Blogging Innovation » What is an Innovation Culture?


by Roy Luebke

What is an Innovation Culture?Much has been written about what constitutes an innovation culture. Defining what that means may seem relatively simple, but is much more difficult to both define and achieve than one might think.

To begin the definition for an individual organization, start by understanding how the senior management team deals with ambiguity and risk. If an organization is extremely risk averse, it is unlikely to be very innovative. All companies deal with risk, there is risk in doing something, and there is risk in doing nothing. Risk is a part of being in business, and how the organization is prepared to manage risk is a leading factor in its ability to move into new competitive arenas.

The need to be innovative is derived from market pressures. The leadership team must feel a degree of angst about the future, or some paranoia about outside forces that makes them uncomfortable. Innovation is driven by the belief that a firm’s competitive advantage is fleeting and that it must always be reinventing itself in order to survive. Hubris is anathema to innovation.

An innovation culture requires advances in processes for discovery, experimentation, and developing portfolios of options. These new processes will, in fact help mitigate risk exposure as opportunities and solutions are better defined. Better definitions will reduce ambiguity and uncertainty.

Organizations require new process to research their customers and discover new patterns in customer attitudes, and market and technology evolutions. Firms need to create ways to recognize new, emerging patterns in key areas and develop new business concepts to meet these new realities. Business leaders need to allow their people to experiment more and develop prototypes that fail before going to market so that new innovations are more likely to succeed in the long term. Ultimately, new processes need to be developed to create deeper understanding about customers and deliver more of what customers want, even though customers are not likely to articulate these needs precisely.

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The Value of Nothing

When children are born prematurely, they are placed in incubators until ready for the world.

When fields stop producing, farmers let them lay fallow — until the soil’s nutrients are restored.

When a baseball player is in a slump, he’s given a day off to get his game together.

It’s the same with innovators — or should be. They, too, need to incubate. They, too, need to lay fallow. They, too, need an occasional day off — especially if the results they’re looking for aren’t showing up.

You already know this. That’s why sometimes you choose to “sleep on it” before making a decision.

Pausing isn’t necessarily procrastinating. Done well, it’s an act of renewal — a chance for you to relax and let your subconscious shine — a natural phenomenon that’s all-too-rare these days — especially in organizations where everyone is being driven to produce, produce, produce.

Face it. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing.


by Blogging Innovation |by Mitch Ditkoff

The Value of NothingWhen children are born prematurely, they are placed in incubators until ready for the world.

When fields stop producing, farmers let them lay fallow — until the soil’s nutrients are restored.

When a baseball player is in a slump, he’s given a day off to get his game together.

It’s the same with innovators — or should be. They, too, need to incubate. They, too, need to lay fallow. They, too, need an occasional day off — especially if the results they’re looking for aren’t showing up.

You already know this. That’s why sometimes you choose to “sleep on it” before making a decision.

Pausing isn’t necessarily procrastinating. Done well, it’s an act of renewal — a chance for you to relax and let your subconscious shine — a natural phenomenon that’s all-too-rare these days — especially in organizations where everyone is being driven to produce, produce, produce.

Face it. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. Leer más “The Value of Nothing”

Innovation and Porter’s Value Chain

First, let’s remind ourselves of the Value Chain Model. Portner’s insight was to identify all the primary functions of a business and all the support functions of a business and seek to understand what the firm did exceptionally well, and what it must do at least moderately well. While other strategists had thought and written about the linkages between internal operations, Porter was one of the first to create the concept of the Value Chain. Today we often think of the value chain as extending “upstream” to suppliers and “downstream” to distribution channels and even to customers or consumers. The tool is a powerful metaphor when thinking about where and how a firm adds value.

Primary activities are the ones we usually think of as distinct operations or departments and are the “direct” costs in a business – inbound and outbound logistics, “operations” which could be manufacturing or development, marketing and sales, and service. Support activities are those that we traditionally think of as “overhead” – Human Resources, Information Technology, Procurement, and what Porter called Firm Infrastructure – legal, financial, management and so forth.

