Encourage Action with the Get Out of Jail Free Card

  Is your organization a little too comfortable?  Are your people risk averse?  Is there a blame culture?  How can you encourage innovation by getting men and women to be more adventurous and entrepreneurial?  How can you get them to take more risks?  Here is an idea that is borrowed from the game of Monopoly – the Get out of Jail Free (GOJF) card. Give every member of your team two... Read More--

Seven Verbs which Define Great Leaders of Innovation

Leaders of innovation have a bias for action. They get on with things. No matter how well the business is doing they are not content to settle for what has been achieved so far; they are restless to try new initiatives. These seven verbs describe some of their key actions. 1. Focus.  They focus on the long term, on the strategic objectives and vision of the business. They are well aware of short... Read More--

If the Door is Shut, Open it. If the Door is Open, Shut it.

In looking for innovations it is sometimes helpful to consider whether your product or service is open or closed. If it is open what would happen if you enclosed it? If it is closed what would happen if you opened it? The opposite approach to the current method can yield powerful new ideas. Here are some examples. Computing. • For years software products were completely closed systems. For companies... Read More--

The Innovation Sophistication Index

How can you assess how innovative your business is?  The Innovation Sophistication Index is a list of just 24 statements.  For each statement you score one point if you fully agree with it for your organization.  Please try the list below now. If your score is less than six then you are probably at Stage 1.  This is the Launch phase where the need for innovation is recognised but not much has... Read More--

The Raid on Entebbe – A Tale of Two Leaders

Idi Amin Yitzhak Rabin                     On June 27 1976 Air France flight 139 from Tel-Aviv to Paris was hijacked following a stop at Athens airport.  Security at Athens was lax and four terrorists boarded the flight.  Two were German, Brigitte Kuhlmann and Wilfried Bose and two were Palestinian.  The plane was forced to fly to Benghazi, Libya,... Read More--

Monitor Your Innovation Capability in these Three Areas

Many organizations have top-level goals for innovation but struggle to measure progress toward them.  How can you assess the current state of your innovation capability?  There are three critical areas to consider. First, you should measure your ability to fill the pipeline by monitoring the number of new ideas being generated.  If you have a suggestions scheme you can scrutinize how many submissions... Read More--

Thank Heavens for Leaders who can Change their Minds

Why do we find it so hard to change our minds?  Why are we so critical of people who do change their minds? Stalin John Adair, the leadership expert, says that the most important (and often the most difficult) sentence for a leader to utter is, ’I admit that I was wrong.’  But on the rare occasions when political leaders change their minds they are accused in the media of flip-flopping, of doing... Read More--

How Can You Use Innovation to Become an Industry Leader?

Guest Post To outsiders, the term innovation can seem like another empty buzzword, but as a CEO in a world where technology is driving market competition, you know that innovation is essential. Even traditional forecasting models, like the five-year plan, are increasingly irrelevant as the pace of technology in- creases and more companies are disrupting markets that were once considered unchangeable. Keeping... Read More--

Innovate like a Software Start-up

Large organisations tend to treat major new product developments as serious projects which require serious resources.  They use project planning tools and stage gate processes.  However, despite all of the management science the large majority of new products fail – certainly in the fast moving consumer goods sector.  So maybe corporations should copy some of the ideas and methods used by tiny... Read More--

Message to the Board – We Need to Talk about Innovation

Innovation should be a regular topic item on the agenda of company board meetings.  If you have not had a fundamental conversation about innovation with your key corporate stakeholders and senior executives then these are some of the questions and topics to discuss at the first such meeting.   What is the vision for our organization?  Where are we headed?   What is our business strategy to achieve... Read More--