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Analytics And Info Overload: Insights From eBay, Adobe, And Oracle by Adrian Ott

Are analytics a prescription for information overload? Three top Silicon Valley tech titans share views on what’s new in e-commerce and retailing.

Last week I moderated a panel for FountainBlue which explored the latest trends and opportunities in e-Commerce and Retail Analytics. This panel included three distinguished executive panelists from Oracle, eBay and Adobe, namely:

 

How Technology Makes Us Smarter by Greg Satell

Are we getting smarter or dumber?  That’s a question that goes back at least 2000 years to the time of Plato.

 

Why you need to break out of your network to innovate by Jorge Barba

Yesterday @JuhaLipponen shared his post on how gathering people from diverse backgrounds to brainstorm breeds new and fresh insights. This idea of bringing in outsiders to shake things up isn’t new, but it’s definitely one that you don’t find being practiced more widely.

 

“Service design” is what exactly? By John W Lewis

The term “service design” seems to have been cropping up in a variety of contexts recently. This sounds interesting, possibly useful and, perhaps even, ground breaking.

However, based on initial investigation, I am non-plussed and increasingly sceptical.

 

The Challenges of Real Change Required by Innovation Consultants by Paul Hobcraft

Recently I was reminded of an article by Daniel Krauss, writing on the Forrester blog site (http://blogs.forrester.com) about the “Path to Revolution In Management Consulting” which lead me to reply to his question of “what constitutes a management consulting firm 2.0?”

 

Ten Good Reasons Not To Delegate by Jesse Lyn Stoner

A few years ago, Frank, a senior leader, asked if I could run a training program to teach his people how to delegate better. When I asked him what problem the program would solve, he shared his frustration.

 

The big can, the small do by The Economist via @ralph_ohr

 

MIKE KONCZAL has written an interesting post considering whether large corporate oligopolists or small fry are more likely to do the heavy lifting of innovation. He quotes Arpit Gupta, who says:

 

Designing our library future: be involved or be forgotten by Zaana Howard

What is the future of the Library? What is the future of the Librarian? These are questions we hear and see discussed ad nauseum at conferences, in blogs, in our tea rooms. In reality the ‘future library’ has already snuck in the back door. We were just too focused on the discussion to notice.

 

Pixie Dust & The Mountain of Mediocrity by Hugh  Macleod

We’re always searching for that secret formula, that magic pixie dust to sprinkle over our products, services, books, causes, brands, blogs to bring them to life and make them Super Successful. Most marketing-related buzzwords gain traction by promising pixie dust results if applied to whatever it is we make, do, sell. “Add more Social!”. “Just need a Viral Video!” “It’s about the Storytelling!”. “Be Authentic!”

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Innovation Illusions: It’s not the idea it’s the action – innovation only exists when value is created in the market by Drew  CM

Creativity. Invention. These are core elements in the process of innovation. They are not innovation itself. Mistakenly identifying them as innovation creates confusion and dissatisfaction

 

Are You Climbing Hills or Crossing Valleys? By Tim Kastelle

One of the key issues we face in managing organisations is the state of the environment surrounding us. Is it stable or turbulent? This has an impact on our innovation strategy. In stable environments, we can afford to concentrate just on getting better at what we’re doing. However, in turbulent environments, we need to undertake more exploratory innovation efforts.

 

Design Thinking And Growth: What’s The Connection? Why Do We Need Growth? By Idris Mootee

The Harvard Design Thinking Semina was a great one. High quality particiapants and great turn out with beatiful New York City spring weather. Lunch on the rooftop is way better than a banquet room or a faculty’s dining hall.

 

Are Little Bets a recipe for better innovation? By Jorge Barba

A few weeks ago I reviewed Peter Sims new book on experimental innovation, Little Bets. Since then I’ve received emails from friends asking me for concrete examples of businesses doing experimental innovation as well as why this is a better approach to innovation.

