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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

The Ten Tenets of Transformation


THE POINT: How you think about an innovation challenge determines how well you deliver game-changing ideas. Our 10 Tenets of Transformational Thinking may be practiced by anyone, in any industry, at any scale, any time. Farewell, light bulb myths. Hello, consistent performance. THE TEN TENETS OF TRANSFORMATION Transformational thinking is all too often thought of as a once-in-an-eon lightning strike ...

Read More »

Creativity versus Literacy

I came across this video of Sir Ken Robinson speaking about how schools kill creativity. He contends that more emphasis should be placed on teaching creativity in schools, and that teaching creativity should be as important as teaching literacy. Here are some of his other key thoughts and insights: The great thing about children is that if they don’t know, ...

Read More »