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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How to get the best ideas out of people? Cheat.

Prior to the widespread adoption of the web and the internet, I used to run something called a Bulletin Board System (BBS), where we would use phone lines to communicate on message boards. Every so often, our message boards would call each other and exchange messages, thus allowing us to communicate (this was in a time when long distance calls actually cost money, so the updates sometimes only happened once a day). read more

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Ways We Innovate: Ask “Why Do We Still…”

With all of the new technologies and ways of doing things seemingly better and faster, do you ever wonder why we sometimes cling to the old ways of doing things? Why even if much better options are available, we still do things a certain way? Why do we hesitate to innovate? read more

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How To Get The Best Most Disruptive Ideas Out There

Anonymity Helps Innovation

As I mentioned in a previous post, our culture and technology are making it much easier to survive and thrive in the world as an introvert, and in so doing, more and more of us are becoming introverts. With the ability to work from home, and have everything delivered 24/7, there are many people who are taking that route. Some of your best people prefer to interface with others through the internet and in non-face-to-face interactions. 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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3 Reasons Why Moonshots Make You More Innovative

The Most Disruptive Innovation Can Start With Zero Demand

We hear a lot about profitability and ROI in my business – some of my clients innovation groups need to continually justify their existence day-in and day-out, since, for some reason, every innovation initiative always seems to need to be tied back to some level of profitability – it needs to cut costs or increase revenues out of the gate (or even before the gate) before we can even think about it. read more

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Problem Solving: It’s What We Humans Do Best

The Case For “Solutioning”

As an innovator, disruptor and creator of new things, I love coining and using new words which can more effectively describe something, and solutioning is one of them.

Be honest, when some people hear the word “innovation” all they think about is airy-fairy, pie-in-the-sky visions of a perfect world where everything goes right, with no connection to the world of today. Nothing could be further from the truth, but for some reason, these prejudices persist. For some, innovation is not something we are doing today, but something we may do tomorrow, and right now, we aren’t concerned with tomorrow – we just want to get through today. 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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