When Is The Best Time To Experiment?

What’s better in innovation, thought experiments or real experiments?

Many people, from philosophers to scientists, use thought experiments to determine the outcome of a hypothesis. In many of our innovation, targeted IP generation and futurist sessions, we generate ideas which can be considered hypothesis (although our futurist program typically uses thought experiments to generate a  possible future state, then generates products and services to address that future state, then backcast to generate hypothetical capabilities we need to address that future state. read more

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How To Staff Your Innovation Group

Fill It Full Of Doits, And You’ll Never Be Short Of Ideas

A while back, I wrote a blog post about the two kinds of people in the world, the ShouldWes and the DoIts. You can go back here to read the full post, but in short, the DoIts are the action takers, the ones who see or generate an idea they want to move forward on that idea, no matter if the idea is incremental or disruptive, they want to take the risk and develop the idea, get in in front of customers and see if the idea lives or dies. read more

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Ask Not If Your Idea Can Make Money, Ask If It Can Help Humans

A common refrain that I hear from individuals at some of the companies that we’ve worked with in the past (and some prospects who ultimately decide not to work with us) is that we are experts at generating ideas, but most of those ideas simply do not have a business model – which is, of course, a fancy way of saying “we can’t figure out how to make any money with this idea”. read more

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What is this “long run” thing people keep harping about?

Do you, like most, have a bias for short-term results?

I love Scott Adams and Dilbert – he perfectly encapsulates some of the incredible silliness of corporate work and life – and like all great humor, contains enough truth to sting. The other day, I was especially struck by the last panel in a running joke about Wally being selected to be mentored by the CEO. As it happens, Wally, being Wally, has been mentored for a week and has not improved at all. The CEO, worried that this will look bad (he can’t win, he either appears to hire crappy people or can’t mentor anyone successfully) is in discussion with the HR Director (Catbert) about this, deciding that to save face, he will need to promote Wally. To which Catbert says “That might be a bad idea in the long run”. In the final panel, the CEO says: read more

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10 People You Need For A Winning Innovation Team

What is the most important component of a winning innovation team?

People.  And As Depeche Mode says:

“People are people

So why should it be

You and I should get along so awfully”

I love Depeche Mode. As a guy who grew up in the 80’s, there was nothing better than kicking back and listening to music, reading Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus and thinking, aren’t people horrible? read more

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Why Are Your Best People Leaving You?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – you hear via email or in an offhanded remark during a meeting that an awesome employee who you know (let’s call her Sophia), an intelligent, expressive and creative individual, is no longer with the company. read more

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The Future Will Be Weird

Those Who Know The Future Can Control It

One of the models that we use in our futurist sessions is known as the second curve. A simple model, it assumes that there are cycles to everything – and everything that is being done today will wane, and something else will take its place. Change is the only constant in life and the universe and everything. These cycles may be long, or they may be short, but the key takeaway here is that they will always happen. read more

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How To Be The Next Elon Musk

Everyone Wants To Be Elon Musk. Here’s How.

If you spend any time on Quora, the question and answer site which I pioneered a version of from 2000-2005 (as I’ve always said – being a futurist is like being a meteorologist, you are usually right, but at the wrong time) you’ll find an inordinate fascination with Elon Musk. read more

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To Change, We All Need Help and Structure

Structure Is Necessary For Change to Occur

While I’ve written before on the concept of change, there are still many who don’t internalize the fact that life is change. They feel that there is such a thing as “steady state” and that at some point, things will stop changing and go “back to normal”. read more

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Whose Fault Is It If You Aren’t Innovating?

Why Aren’t You Innovating?

It’s been said that when it comes to innovation, those at the very top get it – not a day goes by when an executive out there is not talking about how innovative their company is, or will be soon, or about the innovative exciting new products or services. If you hear them talk, you’d think that the company lives and breathes innovation. read more

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