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Innovation is not a short game. It’s the art of playing the long game

Will this move the needle? What is the ROI? When will we see a return on our investment? How fast can you prove this will work? No, I wasn’t at a BIG company meeting when I heard these questions. I was at a Startup Weekend this past weekend, and the people asking these questions were [...]

What a 16 year old magician can teach you about exceeding expectations

Imagine seeing an ad about a restaurant that makes fish tacos. Now imagine seeing a comment on Facebook from a friend about a restaurant he is at that not only sells fish tacos, but also poetically entertains you. And, next to that text is a picture of a hand written poem by the waiter that [...]

To innovate better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission

Cultures of innovation are naturally dynamic. Employees think of new ideas and try them on the fly. Processes and procedures are fluid. There often is no one right answer to a problem, but rather experimentation drives many projects, efforts, assignments, and ultimately opportunities for improvement. With that said, in my neck of the woods, businesses [...]

The case for discovering what business you are really in

What business are you really in? Most can’t answer this question. And if they do, it is a rather functional driven answer such as: we make vacuums. How meaningful and memorable is that? I was reading through a note about General Assembly, a co-working space, and how it is shutting down it’s co-working services for [...]

Q&A: Babak Forutanpour on how to start a grass roots innovation program in a big company

How do you start a grassroots innovation program within your company? In the following interview, you’ll learn how simple it really is. I had the opportunity to interview Babak Forutanpour, the Internal Innovation Lead of Qualcomm’s Flux, an employee run open innovation program. In a wide ranging interview he shared with me his experience in [...]

How can I allocate time for innovation activities?

Before will, skills and tools, what aspiring innovators need is time. It is a delicate topic because within organizations, the preference is for employees to keep the machine’s wheels turning as efficiently as possible. This leaves no time for reflection and play. So, what to do?

The Idea Box: On command creativity tool for creatives and non-creatives

A few days ago, I provided you with some questions to find hidden pain points. Well, after finding those pain points, the next step is to ideate ways to alleviate those pains. How do you start? Steve Jobs famously said that creativity is just connecting things. And he is right, combining ideas is one the [...]