New at BI: There’s a Critical Difference Between Creativity and Innovation

BusInsider-MediumThere’s a lot of confusion surrounding creativity and innovation. “Creative types,” in particular, claim that creativity and innovation can’t be measured. Performance, however, demands measurement so you can identify what success looks like. In a world that changes every two seconds, it’s imperative that companies figure out the difference between creativity and innovation.

You better believe they’re different.

Read more:

Read More

Recent Posts at Collaborative Innovation

The sponsors of the Collaborative Innovation site, Dassault Systèmes, held their Customer 3D Experience Forum in Orlando Florida recently and this year’s event offered a fantastic array of tools and solutions for the way in which 3D modeling can be used to prototype product and service experiences as well as the design and manufacture of those offerings. I was originally going to be spending some time at the event but another storm coming up the Eastern seaboard of the USA put a decided crimp in those plans and I decided to observe the activities from afar—ah, the wonders of modern technology. Needless-to-say, while it would have been better to be onsite, I managed to see some patterns and key ideas across the various presentations. Here are a couple of my posts in response:

The View from Afar – 3DS in FL viewed from NJ

Due to another unfortunate weather systemmaking a guest appearance on the East Coast of the USA this week I was unable to successfully get into and out of Orlando forDassault Systèmes3D Experience Forum. Which is a shame because it looks like the range of innovations shared that are using 3D visualization to drive their successful implementation would have been great to witness first-hand.

Already this morning Tesla has been sharing the “Oooo”-worthy falcon-wing doors of its newModel X cross over vehicle and how they neatly fit into the family garage, tested before production through the wonders of 3D visulaization. This continues Tesla’s run on transforming the auto industry by identifying and meeting a broad range of needs as well as producing beautiful vehicles, too. [See full post here.]

And here is another post from the same event…

Height. Light. And Movement – Improving the Retail Experience Virtually

Many years ago, in a galaxy far, far away…My apologies; the recent purchase of Lucas Film by Disney has given me Star Wars nostalgia. I remember a time when stop motion photography and the destruction of meticulously crafted models were considered the pinnacle of movie special effects. It was also a time when I was working my may through university in retail. As I said, “many years ago”.

One of my fondest memories of working in retail was the folklore that was passed on from the store manager to the upcoming employees. The measures of performance were shared, such: Days of Supply, Turns, Stock to Sales Ratio, Sell Through Percentage and Gross Margin Return on Investment. Alongside these metrics we were also the recipients of instruction regarding sales and marketing addressing: Point of Sale Displays, End-caps, and Placement. But the phrase that stuck with me most in reference to merchandise presentation effectiveness was that it had to have, “height, light and movement”. [See full post here.]

Read More

Resource Poverty: cash-strapped bootstrapping your way to innovation success

The concept of bootstrapping, to finance your company’s growth with the assistance of or input from others rather than a large capital outlay, has for years primarily referred to startups. Today, with economic pressures continuing unabated (see below), the concept of bootstrapping is being adopted by organizations of all sizes and structures. Resource poverty is the order of the day, and an austerity mindset is being incorporated into all facets of organizational life. The area of innovation is certainly no exception. But things certainly aren’t as dire as the dog’s fate in the old nursery rhyme:

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone:
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

– From “Old Mother Hubbard”

Living in a world of hurt—some features and constraints of resource poor-systems and enterprises.
Characteristics of resource-poor enterprises:
– Meager holdings or access to physical assets
– Little or no capital
– Few market/customer opportunities
– Income strategies are varied and complex
– Complex and diverse systems in fragile environments

Constraints to which resource-poor enterprises are exposed:
– Heterogeneous and erratic environments
– Market failures
– Institutional gaps
– Public good biases
– Low access to land and other resources
– Inappropriate technologies

The challenge is not to conjure the new and improved by plucking elements out of thin air, but to endeavor to use all available resources, especially those previously unconsidered, to produce innovation. The bootstrapper’s mindset is a valid way for business leaders and employees to treat valuable resources at any stage of their business’s growth. Not having many resources also means using what is available in a careful and judicious manner. The measure of successful bootstrapping will be the value created. One of the key traits of this approach is to seemingly turn it on its head and seek ways to frame the current resource situation in terms of abundance.

What does that look like, I hear you ask?

