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:

  • 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.

  • Rearrange the Process

    Rearrange the Process

    May 09, 2013 | In: Enabling Factors

    If you want to innovate with a process or a service then try focusing on this word – rearrange. Describe your current process as a series of steps. Draw them out as a block diagram. Now try moving the blocks around and see where this leads.

  • Illustration by Jurgen Appelo

    Does Encouraging Creativity in the Workplace Improve Innovation?

    Nov 09, 2012 | In: Enabling Factors

    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.

  • Innovation Method – Copy and Paste

    Innovation Method – Copy and Paste

    Sep 12, 2012 | In: Column & Opinion

    One of the most common operations performed on a computer is copy and paste. We copy a section of a webpage and paste it into a document. We take it for granted. We grab an idea from one place and put it to use in another. So why not use this method for your next product or service innovation?

  • Photo credit Lady Madonna

    A Lesson in Innovation – Why did the Segway Fail?

    May 02, 2012 | In: Column & Opinion

    The Segway PT is a two-wheeled, self-balancing battery electric vehicle invented by Dean Kamen. It was launched in 2001 in a blizzard of publicity. Yet it has failed to gain significant market acceptance and is now something of a curiosity. In this article Paul Sloane takes a look at what lessons to be learned from the failure.

  • roll-the-dice-300px

    Innovation: Should you Roll the Dice?

    Mar 27, 2012 | In:

    Paul Sloane uses a gambling analogy to show how uncertain innovation is and why senior management isn’t likely to approve a new idea after several failures in a row.

  • biomimicry-eastgate

    To Innovate, Adapt Someone Else’s Idea

    Nov 22, 2011 | In:

    Very often the best way to innovate is to borrow someone else’s idea and apply it in your business. A successful innovation does not have to be an all-new invention. It just has to be something new to your business that is beneficial, explains Paul Sloane.

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