February 23, 2010

February 2, 2010

innovations & creativity reading list

Here is my selection of books from topic: innovations&creativity. During winter time there is more time for reading so maybe this list could help someone in selecting right books. Together with this books I must mention one "blook": Pulp Innovation by Jeffrey Phillips.

Making Innovation Work,
The Ten Faces of Innovation,
The Art of Innovation,
The Medici Effect,
CATS The Nine Lives of Innovation,
The Innovative Leader,
The Innovation Killer,
Exploiting Chaos

November 19, 2009

book reviews

exploiting chaos by jeremy gutsche
Interesting and easy-to-read book which gives you examples of innovation success stories and the guideline for creativity. Useful for everyone not just for the persons involved in work with ideas. Culture of revolution ad trend hunting is the topics that you won't see in other books ;)
It looks trendy & "sexy" and it's the book that everyone that have it on the bookshelf, will go back over and over.

idea book by fredrik hären
Book about creativity with blank pages for reader's notes and ideas. It's a sort of creativity handbook for anyone interested in improving his idea generation by itself.

October 5, 2009

keeping chickens or rabbits with style

I never planned to have chickens or rabbits in my backyard, but when I saw this products, maybe I will have few inhabitants in such rabbit house.
What to say, except that this looks cool!

September 11, 2009

culture of collaboration - thoughts on int.article

Again, very interesting article in Business Week:

How 3M Forged a Culture of Collaboration

Some excerpts from: "What can executives learn from 3M's approach to collaboration?"

"Support networks. Build Web-based social networks that help employees with a problem find those with an answer. Support grassroots networking initiatives such as 3M's TechForum—an employee-run group that organizes speaker events to stimulate thinking and also serves as a kind of mixer, where scientists from different labs or divisions can connect in person.

Encourage curiosity. 3M allows employees to spend 15% of their time on projects of their choosing, giving them permission to develop ideas or technologies that may be outside of their regular work focus. Such policies increase the odds of collaboration, as the path of curiosity often leads employees beyond their knowledge base, to a place where they need the advice and insight of others.

Create innovation funds. Group or department managers focused on core-related projects often don't want to spend money exploring or developing innovative ideas. To overcome this common roadblock, companies should create an alternative source—3M calls these Genesis Grants—that employees can go to for funding of innovation projects that don't fit neatly into existing departments.

Don't underestimate the value of physical proximity. When 3M's Post-it Note team wanted to accelerate product development, it had the team's marketing, financial, and other nonmembers move into the same building with the tech folks. If different functions have to be housed in different buildings, pay for a shuttle service that makes it easy for employees in different departments to visit each other. "

Support networks sounds familiar - with Web 2.0 tools it's now easy to establish support networks, next this is to build the culture which will make it efficient.

Encouraging creativity will surely give the benefits, to the oragnizations that can afford it.

Innovation funds gives innovations new chance, and make innovation process more simple(as much as it can be simple). This point can be essential in creating new - innovative products as it's not always the right way to follow only customer wishes.

Visiting different departments - just to say that it's very useful in big companies.

August 26, 2009

faster innovation

I've just read Wall Street Journal article: "The New, Faster Face of Innovation"
and there are two very interesting quotes:

"Five years ago, for instance, a leadership team might have reviewed two or three "big" innovation proposals from consulting gurus; executive teams today might compare the outcomes of 50 or 60 real-world experiments to decide which ones to act upon."

- the innovation process becomes faster.

"And there's a subtle shift in how people view innovation. People don't talk about running experiments months into the future—they're into immediacy, because they see that they can test ideas right away, and the company culture starts to actively encourage speed."

- innovation don't need months to be transfered to market, this process is also becoming more faster. What are the concequences?

1. We need even more ideas from ideation process :)
2. Innovation becomes cheaper - more innovations can be prototyped.
3. Research&development as we know it will be changed in future.

August 4, 2009

innovation process article

I've just read interesting article on Business Week:

about Whirpool's innovation process that evaluates and screen thousands of ideas.
Whirlpool's three-pronged definition of innovation:
"It must meet a consumer need in a fresh way;
it must have the breadth to become a platform for related products; and
it must lift earnings."
The final section of the article:

"What can executives learn from Whirlpool's approach to screening ideas?

• Define Innovation A brief, concrete definition of innovation will help employees evaluate new concepts at the front end, screening out those that just don't fit. As a concept progresses, keep returning to the definition to make sure that the idea still clears the bar.

• Never Kill Good Ideas A concept that might not be worth pursuing today—because of limited resources, for instance, or the lack of a partner—might be next year's innovation. Don't kill projects. Shelve them, and annually review all concepts for possible resurrection.

• Adjust Your Criteria Early in the process Whirlpool concepts are required to meet the basic definition of innovation. As projects progress, the evaluation criteria become more rigorous. Begin with easier requirements to avoid killing off concepts before they can be developed.

• Link Idea Screening with Strategy A concept might be innovative but still not smart for a company to develop because it would take the company too far afield. Make sure that the people evaluating ideas do so in the context of the company's strategic goals."

They give few months to add-on innovations and 3-5 years to new-to-the world innovations.

I can't often find this kind of story such as this article, where the innovation process is described in detail. So, this is one of the most useful articles I've read in this year.

