Filtering Ideas – Yodeling Pickle

How many ideas have you rejected this week? It’s tough to keep track given the velocity they come at us. (Heck, we get bombarded with 34 gigabytes of information including 100,000 words a day, not to mention what we think up for ourselves.) As children most of us were thoroughly trained to censor our thoughts before letting go with the ridicule inducing comment. (The Cubs are going to win the pennant! – ah, some of us never learn.) This sometimes serves us well. In the world of ideas it can be deadly. Ideas are fragile things in business. Any number of stray comments, poor politics, and concerted efforts at logic can drive a good idea (and it’s conceiver) into the mud. Problem is, most of the tools we use early on to sift through ideas are little more than personal opinion. But decisions must be made and so politics end … Continue reading

The Increasing Cost Of Bad Behavior On Innovation

The cost of innovation is increasing due to bad behavior. This ran through my mind as I learned that the great bicycle experiment in Paris has hit an expensive traffic bump (NYT 10/30/2009). The idea of being able to rent a bike for an hour or two and drop it off, not where you started but wherever you end up, seemed perfect for our new green and healthy mindset. But as with many ideas that make life better, affordable implementation depends on general ‘good behavior’. Expected behavior has a large impact on how you develop an idea. Dr. Leonard Kleinrock, who was a major force in the development of the internet (Happy Birthday Arpanet), explains in a recent Science Friday interview what he feels was a mistake we are still paying for: “Yes. In fact, in those early days, the culture of the Internet was one of trust, openness, shared … Continue reading

Scenario Planning As A Spur To Entreprenurial Thinking

War games, contingency planning, thought experiments all provide potential glimpses into the future that can help distribute knowledge, test reactions and improve flexible thinking. I’m a fan. So it was with some interest I noticed Business Horizons’ recent issue on entrepreneurship included a paper that strongly argues scenario planning not only prepares a corporation for external disruptive events, but it can improve an organization’s overall entrepreneurial capacity. Scenario planning has long been used to prepare for emergency events. Since the 9/11 terror attacks corporate use of scenario and contingency planning increased from 38% to over 70% of executives surveyed, again primarily as a means of preparing for external disruptive (exogenous) shocks. In the article, Beyond risk mitigation: Enhancing corporate innovation with scenario planning, William J. Worthington, Jamie D. Collins and Michael A. Hitt, show that “advanced use of scenario planning can help firms go beyond innovative responses to more complex … Continue reading

The 3 P’s of Innovation

If marketers have one failing (just one you ask?) it is our love of lists. Marketing’s 4 P’s (price, product, place, promotion) morphed into longer lists of p-words that seemed to work on the principle of ‘My list is longer than your list.’ (add power, people, performance, presence, pr,…) Long lists successfully masked the larger universality of the original 4 P’s adding to the departmentalization of marketing. So to try and reclaim lost ground we get holistic marketing from Kotler/Keller (no list slouch themselves) and the 3 V’s. Marketing involves satisfying consumers’ known (and subconscious unknown) needs. The 3 V’s is a value creation and delivery sequence to get marketers back to thinking about the whole package. As put forward by Lanning/Michaels at McKinsey & Co. the 3 V’s include ‘Choose the Value’, ‘Provide the Value’, and ‘Communicate the Value.’ I like holistic reminders of what a job entails, but … Continue reading

Are You A Business Uncertainty Explorer?

Sounds of the sea. Columbus stands on deck, referring to parchment, sextant and sky. First Mate: “Columbus, what’s that solid blue piece of paper?” Columbus: “That’s my map!” And The Crew Sings: “We are lost, we are lost, we are lost…” The Columbus in this sketch from my days in college radio goes on to say that none should worry, “for we’ll draw the land bits in as we find them.” When you live in the Uncertainty Paradox you are a Business Uncertainty Explorer. Much of what we do to manage business uncertainty involves collecting and sifting data about consumers, competitors, trends, politics, technology – the list goes on and on. You can look at each bit of data as incremental detail that needs placing on your planning Map. Each ‘sighting’ (LAND HO!) adds to our understanding of the economic and marketplace landscape. Comments in the introductory Uncertainty Paradox post … Continue reading