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Preview: Heads-Up! on Organizational Innovation

Heads-Up! on Organizational Innovation





Updated: 2010-01-08T08:51:00-07:00

 



Reverse Innovation

2010-01-08T08:52:59-07:00

A Heads Up! from Ruth Ann Hattori There was a small blurb in Business Week (October 2009) mentioning the idea of “reverse innovation” which probably isn’t particularly descriptive of the concept—the process of adapting products which were originally created for... A Heads Up! from Ruth Ann Hattori   There was a small blurb in Business Week (October 2009) mentioning the idea of “reverse innovation” which probably isn’t particularly descriptive of the concept—the process of adapting products which were originally created for emerging markets into goods for customers in more developed countries.  You may know this concept as “trickle-up innovation” (which may be more apt) but a recent HBR article about GE’s “reverse innovation” will probably popularize the name.  The article co-authored by GE CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt, distinguishes “glocalization”—the historically common practice of developing products in rich countries then expanding distribution globally—with what they call reverse innovation, as exemplified by their development of a $1000 handheld electrocardiogram for rural India which is now distributed in the US.   In promoting the importance of reverse innovation to the health and vitality of developed countries, the authors challenge two basic assumptions that have seemed to support the prevailing model of glocalization:  1) that the evolution of emerging economies will be similar to the the evolution of today’s developed economies and 2) that customers in developed countries are not interested in products that were developed for needs of an emerging economy. As GE has found, the opportunity for creating markets for these often low-priced products is huge.  And, the authors stress the need for this strategy as a defense against the multitude of new, global competitors from emerging countries.  Not only will those “emerging giants” develop products for their own needs, they will eventually find ways to market them to the “developed” world.  Is it a stretch to imagine that those new products might replace our existing market-share?  However, the challenges of embracing the reverse innovation model are many as most established firms are structured for the glocalization model.  GE has embarked on a new organizational format to address this clash, and you can read about their strategy, built around a concept called Local Growth Team (LGT), by clicking on the link below: http://hbr.harvardbusiness.org/2009/10/how-ge-is-disrupting-itself/ar/1 Is your organization looking for “trickle-up” or reverse innovations?  Better hurry up.     [...]



Von Oech's "Whack" 25 Years Later

2008-06-20T07:00:00-06:00

It seems like yesterday that I picked up a book on creativity and said, “Wow! I wish I’d written this book.” It was fun, practical and wise. Actually however, it was twenty-five years ago and the book was Roger von... It seems like yesterday that I picked up a book on creativity and said, “Wow! I wish I’d written this book.”  It was fun, practical and wise.  Actually however, it was twenty-five years ago and the book was Roger von Oech’s, A Whack on the Side of the Head.   The fact that it has sold a zillion copies in 17 languages and spawned the extremely popular “Creative Whack Pack” card deck only added to my writer’s envy.  However, after meeting Roger in online chat rooms and later in person, I’m convinced that no one but Roger could have written this book … his mind is a labyrinth of curiosity and questions and he has deeply explored subjects that I had never heard of until I met Roger … one tongue-tangling example … rhombic triacontahedrons... something Roger calls “geometry’s most beautiful shape” and forms the basis of his new “Ball of Whacks,” a three-dimensional, magnetic creativity stimulator that fascinates people of all ages.  As you read Roger’s book, you’ll find examples and stories unlike any other business or management book you’re likely to pick up.  Where else would you read that if you’d lived 5,000 years ago you would have had a different North Star?  When Paul Williams of http://idea-sandbox.com asked me to participate in the virtual tour for the 25th Anniversary Edition of Roger’s book, I was delighted to have the opportunity to ask Roger some questions that had been lurking in the back of my mind. --------------------Q:  Roger, think back to before your book was written.  There were very few books on creativity, much less on the practical application of creativity.  And none of the existing books had achieved any level of general popularity.  What were you thinking?  Why did you write the book and what were your expectations for it? A.  Back then, most "creativity" books were fairly boring. I felt that a book about creativity should be fun, informative, and interactive. That's what motivated me to write "Whack." When I began writing it in 1981-82, I had already been doing creative seminars with corporate America for five years. Thus, I had a pretty good sense of what ideas would resonate in a book. In addition, I picked up a lot of stories and examples from seminar participants. These helped to give the book additional vitality. "Whack" was originally self-published (the big publishers turned it down). After it sold 30,000 copies in about four months, I was able to do a deal with Warner Books. They did a first printing of 110,000 copies and sent me on a 27-city book tour in 1983. It's been a consistent seller ever since. I'm particularly excited about this new 25th Anniversary Edition. I hope it reaches a new generation of creative thinkers! Q:   When did your interest in creativity and the principles of creativity begin?  Is there a particular event or person in your life that fostered that interest? A.  Ever since I was little, I've been interested in ideas and how people get them. I'd have to thank my parents for giving me support and encouragement when I'd try some "odd-ball" project. That helped give me the self-confidence that every creative person needs. Having a creative teacher every couple of years or so also helped. Q:  You’ve said one way your thinking has changed over the past twenty-five years is your increased appreciation for constraints and limits in stimulating creativity.  I’ve found this to be one of the hardest areas for people to deal with and they often push back with the cliché, “Think outside the box.”  How do you get people to focus on constraints and limits in a way that stimulates creativity rather than shutting it down? A.  I thi[...]



