Enabling Factors2020-03-20T17:19:54-07:00
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Four lessons from M-Pesa on Innovation Adoption

June 8th, 2020|

M-Pesa, a mobile-based financial service, did not follow a linear, step-by-step innovation process. In this article, Eivor Oborn follows M-Pesa's rapid trajectory to unearth how people who used it in Kenya, and how that helped the company adapt its product development.

Involving Citizens in Government Product Development

December 19th, 2016|

The election of 2016 will certainly be one for the history books. Regardless of your political leanings, there was one sure thing to celebrate during this election cycle. The Innovate Your State Fix California Challenge—a crowdsourcing campaign aimed at promoting public participation in order to determine ways to improve government—had an initiative on the ballot in California!

How To Measure Event ROI (Return On Innovation)

December 9th, 2016|

Everyone knows about ROI, as in “return on investment.” But for evaluating the success of an experiential brand event or marketing campaign, businesses should take an equally close look at ROI, as in “return on innovation.”

Is Open Government the Same as Open Innovation?

December 5th, 2016|

For many years, companies were convinced of the competitive advantage of closed research and development. They jealously protected their intellectual property behind closed doors and dramatically revealed it to the public after years of development. This old model has since been replaced by open innovation.

Managing Risk and Shortcuts for Project Managers

November 24th, 2016|

Project managers are often dealing with loads of stress coming from all fronts, such as the pursuit of deadlines. Pressed by senior managers to deliver, project managers may find themselves resorting to risky shortcuts to make ends meet. Here are some ways to manage these risky shortcuts in project management.

The Dynamism in Chinese Ecosystems and Platforms

November 17th, 2016|

Today we have to “think China” when it comes to looking for the dynamism within Ecosystems and Platforms. They are leading, exploring and extending the thinking beyond our more limited ambitions in the West. It is the environmental conditions coming together or being explored and exploited that make China stand out in its dynamism in this area.

How the IoT can Change your Workplace

November 16th, 2016|

The IoT (or "Internet Of Things") is becoming a more popular topic of conversation these days. Many have already realized this with regard to individual use (say, through fitness trackers) or "smart homes." But the IoT can also have a huge effect on the workplace - here's how.

Innovation Fitness: Measuring It to Maximize It

November 14th, 2016|

To gauge the innovation capabilities of an enterprise, it is helpful to apply a systematic method for assessing the quality of, and the relationship between the various and distinct dimensions that drive all functions of the enterprise. As with a sports team, simply having talent does not ensure success. It is the quality of the team work which ultimately elevates or hinders the level of their play.

Top Diagramming Techniques for more Efficient Meetings

October 31st, 2016|

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a meeting that’s stalling? Does the agenda seem to accomplish no tangible outcomes? Perhaps you find yourself wondering what’s next after an important summit, or frustrated with the lack of direction after a meaningful brainstorm or discussion.

Why Top Executives Do Not Get Innovation – and What to Do About It

October 27th, 2016|

Many leaders of corporate innovation efforts struggle to get the support they need from executives higher up in the organization. Top executives can be skilled at talking the talk about innovation, especially in public venues, but frequently fail to walk the walk when it comes to making key choices that determine whether an innovation project will happen or die on the vine.

6 Project Management Tools Every Company Should Use

October 18th, 2016|

Besides being the single most complicated facet of business, it can be said that project management is also the most perplexing one. Not only that it demands a flawless cooperation of multiple employees, teams and even departments, unfailing organizational strategies and uninterrupted workflow, but it requires an absolute absence of standstills, inaccuracies and slips as well.

Defeating the Corporate Antibodies

October 13th, 2016|

Change is frightening to many elements inside the typical organization. Change threatens people’s power, their status, their egos, and, in some situations, even their jobs. Change can make someone’s expertise obsolete and thereby make them obsolete as well. Because people are afraid of change, innovation efforts often cause the eruption of corporate antibodies that fight to kill innovation and maintain the status quo.

A Closer Look at the Three Skill Sets that Enable Innovation

October 10th, 2016|

In our previous posts, we’ve made two major points. One: innovation is vital for the long-term survival of any business. And two: a handful of crazy ideas won’t cut the mustard. Successful innovation is a complex process that requires a whole lot more than just riotous creativity. Based on academic research, and in close collaboration with professor Frederik Anseel (Ghent University), we’ve defined three innovation profiles: ideators, champions and implementers. Each of these personas has a crucial part to play in what we like to call ‘innovation dream teams’. What makes them unique and why do you need all three? Let’s take a closer look.

