Wake Up the Passion to Innovate
Innovation is a big fat generic concept in most corporations -- like life on other planets or ending the war in Iraq.
Unless the individuals within an organization have a genuine sense of urgency, personal ownership, and an authentic passion for innovation, nothing much will happen.
innovation from the inside out within the mind of each person. Corporate initiatives that fail to awaken the human instinct to innovate are doomed, no matter how many pep talks, tote bags, or t-shirts proliferate.
For me, as an innovation consultant, it is clear that the short amount of time I have with my clients needs to be devoted to awakening the passion to innovate.
Tools, techniques, theory, data, models, bibliographies, business cases, best practices, and the fabulous muffins served on breaks are all fine, but it is the passion to innovate that is the real driver of success.
No passion, no innovation. Plain and simple.
Unfortunately, most organizations squash passion. This is why start-ups have a much easier time innovating than Fortune 500 companies. And that's why savvy Fortune 500 companies recreate the feeling of start-uppiness whenever they can.
The best thing any consultant can do when working with an organization is to hold up a mirror and ask their clients what they see.
Are they modeling what it means to be innovative? Or are they asking other people to do what they themselves have not done?November 28, 2010
You are trying
to boil water,
but keep taking
the lid off
if it's boiling.
Not a good idea.
If you really
want a breakthrough,
from the distractions
on what you really want
It's possible -
if even only for a day.
November 26, 2010
Virtual Innovation Coaching
Aspiring innovators have a lot going for them -- big ideas, inspiration, and the willingness to work hard. What they usually don't have is time, meaningful feedback, and the knack for discovering elegant solutions on the fly.
Why? Because they tend to work alone.
Faced with the challenge of balancing right-brain thinking with the left-brain demands of monetizing the fruits of their labor, they are frequently stranded between two worlds -- the world of infinite possibility and the world of "getting the product out the door."
The result? Confusion, doubt, and brick walls...
Historically, aspiring innovators have had few options: 1) Struggle in obscurity; 2) Scramble for a collaborator; 3) Seek the council of (only occasionally available) friends, family, and colleagues.
With the extraordinary rise of the internet, however, a fourth option is now available -- a way for entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and anyone with an inspired idea to get the support they need to increase their odds of success.
Think of this fourth option as a kind of "innovation insurance" -- a virtual network of skilled allies, advisors, and brainstorm partners with the time and expertise to help aspiring innovators get over the hump.
And so... I am happy to announce that Idea Champions has decided to launch this much-needed service by January 15th.
At this stage of the game, we're still tuning into the need. Which is why we're asking for three minutes of your time, now, to respond to our online poll . We want to know what you find compelling about our new venture.
If you want to be notified when The Power of Two launches in January, click here.November 23, 2010
The Wisdom of Steve Jobs
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." -- Steve Jobs
Innovation as a Happy Accident
A little known fact about innovation is that many breakthroughs have not been the result of genius, but "happy accidents" -- those surprise moments when an answer revealed itself for no particular reason.
The discovery of penicillin, for example, was the result of Alexander Fleming noting the formation of mold on the side of petri dish left uncleaned overnight.
Vulcanized Rubber was discovered in 1839 when Charles Goodyear accidentally dropped a lump of the polymer substance he was experimenting with onto his wife's cook stove.
More recently, 3M's post-it was also the result of an accident in the lab.
Breakthroughs aren't always about invention, but the intervention required, by the aspiring innovator, to notice something new, unexpected, and intriguing.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Think about a recent project, pilot, or business of yours that did not turn out the way you expected.
2. Ask yourself if any of the unexpected results offer you a clue or insight about how you might proceed differently.
3. Instead of interpreting your results as "failure," consider the fact that the results are simply nature's way of getting you to see something new -- something that merits further exploration.November 12, 2010
Friends, Roamers, and Countrymen!
A few days ago, I was nominated by a leading speaker's bureau as one of the top speakers in the field of innovation and creativity.
Now the fun begins, or should I say "the voting."
I can't promise I will lower taxes, but I can promise I will raise awareness of what it really takes to innovate.
Casting your ballot takes less than a minute. (Thank you!!!)November 11, 2010
Creativity is free.
It doesn't cost a thing.
You don't need
to pay a penny for it,
but you do need
to pay something --
and that is your
How can you expect
to create something awesome
if you keep getting
distracted all the time?
If you want to
open your mind,
you need to
close your door.
Build a Business Case!
November 03, 2010
Attention, right brainers!
have a great idea.
I know you
are pumped, excited,
is the next Facebook
or yoyo or whatever.
But it's not enough
for YOU to be convinced.
If you want your idea
you'll need to
and that will require
some left brain
business case building.
You can do this!
Fast Forward to 2100
While no one
what the future holds,
it's always useful
to do a bit of projecting.
90 years from now.
and the project you are
most committed to
is in full swing,
being enjoyed by
the children of your
What clues do you get
from this scenario
that can help you
shape your product, service,
or marketing approach, now?