 

6 Popular Ideas That Fail by Greg Satell

“Nobody ever gets fired for buying IBM” was once a popular belief that seems quaint now.  It’s hard to imagine that people used to buy IBM products simply because they were so dominant.

 

Asking the Important Questions: A Guide to Design Thinking And a Better Way to Serve Customers :  by Melba Kurman

Design thinking should be a way of life for senior managers. Melba Kurman spoke to Sara Beckman, design and innovation expert at Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, about how to apply design thinking to the innovation process.

 

What kind of impression do you want to leave? By Teresa Van Lanen

I attended a Women’s Business conference recently where I had the opportunity to meet women from many areas of the business world. We gathered in a large conference room which was full of buzzing energy. As usual I began my habit of observing the group and of sensing other’s energies. I doubled my efforts as we were being asked to pair up for an exercise to search out who I would pair up with.

 

Reducing the risk by Roger Martin

In the wake of the spectacular 2008 financial markets crash, much has been made of the fact that no one has been held to account. Life has returned to near normal, and other than the failures of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, little has changed in reaction to the mortgage meltdown.

 

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Creating ‘Places of Possibility’ by Rotman via Ralph-Ohr

With the analogue generation still in control of the organization and the digital generation performing the daily work, clashes are imminent and inevitable.

 

Make Little Bets for Innovation Success by Tim kastelle

To succeed at innovation, you need to be making a lot of little bets. What are little bets? According to Peter Sims in his excellent book called Little Bets, they are:

 

Caffeine: It Undermines Performance on Collaborative Tasks for Men, Enhances It For Women by Bob Sutton

I can’t believe that I missed this study reported by BPS research last January.  Way cool.  It compared the performance of men working in pairs to women working pairs.

 

Three Ways to Get the Most Out of Each Moment by Jesse Lyn Stoner

Learn from the past, plan for the future, and live in the present.

How can you have a vision and live in the present? Don’t you live for the future?

 

Rockstart Studios knows how to innovate by Jorge Barba

Yesterday I wrote about how innovation requires courage. It takes guts and vision to do something that is so remarkable, that it changes everything. Here then, is a great example.

 

The Surplus Society by Luke Williams

If you’re seeking disruptive innovation with a team—or even if you’re doing it alone—you need to identify the assumptions that seem to influence the way insiders (and often outsiders) think about your industry, segment, or category.

 

Going flat? Creating the freedom to succeed by Dov Seidman via Arie Goldshlager

What if leaders of flat organisations invested as much effort in inspiring people to build cultures without “boxes” by constructing a new mindset for the behaviour they want as they invest in deconstructing the vertical and functional restraints that limit space in hierarchical structures?

 

Design Thinking, Business Transformation And The Creative Enterprise. By Idris Mootee

It is time to take a look at the report card of our design for business organization, management and strategy. After half a century of quality movement, brand management, marketing and catefory management, globalization, customer service automation and organizational design fine-tuning, we should have a pretty good of idea of what is working and what is not.

 

What Are You Telling the World? By Kare Anderson

How do others perceive you? How well do you anticipate another person’s discomfort before the person freezes up and becomes paralyzed, withdrawn, or even destructive in a situation.

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How to Turn Anything from Adequate to Amazing by Bill Taylor via @ralph_ohr

If there’s one message I have stressed more than any other over the last few years, it is that it is not good enough to be pretty good at everything. The most successful companies, products, and brands have figured out how to become the most of something — not just adequate, but downright amazing.

 

Stop asking “why” by Dan Rockwell

I think you ask “why” too much and “what” too little. Asking “why” is a backward-facing activity that examines the past searching for excuses and someone to blame.  Asking “why” may be useful on the psychologist couch or in science class but it’s not as useful for leaders.

 

Trust Me, I’m a Scientist by Daniel T. Willingham

A friend of mine has long held that a vaccination his son received as an infant triggered his child’s autism. He clings to this belief despite a string of scientific studies that show no link between autism and vaccines.