Thinking of abundance
The appetites and passions of man are also modified, making them do and want what is more in conformity with their environing conditions. Each new want limits the field in which old appetites dominated, and the great variety of new impulses soon bring the old under control.
Simon Patten

One of the earliest advocates for pursuing an attitude of abundance was Simon Patten, a professor of economics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania at the turn of the 20th century. Patten sought to justify his conviction that men (and at that time he would almost certainly, unfortunately, only have considered men) could create and sustain an age of abundance by developing appropriate restraints. He was an early believer in the enforcement of contract laws that were pro-labor, in the limitation of consumer credit and in restraints on speculation.

Patten insisted that progress was hindered mainly by ignorance and prejudice, which could be overcome by a higher standard of living, by education, and by increased opportunity for everyone. This was landmark thinking in its day and went completely counter to the prevailing attitude that scarcity was enduring. For Patten, the basis of an abundant civilization required, in his view, new strategies and tactics for planning and implementing social change.

By thinking of opportunity and educating towards it, Patten highlighted that there might be new ways of conceiving present scarcity that would help transform it. For an innovator, the challenge of creating something new is often in direct response to what is perceived to be missing: a problem unsolved, or a challenge unmet. Accomplishing that end with limited resources means using every ounce of an available resource. Waste is criminal.

Bootstrap in innovation really begins and ends with your attention to careful management of all your resources. It demands that you remain aware of what you spend and keep your overhead low. If you need to buy premium resources or support, it is necessary to justify the expense either by longevity of use or savings elsewhere. It means bartering for goods and services when appropriate and buying items on promotion, to take advantage of better prices offered for a limited time, that will drive your innovation performance. Too many allow resource scarcity to impede their innovation efforts. The better capable innovators are better prepared, primarily because of the choices they make.

Making better choices
It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
J.K. Rowling

One of the greatest challenges innovators face is making choices about how to spend or deploy their limited resources. Often the reason for this is the uncertainty of the data informing those choices. Some of us make the most of the available data by sorting, organizing, and analyzing it, employing a bit of artful extrapolation to fill the gaps, and then make the leap. Others, not necessarily interested in slowing down for anything, being almost shark-like in their need for forward motion, pause only long enough to recoil and then jump. Often directly into hazards.

One such example of the latter instance was the founder of the company Ear Peace, which sells high-end earplugs for people in high audio volume environments for extended periods, such as band leaders or rock concert-goers. Jay Clark is the quintessential bootstrapper. He developed his designer ear plugs for looks, comfort, and sound quality himself. The only problem came when he needed to place his initial orders—that’s when he created an unnecessary financial scarcity:

Over-ordering inventory. This was the biggest mistake. As soon as you get your first run of product, you are already tweaking it and making it better. Bargain and promise the moon on future sales, and keep the inventory low. On the second order (the blister-packed EarPeace for venues), I over did it.

While Jay was able to quickly recover, and now controls his inventory levels much more stringently, he already knew that one of his greatest resource constraints was himself. He couldn’t be everywhere at all times. His course of action was to ask as many smart people for their opinions as he could. He noted that, “The forest quickly gets lost for the trees when you are in the thick of operational, distribution, creative, and financial decision-making.” He saw that there are so many decisions that make it impossible to do everything alone when you are trying to bring an innovation to market. So don’t go it alone if you can help it. Choose to let others help, and strangely enough, they likely will.

The first steps when faced with a resource-poor situation: Consider where you are abundant with resources and choose wisely how to maximize their use. Where do you have hidden assets that you could be exploiting, and how might you choose to use them differently?

Look for upcoming articles on resource creation and resource acquisition to round out your approach to innovation resource management.

Read More

Smart People Sharing – Part 2: Snapshot of BarCampPhilly on November 13, 2010

First and foremost, the people who volunteer to organize and host unconferences and barcamps are heroes. Their reasons for doing what they do, creating positive environments in which smart, interested people are willing to share what they know, may be legion but the end results are unique experiences that reward and enrich in surprising ways. BarCampPhilly held on a bright shiny autumnal day in the heart of Philadelphia was no exception. A huge debt of thanks to JP Toto, Roz Duffy, Kelani Nichole and Sarah Feidt the four core organizers who managed to pull off this event.

Here are the intrepid gang getting things started – lots of logistics and lots of people to thank, too. Please excuse the quality – the video was taken at the back of the very crowded room.