Pulling the Wagon

2007-12-29T08:21:35-07:00

Here’s a thought for the new year delivered by a light-hearted commercial. The next time you think you’re pulling the wagon yourself, you might remember this young Clydesdale.. And if you’re in an organization thinking about “compensating and rewarding” innovation,...

(image) Here’s a thought for the new year delivered by a light-hearted commercial.  The next time you think you’re pulling the wagon yourself, you might remember this young Clydesdale..  And if you’re in an organization thinking about “compensating and rewarding” innovation, you might ask whether the compensation should go to those in front of or behind the wagon. 

Wishing you and yours an abundantly innovative and joyful coming year.  May 2008 be the year the world wakes up to the possibilities of peace and finds new ways to resolve our differences and heal our planet.

Best wishes ... Joyce Wycoff




Productive Thinking

2007-11-07T06:23:03-07:00

From: Joyce Wycoff With all the talk about INNOVATION going on today, there's still relatively little talk about THINKING. And yet, thinking, creative, rational, strategic, collaborative thinking is the foundation of innovation. Tim Hurson's new book "Think Better" is an... From: Joyce Wycoff With all the talk about INNOVATION going on today, there's still relatively little talk about THINKING.  And yet, thinking, creative, rational, strategic, collaborative thinking is the foundation of innovation.  Tim Hurson's new book "Think Better" is an important addition to the innovation literature.  Tim has kindly given us some chapter excerpts to whet your appetite.  We highly recommend that you check out the entire book. When you read the excerpt from Chapter 3, think about "fossil ideas" that are lurking in your life and in your organization. Better Thinking (your company's future depends on it ... and so does yours)  by Tim Hurson From Chapter 1 ... Why Think Better To create the future, you have to be able to imagine it. Productive thinking is a way to help you do that. It’s not magic. It’s a disciplined approach to thinking more creatively and more effectively. You can actually train yourself to think better. The more you practice it, the better you’ll get. The better you get, the more opportunities you will have to make a better world, a better company, a better life. The power of productive thinking lies its potential to increase your chances of finding, developing, and ultimately implementing unexpected connections. Although I’ve been helping people and companies discover unexpected connections for years, I am consistently astonished when they appear  ... sometimes in an instant, sometimes after months or even years of searching. They seem to be in limitless supply: an infinite number of AHAs waiting to be discovered. From Chapter 2 Monkey Mind, Gator Brain and the Elephant's Tether There’s an interesting biological yardstick called the RMR, which stands for resting metabolic rate. Your RMR is the amount of energy your body needs just to stay alive. Your brain, that mysterious cluster of ganglia, neurons, axons, dendrites, gray and white matter, lobes, synapses (and empty space!), represents about 2 percent of your total body mass (to get a sense of that ratio, imagine one teaspoon of sugar in a standard cup of coffee). Just to keep you alive, your brain requires a disproportionate amount of energy. At rest, it consumes about 20 percent of the oxygen you breathe and the calories you burn (imagine your coffee with 10 teaspoons of sugar!). That’s more than your heart (10 percent), your lungs (10 percent), and your kidneys (7 percent). And that 20 percent gobbled up by your brain is just in a resting state. When you’re really thinking, that proportion can go way up. Chess masters, for example, have been known to sweat out between 7 and 10 pounds of fluid during a two-hour chess match. So thinking ... truly focused thinking, which includes mental activities such as observing, remembering, wondering, imagining, inquiring, interpreting, evaluating, judging, identifying, supposing, composing, comparing, analyzing, calculating, and even metacognition (thinking about thinking) ...is hard work. Which, as Ford said, is probably why so few people actually do it. You may be saying to yourself, "Don’t be silly. I’m thinking all the time. I never stop thinking. I think while I work, while I talk, while I drive. In fact, I’m thinking while I read these words."  Well, it probably seems as though you’re thinking all the time, but like the rest of your body, your brain uses a variety of strategies and tricks to minimize the energy it requires, and its most effective strategy for conserving brain energy is actually not to think at all. In fact, most of the time your brain is involved in just one of three activities: distraction, reaction, or following well-worn p[...]



