ROI2 – Return on Innovation Investment – Is Just as Important as That Other ROI

Lord Kelvin said, “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it”[i] If that’s true, what measures can we use with innovation, to know more about it? Standard metrics don’t seem to apply. With many ideas you have to review, filter and select ideas based solely on judgment. For true…

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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.”…

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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…

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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…

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Innovation: What You Think Matters Little

No matter what business you think you’re in, you’re in the tool business. Your customers are not buying the set of features you offer. They’re buying tools that (they hope) will solve their problems and produce their desired results. Often a gap exists between the results you believe your tools are capable of producing and the results your customer produces…

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Disrupt Yourself before Anyone Else has a Chance

When trying to solve new problems or capitalize on new opportunities, individuals and organizations often look inward and apply familiar mental models, tools and techniques that have worked in the past. When these old strategies don’t work, these same individuals often keep trying to make them work — maybe if they just use an old strategy with more gusto, things…

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