For those of your who haven’t been to a barcamp, the core concept is that all the content on the day is participant generated and led. Anyone with an idea can share it, they do that by listing their topic with a brief description and their contact information on a card which is then placed on a large board. Everyone else gets to vote on the ideas that seem the most interesting to them by placing stickers (dots usually), and the available presentation spaces are divided up and scheduled according to the relative popularity of each topic. In the case of BarCampPhilly and The University of the Arts facility, if you pitched an idea you were presenting.

The bottom line with barcamp: you throw yourself in – if you’re not learning or finding value in a session you employ the “rule of two feet” and use yours to move to something else. Simple stuff. Everyone owns the value they seek to get out of the experience; personal responsibility rules the day. If you don’t enjoy yourself, it really is your own fault. The great thing is, there was so much interesting stuff in play.

Topics ranged from the commonplace, “How to hire and intern” to the esoteric, “Riot URLs: Gender, Feminism and Tech,” to the whimsical, “Gimme Hugs – it’s my birthday”. All of which sounded very interesting. However, I was on the hunt for learning about innovation and becoming smarter with the support of the fundamentals of by technology infrastructure. So here are some of the presentations I explored with my lovely wife Jo…

Weaving a Regional Mesh For Open InnovationJoe Raimondo
The primary question driving this session was, “What are the structures that promote or create open innovation within a specific geographical region? In this case the exploration focused on the wider Philly region.”

Participants ranged from students, to technology entrepreneurs, to innovation specialists, to community activists and the quality of openness established was a standard for the kind of participation we experienced throughout the day. The group found that focus is an essential ingredient. What are you trying to accomplish? Without that kind of focus innovation efforts are short-lived and inherently unsatisfying.

Crowdsourcing was seen as an ingredient for open innovation. That said, social capacity was seen to be available but there were questions about how we tap into that. One participant talked about a lack of access to healthy local food in West Philly – the neighborhood responded with a healthy food coop which expanded into tool-sharing and five-six community gardens and community farm space. External ideas were introduced into a relatively stable community which ended raising concerns about the unintended consequences of gentrification.

Another key concern expressed, was that, “If open innovation is the answer what is the question?” Which left the group wrestling with ways to better define the problems we want to address. All in all this was a great way to start on the session front.

Service Design: Blueprint your biz ideaNathan Gasser
In this session Nathan Gasser was sharing some key learning he received as a result of his participation in World Usability Day and a presentation only two days earlier by Bob Cooper with Frontier Service Design. To get our brains firing Nathan dropped the simple question, “What is service design?” into our laps and we were off to the races!

Service design is
– 70-80% of GDP in the USA
– The necessary ability to create unique experience every time
– Primarily supported by European based thought leadership – it’s not well-considered elsewhere
– An holistic view of all the parts involved in delivering a service

He pointed us to a great site, Service Design Tools with which I was already familiar, but it was good to see someone else’s reason for liking what it has to offer. It offers simple, accessible ways of promoting structured thinking about service design. And it has a dead simple and fun UI, too.

The elements to define services include:
– Service processes
– Points of customer contact
– Evidence of the service from the customer’s POV

A good lesson: walk a mile in the customer’s shoes so that you can see and feel and hear and smell and…live their experience or you will surely die by their experiences.

Things to document when engaged in service design
– Time that a process can take
– Staff / expertise needed in an interaction or process
– Costs, revenues, ROI, waste, etc.
– Customer feedback, ratings, suggestions
– Employee feedback, ratings, suggestions
– 3rd Party feedback, ratings, suggestions
– Competitive analysis

Nathan then led the whole group through an exercise in service design around a brewery tour. No, lunch was not until after the next session, but yes, beer was on all our minds when we left this session.

Missioneering: from idea to missionScott Hackman @My_ohi
The last session of the day was with a trio of consultants led by Scott Hackman who focus on helping people unlock their ideas so that they can become a reality. They employed a tool called Theory U for their session and it underpins their collaborative and co-design consulting model. This was a user generated session to activate our ideas and we ended up working on one of the participants ideas to help unlock it’s potential.

The facilitators had been looking at how to get the message about a particular project, or company, or mission “out” and into the world. They saw people struggling to get an idea from their heads into the world. They are looking to build tribes about how to make early ideas into sustainable growing missions. Their approach was newly formed as a concept and sharing it at barcamp was their first public “outing.” Which is one of the other great things about these kinds of events. People can fearlessly test their ideas and receive feedback in a relatively safe manner.

