The world is littered with thousands of products and services that are considered innovative but don’t mean much to people who actually use them, why is this? The reason is because most products and services are designed to extract profits from consumers first as opposed to ‘wowing’ them first and then seeking the profits second.
In the first must read innovation story of the week Umair Haque makes his case that we need to innovate innovation and provides some guidelines on how we can do it.
The awesomeness manifesto.
Listen up: A corporation’s goal should be to create more value, not more profit. It should strive to be relevant tomorrow and not just today. It should inspire whom it serves as well as the people who serve. It should breed competition to make things even better, not take it out.
Umair says that innovation needs to be innovated, couldn’t agree more! What is awesomeness? Awesomeness happens when thick — real, meaningful — value is created by people who love what they do, added to insanely great stuff, and multiplied by communities who are delighted and inspired because they are authentically better off. That’s a better kind of innovation, built for 21st century economics.
Key Takeaway: Create more value than you capture.
Clever advertising campaign encourages people everywhere to test their creativity.
Here’s a very cool campaign by the Panamericana School of Art and Design, the objective is to draw as many things as possible that originate from X’s or O’s. How far does your creativity go? Checkout the pictures!
If you ask 5 people to define leadership you’ll probably get 5 different answers. There’s are enough leadership books to teach all there is to know about leadership, yet there isn’t one singular answer to what leadership really is.
In an effort to answer this question Norm Smallwood, Dave Ulrich and Kate Sweetman synthesized all the ideas of leadership into 5 rules they call the ‘leadership code’. These 5 rules account for 70% of the fundamentals of leadership, making it a good starting for leadership development.
Rule 1: Shape the future.
Rule 2: Make things happen.
Rule 3: Engage today’s talent.
Rule 4: Build the next generation.
Rule 5: Invest in yourself.
HP taps fashion for R&D.
Looking to differentiate their products, HP has tapped the fashion world for technical ideas for their new line of netbooks. What HP acknowledges is that looking for growth opportunities in the same place is unlike yield anything new. They went out and looked elsewhere for new ideas on how to differentiate their products.
Key takeaway: Get out of your box. Understand than looking in the same place for ideas will always result in the same old ideas. Look elsewhere:
- Look at your competitors.
- Look at adjacent industries.
- Look to the fringe where trends start.
- Look in unlikely places.
Why can’t your firm innovate.
If you want your firm to innovate you must first change the way it’s organized. Most firms today can’t innovate because they’re structured in a way that favors predictability, not creativity.
Jeffrey Philips writes: Many firms can’t innovate because their structures, processes and compensation models are rigidly organized for the work world of the 1950s and 1960s and haven’t shifted the organizational structures, processes and compensation models to reflect what’s necessary today.
So what’s necessary today? There isn’t a real clear answer, but doing less of what worked before is a good start.
Predicting the future is one of those things that people think they can do, the problem is they obsess about it so much that the future ends up taking them by surprise.
The best we can do is to anticipate what could happen. Jamais Cascio helps companies and governments anticipate the future so they can make the right decisions and he presents a few guidelines we can follow to be prepared and many possible outcomes.
While anticipating is great, creating the future is what innovators do. The key is to mix both and imagine what you would like to see in the world.
Key takeaway: The future is for us to make, we must imagine what we can make happen and write our own future.
Corporate innovation strategy template.
From one of my favorite blogs on innovation, Innovation in practice, Innovation consultant Drew Boyd shares a simple template to create your company’s innovation strategy.
List of innovation thought leaders on Twitter.
List of some prominent innovation people on Twitter, automatically follow them all with one click!