Archive for: January, 2012

Innovation must reads of the week: Age of Disruption?

There were a lot more interesting reads this week, check out my Delicious bookmarks on Innovation for more.


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MBA in Curiosity

Last month I got invited to be part of a small group of Businessmen/Entrepreneurs/Consultants/CEO’s that meet once per month to talk about technology and innovation. We’re calling it Mix 2.0 for some reason.

Our first meeting was Wednesday. We met at (ironically) Bar20 at VIA Corporativo, which is one floor beneath my office. There were about 15 of us and we had the place all to ourselves. We sat in a circle, and to get things rolling we introduced ourselves.

The 2nd person to introduce himself is an inventor. Among other things, he worked on the Nintendo Wii controller about two years before the Wii came out. As you can imagine he’s a very interesting person. He spent about 10 minutes talking about his career. This set the tone for everyone else. I soon started thinking: Let the I-out-credential-you begin!

3 cognitive limits we must overcome to think differently

Expertise is the enemy of innovation right? Yes, but even experts can think differently. And, there’s much to learn from them on how they are able to overcome their ‘know-it-all’ tendencies.

Indeed, research into expertise and expert performance explains how great strategists use mental frames to break cognitive barriers that prevent others from seeing new options. It is not just that experts know more about the problem—in fact they often know less—but they think differently. They restructure, reorganize, and refine their representation of knowledge so as to more efficiently apply knowledge to solve problems.

Thinking differently is just a matter of shifting your frame. Of seeing things from a different point of view. But what inhibits us from being able to think differently?

More specifically, what happens inside our minds that limit our capacity to think differently?

Why creating new categories is so successful

Creating a new category. The Holy Grail of Innovation. The Holy Grail of entrepreneurs. It’s when you can create a new category that you command the skies. Think of the iPad. Is it a new category?

It is. But not because people think it is, but because Apple defined it as such. Experts characterized the iPad as a tablet, but customers did not. That’s all that matters.

Other examples of category creation exist. For example Gatorade created the sports drink category. Chrysler created the minivan. Toyota created the Prius. Each had a good amount of time before any competitor entered the space.

So why is it that you should embrace creating new categories?

Innovation posts of the week: The Genius behind “Genius Lunches”

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How are you over-delivering?

It’s a well known principle: Under promise. Over-deliver.

But it’s far from common to see it actually applied.

I have a client who just expanded it’s business to Tijuana. They are in 3 other states within Mexico and they’ve grown quite fast for a young company (4 years old). But their expansion to Tijuana has yet to pay off. And it’s getting dicey as customers have been leaving.

They brought me in to investigate why and develop ways to turn this around.

This week’s innovation posts worthy of your attention: Do innovation Consultants Kill Innovation?


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