 

Do you love creating? By Jorge Barba

Last week I asked if it’s possible to innovate without loving what you do. There were plenty of comments and the reactions were mixed. Most think it’s not possible because people have to be passionate about the work they do. I’m not going to argue with that.

 

Building a CEx that Creates Value for Customers… And for Companies by Graham Hill

Too many customer experiences are created just for the benefit of companies. Customer are either a target or an afterthought. Many customer experience practitioners don’t see the 900lb Gorilla in the room; the most important touch-points are not about marketing, sales or service, but about the weeks, months, even years of product usage

The Art of Momentum: Why Your Ideas Need Speed by Jocelyn K. Glei

In his wonderful book Musicophilia, neurologist Oliver Sacks describes Clive Wearing, a musician and musicologist whose memory was erased almost entirely after a severe brain infection.

Executive pay: fixing the game by Index B

On both sides of the Atlantic, there is widespread disquiet about bankers’ bonuses. Of course, this concern is closely tied up with the financial crisis and the belief that were those bankers in just about any other field they would have been allowed to fail rather than propped up by the state.

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How Open Innovation & Modularity Accelerate Innovation at PsionTeklogix by Andrea Meyer via @ralph_ohr

Point: Use open innovation and modularity to identify new product/service needs and accelerate your pace of innovation

 

Don’t look for examples, be the example by Jorge Barba

I have a client who has (so far) the only SaaS payroll management solution for small businesses in Mexico. This is both great and bad. Let me explain…

In our initial meeting I was told they used Workday as an example to follow. Their reasoning was that Workday has a very simple to use and intuitive interface, plus they are the ‘leaders’ in the field. The studied them rigorously and brought the same principles over to their solution.

 

The No. 1 Reason Companies Don’t Innovate by Deborah Mills Scofield

This saga of Congress, the White House and the budget is horrendous.  If they can’t agree on 1% of the budget for six months, can they really create a budget to cut the deficit and debt for a year?

You Have the Power to Choose Prosperity by Umair Haque

Our forebears struggled, toiled, fought, and sweated for generations to create a future better, wealthier, stronger than their own. The gifts they handed down — democracy, markets, justice, opportunity, reason, equality, liberty — are the fundamental institutions — the building blocks — of enduring, authentic prosperity.

What Do You Do with Criticism? By Robyn McMaster

 

During a state conference, when I began working with Ellen Weber, someone asked a question that I perceived totally “put down” brain research. Ever experience that?

 

Father as leader by John Maeda

I have regular open office hours for students, staff, and faculty — a practice that is often suggested for college presidents and for other leaders — the so-called “open door” philosophy. You learn all kinds of things about your organization when you do so.

 

Taking it home, part 2: passion, permission and prototyping by

Tom Maiorana via @ariegoldshlager

We just wrapped up a Design Thinking Bootcamp with 37 executives from around the globe. A few came from start-ups, others from large corporations. We even had a few folks from governmental agencies. Despite the difference in organizational backgrounds, one thing was on almost all of our participants’ minds: “How do we make design thinking work back home?”

 

What’s Political about Human Brains? By Ellen Weber

Have you ever wondered how political leaders’ brains work for or against ethics, reason and emotion?

News of political infighting, stalemates, accusations and posturing flood us daily.  We watch  opportunities for greatness fade, when political leaders  fail to grow emotional and rational skills to achieve what they campaigned for. But do you know why  brain operations differ between ethical and self-serving  public leaders?

 

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Design Thinking Is Failed Experiment? How Can That Be Because The Experiments Have Barely Started? Bruce, Not Too Fast! By Idris Mootee

This is my response to Bruce Nussbaum’s lastest Fast Company’s blog declaring “Design Thinking” is over and that he is moving on to something new. He is calling it “Creative Quotient” which is really his new book, I was wondering why he would make that statement.