In groups of 3 we each were asked to share an idea that we were passionate about. One of these was then selected by each trio and shared in full group which then dot voted on a whiteboard for the one that seemed most engaging. Ideas included:
• Opening a new office in London
• Social Orienteering using social networks to drive innovations to market faster for bicycles (the group picked this one)
• Creating a space for open innovation creation of medical devices
• Designing a platform to “kill Facebook”
• Connecting ideas via design translation
• Developing a business development tool for artists (artist entrepreneurs)

Then the facilitators shared the trigger question for the remainder of the session: “If there were no fears what would you be doing today?” Based on that we had a great time sharing stories and ideas, exploring the model for bicycles and the owner of the idea left with a catalog of things to try and resources to tap. A very cool model that warrants additional exploration.

WordPress WorksAryon Hose Hon and
This was a great session for users of WordPress. Aryon was a wealth of knowledge regarding ways to improve site performance, including ways to improve ongoing maintenance, design, hosting and content management. I’ll be exploring many of his links in the coming days and weeks ahead.

Which brings into focus another great realization from barcamp; often people share with each other the very things that make them successful in the business world. They give away best practices, hard-earned shortcuts and tips and highlight personal missteps that they want others to avoid. This spirit of generosity is pervasive. And it is all done in the spirit of a complete absence of selling.

Traffic Stephen Gill, Leadnomics
The last session we attended had a highly technical focus on ways to manage and drive traffic on websites. Again it was filled with tips and trips. (Did you know that the image of a padlock on your website can improve click-through performance by as much as 50%? Neither did I!) Stephen shared widely and openly about ways to improve website performance. It was a mix of usability design, social psychology and technical expertise, and while the room in which he presented wasn’t very conducive to group discussion there were a lot of gems shared.

All in all, a great day. We can’t wait for the next one and look forward to being able to fully participate in the pre and post barcamp activities which, strangely enough, involved bars.

Finally, big thanks to the sponsors of the day: The University of the Arts, Independents Hall, Microsoft, CapTech, Yahoo Developmer Network, Sumo Heavy Industries, Comcast Interactive Media, Chariot Solutions, DuckDuck Go, Postmark, LessAccounting, CAOS – Technology at Wharton, Stickermule, PopChips, Chaikin Power Tools, A View From My Seat, MIssionStaff, Mashion, Wondergy, MonkoPhoto, Vacoro, PhillyMagic, BigRedTank, Old City Coffee, Food in Jars, South Street Philly Bagels, Inc., Monetate, Leadnomics, Rightaction,and National Mechanics. (Here are links to all the sponsors)

Read More

Smart People Sharing – Part 1: Snapshot of ProductCampNYC on November 6, 2010

Early one November Saturday morning a group of 200+ people gathered at the Microsoft offices on Avenue of the Americas in mid-town Manhattan to participate in ProductCampNYC, a user-generated conference based on the barcamp model.

Here’s a great presentation providing an overview of ProductCampNYC.

For those of us who attended the inaugural one in 2009 we were excited to see another one come together and the prospects for a learning-and-networking-packed day were quite high. We had an exciting group of product, marketing and entrepreneurial professionals in attendance from various industries and diverse disciplines speaking at this year’s event. Jeff Stewart, serial entrepreneur, inventor and investor, kicked the day off as keynote speaker for the conference and he spoke to the need to manage a new enterprise like a new product.

The range of topics over the course of the day included:
• Making product development agile
• Pitfalls in trying to figure out what consumers really want
• Do you really have a product strategy?
• Beyond brainstorming
• Lean communications for product management

Several of the presentations are available for review here.

I presented on the topic, “Forget the organization chart, it’s the network that matters” and apart from the challenge of presenting without the projector and laptop being able to connect (thank goodness for the acres of whiteboards in the conference rooms of the Microsoft conference facility) it was actually a rewarding experience. One participant was kind enough to respond, “thanks for the PPT deck from #pcampnyc – great slides, but great job even without ’em!” So, I’m happy some benefit was gained. Here’s a brief overview:

Navigating an organization to bring a new product or service to market is no easy task. Often the very things designed to improve an organization’s operational performance are the things that serve as the greatest impediment to realizing an innovation’s potential. In this session we will explore the ways in which you can overcome tyranny of functional silos and navigate your ideas to success more effectively and efficiently.

