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For innovation: Non-obvious needs are often the richest source of new insights

Innovation comes from leaving known shores and stepping into the unknown. This means being aware that you don’t have all the answers. So, you need to go out and discover new insights… So, what’s an insight? Insights are unexpected shifts in the way we understand how things work. They can be broken down into two [...]

For innovation: Herd your black sheep

As you can discern from last week’s post about how not to drive a culture of innovation, as well as previous ones, I’m a big fan of “what not to do’s”. Well, in contrast to those, what are the counters to those NOT’s? Let’s take the topic of success leading to failure… Success breeds complacency [...]

How do you source ideas for innovation out of customers?

Phil McKinney asks: are customers a source of ideas for innovation? Two years ago The Economist published a report where it indicated that by 2020 customers will replace R&D as the main source of new ideas. Well, apart from customers, there are many sources where companies can get ideas for innovation; partners, competitors, non-competing companies [...]

The sad truth about how innovation dies in large organizations

For things to change somebody somewhere has to act differently… There’s a great thread going on in the Beyond Innovation LinkedIn group about exciting examples of driving a culture of innovation. In my experience, it was one singular person driving it and enlisting people. Always. Most of the people who commented on the thread have [...]

Innovation needs intent

Ultimately, just like your business strategy, your innovation strategy needs to be focused. It can’t be all things to all people. It must be able to stand on its own. Last Friday I conducted a second innovation workshop with graduate students from UABC, the largest university in Tijuana. Before we were done, I made sure [...]

3 lessons about how to do rapid prototyping from the Nordstrom Innovation Lab

I just came across this video of how the Nordstrom Innovation Lab created, tested and built an iPad app in just one week with the intent of enhancing the eye wear buying experience. I thought I’d share this with you as a follow up post to the three part series I wrote on how to [...]

What’s your question?

Sometimes an interesting questions doesn’t come out nowhere, it requires some serious inquiry and reflection. Defining the real problem is the key part of the innovation process, if you don’t figure out the right question to lead your effort you will end up solving the same challenge, in the same way, that everyone else.   At [...]