Design Studio Website
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Sweden and Finland

The 2004 European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS), an annual evaluation of each European Union member state's level of innovation, has just been released. It ranks Sweden and Finland as the union's leading innovators. Estonia and Slovenia are the top performing innovators of the ten new members of the EU.

The EIS was established by the European Commission and looks at "20 indicators, measuring human resources, the creation of new knowledge, the transmission and application of knowledge, and innovation finance. A composite indicator provides an overview of national performances."

You can read more as well as download the scorecard itself.

From Report 103, by Jeffrey Baumgartner.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/29/2005 09:20:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Albert Einstein Quote
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/28/2005 10:15:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Getting everyone on board for innovation
From John Stark

Get everyone on board

Implement cross-functional and inter-company team structures
Enable collaborative working
Ensure working relationships are win-win not win-lose
Provide incentives - financial and other - for innovation
Train your people to be great innovators
Encourage people to be creative
Create the desire to innovate
Provide career and skills development opportunities
Provide role-modeling
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/28/2005 10:09:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Monday, June 27, 2005
Zaphiropoulos Quote
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/27/2005 10:15:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Practice of Innovation
The Practice of Innovation by Peter Senge

One possibility for difficulties innovating is that most people really don't care about innovation. After all, Theory X is still the prevailing philosophy in most large institutions -- certainly in the American corporate world. Few people in positions of authority would admit to that view, but our practices belie our espoused values. If we look honestly at how organizations manage people, most appear to operate with the belief that people cannot work without careful supervision. As Arie de Geus has shown in his recent book The Living Company, we treat the business enterprise as a machine for making money rather than as a living community. Consequently, we view people as "human resources" waiting to be employed (or disemployed) to the organizations' needs. (The word resource literally means "standing in reserve, waiting to be used.")

1. Know your purpose
2. Define vision
3. Assess results
4. Habit to Discipline
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/27/2005 10:07:00 AM   1 comments  --- Google It! ---
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Excellence can be attained if you
- Care more than others think is wise
- Risk more than others think is safe
- Dream more than others think is practical
- Expect more than others think is possible
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/26/2005 12:31:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Dr. Rollo May Quote
When you are completely absorbed or caught up in something, you become oblivious to things around you, or to the passage of time. It is this absorption in what you are doing that frees your unconscious and releases your creative imagination.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/26/2005 12:28:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Six creativity killers
1. There is only one right answer
2. Always follow the rules
3. Don't rock the boat
4. Don't make a mistake
5. Be practical
6. Become highly specialized
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/23/2005 07:30:00 PM   1 comments  --- Google It! ---
Picasso Quote
When I eat a tomato I look at it the way anyone else would. But when I paint a tomato, then I see it differently.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/23/2005 07:23:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
15 ways to stimulate CREATIVITY
1. Associate with diverse individuals
2. Spend time with children under the age of 6
3. Eat and drink different foods and beverages
4. Try a new hobby
5. Fly a kite
6. Exercise stimulate endorphins)
7. Relax (blow bubbles, review momentos from last vacation)
8. Meditate (beta state of brain)
9. Go to a cultural celebration
10. Visit a museum
11. Walk in the woods
12. Visit a foreign country or watch a foreign film
13. Practice saying "Yes" and "why not" to something new
14. Listen to music or an opera
15. Encourage creativity in yourself and others
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/22/2005 02:26:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Charles F. Kettering Quote
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/22/2005 02:24:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Monday, June 20, 2005
Ivory Soap wasn't meant to float, but a manufacturing error became its top selling point. Kleenex failed as a cold cream remover. Repackaged as a disposable handkerchief, its success remains nothing to sneeze at.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/20/2005 09:26:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Lawrence Miller Quote
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/20/2005 09:06:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Professor Robert Ornstein Quote
When the 'weaker' of the two brains (right and left) is stimulated and encouraged to work in cooperation with the stronger side, the end result is a great increase in overall ability and ... often five to ten times more effectiveness.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/18/2005 12:36:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Creativity Goes Stale
For the self employed, there is also a danger of becoming stale. If you have found that you can do a particular kind of work well and earn good money doing it, it is all too easy to become complacent with the income and professional respect you gain from such a situation. It is also all to easy to grow bored. It is necessary to either grow your own business with new products or services, possibly in partnership with other self-employed people; or to reinvent your business - and probably yourself - altogether. The latter, though is a real challenge and should not be attempted without suitable savings to keep your cash-flow moving. You will find that you can reinvent yourself faster than your clients can.

From Report 103, by Jeffrey Baumgartner.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/18/2005 12:23:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Anonymous Quote
If you want to be part of the solution, get involved. If you don't, don't complain.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/16/2005 07:58:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Ten Crazy Things
From Report 103


I've often talked in this newsletter about long term issues in corporate innovation; issues like establishing a culture of innovation in your organisation, encouraging risk taking and so on. Today, just for fun, let's look at some very short term, possibly quite crazy ideas for boosting your company's creativity.

1. Rearrange the physical organisation of your office by moving people around randomly. Rather than put accounting people together with other accounting people; sales people with sales people; operational people with operational people and so on, mix people up so that an accountant might have her desk next to a saleswoman and a logistics specialist might have his desk next to a research scientist. Better still rearrange the physical organisation every quarter or so. While this will result in some communication inefficiency – people in the same division do, after all, often need to work together - it will certainly bring about more varied internal networking and breed new ideas as people from different departments work together, get to know each other and share ideas.

2. Hold staff meetings in varied locations. Why must you always have staff meetings in your boring meeting rooms? Why not hold them in a public library, a nearby park, a children's playground, a pub, in a swimming pool, or any other location that is distinctly unbusinesslike? The unfamiliar surroundings will surely inspire people. To make the unusual locations more effective, tie them into the meeting somehow. If your company is having financial difficulties, hold a meeting in a swimming pool and discuss the importance of remaining afloat financially.

