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We are proud to announce our 31st Innovation Excellence Weekly for Slideshare. Inside you'll find ten of the best innovation-related articles from the past week on Innovation Excellence - the world's most popular innovation web site and home to 5,000+ innovation-related articles.
Issue 31 – May 3, 20131. Interactive Packaging: Here it Comes!.............................................…….. Donna Sturgess2. Apple’s Innovation Problem ……………………………….………….………….... Greg Satell3. Every Business is (or should be) a Social Business ……..……… Deborah Mills-Scofield4. Leadership and Simplicity……………………………………..……………..…...... Mike Myatt5. 25 Things Successful Educators Do .…………………………………..……… Julie DeNeen6. Pain of Skeptic Executives – An Open Innovation Challenge …...…. Stefan Lindegaard7. Business Models, a Canvas for Growing Innovation Convergence …..…. Paul Hobcraft8. Love is the answer – how innovation & love play same game ….…….. Juan Cano-Arribi9. Learning to Play the Lean Start-Up Way! ………………………………...….. Janet Sernack10. Mapping Innovation Across the Three Horizons ……………………..…..…. Paul HobcraftYour hosts, Braden Kelley, Julie Anixter and Rowan Gibson, are innovation writers, speakers andstrategic advisors to many of the world’s leading companies.“Our mission is to help you achieve innovation excellence inside your own organization by makinginnovation resources, answers, and best practices accessible for the greater good.”Cover Image credit: Outside the Box from Bigstock
Interactive Packaging: Here it Comes!Posted on April 28, 2013 by Donna SturgessWe are on the cusp of transformation in the way that packaging engages consumers. Interactive packaging is advancing with Near FieldCommunication (NFC) technology and pilot projects are underway in a variety of industries as companies vie to capitalize on the first moveradvantage.Today we are living in an on-demand culture as we interact with technology that surrounds our everyday life—pads, pods, phones, computers,homes, autos appliances, lighting and more. The smart phone, enabled with NFC, is growing at a rapid rate and by 2016 is estimated tocapture over 50% of the market. As market penetration increases, NFC will be the driver of opportunities such as the mobile wallet andinteractive packaging beyond QR Codes.Consumer goods and technology companies, like Avery Dennison, are aggregating the supply chain partners necessary to advance interactivepackaging. Currently pilot project are running in numerous industries, ranging from beverages to pharmaceuticals. The leading companiesinvolved are learning, adapting, re-engineering and re-testing to evaluate the full potential of the technology and the opportunity to buildrelationships and unique interactions with customers. According to Jay Gouliard, vice president of innovation at Avery Dennison,“Interactivity between the package and the consumer is the next avenue to build the romancebetween your brands and your customers”.If you want to join the upcoming conversation, there is a web chat hosted by Avery Dennison and The Dieline on May 2ndat 1:00 EST.You can register here: http://bit.ly/interactivepackaging
An important question for businesses is how will you capitalize on this technology when it becomes available? Many of the leaders I have talkedto view it as just another way to deliver a price incentive or coupon between the aisle and the register. If that is your view, think again. NFC willcreate a big opportunity to connect to your customer in the store and in the home.Here are a few ideas to stir your thinking:1. Product information for health conditions such as diabetes, heartdisease, peanut and gluten allergies or weight loss.2. Better Product Labeling for older eyes is an opportunity through NFC ; itmay also offer a new level of communication to satisfy FDA labelrequirements to facilitate Rx- to –OTC switches3. New ideas for recipes or how to tips, matching wine and food, or askingan expert opinion in many categories either before or after product purchase4. Entertainment is a wide open opportunity with NFC, ranging from a brand engaging customers with a great joke (my favorite idea!), tooffering suggestions on how to have fun with the product5. Gaming could involve participation in a challenge or adventure (whether in the store or out in the world) where tapping with your phone ispart of the activity6. New Voices of real people or communities with something to say can be connected to customers –Mom bloggers speak out on baby foodperhaps?7. Track & Trace counterfeit products or diverted product outside of the intended marketAs the number of interaction opportunities expand, it becomes critical to develop a unified brand story across the various devices andtechnologies, rather than simply creating “pieces” of interaction. This shift represents a need for brands to develop content that engagescustomers, not just creative communication that will be pushed to them. It challenges the basic brief process to open up big enough territoriesfor larger brand stories to be created.I encourage you to pull out the current brand brief and ask yourself whether the insights or elements on it are leading to big, chunky stories thatcustomers can engage in across many touch points. If you have one that does I would love you to send it to me. The briefs I come in contactwith are using the same structure they did before the explosion of technology. Most brands have simply created a digital brief as a separatedocument from the communication/TV brief.Interactive packaging will push this issue up another notch. NFC technology will make interactions simpler and faster than QR Codes. The timehas come to rethink the elements of a strong brief if you want to build a relationship with customers to drive your business. Interactive
packaging will be another big opportunity to engage with them, but you will have to have strong story content and a unified strategy to leverageit rather than chase it.Donna Sturgess is the President and Co-founder of Buyology Inc and former Global Head of Innovation forGlaxoSmithKline. She is also Executive in Residence at Carnegie Mellon University. Her latest book is Eyeballs Out: HowTo Step Into Another World, Discover New Ideas, and Make Your Business Thrive. Follow on Twitter: @donnasturgess
Apple’s Innovation ProblemPosted on May 1, 2013 by Greg SatellApple CEO Tim Cook has a very tough job. Not only does he have to run the mostvaluable tech company on the planet, but he has to follow one of the greatest chiefexecutives in history. Is he up to it? I’m beginning to think he’s not.There have been some missteps, of course, like some earnings releases thatdisappointed investors, the maps debacle, the continued lack of Near FieldCommunication (NFC ) or an Apple TV, but that’s not why I’m having doubts.I find it easy to believe that those things would have happened if Steve Jobs were still around (well, except for maps, maybe). Apple’slegendary founder had more than his share of flops, but he had a great sense of what technology could do. Without him, Apple will have tolearn to innovate differently and Tim Cook doesn’t seem up to it.Focus or Tunnel Vision?I first began to have doubts when I read Mr. Cook’s remarks in a Businessweek interview, which I will quote here (with my own emphasisadded):Creativity and innovation are something you can’t flowchart out. Some things you can, and we do,and we’re very disciplined in those areas. But creativity isn’t one of those. A lot of companieshave innovation departments, and this is always a sign that something is wrong whenyou have a VP of innovation or something. You know, put a for-sale sign on the door.(Laughs.)Everybody in our company is responsible to be innovative, whether they’re doing operational workor product work or customer service work.In just a few sentences, he encapsulates both why Apple has been so enormously successful and also why its future is so precarious. SteveJobs’ legendary focus can easily manifest itself into blindness about what’s going on outside the company.Many successful companies have innovation departments (such as Google X, the supersecret division responsible for Project Glass,autonomous cars, and who knows what else?). Why would Tim cook want to dismiss innovation teams out of hand?Innovating The Apple WayIn Walter Isaacson’s acclaimed biography of Steve Jobs , he recounts the story of how Steve Jobs decided to build the iPad. He was havingsomeone from Microsoft over for dinner who showed him a prototype for their new tablet computer. Seeing that it included a stylus, Jobs flewinto one of his characteristic rages. (Jobs hated the idea of a stylus).
