Paul Sloane

PAUL SLOANE

Paul Sloane is the author of The Leader’s Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills and The Innovative Leader. He writes, talks and runs workshops on lateral thinking, creativity and the leadership of innovation. Find more information at destination-innovation.com.

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How the Innovation Principle Supplements and Balances the Precautionary Principle

The aim of the precautionary principle seems laudable: lacking scientific consensus, the burden of proof for an action or policy not being harmful to the public or to the environment lies on those taking that action. In practice, however, this principle has proven a deterrent for innovation - particularly within the EU. How can the innovation principle - that is, examining new policies or plans for a negative impact they have on innovation - help to supplement and balance out the precautionary principle?

Where to Start with Innovation? Begin by removing the Barriers

Surveys show that the large majority of senior executives see innovation as critical for their businesses but what if you want to make your organization more agile and innovative where should you start? You could launch a big initiative with grand statements, training classes and an ideas scheme but you tried all those last year and they fizzled out. It is better to begin with a brutally honest assessment of what is preventing innovation from happening today.

Innovation Lessons from Rome’s Greatest Enemy

What innovation lessons can we learn from Hannibal, one of history’s most illustrious generals? In this piece based on a chapter from Paul Sloane’s ‘Think like an Innovator’, we’ll look at how Hannibal’s battle strategies and tactics can apply to innovation today - from using new and unexpected resources, to outflanking your competition, to understanding the importance of networking.

Medicine can Teach Business and Government a Powerful Innovation Lesson

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.

How does Going Public Affect a Firm’s Innovation Behaviour?

Are private companies more innovative than public companies? What happens to an innovative start-up which goes public? Will the same team of people who were so agile and entrepreneurial in the start-up become even more innovative once they have some capital and recognition behind them? Apparently not.

Try Using the Institutional Yes

When new ideas are voiced in your company is the typical response ‘yes but…’? If so, you’re really saying ‘No’ and closing the door on new ideas and open-minded employees. Paul Sloane says we could all learn a lesson from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos by implementing the Institutional Yes.

Don’t Be Afraid of Upsetting People – A Negative Reaction is Better than no Reaction

South Park is a highly successful cartoon sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central TV network. The show was launched in 1997 and quickly became notorious for its rude language, minimalist characters and black, surreal satire. It was aimed at an adult audience and poked fun at a wide range of topical or taboo subjects. South Park has received many accolades, including five Primetime Emmy Awards. It is the third longest-running cartoon series in the U.S. behind The Simpsons and Arthur. Yet it was very nearly cancelled when initial tests showed that most people did not like it.

2019-10-15T15:20:57-07:00August 11th, 2015|Categories: Enabling Factors|Tags: , , , , |

Community Innovation is Led by Positive Deviants

Positive Deviance (PD) is an idea which is based on the observed principle that in any community there are people who adopt unusual and successful approaches to problems that beset the whole community. These people are the ‘positive deviants.’

Brag about Your Failures

Many organizations in both the public and private sectors suffer from a corporate culture which is risk averse and fearful of failure. People are reluctant to try new things or even to suggest innovations. They remember old stories about colleagues being punished for experiments that failed. They have learnt that it is safest to keep a low profile and focus on standard operating procedures. Mean while the executive committee is desperately trying to think of ways to make the outfit more agile and innovative.

An Industrial Process for Driving Innovation and Start-Ups

Y Combinator is a remarkably successful start-up fund and seed accelerator. Since it was founded in 2005, Y Combinator has funded over 550 start-ups with a total estimated current value of over $11 billion. It has become the world’s most successful model for mass producing digital start-up companies. It is an industrial process for driving innovation and creating millionaires.

2019-10-15T15:14:44-07:00September 19th, 2013|Categories: Organization & Culture|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Trying New Methods Is Not Reckless; It Is Essential

We are living in an increasingly litigious age. The number of lawsuits brought against the British National Health Service has doubled in the last four years. The fear of litigation and the real possibility of been found guilty of medical malpractice are inhibiting hospitals and doctors from trying promising new ideas in the treatment of deadly illnesses.

2019-10-15T15:14:47-07:00September 12th, 2013|Categories: Enabling Factors|Tags: , , , , , , |

Does Open Innovation lead to Faster Growth?

A recent study from the UK Innovation Research centre set out to examine how companies were using open innovation. The report makes a thought-provoking comparison of the innovation styles of companies. It indicates that those companies that are active in open innovation in both giving and receiving ideas achieve higher rates of innovation and of revenue growth.

The Innovation Disconnect

CEOs talk enthusiastically about the need for innovation. Workers at the front line can see the needs and opportunities for fresh ideas. But somehow nothing happens. Ideas do not get implemented. Innovation grinds to a halt. This is the innovation disconnect and it has to be tackled head on.

Does Encouraging Creativity in the Workplace Improve Innovation?

Let’s start by defining creativity as thinking of new ideas and innovation as implementing new ideas. The assumption has always been that if we want to deliver innovation in terms of new products, services, processes, etc. then we need lots of creativity in order to generate ideas. Creativity is the ‘front end of innovation’. It is how we fill the pipeline that generates a flow of new products. It follows that we should take actions to encourage creativity in the workplace if we want more innovation.