Rather than give you a comprehensive overview of what I experienced at ProductCampNYC, I’ll do that in an upcoming post on BarCampPhilly during which I was able to take more comprehensive notes, I’d like to make a pitch for why I think this kind of learing is valuable for those focused on innovation. A barcamp learning program is easy to organize, you simply need spaces in which people can present and projectors (if you are going to have people give presentations). Food and drink should either be provided or you can more easily have people “brown bag it,” i.e., bring their own or go out for food and drinks. Another great aspect of this model, the content is user generated. People who are passionate about their subjects often make good presenters and if they don’t present well, their information usually serves as a solid catalyst for learning. Participants “own” the event and their personal experience.

Finally, the opportunity to be truly surprised and delighted is always a factor in the barcamp experience. If you don’t want to throw yourself in to the deep end and run one yourself I highly recommend you find someone in your community or in a nearby city who is already running one. When you go looking for them you’ll be surprised at how many you find.

Read More

ProductCamp NYC – Saturday November 6, 2010

ProductCamp NYC is here! There are more than 300 people registered and more than 25 fantastic prospective speakers!

An exciting group of product, marketing and entrepreneurial professionals from various industries and diverse disciplines speaking at this year’s event. Jeff Stewart, serial entrepreneur, inventor and investor, will lead the day as keynote speaker for the conference. Potential session speakers will include former IBM VP Jon Prial, Healthcare Brand Manager Marty Coyne, and consumer expert, and former member of Nissan product development team, Joetta Gobell; for those in attendance, you get to vote and choose who you want to hear.

Look for live blogging and tweeting.

Brought to you by the good people at…

Read More

Innochat Transcript – 5 August – Fixing an Innovation-averse Corporate Culture

Another fun time with the excellent moderation of Renee Hopkins – always a pleasure. A great topic which was well turned over by those present, but as with all #innochat topics there is always room for more. Take a look and weigh in.

And next week it looks like we may discuss: cultural problems in an org where ALL is innovative and nothing actually gets done!

#innochat – transcript August 5 2010

Read More

Innovation Folklore & Fairytales – Self deception and the stories we tell

The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best – and therefore never scrutinize or question.
Stephen Jay Gould

As a process to connect people and transmit ideas within organizations, effective communication is essential for fostering innovation. Aristotle told us, nearly two and a half thousand years ago, that if communication is to change behavior, it must be grounded in the desires and interests of the receivers. Organizational life relies on folklore and myth to create a connection between its members that influences their behavior, including the creation of innovation.

Folklore serves as mental scaffolding to help us gather, sort, organize, and support our thinking about the world around us. From an organizational standpoint, folklore provides what Ronald A. Heifetz termed in Leadership Without Easy Answers a “holding environment.” A holding environment enables a witness to the folk tale to distance her or himself from present reality. It enables the conception of possibility, and is a key ingredient in sense-making. To understand how it can inform, or impede, innovation, it’s necessary to explore folkloric communication and the way it helps define boundaries for action and dialogue in the life of organizations.

A billion little pieces
The universe is made of stories, not atoms.
Muriel Rukeyser

Storytelling reveals and explores the potential of individuals and the social context in which they find themselves. Stories open the organization to the power and relevance of innovation as the organization members seek to grow and evolve it over time. Folkloric communication helps to define organizational reality, providing deeper levels of meaning. By capturing reflections of the past and displaying them in ways that are engaging to the present, it brings to light the fundamental building blocks of the organization which can then be used for creative ends.

In their reflective work on the possibility of a more holistic model of organizational life, A Simpler Way, Rogers and Wheatley note that “most people have a desire to love their organizations.” This notion drives much of the latent, often unexamined, innovation in organizations. It also means that organizations embrace stories about themselves that may not be factually accurate.

From the big reveal to the big conceal
Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.
Hannah Arendt

The identity of the organization as it is expressed–its potential–speaks to participants’ own potential. Participants, through folklore and stories, envision places for themselves in the organizational whole. They see ways they might add to, or live out, a part of organizational history. Organizational folktales become ways for building shared coherence, defining the “fundamental integrity about who we are.” The key is shared commitment to the intent behind a story. Regardless of whether it’s a tall tale or true account, if enough people in the organization recognize its validity, it will have enough weight to influence practices.

The boundary-making qualities of folklore show organizational participants how to transgress, to reach beyond them, and build new tales. The dual nature of folklore is its ability to define both the boundaries of organizations and the people within it. Folklore in this manner is fundamental to the culture of an organization through its constant interaction with the organization’s own social dynamics.

Culture is both a product and a process. As a product, it embodies accumulated wisdom from those who came before us. As a process, it is continually renewed and re-created as newcomers learn the old ways and eventually become teachers themselves.