3. Put a person with no relevant experience in charge of a project. Need to do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of a new product concept? Why have a marketing person to do it when an engineer can do it completely differently? Admittedly, the engineer will probably not produce a typical SWOT analysis – and might even miss a few key issues a marketing expert would automatically see. But an engineer would almost certainly take a different approach and look at the problem in a different way than the experienced marketeer would. And looking at a problem from a different perspective is certain to produce different, creative solutions.

4. Run an ideas campaign (or competition) to come up with the craziest idea for a particular issue. And then provide the winner(s) with Euro 10,000 (approx: US$13,000) to actually fund their idea. Sure, the project may fail. But the winners will gain more than Euro 10,000 worth of training and discover a lot of great ideas along the way. Moreover, crazy ideas work more often than you might think – and the result could be a substantial return on your Euro 10,000 investment.

5. Ban e-mail and telephone use for internal communications for a day. Force people to get up and visit each other to discuss ideas. Moving around shakes up the brain cells and helps people think more clearly. Face to face conversations are usually in more depth than e- mail or telephone conversations. Physically walking across the office to talk to one person often results in meeting and speaking with several other people along the way; people who can bring new ideas to old problems and issues.

6. Come up with a running theme for the day, such as "cats" or "drinks" or "baking a cake" and apply the theme as a metaphor every where possible. For example, you select "baking a cake" as your theme for the day. Every project that day should then somehow tie into baking a cake. The sales people preparing a presentation should base it around the theme of baking a cake. The R&D people developing a prototype for a new product should think about baking cakes while brainstorming ideas for the prototype. And so on.

7. Get an eight year old child to act as a consultant for a day, offering advice on all issues you work on that day. While the child's advice may lack the weight of experience of a seasoned professional, its comparative naivety will doubtless be inspirational and lead to new ideas that an experienced professional would be blind to.

8. For one week, use toys instead of PowerPoint slides as a presentation tool. For example, if you have to present your ideas on a new product launch, use a big box of Lego or building blocks as your presentation tool. It will force you to think about how you present data visually and will certainly capture the attention of participants in the meeting.

9. Apply "How would Winnie the Pooh [or George Washington or Queen Elizabeth I or Dagwood Bumstead or Jesus or whomever] tackle this problem" to all problems for a week. For example, if you are preparing a project proposal for a client, ask yourself: "How would Winnie-the-Pooh prepare and deliver this proposal.

10. Actively encourage that everyone take public transportation to work. Not only is this great for the environment, it is also good for the collective mind of your employees. If they are not driving to work,they can read, think, make notes and take more time to notice and be inspired by the scenery as they go to work.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/16/2005 07:45:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Get Proactive About Innovation
By James Champy

Executives' obsession with corporate growth and competition has produced a new interest in innovation.

That means ways of finding new products, services and businesses to fuel growth. As a CIO, you can find opportunities and become an active innovator, but you must sharpen your skills, or you will be viewed as strictly a service provider.

Begin by recognizing that corporate innovation is not limited to producing new or enhanced products and services. When thinking about innovation, you also need to think about the business model, processes within the organization, or the way customers experience your company.

Business Model Innovation
Process Innovation
Product Innovation
Experience Innovation
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/15/2005 01:34:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Paul Sloane on Innovation Checklist
I had to share this comment by Paul Sloane from Destination Innovation regarding the Innovation Manager's Checklist that I posted. I agree with him about the original list being "over-engineered".

"Great list - but maybe it is a little over-engineered for everyday use. For managers facing a creative challenge and needing to find an innovative solution, I would suggest this checklist:

1. Analyse and explore the problem
2. Define a clear goal or desired outcome
3. Pull together a small, diverse, enthusiastic team
4. Throw down the challenge
5. Generate lots of ideas
6. Choose criteria for selecting the best ideas
7. Select the most promising ideas
8. Explore further and then implement prototypes rapidly.

Innovation involves taking action, taking risks, managing failure and (sometimes) celebrating success!


Paul Sloane
Destination Innovation"
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/14/2005 02:23:00 PM   1 comments  --- Google It! ---
What happens if you don't innovate
From John Stark

What happens if you don't innovate

Customers stop buying your products, processes and services
Sales drop
Revenues drop
Shareholder returns drop
Stock price drops
Key employees leave
More customers stop buying your products, processes and services
Sales drop
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/14/2005 11:03:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Jose Ortega y Gasset Quote
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/14/2005 10:58:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Monday, June 13, 2005
Why innovation is becoming more important
From John Stark

Why innovation is becoming more important

Technology is changing fast, new products come from new competitors
Fast changing environment, product lifetimes shorter, need to replace products sooner
Products are increasingly difficult to differentiate
Customers are more sophisticated, segmented and demanding, and expect more in terms of customization, newness, quality and price
Customers have more choice
New technologies no-one understands
Apparently separate technologies come together
Markets forming and changing fast
With markets and technology changing fast, and good ideas quickly copied, there is continual pressure to devise new and better products, processes and services faster
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/13/2005 10:50:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Anonymous Quote
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/13/2005 10:47:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Anonymous Quote
Those who say something can't be done should get out of the way of those who are doing it.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/11/2005 01:44:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Why innovation is so difficult to manage
From John Stark

Why innovation is so difficult to manage

Management is used to running the existing business, not building the future business
Management hasn't set aside time to focus on innovation
Management is too far removed from the details of individual products and services
Nobody knows what will happen in the future
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/11/2005 01:41:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Friday, June 10, 2005
Creating an Innovation Engine
Creating an Innovation Engine by Gary Hamel

You are never too old to innovate!

What's standing in the way of companies that fail to innovate? In many cases, it is the tried-and-true recipe that brought them past success.