 

Mental Bodybuilding for Knowledge Workers by Riitta Raesmaa

I stumbled upon a beautiful video about Michael Wolff, an acknowledged British graphic designer. I am not a part of the design professionals’ clan, but his message touched me. I think his way of thinking is applicable to all of us knowledge workers who are trying to cope with the changing work environment.

 

Is subtractive thinking the new normal? By Jorge barba

Apple is on everybody’s minds these days. Yesterday, along with my partner and new team member ( @dario_rivera), I was talking to a client about a few observations we had about some processes in their restaurant operation and how we think they are creating bottlenecks.

 

Innovation Without Entrepreneurship Doesn’t Make A Lucrative Business by Andrew Penny via @ralph_ohr

A lot has been said about creating an Innovative Culture. Research labs, government departments and agencies are all trying to figure out just how to make us innovate. The thought being that innovation equals wealth creation.

 

Understanding the Language of Innovation by H. James Wilson via @ariegoldshlager

We all know innovation has its own language conventions, rich with revolutions, evolutions, ecosystems, and more. This may seem like a harmless dialect that simply reflects the nature of the work.

 

Structure, Agency and Open Innovation by Greg Sattel

As a young student, Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner took up physics because he felt stupid in math class.  John von Neumann, his classmate at the Fasori Gimnázium and one of the great mathematical geniuses of the 20th century, was simply in another league.

 

The Antibodies Sitting in the Innovation Petri Dish by Paul Hobcraft

For many years I’ve been fascinated by these ‘Corporate Antibodies’ that we find in that classic management pathology that instinctively rejects and refuses to alter its ways, so as to protect itself.

 

The AIR Model (Action, Intention, Result)by Sinan Alhir

Human nature and every human endeavor can generally be explored as a Meaningfully-Purposeful Enterprise relative to two dimensions, a system dimension and a socio-cultural dimension, with hundreds if not thousands of perspectives/paradigms, models, bodies of knowledge, etc.

 

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THE DARK SIDE OF BEST PRACTICES by Michael Wade via @ariegoldshlager

How can you possibly argue with best practices? These practices are, more often than not, superior to your own. Indeed, best practices embody how the best firms within an industry conduct business. By adopting them, you can share in that success. So, if they are better than what you currently have, and they are proven to be effective in your industry, then why not make the switch?

 

The Power of Synthesis and the Problem with Experts by Greg Sattel

How much do we need specialized experts for the information economy?

If history is any guide, probably not much.  It makes little sense for capable people to spend an entire career doing the same job when they would probably be much more effective if they gained experience in more than one area.

 

Are you Benevolent Dictator or BrainPowered Facilitator? By Ellen Weber

10 Key differences between…Leader traits.

 

The Rotman Design Challenge: A Review by Helen Walters

In recent years, calls for a more creative or innovative approach to, well, pretty much everything but our financial instruments, have become more pointed. As the western economy in particular has evolved away from its industrial roots and as the Internet has wrought digital havoc on the old, understood ways of doing things, so have many accepted that the education of those who will effectively lead progress toward a healthy, sustainable future must also shift — and fast.

 

Insultants not Consultants: Balancing Mastery and Questioning by Jorge Barba

Though people/clients see me as a Consultant, I’ve never really liked the label of Consultant and don’t really consider myself one because I don’t specialize. I’m more of an ‘Insultant in Residence’, not a Consultant.

 

Get in touch with your Inner Jester to have a more joyful life by Teresa Van Lanen

Here I am just recently flying a kite on the beach and laughing. Having fun and laughing on vacation is not too hard to do for most of us. But at times finding our inner jester can be difficult. With April fools day upon us I felt this topic would make a great article, enjoy!

 

Four Roadblocks for a Corporate Network Culture by Stefan Lindegaard

In working with companies that are trying to build a networking culture, here are some reasons I’ve identified for why such efforts can fail or not reach the hoped-for degree of success.