The model, once again, does not explicitly call out innovation, and in this breakdown of the organization it is hard to decide where and how innovation should add value. Clearly innovation can play a role in any of the primary functions. Innovation can improve the way we make things, or the way we distribute products and services, or the customer support and service we offer. Conversely, innovation could be considered a “supporting” capability that improves all functions from an enabling perspective. It’s possible that innovation exists in both locations. However, there are two other items to consider when thinking about innovation and the Value Chain analysis.


Submitted by Blogging Innovation |by Jeffrey Phillips
http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com

Innovation and Porter's Value ChainI’m reviewing the relationship between a number of tried and true strategic management models and innovation, to see if those models and concepts hold up under the increasing importance of innovation. A few days ago I reviewed Porter’s Five Forces model and concluded that while Porter didn’t explicitly call out innovation, it was clear that the Five Forces model embraced innovation. Today, we’ll look quickly at another Porter model – the Value Chain Analysis – and investigate how it holds up innovation.

In the 1980s, Michael Porter wrote a number of books about corporate strategy that became the basis for much of the education of MBAs, at least where strategy was concerned. Few MBAs in the 80s and 90s failed to study Porter’s Five Forces or Value Chain Analysis. Since many of those MBAs minted in that period are now in leadership positions in their firms, it behooves us to understand the models they carry around with them, and whether or not those models are open and extensible where innovation is concerned, or whether they ignore or resist innovation. Leer más “Innovation and Porter’s Value Chain”

Book Review and Innovation Summary – “Predictable Success”

A few weeks ago I received “Predictable Success” by Les McKeown in the mail. “Predictable Success” is an approachable 194 pages, and is an easy, and pleasant read.

Les McKeown is the President & CEO of Predictable Success, and has 25 years of global business experience, including starting 42 companies in his own right, and as the founding partner of an incubation consulting company that launched hundreds of businesses worldwide.

“Predictable Success” is a book focused on helping people understand the natural evolution of businesses and why some succeed and some fail. The book hinges on a simple, illustrative framework that makes the case that business success is not something to be achieved, but instead something to be maintained. You don’t arrive at business success and stay successful, but instead continually fight to maintain the delicate balance between too much policy and process, and too little.

Les McKeown asserts that there are seven different descriptors that any successful business can take on at any one time. The key here is ’successful’ business.

* Early Struggle
* Fun
* Whitewater
* Predictable Success
* Treadmill
* The Big Rut
* Death Rattle


by Braden Kelley
http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com

Book Review and Innovation Summary - "Predictable Success"A few weeks ago I received “Predictable Success” by Les McKeown in the mail. “Predictable Success” is an approachable 194 pages, and is an easy, and pleasant read.

Les McKeown is the President & CEO of Predictable Success, and has 25 years of global business experience, including starting 42 companies in his own right, and as the founding partner of an incubation consulting company that launched hundreds of businesses worldwide.

“Predictable Success” is a book focused on helping people understand the natural evolution of businesses and why some succeed and some fail. The book hinges on a simple, illustrative framework that makes the case that business success is not something to be achieved, but instead something to be maintained. You don’t arrive at business success and stay successful, but instead continually fight to maintain the delicate balance between too much policy and process, and too little.

Les McKeown asserts that there are seven different descriptors that any successful business can take on at any one time. The key here is ’successful’ business.

  • Early Struggle
  • Fun
  • Whitewater
  • Predictable Success
  • Treadmill
  • The Big Rut
  • Death Rattle

Predictable Success Leer más “Book Review and Innovation Summary – “Predictable Success””

Leadership and Change

First the bad news: If you’re not willing to embrace change you’re not ready to lead. Put simply, leadership is not a static endeavor. In fact, leadership demands fluidity, which requires the willingness to recognize the need for change, and finally the ability to lead change.

Now the good news: As much as some people want to create complexity around the topic of leading change for personal gain, the reality is that creating, managing and leading change is really quite simple. To prove my point, I’ll not only explain the entire change life-cycle in three short paragraphs, but I’ll do it in simple terms that anyone can understand. As a bonus I’ll also give you 10 items to assess in evaluating whether the change you’re considering is value added, or just change for the sake of change. [Más…]

An Overview on the Importance of Change:

While there is little debate that the successful implementation of change can create an extreme competitive advantage, it is not well understood that the lack of doing so can send a company (or an individual’s career) into a death spiral. Companies that seek out and embrace change are healthy, growing, and dynamic organizations, while companies that fear change are stagnant entities on their way to a slow and painful death.