1. The inevitability of commoditization
2. The impossibility of forecasting future trends
3. The futility of waiting for inspiration

If companies can't depend on the lightning bolt of sudden inspiration or serendipitous discovery, then what? An innovative environment can be consciously created -- if a company is willing to abandon old rules, shed old habits, and upend cherished conventions. The key is recognizing that past achievement militates against future adaptability by creating well-worn ways of doing things that cause a company to undervalue or ignore rule-breaking insights. Yesterday's laserlike focus becomes today's set of blinders, narrowing an enterprise's field of vision from what is truly new to what it already knows. Glimmers of great ideas are evident in most organizations; the problem is that in direct proportion to the degree those great ideas are different, the "immune system" of most organizations attacks those ideas as foreign organisms, threatening the host.

1. Part of the challenge is demystifying innovation by breaking it down to its constituent parts. Here are three ways to begin the process of awakening innovation in your company:

2. Recognize that innovation doesn't follow a schedule. Most companies are so bounded by existing orthodoxies and obsolete business models that they think they can schedule strategic insight the way you record a reminder in your day-planner. But the truly innovative bursts of insight that trigger new ideas don't obey the corporate planning calendar.

3. Consider that the idea for Nokia's wildly successful rainbow-hued cell phones emerged not from a daylong strategy session in the corner office but from an afternoon at California's Venice Beach, as company execs watched sun-drenched skaters slash down the boardwalk, sporting color-coordinated shades, Rollerblades, and bathing suits. The realization: Mobile phones are as much fashion accessory as communications tool, an inspiration that's pushed Nokia to the cutting edge of cells.

4. Shatter the "strategy monopoly." In any company, a hierarchy of organization dominates a hierarchy of ideas. The antidote: To encourage innovation, unlock ideas from across the company. Bring together a cross-section of employees at all levels to share the new perspectives that may just contain the kernel of a bold new idea. Realize that every company promotes success as defined by today's reigning strategy; the question is how to promote new ideas that may have nothing to do with that strategy -- or may even cut against it.

That's how Virgin Enterprises operates under the lead of Richard Branson. Every employee has Branson's phone number, and can pitch new project ideas directly to the top. That's how a Virgin Airlines flight attendant turned her difficulties in planning her own wedding into a new venture: the wedding planning boutique Virgin Bride.

Institutionalize innovation by building a safe place for people to think new thoughts. In some companies, new ideas are in short supply -- stifled by a corporate climate that cuts off intellectual oxygen, discourages change, and demands conformity. At other companies, ideas abound -- and the challenge takes a different shape: Creating the conceptual conveyor belt that moves from ideas to action.

From Ideas to Action

What can innovation-minded executives do to create such a culture in their company? Here are three ways to kick-start the innovation process:

1. Start new conversations. New ideas don't obey an organizational chart. Companies that want to get serious about innovation need to break the "strategy monopoly" that closes off the executive suite from new ideas percolating in other corners of the company. Innovation-minded companies spark new conversations by bringing together executives with employees of all ranks to question corporate orthodoxies and search for new ways to do business.

2. Seek new perspectives. If you want your company to do a better job of envisioning the future, ask the people who will get to the future first: Your youngest employees. If you want to know how consumers act, don't observe them in focus-group captivity -- join the Nokia execs for a day at the beach. Want a new vision? Try a new vantage point -- and watch a world of opportunity open up.

3. Innovation comes from the heart as well as the head.
Spark new passions. Innovation comes from the heart as well as the head. Companies that aren't afraid to innovate engage employee energies in a new and profoundly different way. When people are part of a cause and not just a cog in the wheel, their IQ -- innovation quotient -- skyrockets.

4. And above all, recognize that in today's economy, capital is plentiful; good ideas are scarce. Companies that look to incremental change to generate additional revenue will tend toward subsistence at best -- eclipsed by companies that create an environment of innovation, spawning the new ideas that generate new wealth. That's why an ambitious enterprise must replicate within itself the basic DNA of innovation: A culture of continuous experimentation embedded broadly and deeply throughout a company.

All of which brings us to the final characteristic of the true innovator: courage -- the guts to realize it's time to take a hammer to your own business model, before someone else does it for you.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/10/2005 12:43:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Spotlight on Constantinos Markides
An interview discussing the limitations of first-mover advantage and the arguments for what is dubbed 'fast second' movement in radical new markets. Emphasizes two aspects of innovation, the creation of a product and the creation of a mass market, stressing the crucial importance of timing for fast second movers, and pointing out that potential returns for fast second movers are far greater than for the pioneers of such innovations. Cites numerous examples of successful fast second movers.

For full interview go here: Emerald
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/08/2005 10:16:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Innovation Editorial
Dictionary definitions of innovation indicate that this extends to "the alteration of what is established", whether a thing, practice or method, as well as new inventions. In the creation of radical new markets, Costas Markides points out that there is another, distinct aspect to innovation beyond the creation of the product or service: that is the creation of a mass market. The latter, if achieved - and here he emphasizes that timing is of the essence - can provide huge returns, far exceeding those made by the pioneers.

Professor Markides' argument for aspiring to be a "fast second" mover rather than a pioneer in a radical new market is compelling. But the timing question is no easy one. "Fast second" movers, as he dubs them, need to come in at just the right time, contributing to what will emerge as the dominant design. Knowing how and when to do this is the "one million or ten million dollar question". And, as he points out, getting that timing right is largely down to luck even if there are some potential indicators as to the right time to move.

There is also, it appears, an optimum age for the creative side of innovation - representing the time needed to absorb sufficient knowledge and to develop the expertise and confidence to innovate successfully. A recent, fascinating piece of research funded by the US National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has established that the average age of successful innovators, whether in the arts, business or sciences, is 29. The world-changing creativity of Nobel prize winners takes somewhat longer to come to fruition - at almost 40 years old. Interestingly, the research reveals that every decade sees an extension to these average ages of 0.6 years - presumably representing the ever growing body of knowledge that creative people need to get to grips with. However, this is clearly time well spent.

