Psychology

Why Failure is an Innovation Aphrodisiac to Some

If you stick around innovation long enough you’ll probably come to believe that we are all dead-enders. After all, what group of people could willingly embrace as much failure with such a positive attitude? Failure, you’ll be reminded, is necessary for innovation. I like to quote the saying that my ski instructor told me years ago – “if you aren’t ...

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These 3 Cognitive Biases Can Kill Innovation

Probably the biggest myth about innovation is that it’s about ideas. It’s not. It’s about solving problems. The truth is that nobody cares about what ideas you have, they care about the problems you can solve for them. So don’t worry about coming up with a brilliant idea. If you find a meaningful problem, the ideas will come. The problem ...

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Great Ideas are NOT Accidental!

In 2010, I had an idea for a new product for the company I worked for. I had put together a business plan and presented it to the company’s CEO. A week later I presented it to the board of directors. My presentation was very well received, and the directors described the product as very innovative and “life-altering” for the ...

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Innovation Intelligence – 4 Thinking Tools for Innovators

This continues on from an Innovation Excellence blog I wrote last month about how personality types can influence innovation capability. https://innovationexcellence.com/blog/2019/10/03/5-psychological-traits-of-highly-innovative-organizations/  While many of the ideas in that article could also be applied to personal development, the primary focus was on how we behave, develop and recruit innovation capability in a team context.  But personality and thinking styles are obviously ...

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Fairness, Trust, and Innovation Culture

As noted in previous articles (You don’t have an Innovation Problem, You Have a Trust Problem! Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), trust is the foundation for a culture of innovation, and a culture of innovation is the foundation for innovation and the financial results from it. In this article, I will address one of the foundational components of trust: ...

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The Wrong Diagnosis means the Wrong Remedy

We tend to revere our clinicians as towering experts in their fields. So how often do you think doctors misdiagnose? How often might your doctor tell you that you have some illness or condition, but it’s not right? For example, a doctor might diagnose the flu, but the patient really has something much more serious – like Lyme Disease. You ...

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5 Psychological Traits of Highly Innovative Organizations

When creating an innovation team, we often put a lot of thought and effort into bringing the right functional expertise together. Making sure we have diverse marketing, design, engineering, product supply, finance, research and innovation working together early in the process is certainly smart. But for a team to deliver big, disruptive ideas that will have separation and longevity versus competition, ...

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How Behavioral Economics is Killing Innovation

When my daughter Maya was in middle school, she decided to repeat a behavioral economics experiment featured in Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational for her science project. In her experiment, she offered participants from the control group two options. Facebook access, she suggested, was going to cost money. It would cost $5 a month to access Facebook through your phone only, and ...

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We Overvalue Knowledge and Undervalue Ignorance

We value knowledge and certainty, and disdain ignorance and doubt. Ignorant is an adjective of derision. Perhaps we over-value knowledge and underestimate the power of ignorance; or should I say the awareness of ignorance. Why is this? Because knowledge can breed certainty, hubris and closed minds. We need to be open-minded and even doubtful about our knowledge because what was ...

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