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The Future of Innovation: Learning to Lead with Heart

April 4th, 2019|

Design Thinking (DT), (also known as human-centered design) is an innovation process used to evolve products and services in business and social impact sectors. World-renowned companies like Apple, Google and GE use DT for business solutions, and top-tier colleges like Stanford, Harvard and MIT teach DT to students looking to solve the world’s biggest problems.

How to Improve Your Company’s Productivity

November 29th, 2018|

Maintaining productivity and positivity in the workplace is an ongoing struggle for many businesses and employees. The grind of 9-to-5 life weighs on people and makes it hard to find excitement and motivation throughout the day.

The Six Step Innovation Lifecycle

April 9th, 2018|

Innovation isn’t a one-time project. It’s a continuous activity. Which is why we are seeing numerous organizations adding an innovation department to their company infrastructure. In fact, in a recent survey of our client base, we were surprised to learn that almost 40% of our customers operate out of a dedicated innovation group.

Adaptability and Collaboration for Sustainable Business Growth

January 29th, 2015|

The four simple axioms in the “The Manifesto for Agile Software Development” express the core values for getting work done efficiently. In the last chapter excerpt of Agile Innovation we looked at individuals and interactions as well how to create a rapid working prototype. Today we’ll continue discussing the next elements: collaboration and carrying out change in a corporate setting.

Three Common Ways Organizations Trip When It Comes to Innovation

December 22nd, 2014|

Innovation appears prominently as part of almost any company’s strategy. Why then is it so hard to make it repeatable, scalable and lasting success? Scholars name key elements that bring innovation in sync, such as leadership, strategy and governance. Often, though, it’s not what organizations aren’t doing that causes a problem, but what they are doing—they’re tripping themselves up.

A Myriad of Ways to Being Creative

December 10th, 2014|

Have you seen this equation: innovative = creative? Novelty always comes from “outside the box,” right? It’s a land of confusion to many, who then conclude they are just not the creative type. As a result, organizations lose out because being innovative is but one of a myriad of ways to being creative. All people can be creative—in their own way.

Only Engaged Innovation Teams Succeed

October 22nd, 2014|

Engagement of teams is a must-have when addressing the key issues related to sustainable innovation programs. In the second of a series of articles focused on Innovation Culture, we are going to share our views about the way organizations should stimulate and encourage the creation of teams truly committed with innovation. Besides the more usual ad hoc requirements regarding team and individual creative performance, having a clear focus on team management is essential to achieve a more balanced and sound innovation program.

Innovation in and of the Board Room

September 8th, 2014|

Innovation and more of it has become the mantra of top management. The ability to innovate and thereby sustainably create value for the business is becoming the defining competitive advantage for companies which want to thrive in a globalized economy. So obviously, driving innovation is a key job for top management, the CEO and the C-Suite. But what about the Board? What role should it play in the innovation game – if any?

Fostering Collaboration for Innovative Excellence

August 28th, 2014|

Innovation can take on many forms. From ideas sourced from a single individual or event to massive projects that require the effort of an entire team, multiple departments and various thought leaders, excellence often stems from collaboration. As a business leader or manager, are you taking the steps today to foster this collaboration for best results?

Three Ways to Achieve Breakthrough Innovation

July 23rd, 2013|

How might you foment authentic breakthroughs through collaborative innovation? The fuzzy front end, by name and nature, fails to lend itself to foregone conclusions. Yet, as the innovation practitioner, you can take certain steps that increase the likelihood of achieving breakthroughs. In this article innovation architect Doug Collins explores the most critical steps for people who see the practice as a means of transforming the organization.

The Perfect Innovation Team

July 10th, 2013|

In my new book ‘The Innovation Expedition’ I love to refer in discussions on innovation teams to The Mayo Clinic's Center for Innovation. The Mayo Clinic is a best-practice organization, which was researched in APQC's Innovation: Putting Ideas into Action 2009 study. It favors a specific combination of personalities when it builds innovation teams.

Innovation Governance – How Well Does it Work?

May 16th, 2013|

This series of articles has explored the definition and scope of innovation governance as well as the different organizational models that companies typically choose to allocate responsibility for innovation. This last article will discuss questions linked to the perceived general effectiveness or inadequacy of innovation governance endeavors, and it will characterize the managers’ level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the various organizational models that their companies have adopted.

How to Build a Lean High Performance Innovation Team

May 13th, 2013|

The world we live in is changing at a dizzying rate and sectors including energy, technology, entertainment, communications, finance, sports, manufacturing and engineering are all experiencing shifts on a seismic scale. Many of the innovative advances of the past ten years, from smart phones to digital cameras have become commoditised and creativity has become the currency of success. In this article author Matthew Griffin shows how large and small organisations alike can build lean, agile, high performance innovations teams and bridge any shift successfully.

9 Different Models in use for Innovation Governance

May 8th, 2013|

Research from Jean-Philippe Deschamps, Professor of Technology and Innovation Management at IMD, indicates that there are at least nine possible models of innovation governance, some of which are more widely used than others. This second article in a series of three on the topic of Innovation Governance will review the various governance approaches or “models” that companies have put in place.