From Emerald
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/08/2005 10:11:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Technology Brokering and Innovation
Technology brokering and innovation: Linking strategy, practice and people [PDF]

Andrew Hargadon
Strategy and Leadership; 33: 1 2005; pp. 32-36
Keywords: Innovation Strategy, Communication Technologies
Article Type: Conceptual Paper
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/08/2005 10:04:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
People Centered Innovation

People-centered innovation: Moving beyond technology-led innovation [PDF]

Strategic Direction; 21: 4 2005: pp. 30-32
Keywords: Communication Technologies, Innovation, Design, Team Working, User Studies
Article Type: Literature Review

posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/08/2005 09:55:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Pioneer Advantage
Pioneer advantage: Is it real? Does it matter? [PDF]

Dennis J. Cahill
Marketing Intelligence & Planning; 14: 4 1996; pp. 5-8
Keywords: Competitive Strategy, Market share, New Product Development, Product Innovation, Time to Market
Article Type: Literature Review, Case Study, Comparative/evaluators
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/08/2005 09:45:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Innovation as Newness

Innovation as newness: What is new, how new, and new to whom? [PDF]

Jon-Arild Johannessen, Bjorn Olsen, G.T. Lumpkin
European Journal of Innovation Management, 4: 1 2001; pp. 20-31
Keywords: Innovation, Measurement, Entrepreneurialism, Norway
Article Type: Theoretical with Application in Practice

posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/08/2005 07:55:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
De Bono Innovation
A great deal of lip service is given to innovation because it is always easier to talk about it than actually do anything about it.

De Bono's definition of innovation is: 'the putting into effect of something new for that organisation'. There could be many sources for what is new:

-- It might be something borrowed or copied from another organisation.

-- There might be a logical reaction to information and research data.

-- There might be a logical design that puts forwards something new.

-- There might be innovations produced directly by the exercise of creativity.

Innovation always requires a readiness to do something new, and anything new is risky, a distraction from the normal routine and requires commitment of some resources.

Because of this, many organisations are reluctant to try new things. Executives reach senior positions through being good at continuity and problem-solving; the readiness to try new things is not often a factor in a promotion.

There is also the fear of failure, as something new that doesn't work out is deemed a mistake. There is no word for 'a fully justified venture which, for reasons beyond your control, did not work'.

Many organisations work on the basis of osmosis, where if a new idea has been around for a long time and has been taken up by others then it becomes natural and low risk to adopt it. This is not a proactive approach. It is following rather than leading; not wanting to be left behind but not wanting to take the risks.

If a climate is created where there is a readiness to try new things and explore new possibilities then innovation can happen. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case, even when lip service is paid to innovation

From Management Intelligence, by Edward De Bono.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/08/2005 10:26:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Business Networking Blog
A new idea - planning to write a book on Business Networking. Do visit the blog - comments welcome.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/08/2005 12:36:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Don't Listen to "Yes"
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/07/2005 01:57:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
John Masters' Quote
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/07/2005 09:32:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Reasons fo failure to innovate
From John Stark

Reasons for failure to innovate

Innovation is a long-term activity (failure to maintain interest)
Innovation has a long payback period
Innovation is expensive (failure to continue to invest)
Innovation is too complex to manage
Everyone's overloaded with everyday problems
Competing priorities
Management systems can't handle innovation
Innovation costs are too hard to control
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/07/2005 09:31:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Monday, June 06, 2005
Human centered innovation
Two sentences from the review of "A possible declining trend for worldwide innovation", by Heubner - reviewed by Ray KurZweil - that caught my attention:

"... as technological progress increasingly satisfies current human needs, individuals become less concerned with technological development and turn more toward personal growth, unique experiences and other activities which, wjile equally creative on an individual level, are less obvious examples of innovation in a technological sense."


"The more industrialization we experience, the more we become ready to take a long-deserved break from generations of toiling, including much of the traditional work of innovation, and the more we become willing to let our machines take over the task of supplying our very finite human needs."
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/06/2005 02:34:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Innovation Manager's Checklist
An Innovative Manager's Check-List
by Eleanor Glor

Innovativeness is becoming increasingly interesting to both the public and private sectors. This check-list has been designed to be of use to supervisors, managers, and project leaders contemplating or implementing innovation or wishing to manage a project in a way which will enhance innovation. The check-list allows you to think about innovation and assess organizational receptivity and progress with innovation. Its purpose is to alert you and to guide you in confronting issues which are key to successful innovation. By offering an opportunity to examine innovation in your organization, it helps you to assess your organization's receptivity to innovation, and reminds you about good project management processes.

Choose an innovation/project in your organization to assess

1. Describe the innovation:_ _ _

2. My innovation is:
Contemplated [ ] Underway [ ] Completed [ ]

3. What is innovative about it/ the opportunity for innovation?_ _ _

4. Why do/ did you want to do it?_ _ _

5. Which definition of "innovation" are you using (choose one)?

(a) Inventing something new
(b) Generating new ideas only
(c) Improving something that already exists
(d) Spreading new ideas
(e) Performing an existing task in a new way
(f) Following the market leader
(g) Adopting something that has been successfully tried elsewhere
(h) Introducing changes
(i) Attracting innovative people
(j) Seeing something from a different perspective

Source: Table IV, Lee Zhuang, "Bridging the gap between technology and business strategy." Management Decision. 33(8) 1995, 13-21.