Agility, innovation, disruption, fluidity, decisiveness, commitment, and above all else a bias toward action will lead to the creation of change. It is the implementation of change which results in evolving, growing and thriving companies. Much has been written about the importance of change, but there is very little information in circulation about how to actually create it.

While most executives and entrepreneurs have come to accept the concept of change management as a legitimate business practice, and change leadership as a legitimate executive priority in theory, I have found very few organizations that have effectively integrated change as a core discipline and focus area in reality. As promised, and without further ado, the change life-cycle in three easy steps:

A. Identifying the Need for Change: The need for change exists in every organization. Other than irrational change solely for the sake of change, every corporation must change to survive. If your entity doesn’t innovate and change in accordance with market driven needs and demands it will fail…it’s just that simple. The most complex area surrounding change is focusing your efforts in the right areas, for the right reasons, and at the right times. The ambiguity and risk can be taken out of the change agenda by simply focusing on three areas:

1. Your current customers – What needs to change to better serve your customers?
2. Potential customers – What needs to change to profitably create new customers?
3. Your talent and resources – What changes need to occur to better leverage existing talent and resources?

B. Leading Change: You cannot effectively lead change without understanding the landscape of change. There are four typical responses to change:

1. The Victim – Those that view change as a personal attack on their persona, their role, their job, or their area of responsibility. They view everything at an atomic level based upon how they perceive change will directly and indirectly impact them.
2. The Neutral Bystander – This group is neither for nor against change. They will not directly or vocally oppose change, nor will they proactively get behind change. The Neutral Bystander will just go with the flow not wanting to make any waves, and thus hoping to perpetually fly under the radar.
3. The Critic – The Critic opposes any and all change. Keep in mind that not all critics are overt in their resistance. Many critics remain in stealth mode trying to derail change behind the scenes by using their influence on others. Whether overt or covert, you must identify critics of change early in the process if you hope to succeed.
4. The Advocate – The Advocate not only embraces change, they will evangelize the change initiative. Like The Critics, it is important to identify The Advocates early in the process to not only build the power base for change, but to give momentum and enthusiasm to the change initiative.

Once you’ve identified these change constituencies you must involve all of them, message properly to each of them, and don’t let up. With the proper messaging and involvement even adversaries can be converted into allies.


by Mike Myatt
//business-strategy-innovation.com

Leadership and ChangeFirst the bad news: If you’re not willing to embrace change you’re not ready to lead. Put simply, leadership is not a static endeavor. In fact, leadership demands fluidity, which requires the willingness to recognize the need for change, and finally the ability to lead change.

Now the good news: As much as some people want to create complexity around the topic of leading change for personal gain, the reality is that creating, managing and leading change is really quite simple. To prove my point, I’ll not only explain the entire change life-cycle in three short paragraphs, but I’ll do it in simple terms that anyone can understand. As a bonus I’ll also give you 10 items to assess in evaluating whether the change you’re considering is value added, or just change for the sake of change. Leer más “Leadership and Change”

Conscious Awareness

It goes on to posit that “technology is weaving humans into electronic webs that resemble big brains.” (It’s nice to see this concept going mainstream… we talked about that idea here last November in the ‘Twitter’s Intelligent, Welcome to Web 3.0‘ post ). The next stage in the line of thinking is that this process is part of our species evolution:

Could it be that, in some sense, the point of evolution – both the biological evolution that created an intelligent species and the technological evolution that a sufficiently intelligent species is bound to unleash – has been to create these social brains, and maybe even to weave them into a giant, loosely organized planetary brain? Kind of in the way that the point of the maturation of an organism is to create an adult organism?


17th century representation of the 'third eye'...

