- Adapting to Change & overcoming Fear (6)
- Ambiguity and embracing the Unknown (5)
- Apple and/or Steve Jobs (2)
- Business Reports: 2010 IBM CEO & 2010 BCG (14)
- Changing Cultures to become Innovative (11)
- Collaboration vs. Silos (8)
- Continuous Improvement or Process Improvement (6)
- Creative Arts & Innovation (10)
- Creative Genius among Staff (8)
- Creative Problem Solving (8)
- Creative Thinking Practices & Exercises (11)
- Creativity/Innovation (2)
- Critical Thinking (3)
- Curiosity & Asking Questions (14)
- "In a Nutshell" Notes on IBM’s 2010 Global CEO Survey:
- Asking the Right Questions
- CORRECTION: Curiosity Did NOT Kill the Cat!
- Critical Thinking “vs.” Creative Thinking?!
- Fear Not Ideas
- Fear of the Unknown?
- Get Smart -- Like Einstein!
- How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day
- Leonardo da Vinci’s CV:
- Looking More Closely at How and Why We Believe as We Do
- Some Great Short YouTube Videos on Creativity & Innovation!
- Steve Jobs: Thank you, Dreamer Extraordinaire
- Trial & Error or Tried & “True”? ...Or, a Matter of Balance?
- What Does "Innovation" Mean? Many Things.
- Divergent vs. Convergent thinking (5)
- Employee Engagement (10)
- Fun and innovation (2)
- Hierarchy vs. Innovation (4)
- How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci (7)
- Innovation & the Economy (1)
- Innovation in Government (2)
- Innovation in History (5)
- Integrity; Following own drummer (7)
- Langdon Morris (6)
- Leadership & Management Best Practices (15)
- Learning from Mistakes (8)
- Lifelong Learning and innovation (3)
- Mentoring and innovation (4)
- Model Innovative Organizations (9)
- Podcasts on innovation (2)
- Processes and Structures for Innovation (5)
- Redefining Innovation (8)
- Scenario Planning (2)
- Six Sigma and LEAN vs. innovation (2)
- Social Change and Innovation (2)
- Spirituality in Workplace and innovation (2)
- Trust and Respect in Engagement and Innovation (8)
- Types of Innovation (6)
- Weirdness and Creativity (2)
- What-iffing (5)
- Whole Brain Thinking (6)
- YouTube Videos (3)
Steve Jobs: Thank you, Dreamer Extraordinaire
I am sad to have just learned of Steve Jobs' passing. The news arrived via a friend's email that I received on my wonderful MacBook.
To watch this tribute: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/10/jobs/
He was the epitome of one who ceaselessly asked, "What if?" and "Why not?" I find the quote of his below to be inspiring and moving.
At a 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, Jobs shared the philosophy that drove him.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Jobs said. “Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Sweet dreams, Steve. And thank you.
I promised that our next post was to be on ideas on how to foster the creative collaboration that is foundational to innovation in organizations. I also had some other posts lined up for some logical progression.
However, my time will be very limited for the next several weeks because a U.S. government training project for our returning military personnel is calling upon my creative skills. Imagine that! 😉 — Did I mention that I design and deliver training programs?
In the meantime, I will share a couple of articles that I find of interest that tie directly into what we're exploring together in this forum, which, in simple mathematical formulation can be summarized as:
Curiosity + Creativity
x Good Management (Respect + Support)
(Yes, I actually made that up on the spot, and math isn't even my strong suit. 😉 )
Look for themes below that tie back to previous posts. Again, it can all tie back to our earlier posts on the 2010 IBM CEO report on best practices for organizations that want to thrive and key points we reviewed from How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci:
- Einstein never squelched the innate curiosity that we all were born with. He just loved to learn and explore; that was his primary drive.
- He didn't grow up in a family who's main preoccupation in life was looking good and fitting in. Modus operandi such as that does not generally foster original thinking. Integrity does.
