Psychology of Innovation2021-06-18T07:55:13-07:00
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Five Reasons Why You Should Think Like a Criminal

August 13th, 2021|

Have you seen the movie The Day of the Jackal? In this 1973 film directed by Fred Zinnemann, Edward Fox plays a professional assassin, the "Jackal," who is hired to assassinate French president Charles de Gaulle. It is a compelling thriller in which it is hard not to admire the cunning and guile of the ruthless killer. In the end you feel disappointed that he did not succeed with his audacious plan. It is an example of a genre of storytelling in which the main protagonist is a clever criminal. We seem to find them fascinating. Breaking Bad is about a chemistry teacher who becomes a master drugs dealer. The Sopranos is about a Mafia family. Ozark concerns a money [...]

From the Future to the Present: Visualization and Innovation

April 26th, 2017|

Recent discoveries of exoplanets that are relatively close to our solar system are used to illustrate the importance of “visualization”—of future consumer lifestyles, work and recreation, and product and service preferences—for the process of innovation. Different aspects of the visualization concept are discussed, including distinctions between consumers and companies, the importance of widely shared images and competition, and a possible role for Zen philosophy. Particular attention is devoted to visualizations associated with digital innovations, such as smartphones, voice assistants and the internet of things. A key conclusion of the discussion below is that the concept of disruptive innovation should be expanded to include the idea of disruptive visualization. The latter phenomenon will probably become more prevalent in the future.

Managing Fundraising Innovation: the Dangers of the ‘Echo-Chamber’

March 23rd, 2017|

This case study explores the results of an innovation research process undertaken by Oxfam, which compared internal feedback vs. general public feedback to identical sets of ideas. In comparing responses between these two audiences, Oxfam discovered an immediate and obvious divide between their staff’s opinions about which fundraising ideas would perform the best, versus what the general public preferred - an important lesson about avoiding the bubble of the echo chamber.

Explaining the Origin of Innovations with the Opportunity Vacuum Framework

March 13th, 2017|

In our society, it is still quite common to attribute the creation of new ideas to either genius or serendipity - a lucky moment finding a valuable insight without actually looking for it. In recent years, however, human creativity was demystified. Empirical research shows that the development of novel ideas has less to do with the inexplicable genius of some individuals, than with the circumstances in which they occur. No genius of any sort could have invented an iPhone in 1850, since the technological trajectory was not anywhere near this point at that time. If there is a 'natural limit' to innovation, then how can we describe the field of possible innovations?

Intrapreneurial Success: Leading Disruption, Managing Change

February 27th, 2017|

Embracing an intrapreneurial mindset, which intentionally disrupts things from the inside out and often from the bottom up, is a radical concept for companies that thrive on stability and predictability. However, if an enterprise is committed to developing its innovation capability through intrapreneurship, three groups of people must be mobilized to make it happen: leadership, stakeholders, and innovation support.

How Employee Diversity Promotes Business Innovation

February 23rd, 2017|

Lack of diversity among employees hurts a company’s ability to innovate and remain competitive. Diversity - both inherent and acquired - naturally drives innovation through team members’ different abilities to spot gaps, solutions, and opportunities; to avoid groupthink; and to reach clients and customers who were inaccessible before.

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.

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?

Innovate as a Team? Work on Your Psychological Safety!

May 30th, 2016|

To be able to use the full potential of innovation, psychological safety within teams and organisations is essential. Psychological safety is the shared belief that it is safe within the team for interpersonal risk taking. There is a direct relation between a psychological safe climate and performance of the team. (Edmondson 1999)

Innovative Workplace Benefits: Perks Employees Look For

March 15th, 2016|

One thing that successful companies usually have in common is their willingness to give their employees great perks and benefits. Having great workplace benefits increases the employee's willingness to go above and beyond for the company, which in turn benefits the organization.

How to Achieve More Effective Performance Appraisals

January 25th, 2016|

Roughly only half of all companies conduct annual performance reviews. Of the fifty percent of companies that do tend to provide consistent and reliable feedback to their employees. However, it can be awkward at times to tell someone on your staff that they aren't doing a good job or attempt to offer constructive criticism without sounding condescending. What are some ways to make a performance appraisal more effective and less awkward for yourself and the employee?

Make Better Decisions at Work and in Personal Life

November 10th, 2015|

Ever wondered why Mark Zuckerberg wears the same grey shirt every day?‎ The answer can be found below. But here’s a little spoiler: his job is to make decisions. If you’re a manager, freelancer or anyone making important decisions on a daily basis – this article will help you make better decisions, with a few simple psychological tools.

