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The 7 essential innovation questions

The path to innovation usually starts with a question. That’s what Autodesk’s Innovation Genome Project developed after it tried to quantify what worked about the 1,000 greatest innovations of all time. With that data in hand, they quickly identified seven questions that famous innovators have consistently asked and answered to generate ideas that can lead [...]

Question everything to break out of habitual thinking

Innovation comes from new ways of seeing and new ways of being. Learn to see different, learn to be different, and you will discover the different. Though Tijuana has to come to be known as a place where you’ll find great food, I don’t think that is the case. For example, take a stroll through [...]

Are we overly obsessed with disruptive ideas?

If you disrupt and can’t sustain, you don’t win. – Gary Pisano Disruptive innovations that throw industries into chaos hog the spotlight. We are all transfixed by Google’s Moonshot attempts at either changing transportation, how we interact with objects and people that we believe those are the only innovations that matter. Academics and consultants like [...]

You can’t change the world if you haven’t seen the problem

From 6 lessons on innovation from Bill and Melinda Gates: You can’t conceptualize and find the solution for a problem you have never experienced or witnessed. The couple reckon that in order to truly be innovative you have to look at the problem and witness the suffering the problem causes. Bingo! Innovation always starts with [...]

To find the truth you have to look within

Peter Drucker famously remarked, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said”. The same could be said of innovation techniques such as direct observation and journalistic interviews. You might ask people questions and have them tell you stories about themselves, but they can’t tell you how to matter. Finding the WHY is [...]

Why deadlines impede innovation

It’s almost impossible to come up with really innovative things when you have a deadline and schedule. It is no secret that constraints drive innovation. But what about deadlines? Deadlines, when managed well, can be a motivation–but when abused, can set you back. Here are a few things to consider before jumping on the “deadlines [...]

So what? Finding a hook for your idea is an innovation imperative

Innovative ideas, initiatives, products, culture transformations, have little chance to succeed if they aren’t enabled by smart communications. And it all starts with a simple and easily understood message.  I’m in the process (pre-production) of co-producing a film with a Director friend of mine. The idea for the film wasn’t mine, so one of the [...]