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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Why Don't Democracies Suffer Famines?

In his keynote at the Spigit Customer Summit, Gary Hamel said that something that caught my attention: democracies don’t suffer famines. Hearing this, I was intrigued and did some research. Amartya Sen, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics, made this empirical observation: One of the remarkable facts in the terrible history of famine is that no substantial famine ...

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Musical Chairs

Not sure where I learned this originally, but it’s a great, simple tactic for meetings where you’re voicing a position contrary to someone else’s: never sit across from them. Try sitting next to, or at least on the same side of the table as, whoever might be an adversary. The arrangement makes it so much harder to employ confrontational body ...

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Innovation as a Team Sport – Intuit

YOU: Fresh, dynamic, innovative entrepreneur or company. Relishes out-of-the-box thinking. Eager to deliver new product or service that improves the lives of millions. Web and social savvy. You think in the cloud – as in computing. US: $3 billion innovative software company. Searching for passionate, spirited people who want to bring new ideas and products to life. Believes innovation is ...

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Never Miss an Idea – The LiveScribe Pulse Smart Pen

Innovating is mental, visual, and vocal. Here is a new product to help capture…and coordinate…all three. It is called the PulseTM by Livescribe. The PulseTM is a smart pen that records and links audio to what your write, so you never miss a word…or an idea. The PulseTM will become a great tool for conducting innovation workshops. One of the ...

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