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Improving Your Idea Generating Skills… by  Paul Williams

A hunch is your creativity trying to tell you something” – Unknown

So where do you find yourself and what are you doing when you get a great idea…or any idea?

I’ll bet that you said something close to one of these:

Cultivating Innovation When The Future Is Unknowable by Joe Brewer via Ralph-Ohr

Sometimes what we think we know is more consequential than what we actually know.  As we nestled into our beds on the night of September 10th, 2001 most of us did not know that we would awaken to a terrorist attack that would unleash a decade of global unrest.

Before You Decide Vision Is Passé: 8 Reasons Why Vision Matters by Jesse Lyn Stoner

Have you ever been part of a team that magically came together? -where everyone thoroughly enjoyed being part of the team, worked together in synchronicity, and where you were really proud of what you accomplished?

The Rise of Shared Value by Arie Goldshlager

The JWT’s trendspotters recently included The Rise of Shared Value in their Top Ten trends for 2012:

Large Organizations and the Business Model Canvas by Paul Hobcraft

Recently I was having a ‘conversation’ with Alexander Osterwalder concerning the limited adoption of the Business Model Canvas within large organizations. I was asking him if he agreed and if he had any thoughts on this.

                                                                                                                                                 How permission to innovate leads to accidental innovation by Jorge Barba

Two weeks ago I wrote about the four signs that show that you have a culture of innovation. Well here’s another one:

A good sign that you’re innovating is when employees don’t ask for permission to do so. They just do it.

Use Your Value Proposition to Avoid Fatal Business Models by Tim Kastelle

What do you think of when you think of Swiss Watches?

You probably think of high-end brands, that have been making well-crafted watches for many years. Brands like Rolex, or Patek Philippe, or George Clooney and his Omega:

2012 – The Year of the Interface by Greg Satell

Besides his impressive array of trysts, Captain Kirk had very little on today’s average Joe. Personal communicators are now old hat, tricorders are right around the corner and even teleportation no longer seems completely out of reach.

Reinventing Collaboratively by Deborah Mills-Scofield

After co-creating on Business Model Generation with author Alex Osterwalder, I received an invitation from Steve Denning to review a book he was writing on transforming management (The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management).

Are You Standing Out Today? By Nilofer Merchant

People buy two categories of things.

The distinct. And the generic.

The distinct items are the things that have a limited commodity, that are artisan in nature, that are worth paying a premium for. They stand out for some reason. The generic items are, well, the things you find on Amazon.

Have a nice week!

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You Get Better at What You Do by Tim Kastelle 

If you want to get better at innovation, you have start innovating more.

That probably sounds obvious, but in practice, not all that many people do it.

I was reminded of this by an interesting post by John Gruber discussing Apple’s transition to cloud computing. It includes this section:


10 Divergent Strategies – Break through the Box! By Robyn McMaster

Why is it that creative people tend to break rules? Innovators imagine something that will work better. They don’t like being boxed in, but somehow have a glint in their eyes for the adventure of a challenge. Is that where you see yourself?


Why Trends Are For Suckers by Greg Satell

It feels good to be trendy.  You can be sure that you’ll have a lot of company.  And that’s exactly the problem.  It’s easy to go wrong when everybody around you thinks it’s right.


Paradox of Innovation & Intellectual Property by Deb Mills-Scofield

Yesterday was the 3rd Open Innovation Summit at BW‘s Center for Innovation & Growth: Practical Challenges of Global Open Innovation featuring P&G.  Too much happened for one post so I’m going to do one on each panelist’s story and discussion, starting with Kelly McDow, Associate General Counsel for P&G’s Connect+Develop.


A Cool Neurological Explaination for the Power of Small Wins by Bob Sutton

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a huge fan of the power of small wins, and following Karl Weick’s classic article, have argued in Good Boss, Bad Boss and here at HBR that big hairy goals cause people to freak-out and freeze-up if they aren’t broken down into smaller stepping stones.


Seven Steps To Better Brainstorming. Or May Be There Are More. Is Brainstorming The Right Word? By Idris Mootee

Let’s start with this…this is not the best title. I really don’t like the word “brainstorming.” It means a group of people getting together to generate a lot of deas for the solution of a problem.


Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future By Diane Jacobsen

Traditional business thinking has generally followed a linear, compartmentalized process that molded the sum of its various known parts into a logical, pragmatic solution. This process was born primary out of the dawn of manufacturing, which attenuated the sequenced progression, and didn’t allow for continuous discovery, collaboration, rapid prototyping, or integrated thinking.


We Have Designed, We Build, You Will Runby by Thierry de Baillon

However we want to call it, Enterprise 2.0, social business or collaborative whatsitsname, what we are watching now is a vendors-claimed increasing evolution toward maturity of leading platforms. During its last symposium, the Gartner Group held a session entitled “Managing Social Software Maturity: Supporting Pioneers and Settlers“, and is predicting a near-billion figure for the social software market in 2011.


The Cycle of Innovation (Closing Thoughts) by Paul Williams via Ralph Ohr

Hopefully our step-by-step review of the Continuous Innovation Loop has been helpful.  I wanted to use a separate blog entry to focus on how the individual steps link together.

 Have a nice week!




Be More Innovative Today – Make Fresh Insightful Connections by Tim Kastelle

Fresh insightful connections.”

That’s how Rishad Tobaccowala defines innovation in a terrific post today called Becoming Innovative.

I think this is a great way to think about innovation. I’ve already said that connecting ideas is the fundamental creative act in innovation, so it was great to see Rishad say this:

Moleskine + Evernote: Idea capture heaven by Jorge Barba

Do you know how we get ideas when we’re not thinking about problems? I don’t know about you but I’ve never gotten good ideas in the middle of a brainstorm, I’ve gotten them after the brainstorm when I’m not even thinking about problems.

How a Botanist helped in the design of your computer and TV by Paul Sloane

Liquid crystals represent a state of matter which exists between solid and liquid states. They were first discovered in 1888 by Austrian botanist Friedrich Reinitzer who was studying cholesterol at the Charles University in Prague.

Observing – the Mother of All Discovery Skills by Yann Cramer Blogging Innovation

Observing is a critical skill for people willing to increase their innovation capability. It is critical because observing customers will reveal behavior patterns that they have unknowingly developed to compensate for some inconvenience that could be removed or for some unmet need to could be addressed more fully

How Leaders Can “Walk The Talk” for Innovation…    by Paul Williams

I list leadership engagement in the first spot on that list for a reason.  It is certainly the most important factor for innovation success within an organization.  Without true engagement by at least one executive leader (preferably all), innovation will never gain the traction it needs to be considered as a true business discipline, gain the resources it needs to succeed or develop the process depth required to make it effective, efficient and repeatable.


A Consultant’s Approach to Open Innovation by Stefan Lindegaard

What does a consultant focus on when having a first talk with a potential client looking for help on open innovation issues?

Let me share my thoughts on this. Perhaps other consultants – or someone from the client side – will share more insights on this.

Brand-Driven Innovation by Erik Roscam Abbing and Christa van Gessel –  via Arie Goldshlager

As the nature of innovation shifts from the application of new technology to the delivery of meaning and value, brand and design become critical resources, as well as partners, in the development of market-leading products and services. Erik Roscam Abbing and Christa van Gessel provide an overview and case studies of this process as it moves from “brand usability” to “innovation strategy” to “design strategy” to “touch-point orchestration.”


Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action – via Ralph-Christian  Ohr – Talks TED

Some very good readings I must share!


When The Future is Open and Global… – by Stefan Lindegaard – 15inno

I have decided to look further on the ideas of Hamel and his colleagues through an open innovation perspective and combine this with my belief that the future of innovation – and perhaps business in general – will be open and global.


Are You Killing Innovation in Your Company (Without Even Knowing It)? by Holly G. Green – Blogging Innovation

I agree that we need to train our leaders better on how to manage innovation. And we could certainly allocate more money and resources in that direction. But it can start with an even simpler approach of identifying and eliminating all the different ways we unintentionally shut down good ideas with the way we talk. Of course, this does require we become aware of our own thinking process and reasons for our auto responses first.


