Archive for: May, 2010

Innovation posts of the week: Values, bias and innovation

New ideas don’t drop from the sky. They’re already here

Thinking is making distinctions and new ideas come from making sense of these distinctions.

‘I find it difficult to get new ideas, you always seem to come up with ideas so you do it’. This is something I hear all the time, it’s not difficult to get new ideas is. Check out what happened to me yesterday just from listening to an interview and see how simple it is to get new ideas:

Yesterday I was watching the Techcrunch , as I’m sure many of you were too. Near the end of the interview, when asked about Yahoo being in the search business, Bartz responded: ‘as far as I’m concerned search is a commodity business’.

That’s when it hit me! Because I hadn’t actually thought about search as a commodity, but just hearing her point of view got me thinking not just about the search business but about other businesses.

And that’s the point, it got me thinking in a new way. It spurred some new thoughts about something that is relevant to businesses.

One question to ask yourself everyday to trump the status quo

Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. – William Faulkner

You know the future looks very different than it does today, your business needs to evolve to meet the challenges of tomorrow. What brought you success yesterday might not work tomorrow, you need to keep pushing boundaries, testing new tools, trying new things, experimenting with new approaches to not let complacency set in.

You need to keep one foot in the present and the other one moving towards the future, for this you need to ask yourself one question everyday:

How can we do better tomorrow than we did today?

P.S. John Jantsch has .

Innovation posts of the week: Innovation block by block



Moleskine + Evernote: Idea capture heaven

Image representing Evernote as depicted in Cru...


Do you know ? 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.


I’m a big believer in understanding how one thinks to improve how one thinks so I’ve been playing around with a habit I have. When I get a gut feeling about something I either write it down on my Moleskine when I’m away from the PC, create a note on Evernote if I’m using my computer or snap/type it into the Evernote app on my Palm Pre.


If you capture ideas I bet you have a similar habit, I’ve been writing down my thoughts for a long time but for the last month I payed attention to my own idea capture behavior to figure out which one I use the most and therefore which works for me. The pattern I noticed was that I do a lot more capturing on my Moleskine and phone app than when I’m sitting in front of my computer. Why is this?


Because good ideas comes to mind once we are in a relax mood and not in a sick hurry. When I write on the Moleskine I do so when not engaged in focused thinking, thoughts come out of pure observations. I use the Evernote app on my phone to snap photos of things so I can come back to them later and the Evernote app on my desktop works as a brain bank of clips of my daily browsing.


On the weekends I retype the notes on the Moleskine into Evernote which I shouldn’t have to do but I’ve found that it may spur some insight when I’m retyping them into Evernote because those notes have been simmering in there and gives me an opportunity to revisit them. It’s a long process I know (if you have other ideas let me know!) but it’s an experiment I’ve been doing and thoroughly enjoy, I just can’t seem to let the notebook go!


and capturing ideas is one technique that people could start applying today to bring more creativity into their work or their business organization.


How do you capture ideas? Which one works for you?


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Who do you NOT want to be?

Here’s another take on a couple of posts I wrote a few weeks ago on and then .


Part of crafting a business strategy is defining a vision, mission and values. One of the problems I see with this is it’s done more like an uninspired exercise of ‘we have to do it because Strategic Planning for Dummies says so’ (Watch this great video to help set you on your way), a predictable outcome is ‘wished upon’ and what you get is ‘more of the same’ uninspired strategies. The goal of these exercises it seems to me is to just get started without answering ‘WHY’.


An unconventional idea I use to eliminate the ‘uninspired’ is to shift the perspective from ‘who I want to be’ to ‘who I don’t want to be’. Why? Because what you don’t want to do determines what you will do and since most people are judgmental, they can actually tell you more about what they don’t like than what they do.


Get down to the core

We are defined by our relationship to other people, as kids we tried to differentiate ourselves from other kids and would rebel just to be treated differently. Same thing happens in business, the more clearly you recognize who you do not want to be, then, the clearer your sense of identity and purpose will be. Focus on an enemy. It can be anyone or anything that blocks your path, it can be an abstract idea, a group of people with whom you don’t identify with.


This is clearly an unconventional idea, but like I said above, it shifts your thinking from I want to be a singer (just another singer) to I want to be a singer with these specific attributes, values and purpose. It helps you get down to the core!


Desire is born

All the ‘Greats’ have had an enemy. All we hear is where they got their inspiration but they all have an enemy, they might not explicitly say it, but if you read between the lines you’ll figure out who their enemy is or was. A recent example of this is Michael Jordan, just watch his and see how he thanks all the people who provided obstacles for him throughout his career which fueled him with desire and motivation.


An example of how I personally apply this idea is I DON’T WANT to grow old and become less mentally productive when I’m 100 years old. Why? Because I don’t like the fact that as humans we get less mentally productive as we age and so I WANT to grow old and still be able to think of wild ideas that contribute to the world and be as mentally sharp as I am right now. This clearly tells me what I should do and not do and it’s also one of the reasons I started this blog.


Who do you NOT want to be? Find out, declare war on it and use it as fuel to stoke your fire.

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