- He wasn't afraid to experiment and (gasp!) fail as a means of learning what didn't work, so he could ultimately uncover what did.
- He used "whole brain thinking" with the music; let his mind wander with daydreaming and unrelated things while his subconscious continued to problem solve; he was suspicious of the convergent "single answer" thinking encouraged in many of our schools and organizations; and, I like this one, he believed we could learn about the spiritual realities (or, for those who prefer, God) by paying attention to the world around us. — A very worthwhile pursuit.
|How Einstein Got So Smart – 10 Learning Hacks|
|How would you feel if many people thought you were the smartest person in history? How might your life be different if you actually were that intelligent? Although we often think of Albert Einstein as one of the smartest people ever, we don’t investigate what it was that made him so. People who speak highly of him often attribute his genius to some mysterious gift. They don’t believe his smarts came from a certain attitude about learning. I believe you can recreate some of his habits to get smarter and find more rewarding work.
Before you get the list of Einstein’s learning habits, consider some interesting facts about his early life. These things set the stage for appreciating his educational philosophy a little more.
These things represent just a taste of the irony about his early life. Looking back – in light of his eventually recognized genius – these facts even seem humorous.
10 Things Einstein Did to Get So Smart
From what I can find, no one has compiled details about how Einstein actually studied. I doubt that his true genius was even observable to the eye anyhow. The real accomplishments went on inside his mind. I suspect his brain looked no different than ours; and genetically, nothing seemed remarkable. So, to benefit from his example, we need to look as much at his character and philosophy about learning.
A friend recently said he didn’t know that when I talk about innovation I am referring to improvements in processes, workflows, and efficiency, in addition to new product and service development. So, let me set the record straight.
According to The American Heritage Dictionary (2006), “innovation” is defined as:
n. 1. The act of introducing something new. 2. Something newly introduced.
In Oxford American, it’s:
Change, alteration, revolution, upheaval, transformation, metamorphosis, breakthrough; new measures, new methods, modernization, creativity, ingenuity, inspiration….
So, as the terms "new methods" and “new measures" don’t exactly indicate radical marketing breakthroughs or revolutionary unique products, being innovative can simply mean applying ideas to doing routine procedures in somewhat more efficient or more effective ways.
Making Improvements in Processes vs. "Process Improvement":
The term "process improvement," for some, brings a system like “Six Sigma”* to mind. Although there is resounding evidence that formal programs such as Sigma have made significant contributions toward achieving greater efficiency and eliminating waste, this sort of system has been found to be detrimental to the creative process in research and development departments, such as the one at innovative 3M, as reviewed in an interesting Business Week article.
Many of us would agree that it's a matter of balance, and one solution certainly does not fit all situations. Of course, R&D programs should discipline themselves to be as efficient as possible in their planning, collaboration and communication processes, in vetting ideas, and rapid prototyping, without being hindered by some of the Six Sigma-type constraints.
K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Silly!): For some of us, the term “process improvement” simply means what it always has: modest improvements in how we do things. Such as, “Let’s start writing the dates completed on the boxes that we’ve sorted through so no one wastes time going back through them.” It can be any “new method” that’s never been done before that helps us to achieve greater efficiency in our workflows or improve quality – like the 100+ ideas that each Toyota employee is encouraged to contribute to their company every year.
Most of us have numerous process and work-flow improvement ideas pop into our heads at work all the time. As Langdon Morris has written, part of innovation involves the creative tension of “seeing things as they are and things as they could be.” Unfortunately, many people are not empowered by their employers to share their suggestions, let alone see them discussed or implemented. This all too common situation is a tremendous waste of brainpower and resources, frustrates employees, and contributes to low moral and higher turnover.
Many Forms of Innovation:
At a conference on innovation, Brownell Langdrum of Draw Success (www.DrawSuccess.com) supplemented her own list of types of innovation with ideas generated by a group of chief innovation officers from companies such as Google, Mattel, and Hewlett-Packard. A few of these are included below. If you go to her full document, you will find that some of the descriptions are, fittingly, quite original. Actually, the list itself could be a very useful tool for generating ideas!!
