Archive for: January, 2010

Weekend innovation tip: WTF is innovation to you?

Innovation is about change and progress not great ideas.


I get two responses to that question: dull faces or some lunchbox definition.

Businesses like the sound of the word of ‘innovation’ appearing in their vocabulary yet rarely can everyone in the organization come to a collective definition of what is means to them and this is a BIG problem. They’re chickens running around without a head because they don’t know where they’re headed and this is because they’re adopting someone else’s definition for themselves and fail to see that it doesn’t fit them.


There are but I will take a different approach and start with questions to help you construct your own definition of innovation instead. These questions will absolutely stretch your thinking around what’s important to you, your customers and the world which, and this my friends is what innovation is all about: change and progress.



  • What will we do differently of better than our competitors to achieve greater value for our customers and superior profits for our firm?

  • What’s missing in the world of our customers that we could create to make their life a lot more fun and easier?

  • What do we want to create?



Let me put it to you this way: if you’re not changing something then you are NOT doing innovation.


Does your definition of innovation answers these questions?

Must read innovation stories of the week: Getting it done

It was an ‘innovation packed’ week that had everything starting from making excuses, ideating around small ideas, how to get it done, popular tools to use to tackle challenges and how to test your ideas. Pretty good eh!


INNOVATION: Change your internal chip

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” – Einstein

Yesterday I was with a client proposing some new initiatives and as always there’s a bottleneck to new ideas. Someone’s ego prevents them from seeing other alternatives to how things can be done, they’re so set in their traditional views that anything new is irrelevant. In thinking about this fact with some of the people there I said: Like computer chips that evolve and get better all the time, so must we.


Do you remember how in the movie Terminator 2 Sarah and John Connor so it can can learn and stop following preset rules? Well that’s exactly what we have to do with ourselves, and people who are impervious to ‘there’s always a better way’ speak.

Strategy: Keep the ball moving

I’m a basketball junkie so I was delighted to read Fast Company’s excellent which examines how Nash runs his work life outside of basketball, just like the Suns offense, in constant chaos. Nash runs THE most unorthodox offense in the NBA, which is unplanned, unpredictable and all on the fly.


No one better embodies the metabolism of our times, when industries, technologies, and careers are in constant flux. In leading Phoenix to the league’s best record to start this season and, most likely, to a return to the play-offs, Nash demonstrates how to navigate uncertainty — with flexibility, collaboration, and inventiveness. He has developed a gift for finding order in chaos. He adapts to new information, assesses the risks, and creates opportunities for him and his teammates to succeed. Nash improvises.

We all need to be improvisers now, to transition between the jobs we have and the backup plans we may need to pursue in the current economic crisis. Between the ways we’re accustomed to working and the new habits shaped by Twitter, Facebook, and other new tech tools. Between the recession and the postrecession world.

Both on and off the court, Nash’s exploits illuminate lessons about how to manage these transitions.


Why you should you read it? Very simple…because he improvises strategy on the fly and that is how companies business strategy should be developed. Learn from Steve Nash, stay ahead of the game by keeping the ball moving.

Must read innovation stories of the week: What are you the most at?

You wont stand out from the crowd if you keep playing by the same old rules as everyone else in your market. Are you the most of anything?



Weekend innovation tip: Be a kid again

Guess what? ‘innovation’ is going to be the keyword of the year again. More specifically how you reinvent your business from the inside out is what’s going to separate the leaders from the laggards and this doesn’t happen with some magic potion, it happens with questioning the assumptions by which your business operates.

According to new research one of the is ‘questioning’, as in questioning the status quo. If you plan to get your company on the fast track to innovation this year, then asking questions is the first place to start and such as why? why not? and what if?


Now that you get it, here’s an exercise for you to help you cultivate the habit of ‘questioning’:

  • Write 10 questions each day that challenge assumptions in your company or industry.


Yes, that’s it. Once you do this for a couple of weeks go back to your list and look for ways to reverse those assumptions or better yet, think how you can eliminate them from your thinking and come up with something new.


Understand: questions open the mind to new things, to more possibilities, to alternatives to new perspectives, they unbox your mind and take it back to childhood when anything was possible. The goal is to think like a kid again, without limits. Anything is possible.