He didn’t dismiss it though. He thought it was stupid, just as he thought that the way MP3 players and countless other products were stupid(“sucky” was his adjective of choice), but rather than write it off, he went off and built something better and that’s what made Apple the world’smost valuable company (for a while, anyway).While Apple has gained a reputation as a disruptor, in truth, its products generally don’t meet the definition of disruptive innovation (exceptfor iTunes, which does). The thing that has set the company apart is that its products have been so “insanely great” that, even in establishedcategories, an Apple launch has felt like something completely new.A Model For Long Term Success?I think three factors account for the company’s success innovating this way. One, is the discipline that Tim Cook spoke of above. The second isworld class talent like Jony Ive and lastly, of course, is Steve Jobs. It was his ability to see the incredible possibilities of technology along withhis “reality distortion field” that drove Apple to create such wonderful products.But that last crucial element is gone now and Apple will need to adapt. Steve Jobs was a unique talent, one that might come along once in ageneration. He simply can’t be replaced. To succeed going forward, they will need to develop a new model for success.That doesn’t mean the company’s core values, such as quality and design, have to change, nor does it mean that it is in crises, with over $150billion in cash and strong positions in rapidly growing categories like smartphones and tablets, Apple is in an enviable position.However, what it does mean is that Tim Cook needs to look to the future rather than the past and that Apple will need to expand its vision andlearn to innovate more broadly.Innovation Across The MatrixApple, of course, is not the world’s only innovative company. Google, IBM, Procter and Gamble and many others have consistently been ableto develop new products and services that keep them ahead of the competition. However, when you delve a little deeper, you find that theyeach approach innovation in a different way.To add some clarity and structure to innovation, I developed the Innovation Management Matrix, which asks two questions: How well is theproblem defined and who is best placed to solve it?I’ve put a version of the matrix below, along with organizations which excel at the type of innovation represented by each quadrant.
Apple, much like Toyota, has thrived in well defined areas. They make important improvements to existing products, which is why Tim Cook’sapproach of getting everybody involved in the innovation process works well there.However, when it came to deciding which new directions for the company to develop, Apple had a committee of one: Steve Jobs. Now that he’sgone, it’s imperative that they start exploring other innovation methods.Basic Research: In 1993, IBM research achieved the world’s first quantum teleportation that will form the centerpiece of the next digitalfrontier of quantum computing which will begin to take hold sometime around the year 2020. It’s that kind of long term thinking that hasenabled them to build products like Watson, today’s most impressive computing platform.As I noted in an earlier post on Forbes, Apple spends very little on research and development and even less (or nothing) on basic research.Investing in completely new paradigms, rather than simply improving existing ones, might be something that Tim Cook and Apple may want toconsider.Breakthrough Innovation: Another thing that Cook highlighted in the interview is how tight knit Apple’s senior management is. That’s great forrunning operations, but inevitably people who spend a lot of time together end up thinking a lot alike.That makes it difficult to overcome tough problems when you get stuck as well. Breakthroughs, after all, happen by synthesizing acrossdomains and that is very hard to do in a very focused environment.Many companies are achieving great success with Open Innovation platforms like Innocentive or P&G’s internal program, Connect +Develop. However, for Apple to create truly collaborative relationships with outside entities they will have to make serious adjustments to theirfamously prickly culture.
Disruptive Innovation: Google and 3M have been able to consistently come up with truly disruptive innovations that have created newcategories. Products like Google Maps, which funds a satellite imagery service by selling ads to hardware stores and the like, isn’t the type ofidea that thrives in a centralized structure.Both companies have versions of the 15% / 20% rule which encourages experimentation on a massive scale, rather than a laser like focus on afew blockbuster products. Other organizations pursue disruptive innovation with internal VC arrangements, innovation jams, hackathons,innovation days and yes, innovation departments.So while Apple’s approach has worked magnificently in the past, that’s no guarantee that it will succeed in the future. Before Mr. Cookdismisses workable approaches that other companies have adopted successfully, he might want to look around a bit more.Which brings me to something else Tim Cook said in the Businessweek interview about what Steve Jobs told him when he handed over thereins:He said, ‘I want to make this clear. I saw what happened when Walt Disney passed away. Peoplelooked around, and they kept asking what Walt would have done.’ He goes, ‘The business wasparalyzed, and people just sat around in meetings and talked about what Walt would have done. Hegoes, ‘I never want you to ask what I would have done. Just do what’s right.’He was very clear.Perhaps Jobs knew that, after him, Apple would have to become a very different company, that they would have to find their own way, set theirown mark and operate differently.And maybe even get an innovation department…image credit: allthingsd.comGreg Satell is an internationally recognized authority on Digital Strategy and Innovation. He consults and speaks in theareas of digital innovation, innovation management, digital marketing and publishing, as well as offshore web and appdevelopment. His blog is Digital Tonto and you can follow him on Twitter.
