The Innovation Blog

Innovation Lessons from Shirtless Dancing Guy

Posted by Creative Realities on January 25, 2011

Innovation is a collaborative effort.  In order for a flashy new idea to get off the ground and lead to successful busines growth, it needs to have sufficient support and air cover.  In Hillary Clinton's words "it takes a village."  Or in the case of this brilliant video, it takes a motley crew of hippies on a grassy field at a concert.     

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Topics: Chris Dolan, Absurdity, First Follower, Fast Follower, WildCards

The Company of the Future

Posted by Creative Realities on November 3, 2010

Two weeks ago, I attended the PDMA 2010 Global Conference, where innovators gathered and traded tips on the latest in innovation business practices.  Several themes consistently emerged from the various presentations – the emergence of open source ideation, the importance of engaging the customer, and a shift toward business model innovation, to name a few.  Reflecting on the conference, I got to thinking about the business trends that seem to be unfolding.  Innovation is happening not just in product development, but in how businesses are run.  What does the company of the future look like?  Here are 10 predictions for 2020.  Some of these developments are a lready happening on a large scale, others are more esoteric.  Although stemming from things I have read or heard, these predictions are admittedly (un)educated guesses.  If any of these predictions came to fruition, they would undoubtedly bring with them new set of challenges, but I believe that in each case, the opportunity far outweighs the complications.
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Topics: Chris Dolan, Future, Stage Gate, trends, Open Source, 20% Time, 20 Percent Time, Innovation

Innovation Motivation

Posted by Creative Realities on October 21, 2010

On Day 2 of the PDMA2010 innovation conference Dan Pink gave a fascinating talk about motivation in the workplace.  Pink is the best-selling author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.  Coincidentally, he is also a man with an understated sense of humor and tone that is vaguely reminiscent of Kevin Nealon.  Unfortunately, he did not do any Weekend Update style under-his-breath uttering of his inner thoughts, however he did offer several counterintuitive insights on motivation.

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Topics: Chris Dolan, Motivation, Passion, Innovation, leadership, Management

7 Tips for Managing the Complexity of Launch

Posted by Creative Realities on October 18, 2010

Product launches are complex.  That was the main takeaway of the PDMA 2010 Lab E – Launch for Commercial Success which I had the privilege of attending today.  The session kicked off with an apt and literal example: a NASA shuttle launch.  When NASA launched the Saturn V rocket, its engineers were depending on the successful integration of 2 million distinct systems.  2 million!  And, as Richard Koppel pointed out, NASA operates in a space (get it?) where getting it right the first time is “mission critical” – if something goes wrong, not only are millions of dollars wasted, but people die.  Fortunately, product launches are not as high stakes as shuttle launches, but you still want to ensure your innovation is brought to market as seamlessly as possible.  So how do you launch successfully given all of the variables, risks and uncertainties inherent in the process?  Here are the top 7 themes of the day which will help you make sure all systems are go when you blastoff.

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Topics: Innovation Roadmap, Launch, Product Launch, Design, Brand Experience, Chris Dolan, Innovation, Cross Functional Teams, Risk, M.A.S.H, M.A.S.H

Where Ideas Come From

Posted by Creative Realities on October 8, 2010

Where do ideas come from?  I recently came across this fascinating interview from Wired Magazine in which authors Keven Kelly and Steven Johnson discuss the "natural history" of innovation and technology.  Together, Kelly and Johnson provide what I can only describe as an evolutionary/biological/anthropological perspective on the history of new ideas.  I highly reccomend reading the entire article, but here are a few key insights to keep in mind in any pursuit of innovation.

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Topics: Chris Dolan, Core Competencies, Innovation, Collaboration, connection making

5 Innovation Lessons from the Jets Loss

Posted by Creative Realities on September 14, 2010

Last night on Monday Night Football, the much-hyped Jets got thumped by the Ravens.  This came after an offseason in which the team acquired several marquee players, were in the news for all the wrong reasons, allowed HBO's Hard Knocks cameras into their training camp, and entered the season among the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Much of the attention surrounding the Jets stemmed from the swagger and confidence they exuded as they publicly announced their goal was to win the Super Bowl.  What can their Monday night let down teach us about innovation? I am going to indulge in a little Tuesday Morning Quarterbacking and explore 5 lessons the Jets experience can teach us about setting a strategic roadmap for an innovation team. 

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Topics: Innovation Roadmap, Chris Dolan, Strategic Goals

Python Wisdom: Relaxed Concentration

Posted by Creative Realities on August 26, 2010

Your creativity isn't dead, 'tis merely a flesh wound!  In this fascinating lecture on creativity, the legendary member of Monty Python's Flying Circus, John Cleese offers insights into the creative process he learned through his own sketch writing experience.

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Topics: Chris Dolan, Relaxed Concentration, creative thinking, creative problem solving

Ideation Skills: Active Listening and Headlining

Posted by Creative Realities on August 26, 2010

In the last Ideation Skills post, we discussed Passive Listening, the problematic way people typically tend to listen in creative problem solving meetings.  Here I will outline two simple techniques to enhance your ability to listen, generate ideas, and communicate your ideas to the group.  These two skills will make you a creative problem solving meeting All-Star in no time.

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Topics: Chris Dolan, active listening, headlining, critical ideation skills, creative problem solving skills

Ideation Skills: The Trouble with Passive Listening

Posted by Creative Realities on August 24, 2010

Here at Creative Realities, we have identified some critical ideation skills that anyone can develop to become better at creative problem solving.  The first one I will discuss involves the way we listen. 

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Topics: Chris Dolan, passive listening, critical ideation skills, creative problem solving skills