 

The art of innovation by Kate Oakley, Brooke Sperry and Andy Pratt via @ralph_ohr

In the 21st century, the UK’s economic competitiveness and social wellbeing will increasingly depend on our ability to innovate. A significant part of the innovation process revolves around ‘creativity’ – the ability to generate new ideas, or to restructure and redeploy old ones.

 

When Customer Rebellion Becomes Open Revolution by Umair Haque

What if your business isn’t just fundamentally ill-equipped to survive and thrive in the 21st century — but is actually unequipped for it?

 

Art and design in service of our world by John Maeda

I’m on a video call with the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Councils that links together experts across the world in response to global challenges. The topic of our call is centering around the situation in Japan. Prof. Toshiko Mori of Harvard shared how there is a gallery in Tokyo that is informing citizens, using art and design, as to how one-third of the electricity in Tokyo utilizes the failed nuclear powered plants — and the importance of saving energy right now in Tokyo.

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Putting Higher Principles into Innovation Management: How to Be Guided by The Classical Approach to People by Deb Mills-Scofield

As innovation becomes a prevalent activity in organizations is it time to rethink how we approach the culture of innovative people? Deborah Mills-Scofield who previously worked with Bell Labs and now consults on innovations practice, argues we need a return to timeless values if we are going to make innovation sustainable.

 

Why Customer Services isn’t always that important! By Wim Rampen

When reading “the web” one could be lead to think that a company’s poor Customer Services is the worst that could happen. Any mistake in this area would easily set off negative word-of-mouth. Armed with Social Media the “crowds” will seriously harm the brand(ed) reputation, seriously damaging a company’s growth opportunity. Some even consider Customer Services the new Marketing. The importance of Customer Services though, which in lots of cases is considered to be the same as the importance of a company’s (multi channel) customer services contact center, can easily be overrated.

 

A Lesson in Engaged Artistry by Gianpiero Petriglieri via Ralph Ohr

Orchestra conductors are surely overexploited by management thinkers to describe what effective leaders do in organizations. They attract and inspire talent, strive for excellence, discipline improvisation, foster innovation, set pace, build and resolve tension, and transform potential cacophony into melodious harmony—all with unique, personal style.

 

Innovation starts with empathy by Jorge Barba

A recent article on Fast Co. Design ‘Innovation always starts with empathy‘ got me thinking about empathy and for some reason I remembered the above text from  Colours of the wind from Disney’s Pocahontas.

 

14 smart tips from single women entrepreneurs by Daniel Pink

Erin Albert is a multi-talented, multi-tasking pharmacy professor at Butler University (Go Bulldogs! Beat Wisconsin!) who runs a couple of businesses and is pursuing a law degree on the side. Since she obviously has lots of time on her hands, she’s also just written a book.

 

“Design Thinking” Isn’t a Miracle Cure, but Here’s How It Helps by Helen Walters

The term has come in for a lot of scorn. But it’s because we haven’t been clear about what it actually entails, argues Helen Walters.

 

How Innovation and IT Drive Productivity by Andrea Meyer

Point: Getting maximum benefit from innovation requires new organizational practices

Story: In their book Wired for Innovation, Erik Brynjolfsson and Adam Saunders show how innovation and IT drive productivity growth. Productivity growth explains how cars, for  example, went from costing an average of three years of salary a century ago to costing only seven months of salary today

 

How Technology Evolves by Greg Sattel

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if technology is something to love or to fear. Are computers making us smarter or dumbing us down? Are genetically modified foods a miracle or a menace?

 

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12 Sparks for Heads-Up Creativity by Robyn McMaster

Do you find your creativity at a lull and needing a jolt at times?  For extra spark, gain insights from leaders and designers to jump-start your creativity.  Consider the following:

 

Three Steps for Inventing the Future by Tim Kastelle

That’s the idea that framed yesterday’s post – Where’s My Flying Car? I argued that as innovators, our job is to invent the future – and that in doing so, instead of trying to come up with something that has never existed before, like a flying car, we’re better off trying to figure out how things that already exist can be redesigned so that they mean something completely new.