Every Business Is (Or Should Be) a Social BusinessPosted on May 1, 2013 by Deborah Mills-ScofieldI believe the distinction between social and non-socialbusiness is a false dichotomy. And yet, it’s one we continuallywant to make. We talk about “social businesses” — those thatare mission-led and focused on creating positive social change— and “non-social businesses” — those that focus on revenueand profit. Social entrepreneurs launching ventures may askthemselves if their business models need to be different. Doespursuing a social purpose require something unique todescribe and structure your business?As someone who works with a variety of organizations in my roles as strategy andinnovation consultant, venture capitalist, professor, and mentor, this question intrigues tome. To answer it, I evaluated a few years worth of business models created and implemented by clients (usually established, maturebusinesses), invested companies (early stage), entrepreneurs I’ve mentored, and college students starting new ventures. The results? I foundthat both social and non-social businesses focused on making sure revenues were greater than costs, either through selling something, raisingmoney or getting grants. The differences were more along traditional business characteristics: virtual vs. physical product or service, B2B vs.B2C, etc.That said, this initial evidence showed that social businesses focus more on achieving a positive impact in each of the nine business modelelements — value proposition, customer segment, channels, relationships, key partners, key activities, key resources, costs and revenues —as well as the whole model. Many of the non-social businesses in my sample also focused on the impact of each element and interestingly,they are very successful businesses (might there be a correlation?).All businesses are social. All companies have people as customers, employees, and suppliers. At some point, in deciding which supplier to use,in engaging your workforce, and in getting your product into users’ hands, relationships with people matter. Improving these their experiencesalways improves the outcome for your company.If a business isn’t providing valuable, meaningful solutions to real customers’ problems or delivering outcomes that both make a positivedifference in the customers’ lives and support the company’s mission, the business won’t have to worry about profits or outputs for long. Themarket has a way of taking care of that.The historical division between social and non-social business and “purpose” vs. “profits” is artificial and antiquated. Almost exactly two yearsago, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer called for a new definition of capitalism — “shared value” — to unify this false choice. I think this is how
Adam Smith envisioned capitalism; we just redefined it to serve our purposes. In fact, our financial crisis in part stems from non-socialbusinesses divorcing impact from profit and the outcome will haunt us for a long time.To further test what I had learned, I turned to business model guru and friend, Alex Osterwalder (I’ve used his Business Model Canvas since2009 because I believe it’s one of the best methodologies out there). He has vast experience creating business models all over the globe, inalmost every industry sector, and he came to the same conclusion: There is no significant difference in the business models themselves. Infact, we agreed that for-profit social businesses are a powerful way to increase impact. For instance, Sun Edison’s business modeldemonstrates that increasing impact doesn’t decrease profitability. One of Alex’s favorite businesses, PeePoople, is implementing a similarmodel to provide basic personal sanitation to the 2.6 billion people who don’t have it today. As Alex says, “The most amazing business modelsare those where profit and impact live in harmony. Business models can be designed where impact doesn’t diminish revenues or profit and viceversa.”Does this answer the question about needing something different for a social business? I think so and the answer is clearly no. It’s time we stoptalking about “social” vs. “non-social” and encourage all entrepreneurs to focus on impact in every element of the business model as well as thewhole. We read about companies, like Patagonia, Virgin, Cemex, who profitably and purposefully balance doing well and doing good. If theydo it, why can’t you?There are also some quiet, under the radar companies, like 6th generation family-held Menasha Corpin Wisconsin’s Fox Valley. The 164-year-old corrugated packaging firm has over $1B in revenue. Despite being in a commodity-driven market, it has experienced seven consecutiveyears of remarkable growth, even during the recession. Menasha’s plants use heat from the corrugators to warm the buildings; they’ve reducedwater usage while increasing production; their culture is collaborative; and their people are active in their communities, serving on schoolboards, supporting art and music, and having plain old fun in the Muscatine Great River Days boat races. The result is synergistic growth of acompany and its communities.By focusing on each individual business model element and the model’s overall impact to create outputs that support sustainable outcomes,perhaps our social entrepreneurs can help society break down this tired, man-made wall between social and non-social businesses.Follow the Scaling Social Impact insight center on Twitter @ScalingSocial and register to stay informed and give us feedback.Originally published in Harvard Business Reviewimage credit: dhiyafaris.com
Deb, founder of Mills-Scofield LLC, is an innovator, entrepreneur and non-traditional strategist with 20 yearsexperience in industries ranging from the Internet to Manufacturing with multinationals to start ups. She is also a partnerat Glengary LLC, a Venture Capital Firm.
Leadership and SimplicityPosted on May 1, 2013 by Mike MyattOne of the most effective ways to order your world is to simplifyeverything you encounter. However the problem for many is keepingit simple often becomes very difficult when our basic human nature isto over-complicate everything we touch.In thinking about the people I respect the most, to the one, theypossess the uncanny ability to take the most complicated of issuesand simplify them. You will find that the best leaders, communicators,teachers, innovators, etc., have a true knack for taking extremelycomplex, dense, or intricate content and making it engaging andeasy to understand. In fact, it was Leonardo Da Vinci who said:“simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.” In today’s post I’ll take a look at the often overlooked benefits of keeping it simple…While simplicity may have become a lost art, understanding the importance of simplicity is nonetheless critical to your success. Consider all thepresentations/meetings you’ve attended in the last few weeks; was it the people who were able to articulate their positions in a simple andstraight forward fashion, or the individuals that made things complex and tedious that got traction with their ideas? It has been my experiencethat the more complicated, difficult, or convoluted an explanation is, that one or both of the following issues are at play: 1) the person speakingis a horrible communicator, or; 2) the person speaking really doesn’t possess a true command of their subject matter. It is one thing to tossaround the latest buzz-words or to have the most complex flow chart, but it is quite another thing to actually possess such a deep and thoroughunderstanding of your topic that you can make even the most complex issues easy to understand.It is almost as if business people have come to believe that complexity is synonymous with sophistication and savvy. It has been my experiencethat the only things that “complexity” is synonymous with are increased costs and failed implementations. There is an old saying in the softwaredevelopment world that states “usability drives adoptability” which tends to lend support to my observations. Those of you that know me havecome to understand that I prefer to cut to the chase and get to the root of an issue as quickly as possible – this requires the ability to simplify,not complicate matters. Complexity is precisely what plagues many businesses. You don’t solve complicated matters by adding to thecomplexity. The most effective way to deal with complexity is to strip it away by addressing it with simplicity.The truth is that simplifying something doesn’t make it a trite or incomplete endeavor. Rather simplification makes for a more productive andefficient effort that is often more savvy than other more complex alternatives. Another benefit of simplicity is that it serves as a key driver offocus, which enables greater efficiency, productivity, and better overall performance. Keeping things simple allows you to focus on one thing ata time without the distractions that complexity breeds by its nature alone. I would suggest that you break down every key area of your business(operations, administration, marketing, branding, sales, finance, IT, etc.) and attempt to simplify your processes, initiatives, and offerings.
As a C-level executive you must focus on simplifying your day in order to maximize your effectiveness. By simplifying everything from theinformation and reports you view, to your communications protocol, to your agenda, to your decisioning structure, you will be better able tooperate in today’s unnecessarily complex world. I’ll leave you with this quote from Longfellow: “In character, in manner, in style, in all things, thesupreme excellence is simplicity.”What say you?Mike Myatt, is a Top CEO Coach, author of “Leadership Matters…The CEO Survival Manual“, and Managing Director ofN2Growth.
25 Things Successful Educators Do DifferentlyPosted on April 30, 2013 by Julie DeNeenIf you ask a student what makes him or her successful in school,you probably won’t hear about some fantastic new book or videolecture series. Most likely you will hear something like, “It was allMr. Jones. He just never gave up on me.”What students take away from a successful education usuallycenters on a personal connection with a teacher who instilledpassion and inspiration for their subject. It’s difficult to measuresuccess, and in the world of academia, educators are continuallyre-evaluating how to quantify learning. But the first and mostimportant question to ask is: Are teachers reaching theirstudents?Here are 25 things successful educators do differently.1. Successful educators have clear objectivesHow do you know if you are driving the right way when you are traveling somewhere new? You use the road signs and a map (althoughnowadays it might be SIRI or a GPS). In the world of education, your objectives for your students act as road signs to your destination. Yourplan is the map. Making a plan does not suggest a lack of creativity in your curriculum but rather, gives creativity a framework in which toflourish.2. Successful educators have a sense of purposeWe can’t all be blessed with “epic” workdays all the time. Sometimes, life is just mundane and tedious. Teachers who have a sense of purposeand who are able to see the big picture can ride above the hard and boring days because their eye is on something further down the road.3. Successful educators are able to live without immediate feedbackThere is nothing worse than sweating over a lesson plan only to have your students walk out of class without so much as a smile or a, “Greatjob teach!” It’s hard to give 100% and not see immediate results. Teachers who rely on that instant gratification will get burned out anddisillusioned. Learning, relationships, and education are a messy endeavor, much like nurturing a garden. It takes time, and some dirt, to grow.4. Successful educators know when to listen to students and when to ignore themRight on the heels of the above tip is the concept of discernment with student feedback. A teacher who never listens to his/her students willultimately fail. A teacher who always listens to his/her students will ultimately fail. It is no simple endeavor to know when to listen and adapt,and when to say, “No- we’re going this way because I am the teacher and I see the long term picture.”