6. At which stage is the innovation chosen:

(a) Ready
(b) Developing Support
(c) Pilot
(d) Implementation
(e) Evaluation
(f) Learning
(g) Complete

A. Readiness

15. Does your organization have sufficient skill and capacity to:

Recognize problems? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Define problems? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Identify solutions? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Develop effective strategic plans? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Recruit competent staff Yes [ ] No [ ]

16. Why has your organization decided that change is needed?
Yes [ ] No [ ] Explain:_ _ _

17. How important is this change to your unit? (Circle your estimate.)

Not Very Important 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very Important

18. To your government? (Circle your estimate.)

Not Very Important 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very Important

B. Identifying the Problem

19. What is the problem? (Do not answer this question quickly - it is probably the most important question in this survey)_ _ _

20. (a) Has the objective of the innovation been clearly defined? Yes [ ] No [ ] What is it?_ _ _
(b) Have you left room for individual initiative and/or a non-linear approach to this issue? Yes [ ] No [ ] How?_ _ _

C. Developing Solutions

21. Have you explored broadly for ideas? Yes [ ] No [ ]

22. How?

Library research [ ]
Asked other public servants [ ]
Talked to my friends and acquaintances [ ]
Searched internationally [ ]
Checked Internet [ ]
Other:_ _ _

23. Do you have enough of the right kinds of ideas? Yes [ ] No [ ]

24. Have you encouraged creativity? Yes [ ] No [ ]

25. Used creativity enhancement techniques? Yes [ ] No [ ] (Please indicate the tool used and how many times used):

Edward de Bono's Thinking Hats [ ]
Mihaly Czikszentmihalyils Flow Concept [ ]
Min Basadur's Creativity Process [ ]
Michael Kirton's Adaptor-Innovator (KAI) distinction [ ]
John Kao's Creativity Audit [ ]
Other:_ _ _
26. Have you benchmarked (compared your ideas with the best known practices world-wide)? Yes [ ] No [ ]

27. Relevant benchmarks:

Developing Support and Gaining Approval Stage

Strategic Planning

28. How will your organization judge that the innovation is worth doing?_ _ _

29. Have you taken into account the government’s platform? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Linkage:_ _ _

30. How does the innovation proposed link to your organization business plan, strategic plan, and government priorities?_ _ _

31. Have you prepared a business case to justify investment and payback or benefits? Yes [ ] No [ ]

32. What benefits does/will the innovation offer:

Improving the bottom line (financial) Yes [ ] No [ ]
Greater effectiveness Yes [ ] No [ ]
Process improvement Yes [ ] No [ ]
Policy improvement Yes [ ] No [ ]
Better service to clients Yes [ ] No [ ]
Greater responsiveness Yes [ ] No [ ]
Better quality product Yes [ ] No [ ]
Employees develop skills, knowledge, ability to work together Yes [ ] No [ ]
Other:_ _ _

33. What risks are inherent in the innovation?_ _ _

34. Have you identified, characterized, assessed, and measured the risks? Yes [ ] No [ ]

35. How will you reduce the likelihood or impact of those risks?_ _ _


36. Have you involved the areas and people who will be directly affected? Yes [ ] No [ ]

37. Indirectly affected? Yes [ ] No [ ]

38. Have vou communicated your ideas to others? Yes [ ] No [ ]

39. To whom? Laterally [ ] Immediate supervisor [ ] Head of organization [ ]
Other:_ _ _

40. How?
Word of mouth [ ] Minister [ ] Press release [ ] Presentations at conferences [ ]
Written articles for newspapers [ ] Professional journals [ ] Other:_ _ _

41. Does your innovation have momentum? Yes [ ] No [ ] Why?_ _ _

42. Public support? Yes [ ] No [ ] Describe:_ _ _

43. Interest group support? Yes [ ] No [ ] Describe: _ _ _

44. Public service support? Yes [ ] No [ ] Describe:_ _ _

45. Political support? Yes [ ] No [ ] Describe:_ _ _

46. What was/is the key to securing support in your organization?_ _ _

D. Pilot Testing

47. Have you decided to pilot the innovation? Yes [ ] No [ ]
If no, proceed to Implementation Stage

48. Do you have what you need to pilot it appropriately?

Ideas Yes [ ] No [ ]
The right people Yes [ ] No [ ]
Support Yes [ ] No [ ]
Resources Yes [ ] No [ ]
Other:_ _ _

49. How and through whom will you pilot it?_ _ _

50. Do you have a plan for learning from and building upon an unsuccessful/ successful pilot? Yes [ ] No [ ] How?_ _ _

51. Do you have monitoring and evaluation systems? Yes [ ] No [ ]

52. Do you have a communication plan for an (un) successful pilot?
Yes [ ] No [ ]

53. Are you going to publish the results? Yes [ ] No [ ]

E. Implementation Stage

54. Do elected and/or appointed officials have the will to implement it? Yes [ ] No [ ]

55. Has adequate time been allocated for planning, implementation and evaluation? Yes [ ] No [ ]

56. Can it be implemented in a timely manner? Yes [ ] No [ ]

57. Does it require a change in legislation? Yes [ ] No [ ]

58. Do you have a strategic plan? Yes [ ] No [ ]

59. Do you have a project implementation plan? Yes [ ] No [ ]

60. Do you have a comprehensive communication plan and human resource plan? Yes [ ] No [ ]

61. Have adequate resources been assigned to the innovation:

The right people Yes [ ] No [ ]
Sufficient budget Yes [ ] No [ ]
Appropriate techniques Yes [ ] No [ ]
Necessary technology Yes [ ] No [ ]

F. Building a Team

62. Do you have the leadership required to see the innovation through to the point where it can be appropriately assessed? Yes [ ] No [ ]

63. Is management generally:
Unwilling [ ] Uninterested [ ] Narrow [ ] Rigid [ ] Positive [ ]

Describe:_ _ _
64. Is staff generally:
Unwilling [ ] Uninterested [ ] Narrow [ ] Rigid [ ] Positive [ ]

Describe:_ _ _
65. How will you bring them along?_ _ _
66. It is easier to have faith in a person than a plan or idea. Who is your leader/ champion?_ _ _
67. Do you have a change agent? Yes [ ] No [ ]

