Innovation is one of the main ways in which a business can differentiate itself from the competition. Innovation could take place by improving business processes or by entering new markets after upgrading current product and service offerings. To be innovative, companies need creative employees who have the ability to transform ideas into reality.
Meg Whitman, president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, discusses the difficulty of changing a company’s culture and how the key is to focus on a few core values and constantly repeat the message. Whitman also stresses the importance of identifying the obstacles standing in the way of change, and making sure the message is just as clear to far-flung groups within a large organization.
To amplify your company’s presence and scale your influence, innovation teams need to harness informal networks and not simply rely on formal structures to create a thriving innovation eco-system. Enter Innovation Catalysts: natural champions who are believers, idea generators, problem solvers, mentors and sponsors in your organization.
Many executives talk a lot about innovation, but they don’t really know how to make it happen. A corporate innovation team asks themselves: How do we “educate” our executives on innovation management and develop stronger corporate innovation capabilities together?
The list of problems that need to be solved is growing almost as fast as our solutions are. Some are concerned about the lack of food and water security, others worry about access to education and a whopping 45.2% of millennials think today’s most pressing problem is the destruction of natural resources. But with the proliferation of problems, organizations and enterprises are broadening their search for innovative solutions and many of them are looking to the crowd for ideas.
“Great dreams aren’t just visions,” says Astro Teller, “They’re visions coupled to strategies for making them real.” The head of X (formerly Google X), Teller takes us inside the “moonshot factory,” as it’s called, where his team seeks to solve the world’s biggest problems through experimental projects like balloon-powered Internet and wind turbines that sail through the air. Find out X’s secret to creating an organization where people feel comfortable working on big, risky projects and exploring audacious ideas.
It’s awesome when everyone agrees, isn’t it? Yes—and no. Most of us have, at some point, fallen into the trap of groupthink to avoid conflict and promote harmony in a group, whether at school, work, or on a committee. Groupthink has its perks: everyone feels comfortable, and there’s no risk of tension among members. It’s safe. Easy. Unfortunately, it can also kills creativity and innovation.
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.
They say creativity loves constraint. In fact, if you ask professional, creative people about their “limitations” they naturally see them as exciting and stimulating. Engineers and software designers for instance see constraints as absolutely fundamental to problem solving. So why does constraint get such a bad wrap? Why do so many people see them as things to be managed and talked around and spun? In this week’s episode, Adam Morgan delves deep into this topic and explains his process for creating a framework to understand constraint and a process to help people successfully manage it.
Consider the world’s most ingeniously designed products. Whether it’s your smartphone, your favorite racing bike or a nifty robotic lawn mower – they all have a one thing in common: rather than being conceived overnight, they were shaped by a series of consecutive, systematic innovations. But how does such a structured product innovation approach look? This CREAX project illustrates the ins and outs.
Corporate managers and entrepreneurs alike are accustomed to making tough decisions and seeking out the best possible solutions to everyday problems. It comes with the territory, but it’s not inherently easy. In order to reach a leadership position or own a company you probably have a knack for decision-making, but when the future of a business depends on the outcome, it’s important to reduce cognitive biases and calculate carefully.
Whether you are designing a feature, creating a product, or building a company, your technology needs to be solving a real problem for your customers, says Cyriac Roeding, founder and CEO of Shopkick. Roeding describes how his company only began working on technology when it was explicitly needed to solve a key problem.
In 1946, Soviet inventor and science fiction writer Genrich Altshuller developed a methodology called TRIZ. It became known as “the theory of inventive problem-solving” and was based on a simple premise: across different disciplines and applications, the same challenges occur again and again. Unfortunately, people keep solving nearly identical problems from scratch. The main lesson from TRIZ is this: if you understand how your innovation challenge is similar to someone else’s, you can reapply solutions that already exist, instead of reinventing the wheel time and again.
Someone once told me this: “Innovation is like an apparition of the Virgin Mary: one person saw her, but everyone talks about it.” Although funny, the quote aptly captures an attitude towards innovation that exists in many companies today. Innovation – and the skills that enable it – are sometimes considered as mystical gifts, preserved for the chosen few. In other cases, innovation is feared, because it involves unregulated processes, risk taking and investments with unpredictable outcomes. In this blog post, I’d like to make a case against this kind of innovation paralysis. Every company must innovate, and with the right understanding of the word ‘innovation’, every company can.
Play Bigger Advisors Co-Founder Dave Peterson emphasizes that entrepreneurs must be able to articulate the problem they seek to solve if others are to understand their vision. Successful marketing also persuades people to care about a problem they weren’t aware of before, and your solution for it. “Understanding the problem is the first step,” Peterson says.