I have found that many in leadership at fast growing entrepreneurial firms don't feel personally responsible for innovation.
Katherine Stevens's insight:
What I found interesting was the idea that entrepreneurs feel "responsible for facilitating innovation, which is entirely different from actually coming up with the grand concepts that have created unique new business models, processes, services, and products."
But, then the article provides some basic techniques on how "learn innovation" by using some ideation tools in facilitating (leading) meetings. It's not clear how this differs from what entrepreneurs are doing now to facilitation innovation.
The article also lists the five habits of innovators from a Harvard Business study (associating, questioning, observing,experimenting, an networking).
Why the greatest enemy of creative success is the attempt to fortify against failure.
"Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes
Katherine Stevens's insight:
I like the following three quotes from the article: "“Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before,” Neil Gaiman urged in his commencement-address-turned-manifesto-for-the-creative life."
We need to think about failure differently. ... Mistakes aren’t a necessary evil. They aren’t evil at all. They are an inevitable consequence of doing something new (and, as such, should be seen as valuable; without them, we’d have no originality)." ~ Ed Catmull
"If you aren’t experiencing failure, then you are making a far worse mistake: You are being driven by the desire to avoid it. And, for leaders especially, this strategy — trying to avoid failure by out-thinking it — dooms you to fail." ~ Ed Catmull
Language is only the most obvious part of the global communication gap. Different cultures also have distinct approaches to communication during meetings a
Katherine Stevens's insight:
Brief summary of cultural communication and negotiation styles, as described by British linguist Richard D. Lewis, author of the book "When Cultures Collide".
The article has diagrams from Lewis illustrating how different cultures use language to negotiate: Americans, Canadians, Germans, French, Italians, Chinese, Israeli, Indian, Hong Kong, Korean, Indonesian, and more.
What will it take for a tablet to "unseat the ipad from its position as the leader of the tablet pack"?
Clayton Christensen in the "Innovator's Deilemma" argued "that most disruption happens from products that offer less feature or benefit than the existing expectation."
"To win in an established market, you don't want to do more of the same, you want to shift the rules entirely."
"Any innovation that overturns a dominant market position in hindsight will appear obvious, but in foresight will seem dramatically new and different. That's because the innovation doesn't extend the strengths and capabilities of the leader, but often plays judo against the leader, playing off of its strengths."
Marc Binkley's list of top 25 favorite business articles, which inclues articles on "innovation, leadership, marketing, sales, branding, culture." You may recognize some classics, including "1,000 True Fans" and "Bowling Alone" and "The Long Tail."
You CAN overcome the frustration of feeling blocked.
Of the 10 tips, I like these two.
#1 "Redefine the problem to find it more compelling. Ask yourself something like "What if Winston Churchill was designing this packaging?" That will provide an unfamiliar angle and perhaps a new perspective. (Christian Helms, Graphic Designer)"
#7. "Choose a better way to conceive of your blocks. For instance, rather than having to root through a blocked drain to achieve flow, consider temperature. "I try to find out what's hot and start there, even if it may be unrelated to what I need to be working on." (Michael Erard, Writer and Journalist)"
Does anyone actually enjoy break-out groups? It's a serious question.
From the article: "Break-out groups are intended to break up the monotony of a long meeting and get people talking to each other on key topics. These are worthy goals; break-out groups are just lousy at realizing them.
"What could work better? I think time slots devoted to mini 'unconferences'would. ... At an unconference time slots and meeting rooms are predetermined, but nothing else is. Using whiteboards or sticky notes, people propose sessions that they want to lead / facilitate, and also decide (by looking at the whiteboards or sticky notes) which ones they want to attend."
Design charrettes inspire design sketches and ideas, include more people in the design process, explore and expose goals and objectives of colleagues in multiple functional roles, and drive off designer’s block."
"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?" —Albert Einstein
Katherine Stevens's insight:
"Being in a clean room seemed to encourage people to do what was expected of them." Being in messy room led to creativity.
How can you apply this? "At the start of the creative process ... you want loads of ideas, so gravitate towards messy areas. But, as a project progresses you need to narrow them down, refine and create order from the chaos. Perhaps this is when tidy spaces come into their own."