68. A promoter? Yes [ ] No [ ]

69. A champion? Yes [ ] No [ ]

70. How many people are on the project team?_ _ _

84. Is the infrastructure in place that is required? Yes [ ] No [ ]
What is it?_ _ _

85. Is there a structure to encourage cross-fertilization among disciplines, professions, functions, topic areas, departments, with outside organizations, groups? Yes [ ] No [ ] What is it?_ _ _

86. Have you created an accountability system which encourages innovation? Yes [ ] No [ ]

87. How is it different from your operational accountability system?_ _ _

88. Have you a project culture which facilitates creativity and innovation? Yes [ ] No [ ]

89. Does your organization suffer from any of the following syndromes?

a. "If not invented in my branch, I'm not interested" Yes [ ] No [ ]
b. Blinkers about what government can/should do, how it should/can do them Yes [ ] No [ ]
Define:_ _ _
c. Ideologically driven Yes [ ] No [ ]
d. Financentric (culture of scarcity) Yes [ ] No [ ]
e. Implementing(ed) reforms which discourage innovation, e.g., re-engineering (eliminating slack) Yes [ ] No [ ] Other:_ _ _

90. How will you deal with these anti-innovation characteristics?_ _ _

91. Do you have a plan to publicize your innovation? Yes [ ] No [ ]

92. Do you take every opportunity to communicate it? Yes [ ] No [ ]

93. What would you say are the main differences between implementing a regular project/program and an innovative one?_ _ _

Evaluation Stage

94. What are the results (Outputs and Outcomes)?_ _ _

95. Did you have a good experience with the innovation?
Yes [ ] No [ ] So-so [ ]
Elaborate_ _ _

96. Were you successful in:

Implementing the planned change Yes [ ] No [ ]
Implementing your implementation strategy Yes [ ] No [ ]
Following your human resource strategy Yes [ ] No [ ]
Keeping the focus on results Yes [ ] No [ ]

97. Have you established appropriate markers of success? Yes [ ] No [ ]
What are they?_ _ _

98. How will you collect and recognize positive or negative evaluations from political parties, the public, the target group for the innovation, the public service? Will you use:

Consultation Yes [ ] No [ ]
Polls Yes [ ] No [ ]
Media scanning Yes [ ] No [ ]
Election results Yes [ ] No [ ]
Other:_ _ _

Learning Stage

99. Did you assess your learning as an organization? Yes [ ] No [ ]

100. What did you learn?_ _ _

101. What went well?_ _ _

102. Do you need to change current practices? Yes [ ] No [ ]

103. What should you do differently in implementing another innovation?_ _ _

104. How will you build a positive climate for innovation out of this experience?_ _ _

105. Are you treating the risk and possible failure from innovation as an opportunity for learning? Yes [ ] No [ ] How?_ _ _

106. Are you celebrating success? Yes [ ] No [ ] How?_ _ _

107. Are you communicating it? Yes [ ] No [ ] How?_ _ _

108. Are you celebrating failure and the opportunity to learn? Yes [ ] No [ ] How?_ _ _

109. How will you create and retain an organizational memory of it?_ _ _
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/06/2005 02:17:00 PM   1 comments  --- Google It! ---
Sunday, June 05, 2005
5 Best Practice Elements for Innovation Management
Rather than look for shortcuts to implement innovation management, companies should assess which of the following five elements is most broken and concentrate on what metrics they have or could create that would set an as-is baseline.

Capturing ideas in a coordinated structure
--Raw knowledge management is a proven failure for most, since it lacks a coordinated or guiding principle for finding relationships among ideas. Coordinated structures, such as the approach used by South African Breweries working in SAP's XPD application or Adidas' use of a concept-bill-of-materials application built with MatrixOne, focus innovation and limit the wild goose chase.

Turning ideas into products
--The most common symptom of broken innovation management is a slew of bad ideas that won't die. A former product development executive at Unilever posited a range of 30% to 90% of effort in R&D that is wasted. Best practice is to formally define and honor a governance process that prioritizes work. Stage Gate is the most common work process. IDe sells a widely used application to support the process, but many PLM vendors offer at least something here. Also essential is the use of digital experimentation tools like crash simulation in the Automotive industry or combinatorial chemistry in Pharmaceuticals.

Minimizing time to peak sales
--If time is money, then time to market measures the cost of each attempt with a new idea. Best practice here is a matter of pure business process and maximizing the number of at bats for an innovative company. A big part of it is communication between engineering, manufacturing, and sales. The most useful proven IT tool is electronic design change management to replace e-mail, phone, and fax. Also critical is coordination among interdependent activities, a function supported best with program management applications.

Translating changes/feedback into product extensions
--Customers' needs define what ideas are good. Unfortunately, the typical siloed NPDI process fails to systematically tap this source of information. Best practices include IBM's mid-1990's overhaul of its NPDI process around a customer-driven engineering effort that formalized solving customers' problems rather than pushing out new technologies. IT tools to support this element have evolved in field service and call center applications that capture such feedback and analytics to convert it to product parameters. Vendors like Attensity and SAS concentrate on the analytics, while many tools can be used to collect the underlying data.

Rewarding good ideas
--Ownership of the complete NPDI process is often no higher in the organization than a director level and only in a handful of cases can be tagged to an individual above the level of vice president. Only where some sort of Chief Innovation Officer (something we have seen in the Food business) or Chief Product Officer (not unknown in High-Tech) is in place can ideas be rewarded meaningfully. The norm is to punish functional roles like R&D or engineering for failure to meet dates. IT tools should be easy to apply to this problem under an Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) strategy, but only with the right organizational ownership.

