People & Skills

Insight #1: BIF Summit 2016

Tap into the Power of Reinvention! Unlike most conferences, the BIF Summit has no theme beyond presenting remarkable stories of transformation. Why? The BIF organizers know that the participants themselves will discover patterns, aha’s, and insights that make sense for them. I’ve been to most of the 12 BIF Summits. I now work for BIF, but like everybody else at ...

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It Takes More than a Big Idea to Change the World

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In 1882, just three years after he had almost literally shocked the world with his revolutionary lighting system, Thomas Edison opened his Pearl Street Station, the first commercial electrical distribution plant in the United States. By 1884 it was already servicing over 500 homes. Up till that point, electric light was mostly a curiosity. While a few of the mighty elite could ...

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Overcoming Hurdles to Scaling Innovation

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Crossing the Chasm To put it simply, everyone has good ideas — and some have great ideas. But the imperative of any innovation program is in its ability to scale and realize its financial promise. We call this “crossing the chasm.” It is critical in any development process that innovation ‘show stoppers’ are recognized and nurtured quickly. For some innovations, ...

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Innovation Doubts

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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Lessons from Four Great American Innovators

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In 1912 a young scientist from New York, Clarence Birdseye departed on a fur-trading expedition to Labrador in Canada. While he was there he noticed that the local Eskimos kept their fish fresh in winter by freezing it in the ice.  He was intrigued to find that the fish retained its flavour and did not deteriorate. He wondered whether the same ...

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Learning Innovation from Leonardo Da Vinci

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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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Crowdsolving in Action: From Wikipedia to Firefox

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From restaurant reviews in Yelp to traffic information in Google Maps, crowd-sourced information has become more and more integrated into the websites, apps and other technologies that we use every day. In all of these cases, the information collected from users requires low thought on the part of the users submitting the information. However, in the aggregate, this information provides ...

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Thinking Through a Crowdsourcing Initiative [2/3]

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Crowdsourcing does have a real potential in my mind but does seem to have some formidable issues to work through, to be well understood and managed. Partnering with experts in this field will help overcome many of these barriers or at least have reassuring suggestions for resolving them. Let’s take a look at some of these here in this post. ...

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Where is the Crowdsourcing Movement Heading? [1/3]

Business People Light Bulb Innovation Jigsaw Togetherness Concepts

Author’s note: This is a three-part series. Crowdsourcing has been growing in interest for some time to change our thinking in innovation discovery. It can hold a key for us to help solve vexing questions, real challenges, and connect different voices, that builds into a community that can combine and open up the fields of opportunity for new solutions. Crowdsourcing ...

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How to Actually Keep a Trade Secret

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I can’t tell you it is a secret – well ok… Trade secrets have a number of fundamental flaws. Probably the most difficult thing about keeping a trade secret is your company has to be able to keep a secret. While the concept of keeping a secret is easy, the implementation can be extremely difficult. With algorithm or process based secrets, ...

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