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.

All articles by Paul Sloane:

  • seven-good-reasons-not-to-innovate

    Seven Good Reasons Not to Innovate

    Jun 27, 2017 | In: Innovation Psychology

    Innovation is risky. Customers are not asking for it. We are already successful… Getting momentum behind significant innovation is difficult, and sometimes it’s easier for a business to stay in what they deem a safe spot. Let’s look at seven arguments that inhibit innovation as well as their counter arguments.

  • innovation-principle-supplements-balances-precautionary-principle

    How the Innovation Principle Supplements and Balances the Precautionary Principle

    May 31, 2017 | In: Column & Opinion, Enabling Factors, Innovation Psychology

    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?

  • removing-barriers-to-innovation

    Where to Start with Innovation? Begin by removing the Barriers

    May 24, 2017 | In: Enabling Factors, Strategies

    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-history-hannibal

    Innovation Lessons from Rome’s Greatest Enemy

    Apr 10, 2017 | In: Creative Leadership

    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.

  • are-you-open-minded-three-ways-to-break-thinking-patterns

    Are You Open Minded? Three Ways to Break Thinking Patterns

    Dec 28, 2016 | In: Videos

    Paul Sloane helps organisations improve innovation and is the author of over 20 books on lateral thinking, leadership and innovation. His talk will show how you can use simple powerful methods to break routine thinking habits and boost Creative Problem Solving.

  • medicine-can-teach-business-and-government-a-powerful-innovation-lesson

    Medicine can Teach Business and Government a Powerful Innovation Lesson

    Aug 01, 2016 | In: Enabling Factors

    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.

  • IPO

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

    Oct 05, 2015 | In: Strategies

    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.

  • innovation-strategy-institutional-yes

    Try Using the Institutional Yes

    Sep 07, 2015 | In: Organization & Culture

    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.

  • dont-be-afraid-of-upsetting-people

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

    Aug 11, 2015 | In: Enabling Factors

    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.

  • High Angle View

    Community Innovation is Led by Positive Deviants

    Oct 16, 2014 | In: Organization & Culture

    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

    Brag about Your Failures

    Dec 03, 2013 | In: Organization & Culture

    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

    An Industrial Process for Driving Innovation and Start-Ups

    Sep 19, 2013 | In: Organization & Culture

    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.

  • Trying New Methods Is Not Reckless; It Is Essential

    Trying New Methods Is Not Reckless; It Is Essential

    Sep 12, 2013 | In: Enabling Factors

    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.

  • Does Open Innovation lead to Faster Growth?

    Does Open Innovation lead to Faster Growth?

    Aug 27, 2013 | In: Strategies

    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.

  • Image by Sharyn Morrow

    The Innovation Disconnect

    Jul 04, 2013 | In: Organization & Culture

    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.

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