From Zdnet.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/05/2005 11:26:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Anonymous Quote
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/05/2005 11:15:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Outsourcing Creativity
With reference to "Outsourcing Creativity" published in the Times Of India, I agree with Harsh Purohit. As long as quality is maintained, the overseas clients don't really care where their creative work is done. I am a freelance designer / photographer and run my own design firm called ASIDE and 90% of my clients are not in India.

The advantage of low-cost aside, the creative quality of the work definitely attracts them to India. Since all the communication takes place online, the Indian infrastructure in terms of reads etc. would have no reason to bother them. All that matters is the communication infrastructure - now when broadband is increasingly available to anyone who needs it, the communication infrastructure is at its best and will only get better, which will allow more overseas clients to tap the Indian creative market.

Still, Indian businesses have a long way to go in that sphere too - most people still prefer to do face-to-face meetings and onsite work rather then confirming or signing a deal on the internet via e-mails and faxes determining their decision on past work or clients. One reason why I have more than 90% overseas clients is because the Indian clients just don't trust my medium of communication. Besides, international clients pay better for the same services and still save on cost.

Works fine for me!

posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/04/2005 12:24:00 PM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
If They Understand, They Will Do
If They Understand, They Will Do
(4/20/2005) People Project Volume 1
By Marshall Goldsmith, Marshall Goldsmith Partners

Our greatest challenge as leaders is not understanding the practice of leadership; it is practicing our understanding of leadership.

The consistent and ongoing misassumption of almost all leadership development programs is "if they understand, they will do." This assumption is not valid in any aspect of our lives, and leadership development is no exception.

If the "understanding equals doing" equation were accurate, everyone who understood that they should go on a healthy diet and work out would be in great shape. Almost everyone in America knows what we are supposed to do. Over the years our knowledge of the importance of diet and exercise has gone up dramatically. Why is it then that Americans weigh more than we have ever weighed in our history? Why is obesity considered the "new epidemic"? We all know what it takes to get in shape, we just don't do it. I live in California. I think it was Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who wisely noted, "Nobody ever got muscles by watching me lift the weights!"

Companies have invested millions of dollars in developing profiles that describe the behavior of their desired leader of the future. I have probably reviewed a hundred of these profiles. I have helped write about 70 of them. Most make a lot of sense. They usually suggest that leaders should have high integrity, focus on customer service, deliver quality products, develop great people and encourage innovation. Some of these profiles are organized around values and some around competencies. Many say basically the same thing - but in a language that fits their corporation's culture. Most corporations know what their leaders should do and do a fine job of communicating this message.

Leaders who are not working for a company that describes desired leadership behavior can still read books on the topic. One of my books, Global Leadership: The Next Generation (with Cathy Greenberg, Alastair Robertson and Maya Hu-Chan), describes research findings (sponsored by Accenture) involving more than 200 specially selected high potential leaders from 120 global organizations. This book, like others of its type, paints a clear picture of desired behavior for future leaders. Kouzes and Posner, Zenger and Folkman, the Center for Creative Leadership, Personnel Decisions Incorporated and several others have written books on this topic. My guess is that any leader whose behavior even approximates the behavior that is described in any of these books will be viewed as an outstanding role model. Anyone who reads these books can understand what to do.

I recently had the privilege of working with the CEO and more than 2,000 of the top leaders in one of the world's most admired companies. The company had developed a well-thought-out profile of desired leadership behaviors. Leaders in the company received 360-degree feedback to help them understand how their actual behavior was seen as matching this desired profile. All were trained to respond to co-workers on their feedback using a very simple follow-up process. At the end of the training, leaders were asked in a confidential survey if they were going to do what was taught in the program. Almost 100 percent said that they understood and saw the value of what was being taught. They almost all vowed that they were going to follow up with their coworkers, work on their "areas for improvement" and get better.

A year later, the same leaders and their co-workers were surveyed to see what happened. Many of the leaders (about twothirds of the total group) actually did what they committed to do and, as a group, they were seen as becoming much more effective. Some leaders, however, did absolutely nothing as a result of receiving feedback and attending training, and as a group they were seen as improving no more than can be attributed to random chance. The training that they attended produced no more change than staying home and watching sitcoms.

Howard Morgan and I recently published an article entitled Leadership Is a Contact Sport" in the fall 2004 issue of Strategy+Business that involved more than 86,000 respondents from eight major corporations. Just like the 2,000 leaders mentioned above, every leader in our study received feedback. They were all given some very simple instructions on how to follow up with co-workers and how to become more effective. Our results showed that there was no correlation between understanding and doing. The leaders who did absolutely nothing understood what to do as well as the leaders who actually executed their improvement plans. Amazingly, the leaders who did nothing rated the value of the programs just as highly as the leaders who executed. The "did nothings" not only understood what to do - they saw the value in doing it. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to interview hundreds of leaders in the "did nothing" category. I always ask them why they didn't do what they said they would do after their leadership development programs. Their answers never have anything to do with ethics or integrity. In spite of some terrible recent examples of ethics violations, most leaders that I meet are highly ethical people. They are not liars or phonies. They truly believed that they should change and that this was the "right thing to do." Their answers never have anything to do with a lack of intelligence or understanding. These are very bright people. They not only saw the value in what they committed to do, they understood what to do and how to do it.

Our research paints a compelling picture. People don't get better because they go to "programs." They don't get better because they listen to motivational speeches. They only get better if they pick something important to improve, involve the people around them and follow up in a disciplined way. Long-term change in leadership effectiveness takes time, follow-up and discipline - not just understanding.

One of the most annoying aspects of the American culture is our love for slogans, buzzwords and the "program of the year." I asked one of my clients, "How much money has your company wasted on ‘the program of the year'?" He laughed and said, "Tens of millions of dollars." I then asked, "How much money has your company spent on disciplined follow-up to ensure that leaders actually do what they are being taught?" He sadly noted, "Tens of dollars."

