Five Questions to rattle your cage.
Smart companies and organizations keep asking themselves the important core questions. What business are we really in? Who are our customers? How might we become more innovative? How do we grow our business?
The challenge is when the answers don’t change. What was new and insightful becomes numbingly familiar. There’s no return on questions. Chances are it’s time to ask some cage-rattling questions.
In their book, 75 Cage-rattling Questions to Change The ...Continue Reading ?
Inotivities #1. Sherwin’s ABCs.
So what’s an Inotivity? It’s any activity that helps you become more creative and innovative. Here’s one that was inspired by David Sherwin, Senior Interaction Designer at frog design. The challenge is to create a typeface that will be composed of found elements right around you. In an Inotivity workshop I only have participants create A-E. But if you want to go for the whole 26 –kudos to ...Continue Reading ?
Stuck? Download free Inotivity card deck.
Ideo does it. Apple does it. Innovative companies from around the world do it.
They get unstuck by finding and using the right tools. At IDEO, it may be simply asking “Why?” Then, again “Why?” And then three more “Whys” until you get the core of a problem.
The great Dick Orkin used to begin radio creativity sessions by letting everyone tell a story related to the client’s problem or product. The stories became fodder for radio commercials.
The DNA ...Continue Reading ?
What’s your ice water innovation strategy?
Richard P. Feynman was a scientist, teacher, teacher, translator of Mayan hieroglyphics, drummer, and raconteur. And in his spare time, he won the Nobel Prize for physics.
He created a great visual moment as part of the Rogers Commission investigating the NASA Challenger tragedy. He famously demonstrated how the O-rings became less resilient and subject to seal failures at ice-cold temperatures.
He simply dipped an O-ring into a glass of ice water, removed it and showed how ...Continue Reading ?
It’s time to rethink groupthink.
Recently, I spoke at the IFCA (Insurance and Financial Communicators Association) in Nashville. I put up a large slide that had a single word: Groupthink.
I asked the audience what they thought of this word. Was it positive or negative? Like most groups, they agreed that it was negative. Then, I boldly said, “my mission to help you begin to see Groupthink as a positive.”
It’s not speaker’s hyperbole.
Typically Groupthink is defined ...Continue Reading ?
The Rules Audit. One step to a more innovative company.
Pogo had the business wisdom decades ago.
“We have met the enemy and he is us.”
Tom Rieger, a Senior Practice Expert for Gallup, once wrote that “The greatest threat to an organization’s success is not always the competition. Often, it is what a company does to itself. “
Image via Wikipedia
Rieger, who has ...Continue Reading ?
What M&Ms and Van Halen can teach us about innovation
My apologies to David Lee Roth.
It will take a few paragraphs to tell you why. Last year, Dan and Chip Heath wrote an article for Fast Company about the curious connection between eight grade, Google and brown M&Ms.
They opened with a provocative line. “Walk into an urban high school and look around at the kids. Roughly half of them will drop out of school. How do you spot a ...Continue Reading ?
Hold Your Own Disruption Day
Jean-Marie Dru, CEO TBWA, one of the premier advertising agencies in the world, wrote a terrific book in the mid-90’s called Disruption: Overturning Convention and Shaking up the Marketplace.
For years, the agency has held “Disruption Days” — brainstorming sessions with clients and agency people to upend conventional thinking through a variety of activities and open collaboration.
Dru writes in Disruption:
“It is a matter of questioning the way things are, of breaking with what has been done or seen before. of rejecting the ...Continue Reading ?
Inotivity on ideas vs. insights.
The real currency of innovation is ideas.
And while every insight is an idea.
Not every idea is an insight.
The late chairman of the advertising agency BBDO, Phil Dusenberry made the idea vs. insight subject the cornerstone of his terrific book, Then We Set His Hair on Fire.
“Ideas are a dime a dozen; anyone can have them. They can be good ...Continue Reading ?
Innovation: Overhyped or Under Appreciated?
In the early 90’s, The Martin Agency asked me to write one of the first Marriott web sites. Martin had recently created an outstanding and forward-thinking site for Coca Cola and I jumped at the chance.
The site was in the form of aTraveler’s Journal and it had the just right number of bells and whistles that the age of dial-up modem could handle. It was a success and over time evolved into a more business-oriented site.
But the prevailing question at ...Continue Reading ?