Here's what I found that was surprising: "The researchers have been doing follow-up tests on the internet. Their preliminary results suggest that tidy websites encourage playing it safe while more messy ones encourage creativity."
"you have to make sure you've defined the right problem before you try to solve it"
"If you don't have the data, you have to create the data. That does not mean plugging random numbers into your spreadsheet. It means generating real insight, from nothing. Designers and bootstrapped entrepreneurs I've worked with use rapid low cost experiments to create data. I refer to these 'affordable losses' in the interest of learning, creativity, and discovery as "little bets."
This seems like common sense; so why is it so hard? Three words: fear of failure."
"Traditionally, economists and financiers have argued that the sole purpose of business is to make money—the more the better. ... this lopsided logic forces companies to blank out the fact that they command enormous resources that influence the world for better or worse and that their strategies shape the lives of the employees, partners, and consumers on whom they depend. Above all, the traditional view of business doesn’t capture the way great companies think their way to success. Those firms believe that business is an intrinsic part of society, and they acknowledge that, like family, government, and religion, it has been one of society’s pillars since the dawn of the industrial era. Great companies work to make money, of course, but in their choices of how to do so, they think about building enduring institutions. They invest in the future while being aware of the need to build people and society.
What was the management innovation in the first decade of 2000? "one plausible suggestion is that this past decade has been the decade of open innovation. In this decade, companies started to open up their research and development processes, involving customers, suppliers, universities, third parties and individuals in the innovation process."
"What innovations will happen in the future? 3 short predictions.
"First, management innovation will become more collaborative ... it will evolve into a more iterative, interactive process across the boundaries of companies, as communities of interested participants work together to create new innovations."
".. Second, business model innovation will become as important as technological innovation. It is generally accepted that a better business model can often beat a better technology. Yet companies that spend many millions of dollars on R&D seldom invest much money or time in exploring alternative business models to commercialize those discoveries. ...
"Third, we will need to master the art and science of innovating in services-led economies. Most of what we know about managing innovation comes from the study of products and technologies. Yet the world's top advanced economies today derive most of their GDP from services rather than products or agriculture."
"...perhaps the biggest dilemma that businesses face when it comes to innovation is that the concept of 'innovation' itself must be constantly re-thought to remain relevant."
One of the most interesting tactics for doing this: "Hire a different type of employee. At frog, we hire people with a variety of backgrounds to manage a global innovation consultancy. Along with MBAs, engineers, and industrial designers, we've added former trapeze artists and performance-studies majors to our team, to help lead projects for Fortune 500 companies on technology solutions and business strategy. We've found that providing a variety of smart and experienced perspectives can often lead to, well, a spectrum of fresh ways of thinking and doing."
"Hack the brain to increase complex problem solving."
"New research by Neuroscientist David Creswell from Carnegie Mellon ... explore[s] what happens in the brain when people tackle problems that are too big for their conscious mind to solve."
"To put it plainly - people who were distracted did better on a complex problem-solving task than people who put in conscious effort. This isn’t so surprising –the problem-solving resources of the non-conscious are millions if not billions of times larger than that of the conscious. What’s surprising is how fast this effect kicked in – the third group were distracted for only a few minutes. This wasn’t the ‘sleep on it’ effect, or about quieting the mind. It was something more accessible to all of us every day, in many small ways."
Far from killing creativity, imitation spurs innovation in industries like fashion, finance and football, write Kal Raustiala and Chris Sprigman. An essay adapted from The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation.
"1. Don't aspire to be a good manager. As Peter Drucker said years ago, stable times require excellence and good management. As we transition to a new age, our organizations need more; they need leadership. Don't manage the status quo. Lead the change. Think of yourself primarily as a leader rather than just a manager. Don't simply seek to make improvements in your organization. In the past tinkering could do the trick. These times require deep innovation and transformation."
"2. Don't accept any assumptions about the status quo. If 'it's always been this way' it may be time for a review. For example, don't accept hierarchies: Think networks. Understand that talent can now be both inside and exterior to your enterprise. ... Always emphasize teamwork and knowledge sharing, rather than hierarchy."
"4. Don't have work-life balance -- at least in the sense of trying to escape from work so you can have a life. Work should be fun -- so make work enjoyable and satisfying for everyone ..."
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