 

Why I’m Glad I Got Fired by Nilofer Merchant via @timkastelle and @ralph_ohr

I came to be an expert on collaboration because Carol Bartz both hired me and fired me — within 18 months. Here’s what happened.

 

Creativity – Risk or Regret? By Ellen Weber

If you agree with Sir Ken Robinson that creativity gets clobbered at school, you’ll likely also agree it takes risk to create and lead a finer future.

 

Making creative connections: What matters is that you make them by Jorge Barba

While there are a lot of organizations that aggregate trends (see Trend Hunter and Trend Watching to name a few), people often ask me how believable those trends are and if they should be arriving at the same conclusions while doing their own trend hunting.

 

Game Mechanics and Landscape Design for Customer Value Creation by  Riitta Raesmaa

I recently met a marketing professional who had seen the “social light”, or should I say Social Business Light. He was stressed about the fact that most of his colleagues and the management “don’t understand the value of social media and what is happening within marketing communication”. Very familiar set up!

 

The Power of Observing and Talking to Real Humans by Bob Sutton

Although Good Boss, Bad Boss focuses more squarely on the relationship between bosses and their immediate charges, one of the main themes of the book — following a design-thinking view of the world — is that the best bosses go to great lengths to develop empathy for both the people they lead and the customers served by their teams and organizations. 

 

“Build to Fail” And “Fail To Build” Can Have Different Meanings. To Fail Is Part Of To Build. To Fail Is To Hep To Build To Last. I Hope I’m Not Confusing You. By Idris Mootee

In London this week, fully packed with meetings. Staying at St. Marins Lane and it is one of my favourite hotels in London. Both for style and location even I am not the saturday night crowd that hangs out in the cocktail lounge. I am getting a lot of work done writing and editing for the next issue of M/I/S/C. Deadline is a few days away.

 

Innovation – Matching Needs and Solutions by Ralph Ohr

While revisiting some collected innovation readings, I recognized that it might be important to briefly emphasize again one “fundamental”: the distinction between needs and solutions.

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Don’t Push Rocks, Roll Snowballs by Tim Kastelle

Innovation is the process of idea management. One of the critical steps to successful innovation is getting your idea to spread. Hugh MacLeod’s outstanding new book Evil Plans has a lot about how to get your ideas to spread more effectively. One of his tenets is that we should create random acts of traction.

 

How to Approach Open Innovation: The 15inno Open Innovation Roadmap by Stefan Lindegaard

As we can define open innovation in many ways, there are also many different approaches to open innovation.

How do you get started? OVO Innovation has developed a topology that builds on two defining attributes. It is a good inspirational starter.

 

No Vision = No Innovation by Jeffrey Phillips

My son shocked my wife last night by announcing that he didn’t think the space program had anything to offer mankind.  He had been assigned a paper in his middle school English class in which he needed to make a provocative point and sustain his argument with facts.

 

Bridging the innovation planning gap by Michael Fruhling

In a 2010 McKinsey survey of over 2,000 corporate executives, 84% said that innovation was very or extremely important to their company’s future growth. However, 40% claimed that they select their new ideas on an ad hoc basis. Further, 57% agreed that while they execute well against the few new ideas that they had… they needed more big ideas.

 

Spanish Princess or Female Conquistador? By Marion Chapsal

Ana Patricia Botin is the woman leader number 8 in my series of Women and 12 Leadership Styles. She represents The Moderator/ Persuader dilemna, with a strong preference for The Moderator, although…I’m not so sure anymore!

 

Why you shouldn’t ignore your customers by Jorge Barba

My blog was offline for two days because my former hosting (got a new one, hurray Blue Host!) shut me down. According to them my blog was using excessive resources and so had to be shut down immediately. In other words, is getting a lot of traffic and we can’t handle you.

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