Top 20 Most Influential Innovation Blogs from 2016

Over the past few weeks we have done the analysis of all of the big innovation bloggers to find evidence of who really are the best innovation bloggers of 2016, and who you should look out for in 2017, ranked into the official Top 20 list.

This was a joint effort between three innovation focused blogs, namely Idea to Value (with Nick Skillicorn), InnovationManagement.se (with Amelia Johannsen) and InnoBoard (with Manuel Kaiser).

How we did the analysis

In order to remain impartial and ensure that the final ranking was as objective as possible, the three editors (listed above) completed the analysis as follows:

  1. Agree on a shortlist of all of the noteworthy and up-and-coming innovation bloggers and blogs to be analysed: This ended up being a list of 63 blogs.
  2. Agree on the criteria used to assess the blogs: We wanted to have a mix of criteria which could all be used to rank the blogs against each other, so we decided on the following:
    1. Quality of best articles: How good are the articles judged to be when read by the innovation expert editors (above)? Do they have new, unique insights, sufficient detail & useful advice which people can actually use? This was done by reading popular articles from every blog, and ranking the average quality from 1 (worst) to 5 (best) for each blog.
    2. Availability of unique media: As more people want to consume content in the form of video, audio & webinars, how does the blog provide insights in a more multimedia way? Do they produce unique video, a podcast, eLearning or custom infographics? Again, assessed on a 1-5 scale.
    3. How popular is the blog: Used to compare how many people are actually visiting each blog on a regular up-to-date basis in 2016. For this, we used Alexa ranking results for each site, to see how many people are actually visiting it. Lower scores in Alexa indicate a higher overall rank.
    4. How respected / authoritative is the blog: Used to see how many other people are linking to content on the blog, which is similar to how Google assesses the authority of the site and how trustworthy it is. For this, we used the Page Authority Rankings from tools like Moz.
    5. What is the blog’s current social influence: We wanted to know how well the blog’s articles were doing in 2016, so we looked up the total number of social shares which the blog’s most popular articles generated in 2016 across all social networks. High numbers of shares indicated content which the readers considered of high-enough quality to share socially. To find these statistics, we used a tool called BuzzSumo.
  3. We then together agreed on the weighting of how important these 5 criteria would be to the total score. The final agreed weighting was in the order that the criteria are shown above, with Quality being the most influential on the final ranking, and social influence the least
  4. We then went and reviewed articles on all 63 blogs, scored them and gathered the other stats for them
  5. We combined all of our findings back together to complete the final rankings, producing the list you see below
  6. Finally, we highlighted five more fast-growing innovation blogs to watch in 2017 and onwards

And without further ado, here are the results.

The results: Top 20 Innovation Blogs 2016

The Official Top 20 Innovation Blogs, starting with number 20:

20. Paul Hobcraft

paul4innovating.com

Paul Hobcraft can always be relied upon to provide detailed thoughts on how innovation management principles can be brought into play within companies, and which hurdles must be addressed for them to work. While his writing can sometimes come across as quite technical, the blog is an excellent place to go for people who enjoy thinking through challenges methodically.

19. Ralph-Christian Ohr

integrative-innovation.net

Ralph Christian Ohr’s blog on integrative innovation provides detailed, high-quality, actionable articles focusing on balanced, unified approaches to managing innovation. He is probably best known for his articles on the Three Horizon Framework. He publishes a new post every month or two and they’re highly recommended for experienced managers.

18. Scott Anthony at the Harvard Business Review

hbr.org/search?term=scott+anthony

The Harvard Business Review is one of the most influential websites in the field of business, management and innovation. Besides authors like Clayton Christensen, Henry Chesbrough and Alexander Osterwalder, there is one author who focuses solely on innovation and digital transformation: Scott Anthony, CEO of Innosight. Many of his articles are accessible for free and represent some of the most forward-looking innovation principles from a CEO’s perspective.

17. Stephen Shapiro

stephenshapiro.com/blog/

Stephen Shapiro is renowned as one of the superstar public speakers in America, and is always able to use these skills to bring across the right message of how to improve innovation performance. Additionally, in 2016 he began putting more emphasis on multimedia, with his “Innovation Minute” series of videos.