Innovation Best Practices

2007-10-12T05:03:40-06:00

Learn the latest in global innovation best practices - entirely from your computer! Announcing the Global Innovation Exchange 2007 virtual conference (November 7-9), a groundbreaking online event focused on collaboratively sharing and diffusing innovation insights, strategies and next practices from...

Learn the latest in global innovation best practices - entirely from your computer!  Announcing the Global Innovation Exchange 2007 virtual conference (November 7-9), a groundbreaking online event focused on collaboratively sharing and diffusing innovation insights, strategies and next practices from around the world.  Learn about emerging innovation models, tools and approaches from leading experts from Johnson & Johnson, the Innovation Center Denmark and numerous other organizations from the US, Europe, India and the Middle East.  For more information or to register, visit http://www.innovation-point.com/GIE2007/index.htm.




Making Thinking Visible and Peering

2007-09-26T05:04:14-06:00

You, Me and Pictures Part 1 Making Thinking Visible and Peering By Linda Yaven peer: to look very carefully peer: somebody who is equal to another person This afternoon my nephews Eli, 9 and Zach, 8, were playing on the... You, Me and Pictures Part 1 Making Thinking Visible and Peering By Linda Yaven peer: to look very carefully peer: somebody who is equal to another person This afternoon my nephews Eli, 9 and Zach, 8, were playing on the front porch with toy boats, cars and planes. Suddenly I heard the cousins squabbling and Eli shouting “But just imagine it, Zach! Imagine the scene!” Zachary, being an articulate fellow, was shouting back “I don’t know what you are talking about! I can’t imagine it! It’s stressing me out to try!” Each of us has a unique relationship to the domain of the creative. In Zach’s case, seeing is believing. I know his imaginative capacity shows up in math, music and dance. Yet this simple exchange between children echoes the cultural conversation between logic and intuition, left/right brain, image/text and quantitative/qualitative thinking. A few days ago a colleague e-mailed exuberant about a project to ask: “How can I make my thinking visible?” A savvy question because whenever we are wrapped up in data we can easily lose a handle. An emergent category is surfacing in the pressure cooker of business innovation called Making Thinking Visible. Since 1999 along with colleagues and graduate students I have been designing/implementing MTV curriculum, recently adapting it for business. I have identified here its advantages as a strategy for interactive research. Part 2 of this article will focus on MTV as a strategy for building cohesive teams swiftly. 1. Making Thinking Visible furthers thinking by making a line of inquiry visible. We usually think of documentation as a something moribund and conclusive. At the core of MTV, however, documentation is a responsive, interactive dynamic and a mirroring tool for a chosen cycle of inquiry. MTV is an improved discovery session for researching desired topics. It makes use of digital/non-digital documentation, unfolds in specific, successive phases with custom tailored goals unique to the people putting it into play. Although it uses visuals alongside words it does not require a visual skill set; in a recent training there was audible relief to discover how accessible it is. It puts participants in a good mood by providing understandable ways to test out ideas, gain control of unwieldy processes and elicit diverse lines of inquiry for higher order outcome. 2. Making Thinking Visible for whom? MTV is for individuals, teams and for showcasing work to those “outside” a process. It demystifies the fog that so often adheres to creativity and, paradoxically, originates penetrating questions. It produces a font of graphic evidence. For INDIVIDUALS   In my colleague’s case she is asking for a way to articulate her own thinking back to herself. Her question opens another one addressed by MTV: “How do I find out what I don’t know I don’t know?” For TEAMS MTV articulates team thinking – collaborative intelligence – back to a group. For SHOWCASING   MTV provides visual evidence of a cycle of inquiry to “outsiders”: clients, customers, managers, peers – so others can follow the footprint of a thinking process. Not long ago I got a call from a client in Wisconsin saying her organization had tons of great material and successful case studies but they were drowning under it; how to gain control to provide coherent evidence of their triumphs to clients? In each case the visual evidence produced by an individual or group during MTV is a tangible reflecting tool allowing all to revisit a process lucidly - to cull, edit, edify thinking and enlighten others about what you are up to. It counters d[...]



