey Road” album was recorded 40 years ago, I recently heard a program called “Pop Go the Beatles” about its creation. Told through stories and alternative takes of the album’s classic songs, it was so inspiring it spawned posts for today, Wednesday, and Friday this week. During an early recording of “Something,” George Harrison hadn’t finished the ...

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The Quiet Mind and Innovation

Executives at GE, 3M, Google, Bloomberg Media, and Salesforce.com do it. Ford chairman William Ford does it, as do former corporate chiefs Bill George of Medtronic and Bob Shapiro of Monsanto. Phil Jackson, Tiger Woods, and Italy’s 2006 World Cup champion soccer team all do it. The “it” is designating daily time to calm and quiet the mind using techniques ...

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Discovering Innovation Around the House

Last night I was hungry and decided to make some tuna fish. I opened my refrigerator and found an 18 ounce squeeze bottle of mayonnaise. As I started to make my meal, I realized that the mayo had expired 6 months ago. I guess I don’t use it very often because the bottle was still 90% full. After throwing out ...

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Innovation by Collaboration

People collaborate to innovate. But what about the other way around? Could a structured innovation approach be used to bring people closer together? In other words, collaboration becomes the endpoint and innovation becomes the means to that end? Collaboration is where two or more people or organizations work together in an intersection of common goals. Collaboration is seen as an ...

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What are you passionate about?

Visiting Panera Bread recently, I noticed employees’ name tags now include the question, “What’s Your Passion?” and the employee’s personal answer. Love the question, but I’m not sure about this application. It forces an employee to disclose what might be very personal information or fudge, sharing something more generic and not really a passion at all. For instance, the person ...

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Strategic Creativity Isn't Expensive

Many conversations recently have addressed the misperception that creativity, by definition, takes time, money, and effort that can’t be afforded right now because of the economy. A couple of examples: Someone showed me a meeting announcement for an “ideation” session to which they’d been invited. It referenced the range of ideas under consideration as “creative and practical and everything in ...

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Innovate Your Way out of a Recession

How on earth can companies compete in a global economy where staff costs in India are a tenth of those in the West and where Chinese companies are now looking to outsource their operations to cut costs further? We can not continuously improve our way out of the current challenges, rather we must fundamentally change what we do and how ...

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Determining Innovation's Sweet Spot

Now more than ever, companies need great new ideas, great new products and great new businesses. However, innovators often fail to realize just how big the difference is between them. For example: Satellite radio is a fabulous idea, and Sirius is great product, but what a terrible business. Gillette Fusion isn’t a great idea – but is a great product ...

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Crisis or Opportunity?

No one in their right mind would suggest that an economic collapse was just what we needed, but sometimes, tough times do throw up opportunities we don’t hear when the bulls are roaring. I remember back in the 1970s, New York was a very different city to the one we know now. It had a gritty edge and the sense ...

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Do Rewards Kill Innovation and Creativity?

I am constantly asked how to best structure a financial reward system in an effort to motivate people to contribute ideas and improvements. My answer: Just say no. Combined research from the Employee Involvement Association and Japan Human Relations Association reveals that the average number of ideas submitted per employee annually is 100 times greater in Japanese companies than in ...

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