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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 […]

For innovation: culture trumps office design

Innovation Labs, either accelerators or corporate bunkers, are now becoming commonplace. As a result, workspace design is booming. Browse around the web, and you’ll quickly see articles about startups that have designed their workspace to resemble their culture. For established companies trying to create a culture of innovation, this means copying the same design mantra […]

What specific behaviors should be rewarded to drive innovation?

This is the tenth of a series of weekly posts where I will answer a few common questions about innovation. Please feel free to add your own response. Also, if you have any questions you think we should discuss, let me know. Organization get the behaviors they reward. And this is especially true when it […]