(…) Via
//business-strategy-innovation.com
by Venessa Miemis

A recent article in the New York Times, Building One Big Brain, prompted me to write up the next skill in this 12 part series. The piece quotes Nicholas Carr’s opinions about how the Internet is reducing the “capacity for concentration and contemplation,” scattering our attention and reducing our ability to focus.

It goes on to posit that “technology is weaving humans into electronic webs that resemble big brains.” (It’s nice to see this concept going mainstream… we talked about that idea here last November in the ‘Twitter’s Intelligent, Welcome to Web 3.0‘ post ). The next stage in the line of thinking is that this process is part of our species evolution:

Could it be that, in some sense, the point of evolution – both the biological evolution that created an intelligent species and the technological evolution that a sufficiently intelligent species is bound to unleash – has been to create these social brains, and maybe even to weave them into a giant, loosely organized planetary brain? Kind of in the way that the point of the maturation of an organism is to create an adult organism?

The article didn’t treat the evolution of technology as something that was going to happen outside of us, such as a machine intelligence that will outpace us, as the technological singularity implies. (which may also happen, though). Rather, it suggests something more akin to a process of evolutionary development, in which interconnectivity and cooperation will indicate a move towards higher intelligence. The ideas reminded me of the work being done by John Stewart and the Evolution, Complexity and Cognition Research Group on intentional evolution. Check his Evolutionary Manifesto.

As someone who spends much of my time online, both of the premises of the article – decreased focused attention and increased potential for a distributed consciousness – do resonate. But, I do wonder if an intelligent planetary brain is going to emerge without some intention and conscious awareness on our part. Leer más “Conscious Awareness”

Problem Solving Skills Different Than Intelligence

Professor Mylonadis suspects that the reason that our problem-solving ability in management is limited is because our models of problem-solving are devoid of people while actual problem-solving isn’t. As useful as a decision tree might be as an analytical abstraction, the issue is how do you actually define a problem with the help of others around you? Who should these people be? What kind of input should you be asking from them? Which part of that input should you disregard? Which part of that input should you take into account?

He says further, “If you look at engineering or architecture the ability of people to explain the problem they’re working on, and ask questions so they can get feedback is very high without their need to resort to either dogma or trivia. They are helped by reference to blueprints which are a highly codified way of communicating. Our equivalent in management is jargon. Like blueprints, jargon was invented to make our exchanges efficient (we all know what is meant by a “functional organization”.) But the analogy to the blueprint ends when jargon becomes meaningless. It is also a sure way of eradicating any arguments left standing from the onslaught of dogma or trivia.”


Putting More Smart People On A Problem Might Not Be The Answer
by Idris Mootee

Problem Solving Skills Different Than IntelligenceEarly breakfast in a Boston hotel and I’m ready for an executive workshop. There are so many decision to be made in one day and just over breakfast we’re made several important decisions on some strategic issues. I realize 70% of my time on a day-to-day basis are spent on problem solving – organizational, strategic, customers, people and resources etc. It is pretty much the biggest part of any managerial job. Problem solving skills development is therefore critical for young managers.

If you’re a well educated, highly intelligent person and have a well-respected job in your chosen career, it usually means you are a good problem solver both in professional and personal settings. Professor Yiorgos Mylonadis at London Business School research is finding otherwise. His recent research shows that people can be extremely well educated with many years of experience, they may be successful managers who have accomplished great things, but frequently their ability to solve a problem is severely limited. Leer más “Problem Solving Skills Different Than Intelligence”

Rethinking Failure

Tried anything recently that didn’t quite work out? Congratulations! You’re on your way to a breakthrough.

Bottom line, there is no innovation without “failure.” If your perception of failure is “something to avoid,” you can kiss innovation goodbye. Failure comes with the territory. If the word puts you in a foul mood, use another one — like “experiment,” for example.

* “The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” — Thomas Watson, Founder of IBM
* “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” — Miles Davis
* “99 percent of success is built on failure.” — Charles Kettering
* “I have not failed once. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” — Thomas Edison
* “An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he’s in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots.” — Charles Kettering
* “Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
* “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — Robert F. Kennedy
* “Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.” — Horace
* “When we can begin to take our failures non-seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to laugh at ourselves.” — Katherine Mansfield


by Mitch Ditkoff

Rethinking FailureTried anything recently that didn’t quite work out? Congratulations! You’re on your way to a breakthrough.

