The Risk of Not Innovating
JUNE 21, 2016
I recently was a guest blogger for Gibson Insurance and I wrote this piece about the risk of Not Innovating. I’ll make the point again here — with fewer words. For more detail, read my post over at Gibson. Risk Aversion is a Risk Itself.
Fast Company’s Brainstorming Fail
AUGUST 16, 2016
Fast Company Article “Brainstorming is Dumb” Misses the Point. Brainstorming, Done Properly, Is Not a Tool, It’s A Multi-Step Process. Here we go again. And yet another major publication publishes a misleading article about brainstorming — Brainstorming is Dumb.
Retro Motorcycles Signal Innovation In Goshen, IN
SEPTEMBER 26, 2016
Manufacturing in America — Using the Past to Create an Innovative Future. It’s heartening to learn about a small USA manufacturer who’s doing something creative, new, and intere sting. Janus Motorcycles in Goshen, Indiana is creating hand-crafted, small batch motorcycles.
Three Sad Innovation Lessons From Radio Shack
APRIL 9, 2015
Keep Punching, Stay True to Yourself and Trends, Make Things. The demise of Radio Shack., it’s depressing. Much like Kodak you read the history of events and can point to several ideas not done that could have saved them. You can also point to many ideas they tried that were clearly the wrong bets. Hindsight is better than foresight, but still, if they’d stuck to their original values they might have survived.
Three Keys to Accelerating Innovation through Connecting and Collaborating Outside your Organization
Speaker: Gordon Vala-Webb, Author, Speaker and Consultant, Building Smarter Organizations
From his upcoming book, Building Smarter Organizations, Gordon will do a deep dive into connecting and collaborating with those outside your organization to accelerate innovation. Gordon will provide practical strategies to connecting and working with the "nearside" of suppliers, partners and alumni in order to accelerate innovation.
DECEMBER 17, 2015
Time to Plan for 2016 Innovation Now. This time of year it’s natural to get an innovation plan in place — if you’re not there already — the time is now. Talking to customers about their innovation efforts I’m hearing regrets in December.
Damaged Pure Michigan Brand Impedes Economic Development
FEBRUARY 2, 2016
Pure Michigan is a Damaged Brand. As a Michigan resident I’ve followed the developments in Flint with a mixture of horror, sadness, outrage, and confusion. This post is not about political blame.
Baby Steps To Breakthrough In Regional Economic Development
MARCH 5, 2015
Creativity, Innovation, and Economic Development — Embracing the Challenge. Better Questions Means Better Answers for Regional Economic Development. It’s about Attitudes, Projects, and Baby Steps. Economic Development is important and challenging work.
Nine Ways to Play at Work
MAY 2, 2016
Nine Ways to Play At Work (see list below). The idea that one should invoke a sense of play around challenges is not a new one.
Building A Collaborative Innovation Playbook
Speaker: Greg Satell, Innovation Advisor, Speaker and Author
For his upcoming book, Greg Satell has researched how people and organizations successfully innovate. We are excited to have Greg join us for a session that will draw upon these insights and provide a playbook for how to define the right innovation strategies for your organization to overcome the specific challenges that your organization faces and dramatically improve your innovation effectiveness.
Dance Your Challenge
MAY 13, 2016
Shake Your Booty. The Creativity and Innovation point of this blog takes about three paragraphs to develop, so business readers, let me tell you a brief story to set it up.
The Flaming Lips and Economic Development
MARCH 13, 2015
Consider Attending the Creativity World Forum 2015. As many of you know I’ve participated in the annual State of Creativity Forum in Oklahoma for several years.
Intrapreneurship Chicago 2016
MAY 10, 2016
In recent years I’ve become a bit anti-conference. I still go to some but I find the formats tired. The formula favors big name authors and speakers who sometimes miss the mark. The agenda is so jammed you don’t have time to talk to your peers.
Seven Essentials of an Effective Innovation Project Manager
JANUARY 23, 2015
Outsourcing innovation project management might be the most strategic money you spend this year. It’s not a new idea but it’s one more companies should consider. It sure beats doing nothing. See my Seven Essentials for hiring below.
