Getting In The Innovation Groove

I’ve been sitting here bouncing to the sounds of Kid Sheik’s Storyville Ramblers on an old piece of vinyl and realized I have an admission to make. Nothing will kill your business faster than innovation. The record hisses and pops. Two kinds can do you in.  Effective innovation by someone else or unfettered, rabid innovation by you. The former will happen no matter what, so you have to react (preferably proactively) and, uh-oh, innovate. The old record only has a few plays left in it. It cackles and hisses, displaying 30 some odd years of use since I picked it up down in New Orleans after seeing the Sheik at some hall in my youth. Funny thing about vinyl, the wear it displays is a reminder of enjoyment past and a reminder that something new is due. Yup, we’ve all got to move on to the next thing sooner or … Continue reading

Who’s Afraid Of Free?

Free: The Future of a Radical Price is a new book from Chris Anderson that has caused various folks to turn red, argue, get defensive and worry. Most of the worry was already there. But Free provides structure. That is a benefit. I chose to read Free while drinking herbal mint tea at Barnes & Noble. The venti tea cost $2.06 (I forgot to use my membership card). I was able to milk my tea for the several hours it took to read Free. I did not pay for Free. Which means I read Free for Free. By following the principles of Free, Barnes & Noble earned $2.06, instead of $25 something. While I do not believe this pleases Barnes & Noble, they earned more than Amazon this time around. That is also a benefit and maybe a quandary. How to get herbal mint tea out of a Kindle. hmmm.

Who Needs Innovation Training?

Here is a Thursday Thought Experiment built around the question, “Who Needs Innovation Training?” This is about little ideas. Simple little ideas that can add up to big improvements in productivity. Little creative thoughts that flair-up only to be extinguished. When learning a new job, folks typically spend quite a bit of time in the HOW stage. (How do I get this done, Who do I talk to, What needs to happen…) They then move quickly through the WHY stage. (That short amount of time when what you have to do and what makes sense simply doesn’t match up.) And, if they last long enough, end up in the State-of-DO. (Easier to do than to question Why.) The more efficient your training the quicker employees end up in the State-of-DO. Organizationally this encourages a top-down pull innovation process instead of a bottom-up push innovation process.

Abandon Logic, Create Then Verify!

Logic has a peculiar way of boxing you in even as it helps you make great decisions. It leads you down a path, logically, step by step. And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet, knowing how way leads onto way I doubted if I should ever come back Frost – The Road Not Traveled Love this poem. Reminds me that there are Key Decisions in the life of any business or creative endeavor. Once that Key Decision is made many possibilities and opportunities are not presented – not noticed – because they lie elsewhere. Sometimes a leader declares a particular path “Right” and all others “Wrong,” if only to get one foot in front of the other. We know there are other paths, but we follow. The nature of a logic path is that once a … Continue reading

Honor By Acting Honorably

Memorial Day in the United States is a time to honor veterans and the fallen military men and women who have served our country. It is a time to remember and pray for the men and women who serve today. As a creative spirit how do you honor their memory? Not just today, but year round? Do you ensure that your actions build on the freedoms and strengths that define us?  Or do you game the system? Do you develop relationships that build mutual advantages? Or is it winner-take-all loser-be-damned? Do you build value, help others, and establish trust in your community, state, nation and planet? Or live your life looking for loopholes and scapegoats? I find that trying to honor our men and women in uniform humbles me. It makes me want to be better. Make a difference. In a small way, I believe remembering to live life with … Continue reading