Bottom line, there is no innovation without “failure.” If your perception of failure is “something to avoid,” you can kiss innovation goodbye. Failure comes with the territory. If the word puts you in a foul mood, use another one — like “experiment,” for example.

  • “The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” — Thomas Watson, Founder of IBM
  • “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” — Miles Davis
  • “99 percent of success is built on failure.” — Charles Kettering
  • “I have not failed once. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” — Thomas Edison
  • “An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he’s in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots.” — Charles Kettering
  • “Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
  • “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — Robert F. Kennedy
  • “Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.” — Horace
  • “When we can begin to take our failures non-seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to laugh at ourselves.” — Katherine Mansfield Leer más “Rethinking Failure”

Building a Marketing Strategy for Innovation Efforts

We’ve covered features, and the spectrum of innovation initiatives in our previous posts, so now let’s touch on a topic central to successful idea or innovation challenges- marketing. Properly implemented, marketing will ensure a robust social community is developed and most importantly, sustained.

It’s important to define and understand the target audience of an individual campaign or idea generating initiative before beginning any marketing effort. In general, campaigns will be either internal, employee-facing campaigns, or externally-facing to customers, targeted groups, or the general public.

Used internally, campaigns leverage the collective wisdom of employees to drive innovation. This can happen among small, cross-functional, groups, entire departments, or company-wide. Marketing a campaign to an internal audience should be targeted, utilizing existing channels of communication such as intranet portals and direct email communications. Take into account the role and functions of employees to determine the most effective means of communication—the marketing approach for factory-floor workers, for example, might be different than for software product managers.

When using idea management tools to power a public-facing campaign or initiative, it’s important to narrow down who the audience will be (much like determining targeted vs. broad-spectrum campaigns) to focus efforts and still stay as broad as possible to encourage maximum participation. Identifying where the audience can be reached—social networks, blogs, through print advertising, etc. – setting a budget, and setting and communicating expectations internally are all key factors to developing a productive community with active, sustained participation.

Here are some ways to think about how to market an ideation site campaign, and real-world examples of successful initiatives, broken down into three categories: Big Splash, Continuous Communication, and Get Creative.


by James Pasmantier

Marketing StrategyWe’ve covered features, and the spectrum of innovation initiatives in our previous posts, so now let’s touch on a topic central to successful idea or innovation challenges- marketing. Properly implemented, marketing will ensure a robust social community is developed and most importantly, sustained.

It’s important to define and understand the target audience of an individual campaign or idea generating initiative before beginning any marketing effort. In general, campaigns will be either internal, employee-facing campaigns, or externally-facing to customers, targeted groups, or the general public.

Used internally, campaigns leverage the collective wisdom of employees to drive innovation. This can happen among small, cross-functional, groups, entire departments, or company-wide. Marketing a campaign to an internal audience should be targeted, utilizing existing channels of communication such as intranet portals and direct email communications. Take into account the role and functions of employees to determine the most effective means of communication—the marketing approach for factory-floor workers, for example, might be different than for software product managers.

When using idea management tools to power a public-facing campaign or initiative, it’s important to narrow down who the audience will be (much like determining targeted vs. broad-spectrum campaigns) to focus efforts and still stay as broad as possible to encourage maximum participation. Identifying where the audience can be reached—social networks, blogs, through print advertising, etc. – setting a budget, and setting and communicating expectations internally are all key factors to developing a productive community with active, sustained participation.

Here are some ways to think about how to market an ideation site campaign, and real-world examples of successful initiatives, broken down into three categories: Big Splash, Continuous Communication, and Get Creative. Leer más “Building a Marketing Strategy for Innovation Efforts”

50 Ways to Foster a Culture of Innovation

As your organization continues rebounding from the financial meltdown, here are 50 ways to ensure that it becomes increasingly conducive to ongoing innovation. Commit to a few of these today and make some magic. Your next step?