Paint Jam

2007-09-09T18:58:16-06:00

Just when you think you can't do something, watch this incredible video. It takes 5 minutes but it will give you a new perspective on what's possible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIJtKxdRQzY

(image) Just when you think you can't do something, watch this incredible video.  It takes 5 minutes but it will give you a new perspective on what's possible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIJtKxdRQzY




Make Your Ideas Sticky

2007-09-07T14:39:32-06:00

Ideas are a dime a dozen ... but *everything* starts with an idea. ... So how can you make your ideas "stick"? Marketing guru, Guy Kawasaki makes the following prediction for Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others... Ideas are a dime a dozen ... but *everything* starts with an idea.  ... So how can you make your ideas "stick"?Marketing guru, Guy Kawasaki makes the following prediction for Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath: it will join The Tipping Point and Built to Last as a must-read for business people. The book explains why some ideas stick and some don’t--and I’ve been on both sides of this equation. A warning though: If you read this book, you’ll revamp a lot of your marketing material (as you probably should). Chip Heath will be one of the featured keynote speakers at the 13th annual Innovation Convergence:  Innovation Immersion, held October 15-17th in Scottsdale, AZ.  (More information and registration:http://www.iirusa.com/convergence.) Here’s a selection from an interview  Guy conducted with the authors (full text can be found on Guy’s blog: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/01/the_stickiness_.html.) Question: What separates ideas that stick from those that don’t? Answer: We spent lots of time researching sticky ideas--ideas that people understand, remember, and that change the way people think or behave. The ideas we studied ranged from the ludicrous to the profound, from urban legends (no, there is no kidney theft ring) to great scientific theories (yes, the land we walk around on does ride on giant tectonic plates and when they collide they cause mountain ranges and earthquakes). We found there were six principles (SUCCES) that link sticky ideas of all kinds. Sticky ideas won’t always have all six, but the more, the merrier. For example, JFK’s idea to "put a man on the moon in a decade" had all six of them:1.      Simple -- A single, clear mission. 2.      Unexpected -- A man on the moon? It seemed like science fiction at the time. 3.      Concrete -- Success was defined so clearly -- no one could quibble about man, moon, or decade. 4.      Credible -- This was the President of the U.S. talking. 5.      Emotional -- It appealed to the aspirations and pioneering instincts of an entire nation. 6.      Story -- An astronaut overcomes great obstacles to achieve an amazing goal.Join us at Convergence for even more about how to make your ideas stick ... it could make all the difference in the success of your ideas ... and your personal success.  You'll also get a chance to hear from: -- Gunter Pauli, Founder & Director of ZERI (Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives Foundation-- Arkadi Kuhlmann, CEO of ING Direct-- Mary Cullinane, The Technology Architect for Microsoft's School of the Future-- Jane Stevenson, Managing Partner, Heidrik & Struggles-- Michael Chai, Sr. V.P. Leapfrog Enterprises Also learn from a host of other innovation practitioners from major organizations such as:  HP, Carlso Hotels Worldwide, Kimberly-Clark, Church & Dwight Co, NineSigma, Motorola University, General Mills, Adobe Systems, Mayo Clinic, Dow Corning, Ping, Inc., Mondi Business Paper Services, The Yankee Candle Company, Dunkin' Brands, Inc, Visa USA, Intel and more. [...]