16. Nicolas Bry

nbry.wordpress.com

As the name suggests, this blog publishes full-length articles with a focus on managing rapid innovation units and accelerators. The articles are engaging and informative with examples and lots of images. An excellent resource for innovation managers.

15. Innovation Enterprise

theinnovationenterprise.com/

The innovation enterprise offers articles about innovation and digitalization. The articles can be categorised by certain channels, such as innovation, digital or strategy, or for certain c-suite specialists, such as for a CTO, CDO or CSO, which allows readers to find interesting articles in a very convenient way. Additionally, the website provides different content types like interviews, eBooks and webinars.

14. Gijs van Wulfen

www.forth-innovation.com

A Linkedin influencer on the topic of innovation, Gijs’ FORTH Innovation Methodology has seen rapid expansion in 2016, having been published in a number of new languages across the world. His writing is most often seen on Linkedin, but his website also includes a number of free extracts from his various books, including some very useful checklists for anyone wanting to get their teams using a more structured innovation methodology.

13. Paul Sloane

www.destination-innovation.com

It’s no surprise that Paul Sloane’s blog appears on this list. For many years Paul has been a devout contributor to the professional innovation community with books and articles specialising on lateral thinking and innovation leadership and culture. You’ll find a wealth of information as well as quizzes and puzzles to put your knowledge to the test.

12. Wazoku

www.wazoku.com

Wazoku offers articles on innovation topics by various authors on a regular basis. Due to these different perspectives on innovation, this blog provides useful insights for its readers. In addition, Wazoku offers a library with a lot of added content such as videos, webinars, case studies and guides which are worth a look.

11. Mark McGuiness

lateralaction.com

Unlike some of the other coaches on this list, Mark’s primary focus is on improving creativity, especially for people in creative professions. However, his insights on how to do more with your ideas are invaluable for anyone who has to find solutions to challenges at work, as they go into deep detail with actionable strategies.

10. Daniel Burrus

www.burrus.com/blog/

To become a successful innovation practitioner, you must understand management theory and practice, but you also need to stay abreast of a quickly changing society. As a world-leading futurist and trend-watcher—accurately publishing on top trends since 1983—Daniel Burrus has a lot to say about innovation. His blog provides insights and recommendations for your business as well as his highly valued trend alerts.

9. Sarah Miller Caldicott

www.forbes.com/sites/sarahcaldicott/

Sarah Miller Caldicott is a recognised author on www.forbes.com. She does not publish articles as frequent as other bloggers in this field, however, her articles offer a deep-dive into specific topics of innovation. As a great grandniece of Thomas Edison and former global 100 executive, her insights are valuable and worth reading.

8. Greg Satell

www.digitaltonto.com

Whichever platform he writes on, Greg’s articles always seem to resonate with his audience and have very high sharing stats. He covers a wide variety of topics related to innovation, but usually brings them together around a central theme to make them relatable to the audience. One not to be missed.

7. Scott Barry Kaufman

scottbarrykaufman.com/blog/

A big part of managing innovation is developing one’s own creative thinking skills and creating an environment where team members feel safe to take risks and be creative. Scott Barry Kaufman uses his knowledge and research in psychological science to help practitioners use creativity and mindfulness to their advantage. If you’re looking into personal growth strategies, don’t miss his blog and inspirational podcast.

6. Innovation Excellence

innovationexcellence.com

Innovation Excellence is one of THE innovation blogs worldwide. Many well-known experts in their particular field publish articles about innovation and management on a regular basis. Because of the volume of authors, there are often several articles published each day. The only reason they are not higher on the list is that their content typically includes less media and is shared less than several other sites. Innovation Excellence is run by Braden Kelley, Julie Anixter and Rowan Gibson who are recognised innovation experts on their own.

