People & Skills

The Three C's of Innovation

During the monthly sales meeting, Arnold, a new Business Development Executive and something of a gadget freak suggested: “you know those hand-held devices the delivery people at UPS use to confirm receipt of your parcel? Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a device like that so we could take clients’ orders immediately and send them to production people? It ...

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10 Steps to Creating a Talent Advantage

Creating a talent advantage begins with smart hiring. That said, it never ceases to amaze me at the number of people who are charged with hiring who possess absolutely no skill at doing so. While I rarely meet a CEO who is completely comfortable with turning the hiring process over to HR, most of them still seem to acquiesce and ...

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Innovator Profile – Sarah Miller Caldicott

What if you were related to Thomas Edison?  You might wonder, as Sarah Miller Caldicott, his great grandniece, did… exactly “why the Edison phonograph and cylindrical records in her childhood home worked so differently from the small plastic record player that spun 45’s and wax LP’s?” She wondered, “How did they get this way?” Wondered indeed. Caldicott went on wondering how ...

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Taking Chances, Research Scientist as Hero

Working with people and teams in launching new innovation programs is truly an amazing experience. You find heroes in every business who truly bring the “how” of innovation to life. I had the privilege to work with one of these American Heroes recently, and his story inspires me. He is a baby-boomer research scientist who knew in his bones his ...

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McQueen at the Met – A Lesson in Demand Creation

When the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit closed on August 7 at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, it left a swath of unmet needs, unfulfilled consumer demand, and a transformation of the designer’s personal and corporate brand.  The late McQueen was elevated from fashion rebel/outsider to Artist/household name in the exhibit’s wake, but for thousands of New Yorkers ...

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There is No Strategy Without Purpose

‘Purpose’ can consciously and authentically infuse workplace with positive emotive energy beyond money can buy. Teaching and practicing strategy is what I love. Strategy or strategic innovation is like a chess game except the chessboard keeps morphing into different shapes and there are always players entering and leaving the game. My experience is that it is subject that is undertaught ...

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Innovation Essentials – Assimilator or Accommodator?

Innovation is different from other business competencies because it’s not about extending our expertise; it’s about repeatedly revising our expertise, at times rethinking our most fundamental assumptions and beliefs about our business. We need to recognize that when we encounter new information and observations, we must constantly check to be sure that when we see a cat we don’t assume that it’s just another doggie.

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Visualization: Not Just for the Communication-Challenged

“Is kick-ass visual communication an important skill for engineers?”  Tyler Disney, an engineer, asks this question in his blog.  He writes that the inclusion of visual communication often makes or breaks a proposal for engineers.   He highlights fields such as architecture and urban planning as those that use their professional training and skill to make more beautiful, compelling proposals for ...

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