5. Successful educators have a positive attitudeNegative energy zaps creativity and it makes a nice breeding ground for fear of failure. Good teachers have an upbeat mood, a sense of vitalityand energy, and see past momentary setbacks to the end goal. Positivity breeds creativity.6. Successful educators expect their students to succeedThis concept is similar for parents as well. Students need someone to believe in them. They need a wiser and older person to put stock in theirabilities. Set the bar high and then create an environment where it’s okay to fail. This will motivate your students to keep trying until they reachthe expectation you’ve set for them.7. Successful educators have a sense of humorHumor and wit make a lasting impression. It reduces stress and frustration, and gives people a chance to look at their circumstances fromanother point of view. If you interviewed 1000 students about their favorite teacher, I’ll bet 95% of them were hysterical.8. Successful educators use praise smartlyStudents need encouragement yes, but real encouragement. It does no good to praise their work when you know it is only 50% of what theyare capable of. You don’t want to create an environment where there is no praise or recognition; you want to create one where the praise thatyou offer is valuable BECAUSE you use it judiciously.9. Successful educators know how to take risksThere is a wise saying that reads, “Those who go just a little bit too far are the ones who know just how far one can go.” Risk-taking is a part ofthe successful formula. Your students need to see you try new things in the classroom and they will watch closely how you handle failure inyour risk-taking. This is as important as what you are teaching.10. Successful educators are consistentConsistency is not to be confused with “stuck”. Consistency meansthat you do what you say you will do, you don’t change your rulesbased on your mood, and your students can rely on you when theyare in need. Teachers who are stuck in their outdated methods mayboast consistency, when in fact it is cleverly masked stubbornness.11. Successful educators are reflectiveIn order to avoid becoming the stuck and stubborn teacher,successful educators take time to reflect on their methods, theirdelivery, and the way they connect with their students. Reflection isnecessary to uncover those weaknesses that can be strengthenedwith a bit of resolve and understanding.12. Successful educators seek out a mentor for themselvesReflective teachers can easily get disheartened if they don’t have someone a bit older and wiser offering support. You are never too old or wisefor a mentor. Mentors can be that voice that says, “Yes your reflections are correct,” or “No, you are off because….” and provide you with adifferent perspective.
13. Successful educators communicate with parentsCollaboration between parents and teachers is absolutely crucial to a student’s success. Create an open path of communication so parents cancome to you with concerns and you can do the same. When a teacher and parents present a united front, there is a lower chance that yourstudent will fall through the cracks.14. Successful educators enjoy their workIt is easy to spot a teacher who loves their work. They seem to emanate contagious energy. Even if it on a subject like advanced calculus, thesubject comes alive. If you don’t love your work or your subject, it will come through in your teaching. Try to figure out why you feel sounmotivated and uninspired. It might have nothing to do with the subject, but your expectations. Adjust them a bit and you might find your loveof teaching come flooding back.15. Successful educators adapt to student needsClassrooms are like an ever-evolving dynamic organism. Depending on the day, the attendance roster, and the phase of the moon, you mighthave to change up your plans or your schedule to accommodate your students. As they grow and change, your methods might have to as well.If your goal is to promote a curriculum or method, it will feel like a personal insult when you have to modify it. Make connecting with yourstudent your goal and you’ll have no trouble changing it up as time moves on.16. Successful educators welcome change in the classroomThis relates to the above tip, but in a slightly different way. Have you ever been so bored with your house or your bedroom, only to rearrange itand have it feel like a new room? Change ignites the brain with excitement and adventure. Change your classroom to keep your students ontheir toes. Simple changes like rearranging desks and routines can breathe new life in the middle of a long year.17. Successful educators take time to explore new toolsWith the advance of technology, there are fresh new resources and tools that can add great functionality to your classroom and curriculum.There is no doubt that the students you are teaching (far younger than you) probably already have a pulse on technologies you haven’t tappedinto yet. Don’t be afraid to push for technology in the classroom. It is often an underfunded area but in this current world and climate, yourstudents will be growing up in a world where technology is everywhere. Give them a headstart and use technology in your classroom.
18. Successful educators give their students emotional supportThere are days when your students will need your emotional support more than a piece of information. Connecting to your students on anemotional level makes it more likely that they will listen to your counsel and take your advice to heart. Students need mentors as much as theyneed teachers.19. Successful educators are comfortable with the unknownIt’s difficult to teach in an environment where you don’t know the future of your classroom budget, the involvement of your student’s parents, orthe outcome of all your hard work. On a more philosophical level, educators who teach the higher grades are tasked with teaching studentsprinciples that have a lot of unknowns (i.e. physics). How comfortable are you with not having all the answers? Good teachers are able tofunction without everything tied up neatly in a bow.20. Successful educators are not threatened by parent advocacyUnfortunately, parents and teachers are sometimes threatened by one another. A teacher who is insecure will see parent advocacy as a threat.While there are plenty of over-involved helicopter parents waiting to point out a teacher’s mistakes, most parents just want what’s best for theirchild. Successful educators are confident in their abilities and not threatened when parents want to get into the classroom and make theiropinions known. Good teachers also know they don’t have to follow what the parent recommends!21. Successful educators bring fun into the classroomDon’t be too serious. Some days, “fun” should be the goal. When students feel and see your humanness, it builds a foundation of trust andrespect. Fun and educational aren’t mutually exclusive either. Using humor can make even the most mundane topic more interesting.22. Successful educators teach holisticallyLearning does not happen in a vacuum. Depression, anxiety, and mental stress have a severe impact on the educational process. It’s crucialthat educators (and the educational model) take the whole person into account. You can have the funniest and most innovative lesson onalgebra, but if your student has just been told his parents are getting a divorce, you will not reach him.23. Successful educators never stop learningGood teachers find time in their schedule to learn themselves. Not only does it help bolster your knowledge in a certain subject matter, it alsoputs you in the position of student. This gives you a perspective about the learning process that you can easily forget when you’re always inteaching mode.24. Successful educators break out of the boxIt may be a self-made box. “Oh I could never do that,” you say to yourself. Perhaps you promised you’d never become the teacher who wouldlet the students grade each other (maybe you had a bad experience as a kid). Sometimes the biggest obstacle to growth is us. Have you built abox around your teaching methods? Good teachers know when it’s time to break out of it.25. Successful educators are masters of their subjectGood teachers need to know their craft. In addition to the methodology of “teaching”, you need to master your subject area. Learn, learn, andnever stop learning. Successful educators stay curious.
