To be Successful, Participate in the Outcome Economy

No matter what business you think you’re in, you’re in the tool business. Your customers are not buying a set of features. They’re buying the tools needed to complete one or more tasks that produce the desired outcome. Customers buy products and services to get a job done.[i] The real key to innovation success is to be outcome focused. Be…

Read More→

Innovation begins with an Eye

Leon Segal is quoted in, The Art of Innovation[i], as saying, “Innovation begins with an eye,” though it’s not so much about what you look at, but what you observe.[ii] Sometimes the most helpful ideas are right in front of you, but you fail to notice them. Seeing — that is, perceiving with the eyes — is easy; observation —…

Read More→

Fixing Your Misaligned Innovation Strategy

Successful innovation is only possible when an organization’s strategy, culture and capabilities are all aligned. An innovation strategy unsupported by or in conflict with either capabilities or culture is doomed to fail. The most challenging to align are strategy and culture. Imagine Albert Einstein working for you. Or Thomas Edison. Would their ideas flourish in your culture—in your work environment?…

Read More→

Innovation: You Can’t Get There From Here

Innovation extends from our current knowledge, technology and ethnography into what theoretical biologist Stuart Kauffman coined as the Adjacent Possible.[i] Described by innovation theorist Steven B. Johnson[ii] as, “a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things,” the Adjacent Possible “is a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.”…

Read More→

The Report of Brainstorming’s Death has been Greatly Exaggerated

At least once a year some self-proclaimed pundit decries that brainstorming is ineffective. Is it? Or is it more likely that brainstorming just didn’t work for what it was asked to do in that instance. Brainstorming is not appropriate for every situation, and is only effective when used appropriately and properly. Brainstorming is a free-form divergent thinking tool used most…

Read More→

Innovation is a Team Sport

Great innovations are not achieved by solitary work, created in a vacuum or emerge fully mature when first conceived. Innovations are not the product of a sudden brainstorm from a single individual—a light bulb moment, if you will. Those are sources of ideas. And contrary to popular myth, great minds do not think alike; although great minds are open to…

Read More→