Innovation Management in Emerging Markets

October 6th, 2016|

When it comes to innovation management, I see a growing number of companies in emerging countries like Turkey, Mexico and Brazil doing a better job than their counterparts in developed (primarily Western) countries. There are many reasons for this and here you get some of my observations.

A Roadmap for Building Corporate Innovation Capabilities

September 22nd, 2016|

What should a roadmap that helps you develop corporate innovation capabilities look like? How do you bring new thoughts and approaches together with current and past initiatives (both successes and failures) and turn this into a single framework? How do you keep pushing and developing your organization to become more flexible and agile without losing out on the current overall efforts and expected results?

Learning from the Humanitarian Innovation Laboratory

August 23rd, 2016|

Innovation is all about survival – how often do we hear versions of that line? But in the field of humanitarian aid this really is the case. Innovation can sometimes be a matter of life and death. It’s a world characterised by crisis – but it’s also somewhere from which we might learn some new lessons to help manage innovation.

The One Skill that Innovators Forget

August 22nd, 2016|

Most innovators cultivate traits like creative risk taking, positive reinforcement and strategic planning. However, there is another branch of innovation in which innovators still require a great deal of training.

Medicine can Teach Business and Government a Powerful Innovation Lesson

August 1st, 2016|

Many companies develop their new products in secret and behind their own closed doors. They then launch their radical new approach with a fanfare of marketing expenditure. They are often disappointed. Paul Sloane looks at how organizations can harness the power of randomized control trials to drive successful innovation.

Challenged by Innovation? Someone May Have Already Solved Your Problem

July 12th, 2016|

In 1946, Soviet inventor and science fiction writer Genrich Altshuller developed a methodology called TRIZ. It became known as "the theory of inventive problem-solving" and was based on a simple premise: across different disciplines and applications, the same challenges occur again and again. Unfortunately, people keep solving nearly identical problems from scratch. The main lesson from TRIZ is this: if you understand how your innovation challenge is similar to someone else’s, you can reapply solutions that already exist, instead of reinventing the wheel time and again.

From Bankruptcy to Industry Leading Success – The LEGO Story

July 11th, 2016|

LEGO has earned the right to celebrate. Not only are kids playing with more mini LEGO people than there are human beings on the planet (Delingpole J, 2009) but in 2015, they were nominated by Forbes as the most powerful brand in the world. For a company which was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2004, the toy maker has made an amazing turnaround. They restructured, hired a new CEO, and forged more licensing partnerships than ever before. Most importantly, they discovered the secret to some of the world’s most successful, low risk innovation strategies.

Collaborate with Night and Nature to Come up with New Ideas

July 5th, 2016|

It is not widely known that most people, before the advent of the Industrial Revolution around 1800, tended to go to sleep shortly after nightfall but then get up around midnight for several hours before going back to sleep until dawn. Modern lab experiments have been able to reproduce this ancient, two-sleep pattern. Furthermore, there is separate anecdotal evidence that a number of people currently practice divided sleep as a natural habit, without the prompting of an experiment. Some of these people, in turn, use their nighttime wakefulness period for creative thought, writing and problem solving. The divided sleep phenomenon fits in very well with the dualistic and holistic principles of East Asian philosophy. One should ideally integrate work, thought and sleep with the natural light cycle in order to maximize the potential for individual creativity over the course of a full day and night.

Avoid Innovation Paralysis – Why all Companies Can and Must Embrace Change

July 4th, 2016|

Someone once told me this: “Innovation is like an apparition of the Virgin Mary: one person saw her, but everyone talks about it.” Although funny, the quote aptly captures an attitude towards innovation that exists in many companies today. Innovation – and the skills that enable it – are sometimes considered as mystical gifts, preserved for the chosen few. In other cases, innovation is feared, because it involves unregulated processes, risk taking and investments with unpredictable outcomes. In this blog post, I’d like to make a case against this kind of innovation paralysis. Every company must innovate, and with the right understanding of the word ‘innovation’, every company can.

Behavioral Innovation: The Need to Pivot, Why We Don’t and What We Can Do About It

June 16th, 2016|

When was the last time you seriously thought about your blue chip investments going broke? At what point will those shares be worth nothing? Although it may sound ridiculous, the question is serious because at the current rate of disruption, half of the Australian Stock Index S&P 500 will be replaced over the next 10 years (Anthony S D et al, 2016). Where does that leave your investments?