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Innovation needs outsiders. Here’s how to source them

*+-The most interesting ideas, the ones that span boundaries, are found and at the intersection of domains. This isn’t a new insight, but it is one that is rarely taken into account inside most businesses. True to form, established businesses suffer from the Curse of Knowledge: I already know what I need to know. The […]

What To Look For In An Innovation Partner

*+-If you’re a successful company, you’re probably not used to innovation. You’re used to being good at what you do, and that’s the opposite of innovation. Smart innovation that evolves a new and marketable product often requires an innovation partner. There are a lot of reasons for that. But they boil down to a deceptively […]

What kills most innovation isn’t a lack of ideas, it’s a lack of relationships

*+-Do we still need old-fashioned physical offices to do work? Contrary to reports that the demise of the office is near, I believe we still need physical offices; and more importantly physical interactions. I believe that the model that will be dominant for most types of organizations is a hybrid between being a mobile worker […]

Interstellar: the power of an unlikely collaboration yields scientific discovery

*+-Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is a fantastic movie, science and fantasy will entertain you. Go watch it! But this blog isn’t about the movie per se, it is about how they made both the worm hole and black hole models realistic. This is the classic case of a happy accident where none of the collaborators knew […]

Interactions, not individuals, drive breakthroughs

*+-A key skill all innovators have is the ability to network with the objective of developing ideas, finding collaborators, bouncing ideas off others and overall just building their ideas. Rather than being individualists, innovators are collaborators. They understand that it takes a diverse community of people working on a single problem to drive breakthroughs; as […]

Is too much collaboration bad for innovation?

*+-All great achievements came about through collaboration. But, sometimes too much collaboration inhibits our ability to think creatively. Last week’s post about what impedes employees from being innovative in the workplace generated some discussion. My point that managers, meetings, emails and phone calls get in the way of inspiration was not well received because those […]

What are the key ingredients necessary to accelerate innovation in any environment?

*+-MIT’s Andy Pentland says the best decision-making environment for good ideas to spread is one with high levels of both “engagement” and “exploration. Via the NY Times: The best decision-making environment, Mr. Pentland says, is one with high levels of both “engagement” and “exploration.” Engagement is a measure of how often people in a group […]