Welcome Failure

Very often the best way to test an idea is not to analyze it but to try it. The organization that implements lots of ideas will most likely have many failures but the chances are, it will reap some mighty successes too. By trying numerous initiatives we improve our chances that one of them will be a star. As Tom Kelley of IDEO puts it, ‘Fail often to succeed sooner.’ Honda Motor Company... Read More--

Why Do People Resist Change?

We all experience change and most of us grumble about it. We know that change is necessary. We cannot keep doing things the old way.  But we do not like changing.  Why do people oppose innovations and what can we do about it? In a survey we asked why people resisted change. The main reasons identified were: Fear of the unknown Suspicion of motives Bad prior experiences of change leading to low expectations People... Read More--

The Innovative Leader needs to be an Arsonist and a Firefighter

Innovative leaders are comfortable with ambiguity. They know that there are many ways forward. They are evangelical about the vision but agnostic about how to achieve it. They have a clear strategy but are quite prepared to change tactics. They recognise the need for different leadership styles at different times. When it comes to innovative ideas they are alternately arsonists and fire fighters. They... Read More--

What is Astonishing about your Business?

There is a French construction company that uses an ‘astonishment report’. They ask all new employees to complete the report at the end of their induction period. The employee must list anything they find astonishing about the company – good or bad. It has to be done early – if they waited 12 months to complete the report it would likely be too late. We only notice the astonishing when... Read More--

Five Reasons why CEOs and their Companies Crash

Failure is a natural part of the capitalist system of business. Less effective firms are supplanted by innovative competitors who can better meet customers’ needs. Unfortunately however, it must be admitted that many companies fail not because of superior competitors but because their leaders make egregious errors. Here are five key reasons (CRASH) why CEOs and their businesses crash and burn. 1.... Read More--

Can you use Prediction Markets to forecast which Ideas will turn into Successful Innovations?

Most large organisations have suggestions schemes which involve sharing ideas on an intranet social media site.  Here people can comment on ideas and vote for them.  But there is a problem with voting for ideas.  People can be lobbied to vote and they support the suggestions of friends and co-workers.  We see this often on the TV talent show X Factor.  People in Lancashire vote for the boy from... Read More--

Ten Top Tips for Leaders

How to Foster Creativity and Drive Innovation 1. Have a Vision for Change You cannot expect your team to be innovative if they do not know the direction in which they are headed. Innovation has to have a purpose. It is up to the leader to set the course and give a bearing for the future. You need one overarching statement which defines the direction for the business and which people will readily... Read More--

What does it take to become an Entrepreneur?

And How can we Get More of Them? For the past 10 years Gallup has run a survey called Enrepreneurial Strengthsfinder.  Over 5000 entrepreneurs have been interviewed.  According to Gallup there are 10 key characteristics that leaders of successful start-ups display.  In alphabetical order these are: Business Focus Confidence Creativity Delegation Determination Independence Knowledge-seeking Networking... Read More--

How can we stop Middle Managers from blocking Innovation?

Often we find in large organisations that the executive team is keen to improve innovation and at the same time, front-line staff are frustrated and keen to change things.  So why is change not happening?  Who is impeding innovation?  Middle managers get the blame.  They are seen as the blockers.  John Kotter in his book, Leading Change, identifies supervisors as one of the key obstacles to major... Read More--