People First, Processes Next, Then Ideas

The chief thing you as an innovation leader must realize is that when it comes to making innovation happen, people matter more than ideas. Take a moment to think about that. Many innovation initiatives fail miserably because their leaders don’t understand this simple fact. In fact, it is actually more important to have A-grade people than it is to have ...

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How to Ruin a Brainstorming Session

The brainstorming session is the most popular group creativity exercise in business. It is quick, easy and it works. But many organizations have become frustrated with brainstorms and have stopped using them. They say this group ideation technique is old-fashioned and no longer effective. But the real reason for their frustration is typically that the brainstorming meetings are not facilitated ...

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Design Thinking For Your Writing

William Bostick over at Core77 wrote a terrific post called “How (Not) To Write Like a Designer.” Design thinking is how I prefer to think about my style of problem solving. I’m not alone…IDEO and Stanford’s D School coined the term, and Tim Brown’s blog is all about it. But what I liked about this particular post was that it ...

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Social Innovation as Smart Business Strategy

Businesses Can Be Good Stewards Of Our Societies by Idris Mootee Innovation takes many forms, but social innovation is the least understood form, and today there are pressing needs and urge for the creation, adoption and diffusion of innovations. Innovation’s several forms include: technological, organizational, product, service, business model, etc. The term ‘social innovation’ has come into common parlance in ...

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Equality & Team Building

In recent months I have observed a decent amount of politically correct discourse on the topic of team building and equality. The gist of the argument seems to be that for teams to be productive, employees have to feel ’empowered’ by having an equal voice. I can sum-up my feeling on this in one word – ‘ridiculous’. To be blunt, ...

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Innovation, Jazz, and Improvisation

What do jazz and innovation have in common? Quite a bit. Many years ago, in 24/7 Innovation, I wrote… “Most businesses are run like classical symphonies – long, with elaborate compositions (detailed workflows) that leave little room for interpretation. Employees are expected to follow these compositions rote. Unfortunately, by the time they learn the score, the music would have to ...

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Five Key Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

I briefly followed a Twitter conversation yesterday afternoon that attempted to define what a real entrepreneur is. It stemmed from one individual’s frustration that some small company employees considered themselves entrepreneurs, even though they did not own or start the company. I wonder if it matters. Furthermore, I love the idea of employees – at big companies and small – ...

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What is Government's Role in Innovation?

Recently a number of bloggers and Tweeters have linked to an interview with Greg Bialecki, who works for the governor of Massachusetts on economic development. The question posed to Bialecki was “What is the appropriate role for state government in accelerating innovation?”. Bialecki does a good job of straddling the many sides of the question, noting that many businesses are ...

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A Cosmetic Fix?

One of the questions I’m frequently asked by corporate leaders struggling to manage in the current environment is how far to go with their cost-cutting measures. With their companies suffering sales declines, they’ve got to trim somewhere to maintain profitability (and in some cases to stay afloat), but they don’t want to cut the wrong things. Recent moves by Jean-Paul ...

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Save the World – One Action at a Time

Saving water is going to become ever more important as time goes on. If you’re easily offended, skip this one, but it’s really pretty harmless and the ad campaign referenced is targeted at children. by Kevin Roberts A great ad is one that can be understood across borders without the need for subtitles or translation. That’s the case with the ...

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