1. Remember that innovation requires no fixed rules or templates — only guiding principles. Creating a more innovative culture is an organic and creative act.
2. Wherever you can, whenever you can, always drive fear out of the workplace. Fear is “Public Enemy #1″ of an innovative culture.
3. Have more fun. If you’re not having fun (or at least enjoying the process) something is off.
4. Always question authority, especially the authority of your own longstanding beliefs.
5. Make new mistakes.
6. As far as the future is concerned, don’t speculate on what might happen, but imagine what you can make happen.
7. Increase the visual stimuli of your organization’s physical space. Replace gray and white walls with color. Add inspiring photos and art, especially visuals that inspire people to think differently. Reconfigure space whenever possible.
8. Help people broaden their perspective by creating diverse teams and rotating employees into new projects — especially ones they are fascinated by.
9. Ask questions about everything. After asking questions, ask different questions. After asking different questions, ask them in a different way.
10. Ensure a high level of personal freedom and trust. Provide more time for people to pursue new ideas and innovations.


by Mitch Ditkoff

50 Ways to Foster a Culture of InnovationAs your organization continues rebounding from the financial meltdown, here are 50 ways to ensure that it becomes increasingly conducive to ongoing innovation. Commit to a few of these today and make some magic. Your next step?

  1. Remember that innovation requires no fixed rules or templates — only guiding principles. Creating a more innovative culture is an organic and creative act.
  2. Wherever you can, whenever you can, always drive fear out of the workplace. Fear is “Public Enemy #1″ of an innovative culture.
  3. Have more fun. If you’re not having fun (or at least enjoying the process) something is off.
  4. Always question authority, especially the authority of your own longstanding beliefs.
  5. Make new mistakes.
  6. As far as the future is concerned, don’t speculate on what might happen, but imagine what you can make happen.
  7. Increase the visual stimuli of your organization’s physical space. Replace gray and white walls with color. Add inspiring photos and art, especially visuals that inspire people to think differently. Reconfigure space whenever possible.
  8. Help people broaden their perspective by creating diverse teams and rotating employees into new projects — especially ones they are fascinated by.
  9. Ask questions about everything. After asking questions, ask different questions. After asking different questions, ask them in a different way.
  10. Ensure a high level of personal freedom and trust. Provide more time for people to pursue new ideas and innovations. Leer más “50 Ways to Foster a Culture of Innovation”

7 Creativity Thoughts to Change Your Day


by Mike Brown

7 Creativity Thoughts to Change Your Day

  1. Creativity scares the s#!t out of lots of authority figures! Hand them some toilet paper and keep going!!!
  2. Creative variation is more than okay. Creative variation is wondrous!!!
  3. Explain something you’re familiar with to someone who has no idea about it. Use pictures. Or act it out. Or make it a song.
  4. Find a few moments for creative silence today – think, pray, nap to give yourself a break.
  5. Don’t email the same old memo. Do a diagram, mind map, or sketch of your points and use it instead.
  6. When known for complete unconventionality, sometimes you have to be blatantly conventional to stay truly unconventional. Surprise somebody today.
  7. Give your brain a break by thinking about something completely frivolous right this very instant.
    Leer más “7 Creativity Thoughts to Change Your Day”

Three Simple Decision Making Tools


by Paul Williams

We make decisions all the time. Big ones, small ones, easy and tough. Making the right choice can be obvious, and sometimes it requires time invested in thought. Luckily we have simple tools to help.

(1) Pro & Con

First, the basic Pro and Con list. A list of the good and bad aspects of a particular choice.

Three Simple Decision Making Tools

If listing alone doesn’t help you make the decision, consider a Pro and Con list with scores.

(2) Scored Pro & Con

You can add a numerical weight of importance to your pro/con list. For example, a pro with a weight of 5 is more important than a pro (or con) of 1.

