Innovation in Practice Blog

May 6, 2019

Featured in BBC Article

I had the privilege of recently being interviewed by Alex Hannaford, a BBC journalist for an article that ran last week. In his article, “How hindsight […]
April 16, 2019

Be a Catalyst for Change

Professors change the world, once student at a time. I’m regularly asked about my transition to academia. The first question I ask the professional considering the switch is whether he […]
March 25, 2019

Announcing LinkedIn Learning a-la-carte!

Many of you enjoy the benefit of sharpening your skills through LinkedIn Learning courses. To date, LinkedIn offers access to their entire course library via subscription. […]
February 27, 2019

Thinking Outside the Box About “Outside the Box”

Guest post by Bill Fanelli Last fall I attended a workshop led by author, marketing consultant, and University professor Drew Boyd. He challenged my thinking about […]
January 8, 2019

Now is the time to prepare

There are a lot of people standing in a lot of lines for academic positions. You need to find the lines that are most likely to lead to a job for you.
November 12, 2018

Launching My Latest Book

I’m thrilled to let you know my new book, So You Want to Be a Professor: How to Land Your Dream Job in Academia, just launched! […]
November 5, 2018

Introducing Switchers

I am excited to announce a new book that was just released by my friend and colleague, Dawn Graham. Switchers is the first book written specifically for the career changer, to help them to […]
October 22, 2018

Attribute Dependency in Bifocal Glasses

Bifocal users must no longer battle their strange, new lenses, thanks to the technology of Mitsui Chemicals of Japan. This spring, Mitsui launched their TouchFocus line, […]
October 15, 2018

Running Effective Innovation Workshops

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that innovation is a team sport. The strongest teams are characterized by functional, gender, and cultural diversity among its members. And, […]
October 3, 2018

Training Your Team to Innovate

To drive innovation across your company, you must train your employees how to innovate. Innovation is a skill, not a gift, and it can be learned […]
May 23, 2016

Want to Innovate? Make Sure You Have a Seat at the Table

For most companies, the top marketer, usually called the chief marketing officer, is part of the senior leadership team and sits on the executive committee or […]
May 16, 2016

Innovating Through Partnerships

Have you ever heard the expression, "Riding on the Coattails of Others?" What it means is - achieving success by associating with other people or groups. In sales and marketing, it’s another great way to create opportunities and improve your sales revenue. Let’s look at how.
April 27, 2016

Innovation Sighting: “Sweaty” Billboards That Fight the Zika Virus

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Zika virus is a global emergency. To fight it, humans have to find a way to kill the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. Two marketing agencies in Brazil have designed a novel way to do just that. They call it The Mosquito Killer Billboard. It's a great example of the Task Unification Technique, one of five in the innovation method called Systematic Inventive Thinking. Here's how their innovation works:
April 18, 2016

Are You an Innovator? Take the Quiz

Are You an Innovator? Take the Quiz.
April 11, 2016

The Division Technique: Cut Your Challenges Down to Size

The division technique works by dividing a product or its components functionally or physically and then rearranging them back into the product. Division is a powerful technique because it forces you to break fixedness, especially structural fixedness. Division forces you to create configurations by rearranging components in ways you were not likely to have done on with on your own.
April 7, 2016

How and Why You Want to Strip Great Ideas of Their Identity

You've heard that old adage. Don't judge a book by its cover. The same holds true in creativity. We want to resist the temptation of judging ideas depending on where it came from. Yet, its very difficult for us to do this. If we like the person, we tend to like their idea. And if we don't like that person, well, let's just say we might see a few more flaws than we might have otherwise.
March 21, 2016

Innovation Sighting: Task Unification and the Oombrella

I love umbrellas and the many versions that demonstrate the five patterns of Systematic Inventive Thinking. Here's a new one that demonstrates the Task Unification pattern. Task Unification is defined as: assigning an additional task to an existing resource. That resource should be in the immediate vicinity of the problem, or what we call The Closed World. In essence, it's taking something that is already around you and giving an additional job.
March 14, 2016

Innovation Sighting: Putting Space Aliens to Work

Task Unification is defined as: assigning an additional task to an existing resource. That resource should be in the immediate vicinity of the problem, or what we call The Closed World. In essence, it's taking something that is already around you and giving an additional job.
March 7, 2016

Marketing Innovation: Chicken and the Absurd Alternative Tool

One of my favorites is the Absurd Alternative Tool. It works by offering exaggerated alternatives to using the product or service to highlight the benefit. But the key is to make the alternative truly absurd. Otherwise viewers can get confused.
February 8, 2016

Got a Great Idea? Don’t Take Credit For It

You've heard that old adage. Don't judge a book by its cover. The same holds true in creativity. We want to resist the temptation of judging ideas depending on where it came from. Yet, its very difficult for us to do this. If we like the person, we tend to like their idea. And if we don't like that person, well, let's just say we might see a few more flaws than we might have otherwise. Now you and your colleagues might not even be aware that you're doing this. And what this means for you in practice is that you have to find a way to strip ideas of their identity.