5. Nick Skillicorn

www.ideatovalue.com
&
2016 was the breakout year for Nick Skillicorn’s Idea to Value blog. Not only did it rapidly grow after being launched in March 2016, it quickly amassed a loyal following of people interested in detailed, unique and evidence-based insights into how innovation and creativity work and can be improved. The site also produces more multimedia than most other sites, with a recently-launched podcast, several expert interview video series and a whole series of HD video eLearning available to all members. It also had some of the most popular posts of any innovation blog, several of which went viral after receiving several thousand social shares.

4. Tim Kastelle

timkastelle.org/theblog/

With the purpose of ‘making work better’ this group of four esteemed innovation professionals writes short form articles with business tips, creativity hacks and tools for everyone from the front-line worker to the CEO. If you’re trying to push forward new ideas in your workplace, you will definitely find inspiration here.

3. Board of Innovation by Nick De Mey and Philippe De Ridder

www.boardofinnovation.com/blog/

Nick De Mey and Philippe De Ridder rank among the best innovation bloggers. They cover a wide range of innovation topics with their blog articles. Furthermore, their website contains not only written articles but also other content like videos, templates and slideshows which anyone can access in order to develop new ideas.

2. David Burkus

davidburkus.com

David Burkus had a standout year in 2016. Along with his newest book launch, he also presented one of the year’s most popular TEDx talks on salary visibility. He has a great ability to make complicated technical and academic ideas relatable to the everyday person, and also hosts a very popular podcast on improving leadership skills.

1. Innovationmanagement.se

www.innovationmanagement.se

Coming in at number one on our list, InnovationManagement.se is one of the most active innovation blogs on the web. With a long and diverse list of expert authors and more than 3,000 articles, reviews, webcasts, videos and podcasts, the IM.se site is the most comprehensive innovation learning resource available today. As an added bonus, they provide a handful of articles in Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese.

In case you are interested, here is the breakdown of the rankings which made up the Top 20 positions (please note that the rankings for each factor were across all 63 blogs analysed, the others of which are not included in this graphic).

BONUS: 5 Innovation Blogs to watch out for in 2017

Once we had completed the list above, we realised that there are so many other great bloggers out there who might not yet have the scale of the more established blogs, but which are definitely worth your time in the coming year.

So here are five of the newer blogs which we think will achieve great things in 2017:

1. The Innovation Ecosystem

innovationecosystem.com

We were blown away by the quality of Mark Bidwell’s innovation podcast. The production quality, guest speakers and show notes are really great, and if you like to get your insights via audio, this is an excellent resource which will continue to grow—you can expect big things from their blog this year.

2. Innoboard.de

innoboard.de

Innoboard offers insights and impulses into various aspects and levels of innovation management and digitalization. With a focus on interviews with renowned experts from multiple industries, this blog provides a variety of perspectives on achieving innovation and growth. In 2017, Innoboard will start its new format “Opinions”, in which everyone is invited to join the conversation about current topics of innovation.

3. ImagineNation

www.imaginenation.com.au/blog/

One of the best up-and-coming female innovation bloggers, Janet Sernack has views on a number of ways to improve innovation performance and creativity in all sorts of organisations.

4. Ecosystems4innovators

ecosystems4innovating.wordpress.com
Jeffrey Phillips and Paul Hobcraft have been collaborating for a number of years around their shared passion for innovation. Their blog is a result of their collaboration and focusses on innovation ecosystems and methodology, including their thoughts on best using the horizon frameworks of innovation.

5. Game Changer

www.game-changer.net/blog/

With a reputation as an ‘Innovation Insurgent,’ Jorge Barba likes breaking the rules with unconventional ideas on strategy and innovation. He has a very honest and straight-forward style of sharing his insights with the world. Stay tuned!

robert-brands-bioIn Memoriam: Robert Brands

This year we lost one of our great innovation bloggers, Robert Brands, who died tragically while on an ATV excursion. Robert contributed many very popular articles in 2016, including many on this website. He will be sorely missed.

So what do you think of our list?

Do you agree with it, or disagree with it?

Which authors would you like to see improve their ranking next year, or make it onto the list who were not in the Top 20 this year?

Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to share the article.

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