Tag Archives: Innovation

5 toxic assumptions businesses make about people

undertstanding human behaviorThough business leaders say they want innovation, the vast majority hate the concept of creativity.

But as much as us innovators are fed up with this, the truth is that it isn’t the executives fault because people are wired to reject uncertainty; no matter how smart they appear to be. Fears and biases stand in the way of a boss that talks a good talk, but doesn’t walk.

But, there is a flip side to all of this: business-as-usual, no matter how predictable it may feel, is littered with biases too.

How do you identify innovation champions in an organization?

How do you identify innovation champions in an organization?

Unlike scrappy startups, and maverick organizations, innovation doesn’t happen with a snap of a finger in traditionally managed organizations; it needs fearless leaders.

As I mentioned in last week’s question-to-innovate, innovation is a team game, and there many types of people who can fill those roles. Today, I’ll touch on the “who do we unleash to make innovation happen?” part of the equation.

Most likely you are in a traditional organization where management still rules the day, bureaucracy can stand in the way or enable innovation. Let’s imagine that you’ve talked about and agreed that innovation needs to become more than simple talk in your organization. To make this happen, you’ve decided to unleash the hounds: the fearless and passionate people who don’t follow the rules that you’ve sat on the bench.

Still, who among these mavericks can really push through?

How to conduct an outside industry benchmark for innovation

For innovation borrow ideas from other industries To generate radical ideas, approaches and strategies, benchmarking withing your industry is not particularly valuable. You must look outside your industry and business. Only with outside-industry benchmarks can you overcome paradigm blindness and create game-changing ideas.

I’ve written before that traditional benchmarking is stupid because, frankly, it leads to me-too ideas. Not only that, but it also shifts you into a never ending fixed mindset. A more strategic way to benchmark, is to look outside your industry for ideas. This logic of innovation is “lift and shift.” That is, search for great ideas in unrelated fields, lift them out of the context in which they took shape, and shift them into your company.

This topic isn’t new, but just like ethnography, it is still a rarity in the business world.

The main obstacle to outside-industry benchmark is implementation because business practices are quite different from one industry to another.The key is how to transform those practices to fit your industry.

Are all innovators alike?

Are all innovators alike?

Nuances and details are lost in the sea of bullshit that is media and human irrationality, and an outcome is one of the most dangerous things humans do: build people up to more than they probably are.

Sure, the world needs heroes that carry a positive narrative that others can latch on to and get inspired to make a story of their own. My heroes are Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan. You have your own, for your own personal reasons.

And just like you and I have our own motivations for why we do something, what we do and how we do it; so do other potential innovators.

Truth is, that in a world where people are fitted into boxes, everyone has their own creative style. Some people are more systematic than others, and some of us are more intuitive. I believe that failing to understand this distinction between people is a huge innovation obstacle!

Q&A: Sangeet Paul Choudary on how open business models are changing how businesses compete

open business modelsThis is part two of a Q&A with Sangeet Paul Choudary on platform businesses and open business models. In part 1, he answered some questions about platform businesses.

Sangeet Paul Choudary writes the blog Platform Thinking which has been featured on leading publications and research labs including WSJ, HBR, WIRED, FastCompany and the MIT Centre for Digital Business. He is an innovation analyst and consultant who has lectured at leading academic institutions like MIT Media Labs and INSEAD and consults leading startups as well as traditional firms making the transition to digital platforms. He is a mentor at leading accelerators like 500Startups and serves on the advisory board of leading platform startups.

Follow him on Twitter at @sanguit. To know more about Sangeet, visit http://platformed.info/sangeet-paul-choudary/ and sg.linkedin.com/in/sangeetpaul‎.

Q&A: Sangeet Paul Choudary on how to succeed with a platform business

platform businessThis is part 1 of a two part Q&A with Sangeet Paul Choudary about platforms and open business models.

Sangeet Paul Choudary writes the blog Platform Thinking which has been featured on leading publications and research labs including WSJ, HBR, WIRED, FastCompany and the MIT Centre for Digital Business. He is an innovation analyst and consultant who has lectured at leading academic institutions like MIT Media Labs and INSEAD and consults leading startups as well as traditional firms making the transition to digital platforms. He is a mentor at leading accelerators like 500Startups and serves on the advisory board of leading platform startups.

Follow him on Twitter at @sanguit. To know more about Sangeet, visit http://platformed.info/sangeet-paul-choudary/ and sg.linkedin.com/in/sangeetpaul‎.

When everything becomes a toaster less is more

Incremental innovation can have transformational effects, but we must also understand the limits of pursuing further efficiencies.

Yesterday, I came across a post on Gizmodo about everyday products that were improved to be perfect. Just look at them, I know you’ll want to have a few of them. Though none of them are Apple products, Apple is probably the one company that any of us can point to that makes us crave their products.

Why?

Any talk of recent breakthrough innovations usually start with the iPhone, iPod and iPad. Yet what many don’t know is that Apple invented neither of them. Rather they, with their own point of view, made them accessible.

There are many factors that go into innovation adoption, one of them is timing, the other is the one most don’t get right. Our adoption of Apple products had to do with more than one thing, but the fact that they’ve made our interaction with technology as simple and seamless as possible is a big one. Whether or not Apple understood this from the beginning, it’s no secret that people gravitate towards simplicity.

But most businesses and people go for its common enemy: simplistic.

Here are the main differences between the two: