Innovation in Practice Blog

February 23, 2021

The Power of Combining Things: How to be Creative Anytime with Simple Unexpected Combinations

Think you’re the most uncreative person in the world?  Well, not anymore.  You can decide to become creative if you want to right in this very […]
February 16, 2021

Are You Sitting on The Next Big Thing?

Have you ever been in your car driving down the road or you’re at a friend’s house or in your house or at work, then all […]
February 9, 2021

Why Some People See Creative Ideas More Clearly Than Others

Are you one of those people that a company would choose to call to get feedback about their products or services?  Do you have the right […]
February 2, 2021

Creative Ways to Improve How People See You: Adding Prestige to Who You Are

What makes luxury brands and products so special? They’ve got the prestige or reputation that’s unparalleled. Now, what if you’re able to translate that into you […]
January 26, 2021

What’s In a Name?

Naming objects is very useful. We name things all the time because it makes things efficient. It helps us understand our world and it’s how we […]
January 19, 2021

Mastering Creative Thinking: Two Techniques to Make Creative Thinking Stick

Becoming even just a little bit more creative will enhance what you do every day – whether at work, at home, or just about anywhere.  But […]
January 12, 2021

The Creative Power of Thinking Big: How to Improve Your Ideas with One Simple Trick

Think big. You’ve probably heard that a lot of times.  As leaders, we need to be more aggressive, take more risks, and challenge ourselves to think […]
January 5, 2021

The Temptation of Creative Ideas: How We View Ideas Differently Depending on the Source

The next time you come up with a great idea, don’t share it with anyone! Sounds absurd, right? Here’s a better way of saying that: If […]
December 29, 2020

You’re Awesome! How Sarcasm Enhances Creativity

Sarcasm is the idea of using irony in a way to mock somebody or to insult them. While sarcasm can be insulting and hurtful to somebody, […]
December 22, 2020

The Golden Rule of Creativity

The golden rule says that you should treat others as you want them to treat you.  Now, the golden rule of creativity states that if you […]
April 18, 2011

Innovation Pilot Program

Companies can reduce the risk of adopting new innovation methods by testing them first. A short, pilot program that addresses a specific product or service line helps you understand whether a new method is right for your company. Pilot programs help keep your costs in line, and they help you reduce resistance to adopting new methods. To organize an innovation pilot program:
July 4, 2011

Innovation Gone Wild

AOL succumbed to the myth that creating an eclectic workspace makes employees suddenly more innovative. The headline from USA Today reads: “It’s engineers gone wild at AOL: Quirky office space inspires app innovation.” Quirky? “The space you work in is a reflection of the kind of company you are,” says Brad Garlinghouse, AOL’s president of the Application and Commerce Group. “You get innovation,” he insists, from “working in a space that’s very open and doesn’t have offices…where people can work together and play together.” Further, the company believes letting workers draw on the walls helps creativity. AOL is in more trouble than I thought.
July 25, 2011

The LAB: Innovating a Corporate Training Program (July 2011)

Corporate training is a $60 billion dollar industry and growing as the economy recovers. As with any industry, significant changes are occurring. Companies spend less on fixed internal resources and are outsourcing more. Learners are changing in the way they learn, perhaps due to the generational shift. And of course, technology has made the social side of learning more available and effective. Training executives, those who manage company training resources and programs, must continue to innovate to address these changes to stay relevant. For this month's LAB, we will apply the corporate innovation method, S.I.T., to a training program. Our goal is to find new-to-the-world concepts that improve a company's training efforts. The method works by applying one of five innovation patterns to components within the training environment. The pattern has the effect of morphing the component into something that seems unrecognizable or ambiguous. We take that "virtual product" and work backwards to uncover potential benefits or markets served, a process called "Function Follows Form."
August 15, 2011

Innovation in Private Equity

Private equity firms can boost the value of their investment portfolio by applying a systematic innovation method along the entire investment value chain - before, during, and even after the investment. Private equity firms are collections of investors and funds that put money into privately-held companies. Private equity investments provide working capital to a target company to nurture expansion, new product development, or restructuring of the company’s operations, management, or ownership. Private equity firms are betting on their ability to take control of the target, clean it up, make it more competitive, and then sell it for a higher price. It is like "flipping" a home in the real estate market. Here is how a private equity firm could apply systematic innovation in their portfolios:
August 22, 2011

Innovation Suite 2011 in Berlin

SIT will hold its 7th Innovation Suite in Berlin, Germany from October 24-26, 2011. Participants will learn the tools and principles of the SIT method step-by-step. They will also learn how to implement an innovation program within their companies.
October 10, 2011

Social Enterprise Innovation

Congratulations to the Columbia Business School for hosting the 2011 Social Enterprise Conference. Six hundred enlightened attendees witnessed a unique lineup of keynote speakers and breakout sessions. Social enterprises are challenged to create new business models to capture social, economic and environmental value. The conference focused on supporting innovation, promoting sustainability, advancing technology, and building communities. Key Takeaways from my breakout session, “Designing a Better Social Enterprise,” were:
October 17, 2011

Are You More Innovative Than You Think?

DnaYou may be surprised to find many of your products and services conform to the five innovation patterns of Systematic Inventive Thinking. If so, it means your employees are predisposed to use innovation patterns when developing new products. Like many innovators, they are using patterns probably without realizing it. Given this predisposition to using innovation templates, a company can realize huge gains in innovation effectiveness by taking the next step.
January 2, 2012

Master the Method: Innovation Suite 2012

I invite you to join me at Innovation Suite 2012 in New York City February 27 to 29. Innovation Suite is a 3-day premium training course that teaches: * How to apply SIT innovation tools on your specific business issues * How to facilitate innovation sessions * How to develop an innovation culture in your business My favorite part about this course: every participant gets a personal SIT facilitator to coach them before and after the course! Whether you are an experienced SIT practitioner or completely new to the SIT method, this course helps you develop critical new skills on your road to innovation mastery.
January 9, 2012

Redeploying Your Core Competencies

Read this partial list of core competencies for a particular firm and try to guess what industry it is in: 1. Consumer insights: understanding what consumer want 2. Design: making things easy to use 3. Innovation: coming up with new ideas routinely 4. Systems integration: making things work together 5. Customer relationships: forming and maintaining customer loyalty From this list alone, you could imagine this firm being part of virtually any industry. In fact, the firm with these core competencies would likely be the leader of that industry. Which company owns these skills? In 2008, managers at Kodak cited these skills as their core competencies. Less than four years later, Kodak is on the verge of bankruptcy, ending the reign of a once proud and legenday 120 year old brand. It is now forced to sell its massive patent estate to raise operating cash. What happened? Many will cite the familiar reasons: failure to innovate, slow to move into digital photography, poor execution of digital photography, and so on. Yet none of these reasons are correct. Kodak was a highly innovative firm. It invented digital photography long before it wiped out its paper film business. Kodak was a marketing powerhouse. It could execute marketing campaigns and brand building with the best of them.
February 13, 2012

The Hidden Cost of Poor Innovation Execution

Executing and launching new products takes financial and human resources. But there is a hidden cost, one which often goes unnoticed, when the project is delayed. Poor execution postpones the revenue stream from a new innovation. Given the time value of money, that financial loss can be staggering. Consider one of the most famous innovative product - the Post-it® Note.