Bolman & Deal (1997, p. 217)

At its root, folklore in organizations is a metaphoric framing device, providing a context in which newcomers to organizations see ways they might engage with the organizational whole and leave their own mark. For this reason, the guardians of organizational folklore have significant power within it. They set the tone by determining when and where folklore may be revealed. They choose the focus of the delivery. Their opinions and attitudes directly color the way in which others may view the organization. Stories are a filter through which others catch glimpses of past organizational life. For any person new to an organization, this may be intimidating or welcoming, depending upon the manner with which the mythology is engaged.

It is vital, however, for people to feel at ease with an organization’s folklore if they are to become an engaged component of the systemic whole and add their own creative spark. Avoiding folktales, or denying their power within the organization, is the denial of an elemental part of how the organization operates. Folktales exist for numerous reasons, and each serves a unique purpose for the organization, be it framing patterns of behavior, orienting newcomers, or galvanizing the weary. For many organizations, however, the concept of a place for myth and folklore is not only foreign to them, it is anathema to their technical and rationalistic worldview. What need do they have for stories when there is a budget to be balanced and a headcount to be reduced?

There are a thousand stories in the naked city
To be a person is to have a story to tell.
Isak Dinesen

The dark side of organization myths and folklore is that they may be the result of confabulation or impression management. They are tales told with willful, ill intent, and can play havoc with an organization’s success. Sometimes these tales may be used to create distractions, or to hide the true intent of storytellers.

In the case of confabulation, the reporting of events that never happened, it creates confusion and distraction. Rather than reinforcing a deep-seated truth about the organization which all may tap into as a source of inspiration, like the most powerful folktales, it causes chaos and distraction. Think of this factitious behavior as a mild version of Münchausen’s Syndrome, without the tendency to invent illness.

That and four bucks will get you a cup of Starbucks
Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact.
Robert McKee

A more hazardous practice is that of impression management. In both sociology and social psychology, impression management is a goal-directed conscious or unconscious process in which people attempt to influence the perceptions of others about a person, object, or event. Usually this practice is adopted for the improvement of their own standing within a given social context, and is accomplished by regulating and controlling information in social interactions: access to information, the way that information is presented, and the rules by which it might be shared are controlled.

The resulting distractions, as people seek to sort fact from fiction, cause confusion and frustration. One other victim in this process is the truth, without which clear thinking about innovation is sacrificed.

Impression management is usually synonymous with self-presentation, in which a person tries to influence the perception of their image. Impression management also refers to practices in professional communication and public relations, where the term is used to describe the process of forming a company’s or organization’s public image.

An organization that embraces its mythic traditions and openly embraces its folkloric symbols is one that is living with rare vigor. If the folklore and myth resident in an organization are used to galvanize and energize existing members, and create engagement points at which new members can find a way to contribute and belong, the resulting creativity and innovation will be remarkable.

A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.
Raymond Chandler

Read More

Garage Based Innovation – Presentation by Phil McKinney – HP’s CTO

Phil McKinney, the Chief technology Officer at HP, delivered a presentation recently on “Garage Based Innovation” at one of the Stanford Breakfast Briefings. In McKinney’s words, “the emphasis being on the personal ability to innovate. ” Although I believe he is speaking directly at the heart of what it takes to foster a culture of innovation and it has a wider applicability than the personal.

Some of the topics he covered included:

* The Rules Of The Garage
* The Challenges Of Innovation (Innovation Gap and the Innovate Delay)
* Knowledge Is A Commodity
* Creativity Is Not A “Gift” But A Skill (and it is one that he believes can be taught / learned)
* Everyone Is Creative (yes, everyone!)
* Skills Of Creativity

I like the way McKinney thinks. He is a true advocate for whole-organization innovation and seeks to debunk the idea that it is the domain of a select few.

The presentation is here at SlideShare

Read More

New post at OnInnovation: The Structural Dilemma of Creating an Innovation Culture

The struggle of creating an innovation culture, a culture that supports innovative thinking and output as compared to an innovative culture (one marked by internal differentiation), can readily be framed as a structural dilemma. There are two seemingly contradictory operating instincts that must be reconciled in order for an innovation culture to be sustained. The first is the bias, especially in larger, older organizations, towards definition and control of all aspects of organization life. The second bias, a start-up or entrepreneurial mindset, tends towards differentiation and creativity. As you can imagine this reconciliation process requires tough trade-offs…(more here)

Image credit: the only one

Read More