Mapping Customer Experience Excellence

10 Steps to Customer Journey Mapping – by Arne van Oosterom – Blogging Innovation

A product or service is merely a means to an end. The real deeper value lies in the story attached. I don’t want to own a coffee maker – I need to wake up early with a little help from a cup of coffee. I don’t want to use a train – I want to get home to my wife and children. I don’t want to go to a store and buy a stereo set – I just want to listen to my favorite rock music when I’m home, it makes me unwind after work.


Reverse Innovation: How Designing for Emerging Economies Brings Benefits Back Homeby Andrea Meyer – Working Knowledge

Story: GE Healthcare sells sophisticated medical imaging devices around the world. Historically, they have sold these high-end machines in emerging economies like India. But only 10% of Indian hospitals can afford a $10,000 ECG machine. Reaching the other 90% of the market takes more than simply cutting a few costs. It requires radical innovation and an in-depth understanding of local conditions.

Two Thinking Tips for Leaders – by Paul Sloane – BQF Innovation

If you run a company then you are probably burdened with a plethora of troubles.  You have all sorts of headaches, problems and surprises to sort out every day.  It is hard to stand back and focus on the big strategic issues – but that is exactly what you have to do.  Here are a couple of thinking exercises to help you approach the challenge afresh


Connecting Ideas is the Fundamental Creative Act in Innovation – by Tim Kastelle – Innovation Leadership Network

In this week’s class we talked about Jeff Bezos’ TED talk. When I think about innovation, to me the central part of the process is connecting ideas. As I keep emphasising, once we’ve done this, we then have to work like crazy to execute them well, and to get them to spread. But we need to start with great ideas, and we get these by making novel connections. I like this talk because there are several great examples of the importance of connecting in innovation.


Project Management for Innovation Professionals… by Paul Williams – Think For A Change, LLC Blog

If you’ve followed along here for any real duration, you’ll know that I sit at the intersection of innovation management and project management….literally.  I earn my living as both a Project Manager and as an Innovation Manager.  You’ll also know that my preferred (and recommended) method for converting ideas into reality that also meets a need (my definition of innovation) is the discipline and process found in the generally accepted practices of project management.

The New Normal – By Dwayne Spradlin – PERSPECTIVES ON INNOVATION

As 21st century leaders you may well be faced with challenges that have never been witnessed before. As open innovation continues to evolve within and outside the organization, it will have profound effects on your organizations, society, and all of us as individuals. Oh brave new world. Embrace it!

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Nice week with good readings!

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Take a good ride on Design Thinkers

Design Thinking is the glue between all disciplines. – designthinkers

Boosting Sales for Beginners by Paul Williams

Ah… “Drive Sales.” Is there a company that doesn’t have ‘sales driving’ as a key strategy? – Blogging Innovation

The Equation of Open Innovation: A + B = C – Stefan Lindgaard

I stumbled over an interesting paper, Sourcing External Technology for Innovation, by the Alliance Management Group which has developed lots of great content including the below Want, Find, Get, Manage framework. – 15inno

Ted Turner on Visionary Leadership – by Andrea Meyer

Many leaders are described as “visionary” — I’m always curious as to how they got that way. Is it something they’re born with, or something we can we all learn?  – workingknowledge


10 Tips to Golf with the Brain in Mind – with Dr. Ellen Weber

Since golf’s a cerebral game, it makes sense to play with more brainpower in mind. It may surprise you that golf benefits you mentally, or that you can literally raise your golf IQ. How so? – brainleadersandlearners

What is an expert? by Venessa Miemis

In the last post, we talked about a visualization tool that would allow us to tag ourselves and each other, and how that could be helpful for locating talent and sparking innovation. There have been great comments and ideas, and I want to continue that conversation in the next post. In the meantime, the concept of ‘expert‘ has been on my mind. – emergentbydesign


Do you pass the pronoun test? – By Daniel Pink

If you’re a boss–of a handful of people, an entire organization, or even your local church group–spend a few days listening to the people around you, not only in formal settings like meetings, but also in the hallways and at lunch. – danpink


Apple iPad and Google Buzz: Harsh Reality of Innovation – by Hutch Carpenter

Nothing like putting your heart and soul in an innovation, and then getting this: – bhc3

Have a nice week!