10 Reasons Corporate Culture Should Value Introverts

November 5th, 2015|

The corporate industry is defined by its powerful, charismatic leaders who articulate their company's innovative measures through bold and confident public announcements. If corporate culture can be likened to the backbone of a business, then the leaders are like the vocal box. They take the reins during meetings, deliver presentations and speak at a variety of different conventions and gatherings. These individuals become the face of their industry, and would surely be described as extroverts by most.

Taking a Leaf Out of Your Childhood in Your Professional Life

September 17th, 2015|

The way we develop as children can greatly impact the way in which we conduct ourselves as adults. Our early experiences and discoveries have a significant influence on the growth of various personality traits, such as leadership, the ability to work as part of a team and communication, which can have a big impact on our professional lives.

What Happens When Leadership Focus Shifts Away From Innovation?

October 2nd, 2014|

Corporations tend to focus on fads, often packaged into corporate initiatives or programs, that roll in and out of favor over time. Attention from leadership around any single initiative doesn’t last forever, and it will shift to the next bright and shiny object at some point. How do you prepare for when this happens?

What Is An Employee Innovation Network, And Why Should You Care?

August 22nd, 2014|

As Innovation Program leaders look to expand their scope and influence across complex, global organizations, they are turning to the development of Employee Innovation Networks. This article examines what these networks can look like, and provides some high level overview of the value that they can generate.

The Industrial Menopause and What to Do About It

March 5th, 2014|

It seems to be more or less a fact that the more mature a company is, the harder it is to produce something totally new that deviates substantially to what has been done earlier. In order to understand this phenomenon better Bengt Järrehult makes a comparison between human and industrial life, trying to elucidate the similarities and differences between the 2 worlds.

Innovation and Personality Types

December 12th, 2013|

How come that upper middle managers and entrepreneurs look at things in different ways? The answer lies partly in their personality types. It is known that certain personality types work better in certain situations than other. This is also valid for the innovation area, as Bengt Järrehult describes below.

Leaders’ Dual Roles When Managing Innovation

September 11th, 2013|

Leaders have dual roles when managing innovation. In a bottom-up role, they stimulate innovative results as they facilitate ideas and initiative coming from individuals and teams. In a top-down role, leaders are the primary means for the organization to realize its innovation goals and strategies. A fundamental challenge is to balance these two roles.

The Importance of Stupid, Irrational Decisions

September 6th, 2013|

Summer is for relaxing, but also for reading books in more depth. During his vacation Bengt Järrehult read Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow for the second time and more thoroughly. Here are Bengt’s thoughts on how Prospect Theory applies to innovation related decisions - the decisions that may seem stupid and irrational – but are they really?

Cascading Change Versus Viral Change

July 1st, 2013|

“Everything has changed, even change has changed” is a proverb that is increasingly true. In this article Bengt Järrehult will describe the good old top-down or cascading approach compared to a more bottom-up or viral way.

Top Six Components of a Creative Climate

May 22nd, 2013|

Are you thinking about ways to transform your workplace into an environment more conducive to innovation? This article takes a closer look at six components of creative climates that have shown to be significant at facilitating creativity according to new research.

What’s the Point – on the Issue of Feedback

April 23rd, 2013|

To take a coarse idea and refine it and evolve it into a successful innovation is extremely challenging. It is not enough to believe in yourself and feel strongly about the potential of the end result. You have to have support. Last week Susanna got a smack in her head that made her realize some essentials about innovation.

Measuring Innovation part 2: Dark Innovation

April 4th, 2013|

Many activities in organizations that are considered innovative risk being missed if we solely use the standard toolkit to measure innovation. In this article we will look at three types of scales that measure intangible aspects of innovation that are easily added to the toolkit of any organization.

Getting Out of the Commodity Trap – Part II

March 12th, 2013|

The basics of Prospect Theory by Daniel Kahneman tell us that we hate to lose 3 times more than we love to win. This mindset, probably deeply engraved in our DNA, has implications on the way we develop and brand our products as we are more prone to reduce the drawbacks we have relative to our competitors rather than to improve our advantages. According to Bengt Järrehult this leads to commoditization.

Look Beyond Given Truths to Find Innovative Thinking

March 6th, 2013|

Are you in a “more of the same mode” in your innovation work? In this article Susanna Bill uses two real-life examples to remind us of the need to see beyond given truths. We need to keep our eyes and ears open for the triggers presented by others. She also returns to a “golden-oldie” exercise to put ourselves off balance and open up our thinking for new opportunities.