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The Innovation Blog

Insights from the PDMA's 2011 Business Model Innovation Lab

Posted by Creative Realities on November 4, 2011

Business Model Innovation is becoming a hot topic these days as business leaders increasingly recognize that disruptive innovation requires not only innovative products, but also fundamentally new business models.  Recognizing this trend, the Product Development Manager's Association (PDMA) featured a full day Business Model Innovation Lab at their 2011 Annual Global conference.  I had the pleasure of co-chairing the lab along with Matt Benson, Advanced Innovation Manager at Faurecia.  Our panel of speakers consisted of Josh Suskewicz of Innosight; John Lynch, Head of Innovation at EMD Millipore; Philip De Ridder, Co-founder of Board of Innovation; and Creative Realities President Jay Terwilliger.  We were also joined by an experienced and thoughtful group of participants, which made for an engaging and stimulating session.  Here are a few of my key takeaways and some business model innovation tools that you may find useful.

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Topics: Chris Dolan, business model mapping, Business Model, breakthrough innovation, new product development, disruptive innovation

When Do You Come Up with Your Best Ideas?

Posted by Creative Realities on October 6, 2011

Newton did it lounging under an apple tree.  Archimedes did it soaking in a bathtub.  Einstein did it while shaving.  Those are the settings in which these great minds did their best thinking (at least according to legend).  The common theme is that they were in the state of relaxed concentration.  Rather than sit at your desk hammering away at a problem, it is often wise to let your mind wander.  In his terrific book The Element Sir Ken Robinson describes the process: 

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Topics: Chris Dolan, creativity, Ideas, Relaxed Concentration, creative thinking skills

Book Review: Little Bets, Big Insights

Posted by Creative Realities on October 5, 2011

In Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, a fantastic book about the creative process, Peter Sims builds a compelling case for why breakthrough ideas come about as the result of lots of little experiments. Drawing on everything from Chris Rock's method of developing stand up comedy, to the production process of the animation teams at Pixar, to the "HP Way" corporate culture inspired by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, to Frank Gehry's unconventional architecture designs, Sims advocates for a creative process that defies the common understanding of creativity. Sims slays the myth of the creative genius who gets hit with a bolt of inspiration out of nowhere like lightning. Sims argues that, instead, most people who are highly creative achieve success through a constant, deliberate cycle of experimenting, failing, adapting, and fine-tuning.  Here are a few of Sims key insights.

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Topics: Chris Dolan, creativity, Entrepreneurial, creative thinking, breakthrough, creative problem solving skills, creative thinking skills, approximate thinking, developmental thinking, implementation

Innovation at Ground Zero

Posted by Creative Realities on August 26, 2011

Last night I watched the amazing Discovery Channel documentary Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero chronicling the reconstruction of the World Trade Center after the tragedy of 9/11. The show is an awe inspiring mix of engineering marvels, construction complexity, and a healing nation. The documentary, directed by Steven Spielberg, chronicles the entire span of the project, from the initial visions of the architects, to the planning and coordination of the supervisors, to the steel, concrete, and iron workers erecting the skyscraper at jaw-dropping heights.  The new World Trade center is designed to be both a memorial honoring the past, and a beacon of hope looking toward America's future. No matter what project you are working on, there are some impressive takeaways you can apply to your own work.      

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Topics: Design, Chris Dolan, culture, Innovation, implementation, execution

Top Retweets for July 2011

Posted by Creative Realities on August 5, 2011

Bon Friday to our favorite blog readers!

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Topics: Chris Dolan, Clay Maxwell, Ideas, Amanda Hines, David Culton, Twitter, Innovation

Innovation, Power, and "The Decision" of Lebron James

Posted by Creative Realities on July 26, 2011

We all like to believe that we are pretty good judges of ideas. We think we can objectively evaluate an idea based on its merits and recognize a creative solution, an innovative breakthrough, or a smart decision. When it comes to spotting the brilliant idea, we, like Potter Stewart, believe we know it when we see it.

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Topics: Chris Dolan, Ideas, Communication, Nonverbals, Jonah Lehrer, decision-making

Escape from Brainstorm Island with Paddy Miller

Posted by Creative Realities on June 17, 2011

We tend to innovate by going off on an island, with lots of Post-its and flip charts, and we end up stuck on Brainstorm Island. How do we escape from Brainstorm Island?

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Topics: Chris Dolan, Thought Leaders, Corporate Innovation Group, critical ideation skills, Innovation, Innovation Strategy, brainstorming, Creating an Innovation agenda

Tony Hsieh: Culture is King at Zappos

Posted by Creative Realities on June 16, 2011

Culture is king at Zappos.  Last week at the World Innovation Forum, Tony Hsieh told the audience that there are five things Zappos does to build and cultivate their unique company culture focused on customer service.

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Topics: Chris Dolan, culture, Collaboration, leadership

Top Retweets for May 2011

Posted by Creative Realities on June 9, 2011


Here are Creative Realities' Top Retweets for May 2011*:

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Topics: Chris Dolan, creativity, Clay Maxwell, Amanda Hines, David Culton, Twitter, Innovation, brainstorming

Clayton Christensen: 2 Surprising Reasons Good Companies Fail

Posted by Creative Realities on June 8, 2011

Clayton Christensen is an inspiring guy. Not only has he disrupted the business world throughout his career as one of the foremost innovation academics, he has also overcome a bout with cancer and a recent stroke. Introduced as "the Kobe Bryant of the innovation world," he kicked off the 2011 World Innovation Forum. He began by informing the audience of close to 1,000 that after his stroke one year ago, he had to relearn to speak one word at a time. He then went on to discuss some of the reasons good companies falter. He offered two particularly surprising explanations:

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Topics: Chris Dolan, Learning From Failure, Innovation