Efficiency innovation delivers ways to improve efficiency and the speed of effectiveness. It can include internal systems and processes or ways to expedite the customer/client experience.
This form of innovation conveys ways to increase sales, reduce costs, improve tracking of expenses, and reduce accounts receivable, along with other ways of managing finances to enhance profitability. It also includes ideas to improve tax/audit compliance.
Process Innovation encompasses the implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery method.
Note: I’m a big fan of efficiency, so I believed that process improvements imply greater efficiency. But, it was pointed out to me that changes that improve quality do not always result in greater “efficiency,” in that these can slow speed of operations down. I think the argument can be made that improvements in quality are ultimately more efficient uses of time and effort, but for now, I yield to these as being two distinct forms of innovation.
This form of innovation includes introducing a new infrastructure or system, which could produce new sectors, and induce major change across several areas of business.
Breakthrough, disruptive or radical innovation:
These forms of innovation involve launching entirely novel products or services rather than providing improved products and services along the same lines as currently marketed. Breakthrough innovations are rare because of the risk and uncertainty, but they can deliver tremendous rewards. They require large leaps of thought and a high-risk tolerance.
Business Model Innovation:
Business model innovation involves changing the way business is done, whether in terms of sales and distribution, marketing, pricing or any other core business strategy.
This is when one adds something extra to a product or service that the competition doesn't have or isn't doing. Or, when one makes something last longer, more convenient or faster.
This involves development of new marketing methods with improvement in product design or packaging, product promotion, communication or advertising, pricing or distribution.
Product innovation is the introduction of a good or service that is new or substantially improved, which may include improvements in functional characteristics, technical abilities, ease of use, or any other dimension.
Service Innovation, compared to goods or product innovation or process innovation, delivers ways to improve the delivery of a service or expertise and is both interactive and information-intensive.
This may include coming up with new technologies to solve a problem or new uses for existing technologies. Solutions may be high-tech (i.e. computer systems) or low-tech (a better mouse trap).
In summary, when I use the term “innovation,” I mean a range of ways of putting good, new ideas into action within operations, workflows, and processes as well as in the marketplace and in solving social, environmental, and economic issues. The organizations that will survive and thrive in this rapidly changing environment welcome and apply ideas on a wide range of topics – the more the merrier!
* Wikipedia: Six Sigma is a business mangement strategy originally developed by Motorola, USA in 1986. As of 2010, it is widely used in many sectors of industry, although its use is not without controversy. It seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes.
Subscribe to receive new blogposts below
- Adapting to Change & overcoming Fear
- Ambiguity and embracing the Unknown
- Apple and/or Steve Jobs
- Business Reports: 2010 IBM CEO & 2010 BCG
- Changing Cultures to become Innovative
- Collaboration vs. Silos
- Continuous Improvement or Process Improvement
- Creative Arts & Innovation
- Creative Genius among Staff
- Creative Problem Solving
- Creative Thinking Practices & Exercises
- Critical Thinking
- Curiosity & Asking Questions
- Divergent vs. Convergent thinking
- Employee Engagement
- Fun and innovation
- Hierarchy vs. Innovation
- How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci
- Innovation & the Economy
- Innovation in Government
- Innovation in History
- Integrity; Following own drummer
- Langdon Morris
- Leadership & Management Best Practices
- Learning from Mistakes
- Lifelong Learning and innovation
- Mentoring and innovation
- Model Innovative Organizations
- Podcasts on innovation
- Processes and Structures for Innovation
- Redefining Innovation
- Scenario Planning
- Six Sigma and LEAN vs. innovation
- Social Change and Innovation
- Spirituality in Workplace and innovation
- Trust and Respect in Engagement and Innovation
- Types of Innovation
- Weirdness and Creativity
- Whole Brain Thinking
- YouTube Videos