Previously posted on informEDJulie DeNeen has her bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of New Haven. She spent several yearsimplementing new technologies to help students and teachers in the classroom. She also taught workshops to teachersabout the importance of digital student management software, designed to keep students, parents, and teachers connectedto the learning process. @jdeneen4 and Google+.
Pain of Skeptic Executives – An Open Innovation ChallengePosted on May 1, 2013 by Stefan LindegaardThis should have been a short message to executives andother people in influential positions, who are skepticaltowards opening up their corporate innovation efforts..…but I got think that they would not read this any so this ismore like a piece of advice to corporate innovation teamshaving to deal with such people.What I want to bring out here is that continuing to do thesame things that you have been doing for the last coupleof decades might keep you at your position for a longerperiod of time. Since you are already at the top of the firmand since you most likely believe that the skills andmindset that got you there will keep you there, you probably don’t see much reason to change your learning behaviours, stay up to date andsharpen your saw. It is just easier for executives to forego changes compared to those who are still climbing the corporate ladder.This is well for the skeptic executive…but very bad for your company. The fast pace of change in business and innovation requires up-to-dateunderstanding, skills, toolbox and mindset. If this is not in place, your company is in danger of being run over by companies that are morenimble and more prepared for dealing with changes.Corporate innovation teams need to find a way to deal with this. It is a tough challenge and there is only one comfort if your bosses are reallydifficult to deal with on this matter. At some point, other executives or perhaps the board will notice and the executives who were unwilling tochange and adapt will be out of a job. Unfortunately, this is a long processs and the damage will already have incurred by that time.The only solution is that corporate innovation teams need to find a to deal with skeptic executives early on. There are no easy answers here. Itis just not easy to tell executives that what is best for them might not be the best for the company. Perhaps you have some goodsuggestions?image credit: doubtful man image from bigstockStefan Lindegaard is an author, speaker and strategic advisor who focus on the topics of open innovation, social media andintrapreneurship.
The Business Model, a Canvas for Growing InnovationConvergencePosted on April 27, 2013 by Paul HobcraftSo where were you when this Business Design Summit washappening? Did you miss it? Well kick yourself if you are remotelyinterested in where innovation is evolving too. I missed going as itwas a sell out fast but I watched the live streaming. So I had a moredetached view but let me give you the flavor of what is bubbling uparound the Business Model and its Canvas where a new (and older)generation of innovation ‘tool-smiths’ are all converging in agrowing community.In Berlin, held at the Classic Remise Berlin on 19th& 20thApril 2013, around 250 people gathered around the BusinessModel and started to bring together the converging aspects required in any Business Models design in tools, concepts,and methodologies.Lucky for many that were unable to attend, the wonderful thing was that the summit also was live streamed and had adedicated hashtag of #bdsummit. I watched it and got very caught up in the event. They plan to release thepresentations and I think a whole lot more from this summit in outcomes through most probably the toolbox center tobuild better Business Models.This summit became the place of the innovation ‘tool-smiths’ to meet and exchange so as to begin the forging andcrafting of the new tools needed for innovation. These are aimed to help us in today’s and tomorrows world whereinnovation is more central within business strategic thinking.Firstly, the Business Model meets one of today’s needUnless you have lived under a rock, in a hermit’s cave or on a beach disconnected from the world, anyone remotelyinterested in innovation will have had business model innovation seared into their thinking. Then you would be aware ofthe Business model canvas and the book “Business Model Generation” by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur and acore team of leading exponents, that included Alan Smith, Patrick van der Pij and Tim Clark and co-authored by 470Business Model Canvas practitioners from 45 countries.The Business Design Summits Objectives
The Business Design Summit had as its primary question: “Are the Business Tools you are using relevant for today’sworld? It went on to ask “If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them, instead,give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking”.So this was a summit of different concepts, tools and a host of the forward thinking people within the world ofinnovation offering the parts that are converging. The different speakers offered a rich diversity of ideas, suggestionsand examples to stimulate your thinking. Each speaker contributed a tool and suddenly we had born a whole newcommunity of “tool-smiths” crafting away within innovation.The speakers included at the SummitThese included Alex Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Patrick van der Pijl, Lisa Solomon, Lisa Chen, Luke Hohmann, MarkJohnson, Stefano Mastrogiacomo, Dave Grey, Karl Landart, Henry Chesbrough, Muki Hansteen-Izora , Steve Blank andRita McGrath. Regretfully I missed one or two of the speakers as I got sidetracked within my day.The visuals produced as these sessions developed were stunning.Example of a visual recording, this is by @HolgerNilsPoh: A Business Opportunity Canvas by @mukiz from the #bdsummitApart from Holger Nils Pohl working away, I think there were lots of visual and graphic recorders busy capturing whatwas presented in terrific event maps. Each of these contributed and made it a visual feast. These visuals significantlyimprove ways to teach. More and more in our daily work, visual thinking will play an increasing part on the new tools
needed in understanding increasing complexity and being quickly able to visualize it in today’s world and become part ofour tool box for determining the next steps.Some “stand outs” that I gainedIt is hard to suggest one part was better than another, it was this convergence that made the event come together butfor me the timely reminder by Mark Johnson on the strategic importance of the jobs-to-be-done cannot be everunderstated. Jobs-to-be-Done are central to arriving at the value proposition as they should “inform” on the needs ofthe customer that present the new innovation opportunities, perhaps also needing new business models.The second was Luke Hohmann and his innovation games, something I will need to explore a whole lot more. His tagline of “The Seriously Fun Way to Do Work—Seriously”. This offers online and in-person games to help organizations tosolve problems across the enterprise by using collaborative play to tap into true innovation.Lisa Solomon who did such a fantastic job of being a main facilitator to much of the summit. She introduced herforthcoming book around Strategic Conversations and spoke about her work and teaching around innovation, leadershipand design.Of course, Alex Osterwalder had his usual high octane mix of presenting, tweeting, facilitating, just physically driving thesummit along. He must be shattered after events like this, energized for what’s ahead but drained in the immediateaftermath. He was everywhere, the Innovation puppet master pulling all the strings of a well orchestrated summit.Yves Pigneur did such a great job, introducing the BM Canvas but also in both wrap ups of “three minutes” tosummarize each of the days sessions. The way he did this has some real lessons on how to recall and concludesuccinctly.
