A Sniff Test for Strategy

When it comes to developing strategy using the Play-to-Win framework, the most difficult question to answer is “How will we win?” From what I’ve observed and experienced in facilitating countless strategy sessions, I believe the reason it’s so difficult is that there is a tendency to discuss and answer the question in the abstract, which results in generic responses that ...

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Six Innovation Traps to Avoid From the Start

Having recently concluded my fourth leadership tenure as “The Innovation Guy” in a corporate setting, I thought I’d share some patterns that seem to emerge when introducing innovation systematically to organizations with low innovation maturity. Since the sample size is small, there is certainly no statistical significance. However, it doesn’t appear to matter whether an organization is for profit, not-for-profit, ...

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Inclusive Innovation: Who are you excluding?

I was challenged and excited by a presentation by Michael Sui @soundslikesue at Pause Fest, here in Melbourne, on Inclusive Design and it struck me that we need to overlay — or better, underpin — all our creative thinking and work on new product & service design, process enhancement, website design, signs, visuals…by the question: ‘Who am I excluding?” — and constantly strive to iron out ...

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We Need to Stop Bashing the Millennials

As with all stereotyping, using generations to define the behaviors of an entire class of people is mostly a convenient and lazy fiction. The Final Frontier for Diversity The U.S. and most of the world’s developed economies have embraced and celebrate the importance of diversity in national origin, creed, race, and sexual orientation. We clearly have room for improvement, but ...

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Three Key Ways to Measure your Innovation Capability

Many organizations have top-level goals for innovation but struggle to measure progress toward them.  How can you assess the current state of your innovation capability?  There are three critical areas to consider. First, you should measure your ability to fill the pipeline by monitoring the number of new ideas being generated.  If you have a suggestions scheme you can scrutinize ...

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Innovation Needs Exploration

In Sapiens, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari argues that it was the exploratory mindset that led to European dominance over the world. Other empires, such as the Chinese and the Ottomans, had far greater military and economic power in the 18th century. Yet, it was the Europeans quest for understanding that made the difference. To explore, you first need to ...

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The Essential Connection Between Strategy and Innovation

Most organizations are seeking solutions to the necessary connections between Strategy and Innovation. The connection between the two is often broken. Often it is within the strategies that should be outlined, lies the potential new spaces to play for innovation’s design. Yet how often do we fail to connect the innovation’s we design and execute specifically aligned to the strategic ...

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What is the best time to build a culture of innovation?

You already know that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” When do you start paying attention to your company’s culture and changing it? My research made me realize that the reason people are more creative when they work in startups than when they work in mature companies is due to the difference in culture of those two types of companies. I don’t need to convince you ...

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Why You Need a Gremlin Group

True story. A brilliant engineer, one of the smartest people I’ve met, was confident that his 6-year old daughter would win the annual school science contest called the Great Egg-Drop Challenge. As the name implies, the challenge was to design a package that would protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped from the school roof. The reason he was ...

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The Single Greatest Threat To Your Success

The world is filled with threats to your success, but the greatest of these is much closer to home than you might think. I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses during my career, and in all of those interactions one thing is the greatest determinant of success, the founders ability to overcome their own fear of achieving ...

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