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Why settle for average? Steal from the greats to be great

The challenge with copying uniqueness is that is takes a relentless commitment to excellence. Whenever I’m asked about innovation, a list of names always comes up: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook. Why, I always ask, are these the ones that always come up? Nothing wrong with bringing up those companies, but surely, there are others. [...]

To innovate start with inspiration, not need

In the world of innovation, we routinely talk about addressing needs as a starting point to frame our thinking. That is what the vast majority of innovation approaches, and practitioners, consultants; preach. There is a huge industry that is booming at the moment because of this, and a dominant model is slowly taking over both [...]

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 [...]

Culture tells us what to do when the leader isn’t in the room

Culture tells us what to do when the leader isn’t in the room. We’ve all heard this before, and being able to achieve this is one of the daunting challenges of leadership. It is not unusual to be in a strategy session and come up with all kinds of great quotes and soundbites, that are [...]

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 [...]

What can business leaders do to ensure they are enabling and not blocking innovation?

Paul Hobcraft recently reviewed a couple of innovation reports. One implies that executives say that innovation is important for growth, and the other says that executives nods their heads in agreement but don’t follow through. I’m not surprised by this. Of course, it all comes back the the beloved ROI. And, innovation outcomes, like everything [...]

The one thing any non-innovative leader can do to enable innovation

So, you’re the CEO of a company and you are not known to be innovative. What do you do? No fear, for you are not alone. For all the talk about the need for innovation, the truth is most CEO’s are not innovative. They are much more focused on maintaining the current narrative than on [...]