Dave Gray and his evolving cultural mapping tool is yet another topic I need to climb into more following this appetiteteaser “as a tool, the hammer sees everything as a nail… culture itself is a tool” where he introduces the tool steps ofEvidence, Levers, Values & Assumptions. This seems a more diagnostic tool and I feel will develop the more this isprogressed, improved and used.Then the whole topic of where large corporations need to fit into this business model movement with the challengesand emerging issues discussed by Karl Landart and Henry Chesbrough. This is where the Business model canvas has todeepen its presence. The Business Model Canvas has still not fully found its way into large corporate culture, certainlynot easily into the boardrooms. Time, short attention span and limited patience are real constraints. Should it- certainlyyes, how it is going to happen is a real challenge.This whole area or corporate challenge needs some real intellectual capital in solving this as it is a necessity for BMC toreally take hold in large corporations. By the way, this was the best presentation in my opinion I have heard from HenryChesbrough and I was intrigued by his emerging thoughts on providing a Corporate Conflict Detector.Muki Hansteen-Izora( @mukiz) of Intel talked through their internal tool, a first in a public forum, the OpportunityIdentification Tool or Canvas- the opportunity space is bringing their perspective into a conversation, developing up theessential components, and getting these rooted and traceable.The summit finished with a conversation between Steve Blank and Rita McGrath around “the end of competitivestrategy” Both are real influences within innovation, firstly they talked through the new playbook for strategy and whereso much is due to change. The sum of this was that Organizations are still awfully reluctant to give up power, we simplycan’t continue as we are, as all our ground is eroding and that long term quest for finding sustainable competitiveadvantage is rapidly disappearing .Transient short term competitive advantage is taking the place of sustainable competitive advantage. This will becomea “big idea” and influence our future in how we set about dealing with this. Rita is about to launch her book around thiswhole area in the coming weeks and I feel will “rattle a few cages” in a few boardrooms, when they read it I suspect.Steve worked his usual magic of weaving both the start-up and established organization into much of this conversation.He provided numerous examples, spoke of the different “epiphanies” he has had on his customer process and where thelink comes together in his work and the Business Model Canvas. Always throwing in the amusing story but alwaysunderscoring a powerful learning outcome.Between Rita and Steve there was such a wonderful conversation between two deeply experienced people, full ofknowledge to share, stories to tell and ways to bring these together in practical ways that you could relate too. A great,great finish.
Are tools or ideas enough? The world is moving really fastMy growing concern is not the enormous energy being invested in new tools and methodologies; these are good, reallygood, my concern lies still in the iteration process. The issue is do we crowd source these more and more, with growingbuilt in bias, to keep improving on them as soon as an idea hits us or do we slow them down from “just being put outthere” (alpha versions) to being better “beta” versions? I’m not sure when the right time is to release tools.We have to remember Alex’s original foundation for his Business model canvas was a PhD and that was incredibly well-grounded and why it has taken hold to such a level. Steve Blank’s customer work has integrated his enormous set ofexperiences and lots and lots of experimentation but that comes in a fairly unique package.Just having tools for tools sake is not the ideal place to go but tools, well thought through, placed out in the broadercommunity to be experimented with, reiterated and improved is highly valued and needed. Finding the balance is goingto be the key from all these tool-smiths.Congratulations to the organizers of this SummitThe Business Design Summit brought together an enormously talented group – could it have looked out into the futuremore, could it have debated more instead of the “tried and tested” listen and group work? Perhaps not, the groupneeded to begin to work together, to find a greater common language. To have this streamed was incredible and valuedby us that were not able to attend. I offered this tweet to Alex:
But I do have a “what if” as my wish?We do need to plot all the tools into the Business Model Map so we can have a more comprehensive roadmap of whattool or methodology fits where and why. I’ve love that to emerge from this summit. We really need a “live” mashup ofall that is going on in a “dynamic” business model canvas environment so a growing community can all provide the nextgeneration. I think this is where the summit has begun to provide a real momentum – the shifts we need to make “toteach people a new way of thinking.”The next summit will be tentatively in Berkeley late this year or sometime next year.image credit: businessdesignsummit.comPaul Hobcraft runs Agility Innovation, an advisory business that stimulates sound innovation practice, researches topicsthat relate to innovation for the future, as well as aligning innovation to organizations core capabilities.
Love is the answer – how innovation & love play same gamePosted on April 27, 2013 by Juan Cano-ArribiIt’s not about sending flowers to employees or having dinner by candlelight… ormaybe it is, to some extent. You cannot force people to be creative, or to carry outthe extra effort that taking part in innovation entails, or even to have the will to do it,as you can neither force someone to love you. However, you can flirt with them,seduce them. Incidentally, don’t worry if you’re not a seducer, it’s something you canlearn, …at least regarding innovation.Fall in love with innovationThe prerequisite, naturally, is that you are in love. You have to feel the impulse ofdoing what is required to make the subject of your love feel special. In this case, thesubjects are the customers (who are going to “buy” your innovation) and the peopleat your company (particularly those who are going to be involved in innovation). It’s a strange case of a love triangle that works, unlike whathappens in romantic relations. Remember that initiative corresponds to you. As for your employees, if you don’t take the initiative, no one will.Even worse, regarding your customers, for sure somebody else will take it!Furthermore, you don’t only need seduction to win their hearts, but also confidence and understanding to keep them by your side. In manysenses, confidence is a matter of expectation. If you only add ornament but you beat the drum for a revolution, you will only getdisappointment… and rancor.Love means understanding; there’s plenty of literature about that. Many deem understanding your partner 100% needless, and some evenrecommend not trying it at all. Anyhow, it’s obvious that you need at least some ability to wear its shoes. We also know that knowing its likes ispractically imperative, as well as those kinds of things that can surprise it. We don’t need the help of any literature for that. In fact, not doing it isa grave fault that entails anger, and when repeated, estrangement. It’s exactly the same when it is about customers, specially in someindustries where customers tend to be unfaithful and don’t need much to leave with the first one that offers them something of interest. It’s lifebut don’t worry, just be consistent in your seductiveness and you’ll get long-lasting and profitable relationships.Court people involved in innovationInnovation runs parallel to the rest of business functions. For instance, if you are from marketing you don’t innovate instead of doing marketing,but rather you carry out your marketing work as well as participating in innovation. Usually people don’t have enough time for their habitualwork, so participating in innovation implies doing extra work. On the other hand, innovation entails facing change and uncertainty, it requiresleaving the comfort zone, and this is something that most of us don’t do spontaneously. People must feel the need to do it, must wish it, andyou are the one that has to make them wish it.
