People & Skills

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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Successful Strategy: Why it’s a Social Thing

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Consider who needs to be on board for success. Your board of directors? The senior leadership team? Particular committees? Indispensable coalitions like these have the potential to create the kind of zeal that trickles down to all participants, large and small. Igniting this flame is key to successful execution. Understand that it travels socially, between individuals and through morale. The investment must come through the coalition’s social web.

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Why Cultivate Innovation Agility?

Skier in high mountains

I was at a committee meeting recently and one of the guiding principles adopted by the team was “agile decision making – the 80:20 rule”. When I inquired as to what “agile decision making” actually meant, I was informed that it meant accelerating planning by making fast decisions that did not need to be “perfect”. So does this mean that I ...

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How to Educate Yourself for the Future

Confused businessman standing in front of a wall of question mar

In fact, a recent report from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) showed that 40 percent of jobs are in danger of becoming obsolete. This phenomenon is called the Law of Accelerating Change, and it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. The only thing we can do to prepare for such change is to learn how to adapt to, better yet anticipate, it.

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What a Decade of Innovation Teaches Us

happy young teacher woman at elementary school teaching and giving lessons to group of young smart children

After more than a decade of doing innovation work, there are some simple truths I'd like to impart. None of them are especially shocking, but for some reason, they need constant reinforcement. Almost every new innovation activity seems destined to experience some, if not all, of the same challenges and traps that previous innovation programs encountered, so it behooves us to document and illustrate these simple roadblocks if possible, to improve innovation outcomes and help companies just starting out to avoid some pitfalls.

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Successful Innovation is a Matter of Willpower

Innovation Excellence

In his book David & Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell quotes the psychologist Jordan Peterson who argues that innovators and revolutionaries tend to have a very particular mix of personality traits [i]. “Innovators have to be open. They have to be able to imagine things that others cannot and to be willing to challenge their own preconceptions. They also need to be conscientious. An ...

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