Posts tagged "Innovation"

When you are on autopilot, you are highly efficient. But when the rules change around you, this can lead to disaster…. I lived in London for several years. Before moving to England, I considered myself to be an excellent driver. But I quickly learned that some simple changes could make it difficult to operate a […]

Advances in 3D printing will revolutionize manufacturing and the supply chain… Imagine you are an executive at UPS. What market shifts would keep you up at night? Maybe it’s the fact the Amazon.com announced they want to get into the logistics business to compete head-to-head with UPS and FedEx. Maybe it is the rapid development of drone technologies […]

Sometimes the best way to learn innovative approaches to innovation is to read something completely different… If you want to be a better innovator, there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of great books on the topic. But as I mentioned in an earlier article, expertise can be the enemy of innovation. The more you know about […]

Don’t ask for great ideas only when brainstorming solutions to challenging problems… When brainstorming, we typically ask people to give us their best ideas. But what if the path to finding great ideas is to intentionally find start with terrible ones? Think about the world prior to vaccines. What would be the dumbest way to […]

You can create an environment where everyone can contribute to your company’s innovation efforts… How do you structure your innovation teams? If you are like most companies, you put your most creative people in a room to develop ideas who then hand off those ideas to a team of implementers. But is this always the […]

Most of the work you do is not important and in fact slows you down… My first real job was working for a large computer manufacturer in their production control department. After two months there, the department head called me into his office and told me I was the laziest person he’d ever met. And […]

All the skills that make a magician great also apply to ambitious entrepreneurs. Do you have what it takes? I’ve always loved magic. For me, it went beyond entertainment; it was an intellectual endeavor. I enjoyed trying to figure out how an illusion was done. The actual solution didn’t matter because it was the process […]

The questions you ask may not be helping you learn anything new… Imagine this scenario: A woman walks into a hardware store. She can buy 6 for $6, 12 for $12, or 24 for $12. What is she buying? I’ve asked this question of thousands of executives over the years, and no one has ever […]

Contrary to conventional wisdom, opposites don’t attract–and this is bad for innovation…. I remember speaking with a recruiter who once turned down a candidate I had recommended. I asked why and was told, “He didn’t fit the mold.” In other words, unless you fit our cookie cutter requirements, you won’t work here. This point of […]

To gather real insights, you want stories, not surveys… Many years ago, I gave a 90-minute speech to 400 non-military researchers at the US Air Force. These scientists create planes and weapons for our military. The first 45 minutes of the presentation seemed to go really well. The audience was high energy, laughing when I […]

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