Why didn't these leaders do what they said they were going to do? Why in life don't we often do what we know we should do?

The answer to this question can be described by a dream. I have had this dream for years. I am going to predict that you have had this dream. You too may have had this dream for years. (You may be a little skeptical right now, thinking "This guy doesn't know my dreams!" We'll see how accurate I am.) This dream is going to describe why we often don't do what we know we should. The dream sounds like this:

"You know, I am incredibly busy right now. In fact, I feel about as busy today as I have ever felt in my life. To be honest, I feel over committed. To be real honest — given what is going on at work and at home, sometimes my life seems out of control. But our company is working on some very unique and special challenges right now. I think that the worst of this will be over in four or five months. After that, I think that I will take a couple of weeks and begin working on my leadership development. I think that I will get organized, get caught up and spend some time with my family. I may even start my "healthy lifestyle" program. After that everything will be different. Then it won't be crazy anymore!"

Have you ever had a dream that vaguely resembles this dream? Most of the leaders that I work with have. Many have been having it on a daily basis for years.

I have learned a hard lesson trying to help real leaders change real behavior in the real world. There is no "two or three weeks." Sanity does not prevail. Look at the trend line! There is an outside chance that tomorrow is going to be even crazier than today.

Why don't we do what we know we should? We are waiting to get to it. We are waiting until life isn't crazy. We are waiting for a time that will probably never happen.

Here is my suggestion to leaders: Ask yourself a very hard question - as a leader - What I am willing to change now? Just change that. Keep it simple. Develop a disciplined plan. Stick to it! Realize that there is a huge gap between "I understood it" and "I did it!" Get help if you need it. Don't be embarrassed. If you could have done it with no assistance - you probably would have done it by now!

Here is my suggestion to corporations: Realize that there is a huge gap between "understanding" and "doing." Don't flood your leaders with too much information. Realize how busy they are. Don't confuse "simple" with "easy." Don't count on programs, slogans or motivational speeches to produce real change. Don't kid yourself by thinking that you can "check the box" after a couple of days of training and that your people will be better leaders. Be prepared to give leaders the help they need with ongoing follow-up, support and encouragement. It's not easy - but it's worth the effort.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/04/2005 10:24:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Friday, June 03, 2005
innovating innovation
When I was a judge at the Thunderbird 2004 Innovation Challenge, Anil Rathi, who is the co-founder of the Innovation Challenge, sent me the book "What A Great Idea!" by Charles "Chic" Thompson.

Unlike all the other innovation books in my library (except Tom Peters' "Circle Of Innovation" of course), "What A Great Idea!" looked like fun. And after a break from reading on innovation / creativity, I decided it would be a good place to restart.

Now, I have no idea who Mr. Chic Thompson is. I am however, very tempted to go online and do a Google. But I resist - for the greater good.

I open the cover of the book and a picture of an egg greets me - with this one line of text under it - "A goal of every living creature is to break out of the box." And I think to myself, "Well yes! At least that's what I'm trying to do these days!"

Then page (i) announces a New Creativity Workshop. The workshop is for an "interactive journey through the four steps of organizational innovation." The steps of the workshop are then outlined below:

- break the "old rules of school"
- learn from failure
- dream with your eyes open

- be curious first ... critical second
- 'shake the tree' for inspiration by adding stimuli
- smile and change your world in a heartbeat

- ask the right questions and see the uniqueness of your challenge
- look for second and third right answers
- expand your perspective with metaphorical thinking
- challenge your assumptions with paradoxical thinking
- learn a powerful brainstorming method called Idea Mapping

- make your vision visible
- create a results-driven action plan
- sell your ideas with passion
- keep your brain alive

The first step in the creativity workshop says, "break the 'old rules of school'". I wonder to myself, "What are the 'new' ideas in innovation these days?" and honestly, I cannot find any! There are more studies, more research, some successes at replicating the old innovation successes, but the impression I get is that there is nothing "new". There are only "old rules of school".

And maybe it is time to innovate "Innovation" itself. Maybe it is time to look at it from a perspective not explored yet - which is going to be a tough one!

The purpose of any research is to simplify a subject. All the "serious" research on innovation only confounds me further.

I agree that success - in itself - whether in implementing innovation, or otherwise, isn't simple or easy. But why can't the process to get there involve simpler guidelines?
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/03/2005 01:19:00 PM   1 comments  --- Google It! ---
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Innovation Links - and others too!
Shakespearean Insulter (from WordSmith )

Power struggle in radical innovation communities (from EFIOS)

Making the switch from PC to MAC - a very detailed account of what happened - lots of positives and negatives - I have not read anything as detailed as this - so thought I'd make a referring post - (from OK/Cancel)

Smart example of innovation - THE GREAT management guru Peter Drucker once said that innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a different service. He believed that it was capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned and capable of being practised. More importantly, entrepreneurs needed to search purposefully for the sources of innovation, the changes and their symptoms that indicate opportunities for successful innovation, and they needed to know and to apply the principles of successful innovation. (from Education News)

Innovative Businesses and Breakthrough Technologies - The Legal Issues, Fall 2004 - MIT Sloan School of Management new course.

Can your firm develop a sustainable edge? John Hagel III, a former McKinsey consultant, and John Seely Brown, former chief scientist of Xerox, are focusing these days on a question that CEOs often ask themselves: How can their companies develop a sustainable competitive edge that can keep them ahead of the competition? Their answer, which they discuss in a new book, involves ideas that enable firms to step up the pace at which they develop new capabilities. Hagel and Brown will speak about these issues at Supernova 2005, a conference of technologists and business leaders to be held in San Francisco later this month. Kevin Werbach, a professor of legal studies at Wharton and Supernova's organizer, spoke with them about sustainable advantage, capability building, process networks and several other themes that will be highlighted at the conference. (from Wharton)
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/02/2005 11:53:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
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