Projects Are How Innovation Happens
AUGUST 30, 2016
Projects, Projects, Projects. Innovation is complex and difficult — but one thing about it is not. What’s quite simple about innovation is that projects are what make innovation real. The following concepts, frameworks, approaches, etc. are Not Innovation.
A Strategic Approach to Open Innovation
Speaker: Jeffrey Phillips, Senior Consultant, OVO Innovation
This action-packed session examined the critical questions you should ask as you establish an open innovation framework: which technologies or ideas? Which partners and how many? Which methods? By taking a strategic approach to open innovation, you’ll find the right ideas or partners more effectively, and you’ll accelerate new products to market more quickly. This was a great session you don’t want to miss.
Graphene Application Challenge Prize?
NOVEMBER 23, 2015
The Graphene Challenge. Graphene is a new material that is just in its infancy in terms of commerical usage. It’s from graphite, the stuff in pencils.
Paying Lip Service to Developing Entrepreneurs
NOVEMBER 20, 2015
There is a very frightening trend happening in the USA. We are not growing entrepreneurs. What is it we believe in our capitalist country? Isn’t it something like this: Anybody who works very hard, has a bit of talent and a good idea, can start something, grow it, and do well. .
10 Elements of an Innovation Mandate
APRIL 26, 2016
Getting a Mandate to Innovate is Key. Larger companies typically have an innovation process in place. They don’t always work, but the majority of the Fortune 1000 has some kind of innovation process or system. There is an implied consent then, to innovate, at those organizations.
Five Magic Imagination Guidelines
MARCH 26, 2016
Five Magic Imagination Guidelines. You hear it so often that it becomes one of those things that you really don’t think about it. “Use your imagination” is the phrase or thought that I’m talking about. I believe that many of us actually fear our own imagination.
6 Keys to Making Collaborative Innovation Successful
Speaker: Soren Kaplan, Founder of InnovationPoint
We are excited to launch the Collaborative Innovation Webinar Series with Dr. Soren Kaplan. His just released book, "The Invisible Advantage," provides actionable insights into how any organization can create a culture of innovation, an environment that promotes freethinking, an entrepreneurial spirit, and sustainable value creation at all levels and across all functions. By registering for the webinar, you will get a free excerpt from his book.
Trump: Learn to Steal Smart
JULY 19, 2016
Stealing Smart and Stealing Stupid. Melania Trump’s speech last evening at the GOP convention, and today’s subsequent media uproar and fiasco, is symbolic of several things in my view. Summarizing my themes here: Competence, Theft, and Ideas (or lack of them).
“Open For Business” is a Promise Made
MARCH 27, 2015
Open for Business . It’s a real joy when a business opens its doors for the first time. “Open for Business” sounds and feels like hope and possibility to me. Starting a new business is where creativity blossoms and where innovation is made real.
Six Ideas for Coping with Little “d” Depression in Innovation Projects
MAY 26, 2016
Innovation and Depression. …Six Ideas for Coping with Little “d” Depression… Nobody talks about the dark emotions related to innovation. You hear about the emotional high of a big “aha” moment.
Domain Knowledge Matters Donald Trump
AUGUST 27, 2015
Call me king of the obvious but I’d like to remind folks about something related to leadership, innovation, and the upcoming election. Domain Knowledge Matters. I’m not taking political sides here but I’m going to make a point about Donald Trump’s candidacy.
The Leadership of Open Innovation
Speaker: Paul Sloane, Director, Destination Innovation
Paul Sloane is a well-known author and speaker on open innovation. In this session, Paul takes us through examples of successful open innovation programs to explore the breadth of what open innovation can be for organizations and the value it can bring. This was a great session you don’t want to miss.
Innovation 2015 or Five Lame Excuses?
JANUARY 18, 2015
Death or Kryptonite? From Superman Wiki. I have a vinyl record with one of those strategic skips that has it repeating — it drives me nuts — but I still play the record because I love the song so much. The song is Jimmy Olsen’s Blues by the Spin Doctors.