Better Living through Collaborative Innovation

March 19th, 2013|

Organizations big and small have begun to explore the practice of collaborative innovation as a way to increase engagement and to foment a culture of innovation. Let’s say you work for such an organization. What’s the quid pro quo when you find yourself part of the crowd from which wisdom is sought? In this article innovation architect Doug Collins wrestles with questions that you may want to ask the practice sponsors and yourself.

How a Decision Room Can Enable Change and Innovation

March 15th, 2013|

One of the challenges leaders face in times of uncertainty and rapid change is helping senior managers to engage in bigger-picture thinking. To enable this process, a growing number of companies are creating “decision rooms” – dedicated areas that help them visualize challenges and opportunities from a number of perspectives and make better decisions.

The Persuasive Innovator: Influencing People to Collaborate

February 5th, 2013|

When you introduce the practice of collaborative innovation to your organization, you make the case to your colleagues that the approach will benefit them more than the status quo. Why might they agree with you? Why might they change their beliefs and behaviors? Have you developed your campaign of persuasion? Innovation architect Doug Collins shares his thinking on how you might influence people to share your beliefs about the benefits of the practice.

Real Innovators Sail Off the Map

September 27th, 2012|

Innovation is often regarded as a journey of discovery. Small steps or large, its purpose is locating and conquering new innovation territory. When incremental explorations are not enough though, it might be time to sail off the map. In this article, Gijs van Wulfen takes a look at Christopher Columbus’ example, and how urgency, courage, new technology, teamwork and perseverance can help corporate explorers reach the New Found Land.

Conflict in Teams – Does it Stimulate Creativity & Innovation?

September 6th, 2012|

Conflict is a dreaded word. Most people associate conflict with interpersonal clashes ranging from inelegant avoidance tactics in the breakroom to fierce and open hostility. Surely, it is obvious that conflict in teams is detrimental to creativity and innovation. But is it? In this post we will explore this matter further and see when conflict sometimes can enhance the creative thinking skills of teams.

7 Innovation Lessons From the First Man on the Moon

August 9th, 2012|

After reading Neil Armstrong’s biography, Gijs van Wulfen discovered there are many lessons from the Apollo 11 trip which can be applied to our everyday innovation projects. Here are seven inspirational lessons learned. Can you think of more?

5 key Success Factors to Enable Transformational Innovation within Businesses

July 26th, 2012|

Transformational innovation for many businesses is inherently complex and, in many cases, high risk. It can be a big distraction, expensive in terms of cost and resource bleed from other key activities, must be managed carefully and will frequently not be successful. This article explores some key factors to work with when looking for transformational innovation.

Innovate Like Famous Explorers

July 19th, 2012|

Innovation nowadays has many similarities with voyages of discovery in the past. In this blog Gijs van Wulfen walks us through practical learnings for innovation inspired by successful explorers.

Expertise and its Role in Innovative Problem Solving

July 3rd, 2012|

The nature of problems in innovative work is that they are often ill defined, novel to the individual who engaged them, and complex in that often several solutions exist to the same problem. In this post we will see how expertise is an important factor in innovative problem solving, and how leaders and organizations can cultivate R&D team expertise.

The Team Diversity Sweet Spot

June 6th, 2012|

Team diversity is conducive to innovation. When R&D project teams are composed of people with different skills, competencies and knowledge, the likelihood for new thinking and innovative solutions increase. However, too much diversity may lead to breakdown in communication and ensuing conflict. There is a sweet spot in how much diversity R&D teams should have.

3 key issues that can kill your innovation initiatives

May 17th, 2009|

Culture, Communication and Collaboration are the 3 C's that form the "soft-side" foundation of successful innovation. Without understanding your personnel "raw material" for innovation, the process may be difficult if not impossible to execute successfully.

5 techniques for tapping team creativity

April 7th, 2009|

Everyone has heard of "writers block," but what happens when creative blocks impede individual efforts and innovation work in organizations? Many of the strategies that apply to individuals can also be applied to group and organizational situations. Here are five ways that Geoff Brennan recommends to harness creativity and break your team's creative blocks.

To Spur Innovation, Break Down Internal Barriers

October 20th, 2008|

Within larger organizations one of the biggest obstacles to innovation is poor internal communication. Every organization has to find ways to promote internal communication and collaboration and to fight internal division and competition. Here are some ideas from Paul Sloane for breaking down barriers to communication.

Building an Effective Framework for Innovation

September 15th, 2008|

How do you turn innovation from a marketing concept into something tangible with an impact on the bottom line? There is of course no simple answer, and to succeed a different way of thinking and working is required

To Encourage the Flow of Ideas, Remember the Three Cs

April 22nd, 2008|

While many companies give lip service to innovation, the fact is that your organization's managers may be unwittingly killing new ideas, along with the enthusiasm of the creative thinkers who developed them. Jeffrey Baumgartner provides some advice on how to ensure that managers are more supportive of new ideas.