Category Archives: Society

It’s A Whole Lot Easier To Take Risk When You Have Nothing To Lose!

I was at a meeting last week of large enterprise innovation leaders. We meet a few times a year and discuss the issues we face in trying to accelerate innovation at our respective companies. What always amazes me is that whether you make rocket ships, toothpaste, drugs or even provide professional services, the core issues of innovation remain the same. We all face similar issues around adoption of new innovations, getting management to understand the nature of breakthrough innovations, dealing with the resistance of existing business units to new ideas. During this meeting one of the members made an interesting presentation about the history of a new innovation they were introducing into the market. Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Culture, Society, Strategy | 7 Comments

Keeping an "Eye" on Innovation

Innovation is not necessarily limited to new technologies or new products. Today, companies are touted as innovative for reinventing business models, building entirely new markets, or looking through a different lens to creatively meet customer needs. Employees are an important … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Culture, Innovation, Society | Leave a comment

Can Cost-Based Innovation Help Solve Our Debt Crisis?

Each of us are painfully aware of the new economic reality in which we find ourselves: national, state, and local government debt is skyrocketing. Simply put, it costs a lot more to provide and maintain government services than is taken in through taxes and other sources of revenue and thus we are forced to borrow to cover the difference. Every commentator on this subject offers essentially only three near-term solutions to the problem: raise taxes (there’s also a good argument for lowering taxes), cut services and programs, and reduce the civil service payroll. And while all of these have historically played an important role in some form of debt remediation, I’m struck by the absence of the role of innovation in this national discourse. I’m not talking about entrepreneurial innovation which of course is a considerable generator of income and taxes; I’m talking specifically about cost-based innovation. Continue reading

Posted in Cost, Innovation, Society | 5 Comments

Everyone's a Critic

There has been a lot of recent media attention, and general outrage around Facebook’s social plugins which essentially extend Facebook’s “Like” functionality to any website that installs the plugin, allowing Facebook users to share their likes and dislikes of products, … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Education, Innovation, Society, Trends, Trust | 1 Comment

Crowdsourcing Has Its 15 Minutes of Fame

Every movement has its defining moment, that 15 minutes of fame when it moves into the general consciousness and suddenly goes from niche to the next big thing. Sometimes, that move can be a good thing, an indicator that a topic will now command the attention and respect it is due as people take it more seriously. However, sometimes, well sometimes it means that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon just to jump. Overnight, it is the “cool” thing to do, the way to get some easy PR. There is a flash flood of attention and publicity that will saturate the market for a while before everyone moves onto the next big thing. One of the recent examples of this that comes to mind is virtual world technology; a couple of years ago you could not read news publications without a bombardment of predictions of how this was going to change the world. Then suddenly, the press pieces slowed to a trickle and all anyone could talk about was social media. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Education, Innovation, Organization, Society | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Essential Innovation: Essennovation

It’s likely not lost on many of us that large chunks of the internal information technology (IT) department at businesses are being outsourced. Rather than a new phenomenon, strategic sourcing–a term that covers the myriad ways resources and services can … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Innovation, Organization, Process, Society | 11 Comments

Mixing People. Fueling Innovation.

I’ve spent several years working in Silicon Valley where the diversity of brain power conveyed in the breadth of engineers, social scientists, mathematicians, physical scientists and other professionals from varied academic disciplines and different parts of the world contributes to its cache as a technology innovation hotspot. Continue reading

Posted in Contests, Culture, Innovation, Organization, Society | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Teaching Innovation From The Top Down

These days, much is written about how to encourage employees to think more innovatively, to encourage their creativity. Every few days brings a new blog entry about encouraging design thinking and helping employees engage the right hemisphere of their brain as well as their left in order to facilitate more radical insight for problem-solving. And there is no doubt that most people have more innate creativity than their everyday lives and jobs encourage them to utilize. There is an increasing body of anecdotal evidence that this creativity, if nurtured, properly engaged and channeled can allow a company’s existing workforce to evolve into an army of ideators, problem solvers and potential innovators. But then what? Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Education, Innovation, Organization, Society | 7 Comments

Who's Who? What's What? What's Real In An Internet world?

The New Yorker published a cartoon in 1993 which shows a dog sitting at a computer terminal saying to another dog, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” A few years ago, I went to a talk given by one of the computer graphics experts who worked on Jurassic Park. He was describing how they created many of the dinosaurs in the movie completely by computer. He went on to day that within a decade, they will be able to create human beings on film completely by computer without any need for actors. The power of Photoshop to recreate photographic reality is seen as magazines are caught digitally manipulating photos to meet their needs. Continue reading

Posted in Information, Society, Trust | 3 Comments

Innovator Of The Century: Renaissance Man

It seems that everywhere I turn in the innovation blogosphere these days there is a constant point of view present among the pundits: innovation is impossible without a healthy cultivation of right-brain, creative thinking along with the more analytical left-brain thinking. Daniel Pink and many others sound the alarm bells for a society, which increasingly stresses rote memorization and standardized tests over creative thought. The Harvard Review recently published an article celebrating the benefits to business of heterogeneous educational and cultural backgrounds and thinking. And I find these arguments both compelling and persuasive. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Education, Society | 3 Comments