Trust: the Heart of Innovation Free Web Seminar

2007-08-14T10:43:10-06:00

Why is it that many (large and small) companies have challenges in making innovation work -- or even holding successful "off-the-wall" creative sessions? Often it is because innovation is viewed by some key people more of a "threat" than as...



Tom Peter's 5 P's of Innovation

2007-08-14T09:51:02-06:00

Valarie Willis, principal with the Tom Peters Company tells us that Tom has come up with five P's of Innovation Success. She states, "As I read them, I thought about how I have believed for quite awhile that innovation comes...

Valarie Willis, principal with the Tom Peters Company tells us that Tom has come up with five P's of Innovation Success. She states, "As I read them, I thought about how I have believed for quite awhile
that innovation comes as a result of Pain, Passion or Need.  Usually one of the three will move us to do something new, different and creative.  Of course, Tom always has a different take on things so
here are his 5 P's:"

Pissed-offedness - Something that makes you so mad, that you decide enough is enough, let's fix this!  Dick Nettel of Bank of America tells the story of how people had to press a buzzer to get in and out of the mail room at the bank. The buzzer was 'important' for security reasons.  They figured out a way around that buzzer,Dick said, 'it was like a light bulb went off,fix the problem."

Passion - Passion drives most non-profit companies, so why not organizations?  Dyson who invented the first vacuum that wouldn't lose suction was passionate about his invention, even though it scared the other vacuum companies. The other vacuum companies couldn't imagine a bagless vacuum, after all, bags were worth millions in sales.  Dyson almost went broke bringing his vacuum to market. Passion prevailed.

Pals - Never go it alone. If you want to go out on the limb, be sure to have someone holding on to you so that you don't fall.  LeJeune from Fabcon manufacturing came up with an idea to make concrete panels for building lighter.  He had two other Fabcon employees in on the idea, who served as sounding boards. The company eventually created a new product called VersaCore, which according to Gallup helped the company to stay in business.

Politics - What is it that no one likes, it exists everywhere, and everyone is guilty of it but me? Politics would be the right answer.  Think of politics like gaining sponsorship, and as a way to get your idea 'sold' in the corporate marketplace. We all need influential people who can help market and sell a good idea.  Every project needs a project sponsor or champion

Persistence - Most ideas will get shot down before a person finish speaking, but those who prevail will not give up on an idea.  There were two sisters who invented a product called Ghostline, this is a poster board with faint lines so that you can write straight on the paper, but it looks as if no lines exist.  They invented this product after helping their young relative with a science project where they had to start over several times to get it right.  They stayed with their idea until they found a paper company that would produce it for them. Their persistence paid off, they now get royalty checks in the mail, from not only the company that is producing the paper, but from a competitor that tried to copy their idea!

If you want Tom's PowerPoint slides on innovation, you can download them from his site:
http://www.tompeters.com/slides/uploaded/TRY_It_072407.ppt