Give them a worthwhile purpose and make them feel special. More specifically, set goals for what is worth fighting for and make them feelimportant. As Mary Kay Ash said, “everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘Make me feel important’.” There’s no rewardmore effective or durable. As for goals, appeal to elevated values, since they are more capable of obtaining commitments beyond duty andallow a better management of creative tension.Seduce customersWhy is a girl or boy going to take notice of you when there are so many fish in the sea? You have to be special, deliver something special andmake her/him feel special. The meaning of ‘special’ varies on each case and depends on you (what you are able to do; not everybody is anunderwear model, you know) and on what turns her/him on. You can bet, in business it’s the same thing. Deliver something special: Obviously, this is the matter. Deliver something that nobody else offers like you do; that adds real value toyour customers and proves attractive. Ok, this is crystal clear, right? Make them feel special: The aforementioned is enough to make them look at you (or to make them buy), but not to fall in love withyou. You have to make them feel good and special. To know how to do it, observe them in their daily routine and, above all, look atthem in the eye every time you try to surprise them. You will learn a lot. Remember that if your innovation doesn’t succeed it’s notbecause they have it in for you, but because you didn’t push the proper buttons. Be special: Seduction is not only in what you make them feel but also in what you are. As for business, a good branding strategymultiplies the innovation chances to succeed. Why do you think that iPhone users feel more special than Galaxy users? Indeed it’snot a matter of technical characteristics but of Apple’s glamour.In sickness and in healthInnovate means to go into uncharted territories, which implies getting lost on more than one occasion and have some hard times before findinga golden vein. In this sense, love has two additional characteristics that are going to be very useful in innovation management and in the waywe face bad results: generosity to keep on giving effort and hope in spite of disappointments, and positive thinking to surround obstacles in acreative way in search of a goal that is beyond the pitfall.
In conclusion: love your customers, love your employees. It’s more pleasant than deeming them a handful of fossilized people. Besides, even ifit doesn’t guarantee 100% success, it dramatically increases the chances of achieving it. On the contrary, forgetting that innovation requiresseduction will guarantee a fiasco. Moreover, seduction approaches make the process more enjoyable, just like we enjoy flirting regardless of itsresult. Love them all, since “fortune and love favor the brave” (Ovid dixit).image credit:Juan Cano-Arribí is founder and CEO at Plantel, company specializing in affordable innovation tools. He is visitingprofessor at the innovation graduates school at Universidad de Valencia. He is an active tweep; follow him on twitter at@Pull_Innovation.
Learning to Play the Lean Start-Up Way!Posted on May 2, 2013 by Janet SernackIn a recent article Why the lean Start-Up Changes Everything, in HBR, SteveBlank describes a lean start-up as “favoring experimentation over elaborateplanning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over ‘big designup front’” developments.Residing in Israel, where there are currently more than 4,500 “lean start-ups”being developed at this very moment, around this tiny nation, I decided to explorehow this phenomena could be applied to creating entrepreneurial and innovativecorporate leaders.With “Innovation” as a current “buzzword”, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reports in “The Most innovative Companies 2102” that 76% oftheir respondents rank innovation as a “top three” strategic priority – the highest level in the surveys history! That 85% of CEO’S rankedinnovation as a top three priority, with almost 40% ranking it as the top priority, with a strong commitment to increase their investment ininnovation.The report also states that since the advent of the list in 2004, companies that have been on the list every year have delivered a 4% premiumover 10 years, indicating that when companies become consistent innovators, they achieve longer term growth.So, how does a company become a consistent innovator?How can they do this by maximizing the qualities of the lean Start-Up to create a new entrepreneurial economy?How can they create value from understanding the generative nature of business problems and ideas?When researching the possible answers to some of these questions, I noticed that most company’s efforts were focused on installing ideageneration and crowd based platforms as well as identifying mostly technology based process improvements. I also discovered that mostinnovation education was based around practical problem solving and idea generating techniques and tools, or upon a range of mostly formalconsultant led interventions. Which, to my mind, were very traditional and even conservative approaches to becoming consistent or leaninnovators and would not deliver the desired or possible long term growth factors!“You can’t solve problems with the same thinking (or mindset and behaviors) that created them!”With this as my mantra of I invested time towards understanding and identifying the unique attributes of the Israeli innovative eco-system, toexplore how this systemic approach could be replicated and incorporated into a corporate learning environment.I also researched and codified the range of cultural drivers that drive it, to see if these could be inculcated into organizations as the basis fordeveloping innovative cultures – as the development of an innovative culture is the basis for being a consistent innovator.
Ultimately, I researched, codified and replicated the intrinsic motivators, mindsets and behaviors into the Innovate like an Israeli Model andLearning System (ILI). I integrated these concepts, principles and techniques with other cutting edge approaches to innovation managementand emergence processes, including Otto Sharmer’s “Theory U” as a way of leading from the future as it emerges.Innovation is a leadership responsibility!Discarding most of what I “already knew”, I also researched and explored a wide range of options, including enterprise gamification, to create avisceral, provocative and memorable learning experience, which ultimately became “The Start-Up Game™”; a business simulation to teachinnovative and entrepreneurial leadership in the global corporate arena.Adopting a generative, gamified and experiential approachUtilizing my 30 plus years in designing customized corporate curriculum, I adopted a generative and experiential approach to learning thatemphasizes “continuous experimentation and feedback in an ongoing examination of the way organizations go about solving problems”, whichis very much aligned to the lean start-up way. This also involves integrating the spiral of learning; by creating an initial and relevant experiencethat is debriefed to conclude and plan better ways of doing things next time. As games are metaphors for what happens in real life, learning’scan also be applied and integrated at the individual, team or business levels.Catering for differing learning and cultural stylesThe concept of experiential learning incorporates the 4 styles developed by David Kolb; Activist, Reflector, Theorist and Pragmatist. Thesefactors all influenced the sphere of adult learning and became the basis for designing and developing the majority of corporate educationprograms since the early 1990’s. Additionally, consideration was taken around the role and impact of cultural differences and inclinations inlearning program design.Making learning sensory specific and neurologically adeptIt was also important to integrate the key sensory factors involved in learning, to make the learning program sufficiently ‘sensory specific’ to alltypes of individual processing and preferences; visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and audio digital. The intent was to stimulate peoples neurologicalprocessing and preferences for acquiring and accessing information, through a broad and diverse range of visual, auditory and activetechniques based stimuli.Neuropsychological research into learning suggests that Sensation Seeking provides a core biological drive of curiosity, learning andexploration. A high drive to explore leads to dysfunctional learning consequences unless cognitions such as goal orientation,conscientiousness, deep learning and emotional intelligence re-express it in more complex ways to achieve functional outcomes such as highwork performance.Entrepreneurial innovation as a learning system
In 2011, Robert M. Gemmell surveyed 172 technology entrepreneurs to explore linksbetween learning style and learning flexibility and decision making behaviours hypothesizedto produce entrepreneurial innovation and success. His study confirms the “profound role ofexperimental practices” within a learning system for innovation, suggesting that “anoverwhelmingly large portion of innovation performance achieved by our entrepreneurs(52%) can be explained by their hands on, iterative approach to learning and problemsolving.”Gemmell concluded that “entrepreneurs are most innovative when they utilise experimentation as a key practice without ignoring the otherlearning processes. Entrepreneurs will be more successful and innovative when they take time to reflect upon multiple alternatives and whenthey test trial ideas socially before making important decision.”So, The Start-Up Game™ was born, a co-creation between ImagineNation and The Playful Shark, two Israeli Start-Ups, as a two day businesssimulation that develops innovative and entrepreneurial leadership capability. It aims to develop a culture of “provocative competence”, which isan innovative and entrepreneurial way of thinking, doing and be-ing resulting in consistent innovation, the lean start-up way!image credit: musicteachershelper.comJanet Sernack is the Founder & CEO ImagineNation. She is an ICf certified executive coach and experiential learningspecialist with expertise in adaptive leadership and team effectiveness. Janet facilitates a weekly business network inZichron Yaakov, Israel, for English speaking business owners and entrepreneurs.