Scoring your list changes it from ‘which side has more thoughts’ to ‘which side is more critical.’ Add up your scores and see which side comes out stronger. Leer más “Three Simple Decision Making Tools”

Turning a Minor Innovation into a Major Innovation

John Sipe worked in an abattoir in the US in the 1920s. Like other workers there he found that he kept slipping on the wet and bloody floors. His shoes were too slippery, so he took his knife and cut thin slits across the rubber soles. He found that the shoes now gave a much better grip. In 1923 he took out a patent on the process and called it Siping with the slits called Sipes. He thought it could improve the grips of car tyres and he was right but unfortunately for him Siping was not adopted by the motor industry until the 1950s when superior tread compounds were developed that could stand up to the process.


How a Minor Innovation in One Field Can Become a Major Innovation in Another

by Paul Sloane

Turning a Minor Innovation into a Major InnovationOr, how a small idea for shoes became a big idea for cars.

Often a minor innovation in one field can become a major innovation in another field. An example is Siping.

John Sipe worked in an abattoir in the US in the 1920s. Like other workers there he found that he kept slipping on the wet and bloody floors. His shoes were too slippery, so he took his knife and cut thin slits across the rubber soles. He found that the shoes now gave a much better grip. In 1923 he took out a patent on the process and called it Siping with the slits called Sipes. He thought it could improve the grips of car tyres and he was right but unfortunately for him Siping was not adopted by the motor industry until the 1950s when superior tread compounds were developed that could stand up to the process.

On roads covered with snow, ice or water Sipes in tires significantly improve traction. A 1978 study by the US National Safety Council found that on ice Siping improved stopping distances by 22 % and rolling traction by 28%. Leer más “Turning a Minor Innovation into a Major Innovation”

Enhancing Creativity – Adult Games versus Kid Games

They typically have a complex set of rules that all of the players need to adhere to. If you break the rules you “go to jail,” are disqualified, or get penalized.

Adult games end. The game is over when all of the other players are out of money, when the “clock” says there is not more time, or when everyone has had their turn.

And nearly every adult game has a winner and one or more losers. They are competitions.

Contrast this with kid games.


by Stephen Shapiro

Enhancing Creativity - Adult Games versus Kids GamesIn my blog post, “How Can Goals Enhance Creativity” I said…

“…As long as everyone in the organization believes they are playing a game which is designed to get them energized today, and it is not specifically about hitting the target, I can assure you that people will be more motivated.”

Games can be a useful tool for enhancing creativity. They make work more fun, they reduce stress, and they get people in action.

HOWEVER…

Not all games are created equally. There are adult games and kid games.

With adult games, there tend to be rigid rules, the games have an ending, and there are winners and losers.

Think about nearly every game we play: Monopoly, poker, or basketball. Leer más “Enhancing Creativity – Adult Games versus Kid Games”

Why Does the Creative Fire Have to Die?

Earlier this year I had a great idea for a web application.

I mapped out potential site features, sketched out a design, and started researching how to put the thing together.

I was completely immersed in the flow of creating. The idea was fresh, new, and exciting, and I loved every minute I had working on it.

But then after a few months, the idea hit a stage where it turned into a grind. I loved the idea still, but I didn’t love working on it.

The fire behind the idea had officially died.

***

There are going to be days when inspiration fades. Ideas are sexy in the beginning, but over time developing them can become a grind. And as if some unknown source is trying to lure me away from the original idea, another “better” idea will pop into my head.

It can be draining to develop an idea from start to finish. Most people don’t understand that ideas truly become a labor of love after a certain point. Finishing isn’t a goal; it’s a quest.


by Glen Stansberry

Why Does the Creative Fire Have to Die?Earlier this year I had a great idea for a web application.

I mapped out potential site features, sketched out a design, and started researching how to put the thing together.

I was completely immersed in the flow of creating. The idea was fresh, new, and exciting, and I loved every minute I had working on it.

But then after a few months, the idea hit a stage where it turned into a grind. I loved the idea still, but I didn’t love working on it.

The fire behind the idea had officially died.

***

There are going to be days when inspiration fades. Ideas are sexy in the beginning, but over time developing them can become a grind. And as if some unknown source is trying to lure me away from the original idea, another “better” idea will pop into my head.

It can be draining to develop an idea from start to finish. Most people don’t understand that ideas truly become a labor of love after a certain point. Finishing isn’t a goal; it’s a quest. Leer más “Why Does the Creative Fire Have to Die?”