July 7, 2009

innovation providers

Here is the list of firms that are providing help in innovation or creativity.
They have innovation management trainings or they offer tools for running innovation process.

Please feel free to add more firms to the list by adding comment.

June 24, 2009


Cynthia Baron Rabe in her book "Innovation Killer" is speaking about Groupthink as:
" a well documented and often detrimental human tendency to go along with decisions that the majority of a group will accept."
Sometimes is enough to keep your mouth shut during the group conversation and it will mean that your think like others in the group, which can lead to problems later.
Groupthink must, for sure, be avoided in brainstorming sessions, as it can destroy it. Shortly, groupthink is the opposite to innovation & innovation culture.

May 28, 2009

communities and open innovation

A week ago, I made T-shirts with logo of my web-site(on picture) and offer it for free to my columnists and forum visitors (my football club web-site). Soon they wanted to go to drink with me, and I took the t-shirts there. We had nice discussion as we had common interest - our football club.
When you build that kind of community, ideas are jumping out of every corner, and except to that we had many remarks on how club is organized, and that it has poor results in last years, we have great ideas how to make it better and more successful(like that anyone ask us?).

My point is that online communites can build groups with common interest, that can generate many ideas and certain individuals can make it useful, but of course - first he needs to ask for it! In our case, if someone from club want to hear us, or just visit our forum, he can get many ideas for the club's future - and all that for free!

When you copy this to enterprises, first thing that come to my mind is open innovation. It must be recognized as a powerful weapon in search for new ideas or even new customers. It is recognized in USA or W.Europe but in my part of Europe I don't know for any example yet.

May 5, 2009

10 tips for successful brainstorming session

When you have a group of people and you need to take their ideas from selected topic I can give you few tips:

1. start with mentioning expected results
2. use existing examples of realized ideas to avake inspiration
3. smile and mention funny ideas from past
4. write down every idea
5. try to include every participant
6. never focus to much only on one/two participants who have most ideas
7. after session send titles of all ideas to participants
8. send your notes to idea creator and ask for details
9. be boring when it comes to get more infos about ideas from creators
10. don't forget to send news about status of ideas to idea creators

Brainstorming is still the best way for idea-generation, so try to do it whenever you can!

April 9, 2009

100 posts

I just figured out that I reached 100 post two days ago! I'm still enjoying in writing short posts every once in a while. I hope that someone find it interesting at least a bit as far as I'm enjoying in writing ;)
First I was blogging more about interesting innovations and in last months I'm more oriented to innovation management.
I can't promise how this blog will look in next 100 posts as I simply don't know!

April 6, 2009

10 ways to achive innovative climate in your organization

Second post from Top10 series:

1. Try to have fun, that’s the right way for creativity.

2. It’s ok to make mistakes, without mistakes, there will be no new ideas as there is a need for lot of ideas to have successful innovation.

3. Fear is your first enemy! Push away the fear from your workplace and innovation can replace it!

4. Promote successful ideas and their creators with brochures, intranet...

5. Try to keep process of idea-evaluation as simple as posible and as fast as posible.

6. Use piece of software for idea generation and evaluation

7. Customers are great source for new incremental ideas, try to use it!

8. Use new employees as the source of new ideas, they are looking to your organization with ‘fresh’ eyes and can generate improvements to your processes

9. Put innovation into a head of every person in the company, everyone should think and talk about it!

10. Try to push your colleagues with idea-contest if needed

April 1, 2009

yugo - what a bad idea

I've just read Business Week article where car from Kragujevac was mentioned:

"Also, low-priced offerings for lower-income regions often carry a stigma. Even a quarter of a century after the Yugo was introduced as the cheapest car in the U.S., the brand name remains synonymous with shoddy materials and workmanship, and is a reminder that quality is as important as price in industrialized nations."

I remember the times when 'Yugo goes to America' was a big story in former Yugoslavia, but soon other stories came back and there were no much time gone, when we watched how Americans make fun of this car in the movies. So, Yugo is the type of idea that everyone should avoid - it was the bad idea to go to biggest auto-market with cheap product which hasn't have no minimum expected quality. And this product was so ridiculed, that it tombs down all other attempts in the future to put new(better)product on the market.
I can still see some remains of this production on the streets of my town, as small number of Yugo's are still roaring.

March 18, 2009

big potential for establishing innovation climate

Have you heard your friend, father or uncle how he make fun of his bosses or to management in his factory because they are doing something „stupid“, and when you ask him „why won't you propose a solution?“, the answer is: „they wouldn't listen to me, they don't care for my thoughts“ or „let them do whatever they want!“.

This barrier between employee and the firm, or call it 'learned helplessness' is the spirit when the employee don't need to think and it's the example which kind of culture should be completely changed. This kind of examples can be heard in many places and you can imagine how many space is left for improvement,

Inovative climate could be incorporated to many organizations which are not aware of their current state.

There are many negative sentences which can be heard:

X This already exist!

X We are doing it on the same way for years, why we should change it now?

X This is not the problem!

X This will not work in real world.

X Who will buy this?

X This kind of idea is not posible to realise, maybe in a ten years from now...

X We don't have time for that.

X This is not in our area of work.