Mapping Innovation Across the Three HorizonsPosted on April 24, 2013 by Paul HobcraftOne of my most exciting areas within my innovation activities is applying thethree horizon methodology, for working through the ‘appropriate’ lenses fordifferent innovations and their future management. Let me outline the rationalefor adopting this within your organization.Clarifying our options requires multiple thinking horizonsFor me, the three horizons have great value to map different thinking andpossible innovation options over changing horizons. You can frame innovation inalternative ways by using this approach. Innovation has multiple evolution points and working with this framework allows you to significantlyimprove innovations contribution.It goes well beyond the present value of ‘just’ fitting your existing innovation portfolio and directional management into a one dimensional,viewed in the present, framework. You can see opportunities completely differently beyond the existing mindset and activities, it takesinnovation from tactical to strategic, to foresight in your evaluations.Innovation is constantly facing disruption; it is constantly going through life cycles and new waves of different activities. We need a far morerobust, well thought-through way to apply our innovation resources to meet and anticipate these changing events.Disruption points that need innovation responseI’ve outlined the three horizon methodology I subscribe too, in a number of different blogs by entering in the ‘search’ under “the three horizons”These previous posts can contribute into your understanding of this emerging frame so I’d ask you to spend a few minutes viewing as I feel thismethodology in its approach has real value to you and how you need to manage your innovation in better ways.
The innovation perspective for the use of the three horizons frameworkWe are all well aware that organizations struggle on innovation - they seem to have real difficulties to climb out of the incremental traps. One ofthe primary reasons is that they fail to apply different mindsets to evolutionary thinking and stay locked in the ‘here and now’ and this is such ahuge mistake.I believe the three horizons can be specifically set up for a specific innovation engagement to allow you to have some far more stimulating andadded value to your discussions around innovation, these can go from detailed to broad evolutionary explorations and so, radically alter manyof your present constraints and debates.We need to separate and structure different mindsets to developing innovation capabilities.Structuring the approach, by looking across multiple horizons, allow you to evolve the entire innovation portfolio and begin to recognize themany gaps that exist within your thinking, within your capabilities and capacities to innovate. By looking at this through separate lenses assistsyou in allocating the appropriate but usually different resource needed to be applied to each of the time horizons and challenges that lie within.There is this prevailing or dominant system where many organizations stay firmly engaged within, that needs radically challenging, as this is thefamous incremental trap where growth performance stays restricted . The three horizons ‘asks you’ to apply three totally different mindsets tosee constraints, weaknesses and often very limited opportunities differently, it alters your thinking into a far more evolutionary approach.The Different Horizons
The big idea of the three different horizonsThe (big) idea is you go beyond the usual focus on fixing problems in the present and begin to plot and map some of the future disruptions thatmight occur as you move forward. You work and think through three different time and clarity lenses focusing on different horizons.The three horizons also seeks to capture the linkage on the transition points and possible disrupting junctions, as well as highlights thosepotential gaps presently seen that needs clearly resolving. It can provide the ‘distinction of choices’ as well as begins to highlight presentorganization realities. The more you ‘see’ the more you can fill those gaps. The more you can foresee, the more you can become ready formanaging transformation that will be needed.The three horizons will also help you on innovation differently than the S-Curve approach, as it is more evolutionary where you are work farmore concurrently and building capacity and understanding progressively on the future “predictions” as they emerge and become clearer.To approach the three horizons I see this going through different phasesa) Firstly clarify the burning needs relating to your present position and required future position by asking what improves existing activities,what extends the current competencies and takes you into new avenues to develop/ mature. Link it to your known strategy but keepquestioning this to keep it fresh and relevant to ever-changing market conditions.b) Then by deciding and weighting accordingly the winning needs you begin to articulate and frame these. These concept storyboards providethe necessary linkage; it captures emerging trends for constructing plausible and coherent innovation activities projected into the future. Thesebegin to shape the decisions on resources and to determine investment options. This offers a clear shaping of the search for emerging winnersyet you are still able to constantly scan the horizons for changes.c) By looking across the three horizons separately you allow H2 to have the discussions for the “space for transition” and resolve the constantdilemma of “protecting core or investing in new” debates.d) The H3 starts exploring fundamental different premises for replacing “business as usual” with exploring nascent ideas, concepts thatmight replace what you presently have, it begins to shape your thinking and awareness of what is needed to build capabilities and capacities.e) Often these H3, even some in H2 are weak signals today where many unknowns prevail but allow you to straddle between (h1) improve,(h2) extend and (h3) change.Planning across these different horizons needs different toolsPlanning in different horizons needs different tools and these are based on (h1) see and operate, (h2) adjust your thinking frame and solutions,(h3) more evolutionary. Each has different techniques to explore.For me innovation portfolio allocations require the double axis of knowledge needed, over the axis of known knowledge, to manage thedimensions of innovation concern, to see and operate accordingly. This is something I’ll explore at another time.
Managing with different mindsetsDifferent mindsets and discussions are based on (h1) operational: the here and now, (h2) more entrepreneurial: attempting to detect shifts andadjusting in agile ways, (h3) more futuristic: based on values, visions and beliefs. Each needs separating.There is a need to work through “typical” dangers – competing voices, mixed signals and all the uncertainly dimensions. What you mustconsciously stop doing is looking backwards (legacy) and keep the mind ‘free’ to project forward. There is a lot of work specifically on themindset traps and how to avoid them, or to find the solutions, to surface them and address them.The value of visualization to align dissenting as well as consenting opinionsWork through the visualisation and turning the “talking into planning” you can work through three options (h1) what’s now, (h2) what’s next and(h3) what’s the goal to drive towards in descriptors and actions (resource allocations and specialised need to develop for example). This helpsfurther extend your horizon thinking and relate this into the actions you need to take.The three horizons for innovation is very useful. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi ““First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fightyou, then you win”. The three horizons does allow you to pick your fights and show others how and where you can possibly win in better waysthan just in the ‘present’.Can you see the three horizons value?The value of the three horizon approach for innovation is where I partly wish to take my work beyond its present position through far moretesting and exploring its application across different challenges and business segments.I’m looking to engage with organizations further on this – interested? I’d welcome the opening conversations on this with you.image credit: simplyzesty.comPaul Hobcraft runs Agility Innovation, an advisory business that stimulates sound innovation practice, researches topicsthat relate to innovation for the future, as well as aligning innovation to organizations core capabilities.
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