Archive for: March, 2010

Are you the best at something nobody needs anymore?

The antivirus on my laptop is and has been for the past 8 years. It makes me feel that I’m protected from adware, spyware and any sort of thing that can bring down my computer. It also makes me feel proud to say it because I know the Avira team is more than up to the challenge of staying ahead of my needs by making sure their ‘software’ never feels outdated.


Bottom line is I know they’re always on their heels and will work to keep their product ahead of the pack.


Why am I telling you this?


Remember the boiling frog syndrome?


If you drop a frog into boiling water, it will instinctively jump out. But if you place a frog in a pot of cool water and gradually increase the temperature, the frog won’t notice that the water is getting hotter. It will sit there until the water boils and boil with it.


This is what most businesses suffer from. They let routine set in and let the habits that brought the success before to blind them of changing opportunities, changing times, new behaviors to become outdated and irrelevant, in a word inertia set in. They failed to change and became the best at something nobody needed anymore.


The history of your organization is not set in stone

Because change is continuous it’s is very difficult to know what is next after you’ve made it past the first curve but merely accepting that tomorrow is not going to be like to today is a great place to start. This means you have to do activities that are different from the day to day stuff your organization does, it means of where things are going and then .


Innovation is all about change and this requires that you have all your senses in tune to what’s changing around you. The day to day stuff gives you no insight into what’s changing, it only reinforces what you already know which is going to become irrelevant sooner than later.


I don’t know how the Antivirus of the future looks like but I bet Avira has a good idea and I’m willing to stay with them because they’re in it for the long haul.

Innovation posts of the week: Encourage informal #innovation

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You have to set aside time to innovate

So you want big ideas, and voila you’re in the game but are not willing to do the soft work. The work that the ‘thinkers’ should do, the work that gives you headaches because you have to use your brain.

Sorry to break it to you but innovation does require you to use all of your senses, not just going into automatic and doing the day by day hard labor. It’s important to be sensitive to the things that are changing around you by keeping your eyes and ears open and more importantly, being insanely curious.

Asking questions and noticing something different is where innovation starts, so why don’t people dedicate time to think, ponder and reflect?

Bottom line people see these types of activities as boring and not producing nothing in the short term. I think that captures this perfectly.

wrote up a great argument and says that , it also requires making time to think, ponder and reflect:

Sounds like fun, but doesn’t look like work, is the complaint that’s rattling around in your head.  And you are probably right.  This doesn’t look like the work that gets done in your business, simply because everyone is focused on the here and now, the further and later is not being investigated, and can’t be investigated or understood using the tools that look like work in most firms.

This has a cascading effect.  Since the effort involved in understanding innovation opportunities doesn’t look like work, we find other urgent but less important things to fill our day.  Then, we are left with the conundrum that while innovation is important, we can’t “find” time to innovate.  It’s a vicious cycle, eventually leading to the failure to create new products and services, or to miss new market opportunities.  Then, what was urgent becomes even more urgent, and even less attention is paid to innovation.  Eventually everyone is working on next quarter’s efficiency savings and no one is taking time to innovate.

I bet you deal with this too, IMHO work isn’t just doing the day by day tasks, it also includes reading, thinking, pondering, conversing, reflecting; basically the things that are known to be a waste of time. But just like the cartoon above says, you have to do it anyway because if you don’t then you’ll be startled by the future because you weren’t paying attention.

Innovation posts of the week: Break patterns. Create new ones to spread your ideas









What’s a simple way to get started in innovation?

What's a simple way to get started in innovation?

Or should I say, how do you start moving in the direction of making something better? First of all, don’t outsource your creativity to someone else, you already have it. Innovation is a habit, get this in your mind because you WILL have to make some minor changes in your routines.

Weekend innovation tip: Think BIG like a kid


I watched one of my favorite movies of all time last night, .

Here’s a perfect example of how thinking like a kid again opens all types of possibilities for creative output when navigating a world where most people are used to the same old ideas. If you’ve seen the movie watch it again, you’ll notice all sorts of things that are happening inside your company right now that if you brought in some fresh thinking it’ll alter they way you see things.


This scene is specially telling, instead of reading marketing reports the boss prefers to go watch people at toy stores. Bingo!


Don’t be afraid to !