What’s Your Innovation Ambition?

What's Your Innovation Ambition?

As Oscar Wilde said, “We are all in the gutter; but some of us are looking at the stars”.  To me this phrase says a lot about ambition.  It starts with a vision, a dream, an inspiring view of where we want to be in the future.  Of course the bit about being in the gutter is a bit dramatic; ...

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Growing Together – Synthetic Teamwork

Growing Together - Synthetic Teamwork

In Henry Mintzberg’s 1994 landmark book, The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning, the author calls for a new method to create effective strategies. He notes that, “Strategic planning isn’t strategic thinking. One is analysis, the other is synthesis.” Mintzberg draws a definitive line between those that create strategy and those that devise the plan, arguing that the two are ...

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What is the Foundation of Innovation?

What is the Foundation of Innovation?

It was my privilege to serve for over 30 years the customers, employees, and shareholders of one of the most respected Fortune 50 brands in the world, Caterpillar Inc. That association provided my family and me opportunities to live in Asia, Europe, and North America and me with career experiences in engineering, product development, marketing, dealer development, new product launch, ...

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Innovate like a startup or like big business?

Startup and Big Company

Startups are king when it comes to innovation. Indeed, established companies often strive to behave more like startups. But in reality, it is quite challenging. Startups, on the other hand, wish they had access to resources, particularly capital. So, there’s something to be said for the large corporation: It has experience, distribution channels, and access to cash. Each wants what ...

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Innovations of the Incas – Part I

Innovations of the Incas – Part I

This is the first in a series of two articles on innovation of the Inca civilization.  One of the best-known Inca sites is the mountaintop citadel of Machu Picchu.  The site is breathtaking in its location, with steep slopes rising from the Urubamba River and huge mountain peaks all around.  Some visitors consider it a highly spiritual place, sensing energy ...

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Four Routes to Simplify Innovation

The Fuzzy Front End of innovation ends when an organization approves and begins the formal development of a new concept.[i] It’s the end of the beginning. This informal start of innovation is unfortunately packed with lots of obstacles that should be avoided. To raise the effectiveness of your efforts, I like to simplify the front end of innovation by giving you four ...

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Top 8 Myths about Innovators and Innovation—Debunked! (Part 2 of 2)

Myths about Innovators and Innovation—Debunked!

Today’s business world is buzzing with talk about innovators and innovation. While it’s a good thing that innovation is on the forefront of people’s minds, popular thinking about innovation and the culture of innovation in business is often substantially misguided. There are widespread myths about innovation and innovators that lead to significant misconceptions and can ultimately even hinder or destroy ...

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The Revolution Will Not Be Centralized

The Revolution Will Not Be Centralized

In his novel The Castle, Franz Kafka tells the story of a man named “K” who is summoned by mysterious authorities for unknown reasons.  He finds himself at the mercy of their bureaucracy and endless paperwork, which is carried out for a purpose that nobody can fathom but everyone seems to accept. Most people can relate to the story.  20th century ...

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How to be Radically Open-Minded

How to be Radically Open-Minded

(in times of exponential change and innovation) Most of us like to see ourselves as open-minded. In the workplace, we claim to be open to our colleagues’ ideas and suggestions, and from time to time we even go along with some of those ideas rather than ours. As long as their ideas don’t compete with our paradigms, assumptions and preconceptions ...

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