Creativity

Are You Crushing Creativity?

CEOs have much more power than they realize. They can patiently create a climate of creativity or they can crush it in a series of subtle comments and gestures. Their actions send powerful signals. Their responses to suggestions and ideas are deciphered by staff as encouragement or rejection. If you want to crush creativity in your organization and eliminate all ...

Read More »

Unexpected Inspiration

Sometimes, try as you might, it’s impossible to focus on the task at hand. When you can’t focus, one alternative is to accept the mental roadblock and actively look for another time (perhaps an unconventional one) where you can shift the activity and your creative energy. At dinner recently, we had a very specific business topic (that had been hanging ...

Read More »

Are You Asking Questions?

Children learn by asking questions. Students learn by asking questions. New recruits learn by asking questions. Innovators understand client needs by asking questions. It is the simplest and most effective way of learning. People who think that they know it all no longer ask questions – why should they? Brilliant thinkers never stop asking questions because they know that this ...

Read More »

Great Ideas Aren't Innovation

by Mike Myatt “Ideas Don’t Equal Innovation” and I can prove it…It is my hope that today’s post will serve to help dispel the myth that ideas are inherently good things. Let me state right from the outset that I place little value on ideas. Not only do raw ideas have little intrinsic value, but they are often very costly. ...

Read More »

Toyota and Innovation by Design

Scion Exile Concept Sketch by Matthew E May I’m fortunate enough to count car designer Kevin Hunter, president of Toyota’s CALTY Design Research, among my board of muses. CALTY (California+Toyota) is one of Toyota’s most influential design centers, located in Newport Beach, CA. CALTY is involved in nearly all of Toyota’s major vehicle design programs. According to Kevin, Toyota wants ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 »