Innovation Strategy Power Tools
JULY 29, 2016
Challenge Mapping & IdeaKeg. Do you want to cut through the clutter when it comes to innovation strategy? Are you sorting through plans for year-end strategy and ideation sessions? Are you at the very front end of innovation and not sure where to go, where to start?
Invest in Innovation Skill Building
DECEMBER 9, 2016
Invest in Your Innovation Capacity. In my various consulting engagements I have learned not to take much for granted. I thought by this year in history (2016) everyone in the business world would have a clue as to how to do ideation (aka brainstorming) properly. Wow, not even close.
Ten Things United Airlines Might Have Done
APRIL 10, 2017
Improving Customer Service at United Airlines Requires a Paradigm Shift and Recognizing They Have a Problem. Creative Training Would Have Helped. 10 Things United Airlines Might Have Done (see below). Once again we have an incident of extremely poor customer service from a major airline.
Models, Strategies and Tactics for Accelerating Innovation through Collaboration Outside the Organization
Speaker: Paul Campbell, VP of Innovation, Schneider Electric
We are excited to have Paul Campbell, an expert in corporate entrepreneurship, covering some of the strategies and tactics he has repeatedly used to transform corporate innovation programs. In this session, Paul shares his experience innovating in new and adjacent markets through a deft deployment of open innovation, business accelerators, venturing, M&A, R&D, business development and strategy team leadership.
Get a Grip on Innovation — 10 Questions, 20 Minutes
JANUARY 4, 2017
Get a Grip on Innovation — 10 Questions, 20 Minutes. Ten questions for you to focus on assessing the state of your organization’s innovation program. Twenty minutes to learn something and take action steps.
The Founder, Innovation On Film
APRIL 6, 2017
Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc in The Founder. The Founder, Lessons in Innovation. The Founder , starring Michael Keaton as McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc , is the best film about innovation since Moneyball in 2011.
Consumer Brutal, Chase Bank
JUNE 1, 2015
Yesterday’s Innovation is Today’s Expectation. I do my banking online, as much as is possible. As an innovation it’s remarkable — not having to mail checks to pay bills is wonderful. Online banking saves me time. Checking balances, transferring money, having online records to reference, it’s all very convenient. It’s magic. Until it isn’t. I bank with Chase, more formally known as JP Morgan Chase.
Colorado Innovation Training
JANUARY 26, 2017
A brief post to make sure you know about the upcoming Denver, CO public course in Advanced Innovation Facilitation. This is a high value training. It’s partially sponsored so the price is much lower than usual. Here’s a page with details. It’s next week Starting Wednesday February 1, continuing on Feb 2, finishing at noon on Feb.
Case Study: How EDF Energy Improved Innovation by Focusing on Customer Centricity
Shetal Edwards, Head of Innovation Partnerships at EDF Energy, discusses how EDF Energy used ideation and collaboration to identify opportunities to improve customer experience and took action.
Small “i” Insights or Large “I” Insights Yield Different Innovation
FEBRUARY 17, 2017
World’s first ATM at Charring Cross in London, 1968. Qualitative Consumer Verbatims Lead Directly to New and Improved Ideas. Disruptive Innovation Requires Reframing of Consumer Words and Need States.
Innovate Innovation Policy
JANUARY 30, 2017
Why a Hostile Immigration Policy is Stupid. Who remembers George Gilder? He’s a relevant person to recall at this moment in time. George Gilder said in 1995: “Without immigration over the last 50 years, I would estimate that U.S. real living standards would be at least 40% lower.”
Confederacy of Creative Effectiveness
JANUARY 10, 2017
Creative Effectiveness 2017. What if 2017 turned out to be the most creative year of your life? More than creative, what if 2017 was the most creatively effective year of your life? There’s a difference.
Dirty Martini Sunset
JULY 8, 2016
Just for fun. Had a Dirty Martini on the deck at the Stray Dog in New Buffalo, MI. Good times. Art and Photography by Gregg Fraley Creativity and Self-Expression cocktails photography sunset
Proven Strategy: How to Harness the Voice of the Customer to Solve Business Challenges
How do you leverage insights gained from customers, contact centers, and other customer support functions to solve your top business challenges? Gareth, VP of Product Management at Spigit, shares a proven strategy that will help you do just that.