The Ten Types of Innovation

How many types of innovation are there? The simplest way to categorize innovation is into two forms – incremental and radical. Incremental innovation is an improvement in an existing thing (e.g. product, process or service). Radical innovation is finding an entirely new way of doing something. For example if you had been making spectacles in the 1950s then plastic lenses instead of glass lenses would... Read More--

Think Like an Innovator

Paul Sloane introduces Think like an Innovator, his new book published by Pearson.  It contains inspiring insights and powerful lessons from 76 great innovators ranging from Pythagoras to Bowie, from Madonna to Marie Curie.     ‘Invaluable tips on how to change your mindset and see great innovation opportunities.’  Professor Moira Clark, Henley Business School. ‘A refreshing,... Read More--

Idealize the Answer

When you are looking at a tricky problem try specifying the ideal answer in a world where there are no constraints.  What would a perfect solution look like if we had unlimited resources to achieve it? In the book, Idealized Design[i], Russell Ackoff, Magidson and Addison describe how Bell labs did just such a thing with the telephone.  In the 1950s the VP of Bell labs challenged teams of engineers... Read More--

What is a Minimum Viable Product and what is its Purpose?

There is much talk in the innovation community about the need to produce a minimum viable product (MVP) and bring it quickly to market. But what exactly constitutes a MVP and what is its purpose? In his seminal book, The Lean Startup, Eric Ries defines the MVP as a version of the entrepreneur’s product which enables a full turn of the Build-Measure-Learn cycle with minimum effort and the least amount... Read More--

Lateral Thinking Puzzle Books

Here are our most popular lateral thinking puzzle books:   290 Wally Test puzzles – trick questions designed to catch you out and make you groan when you hear the answer.  Great for kids and wise guys of all ages. *     On *     On         The original collection of all the great classic lateral thinking puzzles.  Contains the most popular... Read More--

Five Tips from The Innovative Leader

Robert Brands interviews Paul Sloane, about his book, The Innovative Leader. Paul answers these questions and gives five tips: 1. What is a Declaration of Innovation and why is it needed? 2. Why bring in an unrelated expert? 3. Should we train for innovation? 4. Why welcome failure? 5. How much free time should we give to encourage innovation? The Innovative Leader by Paul Sloane is published by Kogan... Read More--

Mathematical Lateral Thinking Puzzles

Test your mathematical lateral thinking skill with these three little puzzles from the new book by me and Des MacHale:   1.  In a 100 metre race, athletes A, B and C all run at a uniform pace.  If A beats B by 10 metres and B beats C by 10 metres, by how much does A beat C?   2.  Move any one digit to make this equation true: 62 – 63 = 1   3.  Find any three positive integers... Read More--

When should you Patent?

Paul Sloane interviews Robert Brands, author of Robert’s Rules of Innovation. Paul asks these questions: 1. Why do we need rules of innovation? 2. Why is accountability so important? 3. What is the difference between New Product Development and Long Term Development? 4. When should a small company invest in a patent and when should it rely on a trade secret or just speed to market? ... Read More--

Why is it so hard to learn from our Mistakes?

A key precept in the self-improvement manual is to learn from your mistakes. If you can do that then you can keep growing and getting better. Yet many people find this very hard. And the same story applies to organizations. If a company wants to be innovative then it must try many new things, stop the unsuccessful experiments, learn the important lessons and rapidly move on. It sounds straightforward... Read More--

How do you Revolutionize a Complacent Company Culture?

Burton Lee It is said that when it comes to business success, ‘Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast.’ The biggest single barrier to agility and innovation is a stodgy corporate culture. So how can you revolutionize a complacent culture? Changing the corporate culture is one of the toughest tasks that a new CEO faces. If you want to replace comfort with energy and risk aversion with innovation where... Read More--