Bob Eckert, CEO at New & Improved, will interview the authors:
Many of our readers are enjoying vacations during this time of year. There is nothing quite like a little holiday time to refresh your innovative spirit.
If you're still feeling a bit hungry for some innovation morsels, take a gander at our latest newsletter.
See our latest newsletter to register for our next webinar.
In today's socially connected world nearly anyone with a passion for something new can reach others, influence them, and begin a trend.
What makes someone an influencer? In this short documentary, Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson interviewed creative leaders on what it means to be an influencer.
How could you strengthen your influencing clout? In our newsletter, How Your Stories Can Change The World, we offer remedies to the headache of taking responsibility and give you actionable advice on how you can be an influencer in your organization and your community. **Tip**: Influence comes from an authentic and passionate place. You can't fake it until you make it. It starts with being real and embracing newness.
Do you want some examples of good influencers? Simply look at who's influencing you. It could be anybody:
You too are an influencer, now go ahead, step away from this blog and share something new... who knows, it might become contagious!
We have more than just a passing interest in cool stuff made of wood, as our global HQs are situated on a working tree farm. We can look out our office window and see a treehouse that would make the guys at Treehouse Masters swoon. These tables made our creative brains all aflutter. If a brain could flutter, that is. Enjoy a visual treat and a homage to discarded wood.
A year ago the GE Global Innovation Barometer study indicated, frankly, that senior executives were a bit freaked out by this “innovation thing” and experiencing what GE termed “Innovation Vertigo.”
Executives unintentionally backed themselves into a corner. Innovation appeared on their company’s value statements, in their organizational branding materials and in their executive communications. But the unpleasant truth was that most of the leaders didn't know how to best achieve their aspirations. And, as they became more aware of the interrelated complexity of efforts needed - it made their heads spin. Welcome to innovation vertigo. A guaranteed malady when one aspires to innovation, but lacks anything resembling a strategic roadmap to follow.
The good news is that senior leaders are learning and expanding their perceptions around innovation efforts, as evidenced in both our practice at New & Improved and in this year’s GE findings.
Leaders now understand that an important part of the puzzle is to encourage creative behaviors and to do so means that internal processes will need to be changed. In some instances, radically. Not just with respect to training people, but across every function and value stream in the enterprise. It is not as simple as once thought - that we simply need to train people to be more creative.The tough truth is that moving from the current state to a more sustained innovation culture will be disruptive. While many wish it was not so, those who are waking up to this reality first are carving out more value in their competitive niche, and setting themselves up to do so for the long run.
Full access to the creative potential of your human resource is so necessary to remain competitive that it must be done. And done more rapidly and wisely than your competitive set.
We have found that there is a real hunger at the executive level for a more complete enterprise approach to innovation culture. An approach that goes beyond the narrowly focused pressure to fill the new offering pipeline. The results of this year’s GE survey affirm what we have been seeing. They reflect our experience and the guidance that we share in our new eBook “Demystifying Innovation Culture Efforts.” Take a look at our 12 key strategic action areas and you'll note they are entirely supported by GE’s findings.
Now, take a look at your organization - where are you putting effort? Are there strategies that are being ignored? Are there "magic bullets" where you are putting all your efforts? (We call these "dangerous obsessions".)
We have a prediction about next year’s findings, which generally lag behind our “on the ground” experience as practitioners. Next year, we’ll hear about a growing awareness that creative behaviors, and the value they create for an enterprise, are beginning to be encouraged at EVERY level and in EVERY value stream within a business. Additionally, we predict that there will be an increased awareness about the virtuous links between employee engagement, innovation culture, progress and meaning.
Some leading indicators of progress are:
And, what fuels our hearts even more here at New & Improved? The fact that more and more people are taking creative thinking skills home and using them with their families and within their communities to find good solutions to tough problems.
These are exciting times!
We choose, as partners at New & Improved, to apply our creative skills to all arenas of our lives. Work. Community. Family. Whether we are parents ourselves or not, our partner network –to a person– experiences themselves as “parents-at-large” to any younger person at any time we become aware of their need.
This weekend is Father’s Day in many parts of the world. We remember back to conversations we had with Silvia Lagnado, the woman who lit a new fire of parenting using the Dove brand, and built a Campaign for Real Beauty. Her daughter, and that of our CEO, Bob Eckert, are both the same age. In Athens Greece, in 2005 Bob & Silvia had deep conversations about parenting their children in a world that was increasingly making it difficult to grow up whole and positively empowered. A conversation about raising healthy daughters and sons. About using commerce to make a positive difference in the world. The legacy of Silvia’s work lives on at Dove in the form of breaking edge creativity and brand innovation by way of positive messages to the world.
We honor Fathers this weekend, but dedicated, creative parents always.
Enjoy the video! And, appreciate your dad, whether he is with you or not, for the lessons he gave you. Happy Father’s Day!
McCullough's speech (video below) is a funny and inspiring expression of the value of humble selflessness. Sustained innovation does not occur without humility, and the curiosity that grows from it. Humility and curiosity are the first two of the five key values for successful innovation leadership. Read our white paper Humility: The Foundation Value of Innovation Leadership to spark some thinking about why humility is so important. Clue: arrogant people and organizations cannot learn new tricks.
McCullough also challenges the graduate to consider their motivations. He challenges them, "Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you." As mountain climbers ourselves, we love that! It brought to mind René Daumal's wonderful poem:
“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”
So, climb your own "mountains" -- those especially arduous problems in your life and organization. Persevere not for others' recognition but for the "view". Enjoy the summit and then live by the wisdom of its memory. Hopefully, we'll see each other up there. We'll bring GORP to share.
In our last edition of The Innovative Brain, we focused on one of the most important values a top innovator can have - tenacity.
As Seth Godin posted on his blog on November 2, 2013:
"Tenacity is not the same as persistence.
Persistence is doing something again and again until it works. It sounds like 'pestering' for a reason.
Tenacity is using new data to make new decisions to find new pathways to find new ways to achieve a goal when the old ways didn't work." read full post
Theodore Roosevelt (or maybe FDR, Lincoln, or Jefferson) said,
“When you're at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.”
We'd say, "When you feel like you are at the end of your rope, take a deep breath, and starting climbing to find a new way forward."
Read our May edition and enjoy more thoughts on tenacity.
You can also catch up on our other recent blog posts:
For an even deeper dive into the topic explore our white paper, Tenacity: Moving Ideas Forward Despite the Odds.
Recorded May 6, 2014
Our latest webinar focused on sharing 12 key strategies to build a more sustainable culture for organizational-wide innovation.
76% of attendees reported that they have been involved with an organization with a stated goal of developing a culture of innovation.
87% of the participants reported that these efforts did not achieve desired results.
The webinar explored why many of these efforts failed and provided concrete examples of how to design for success.
You can learn more about thought leadership in our just-released eBook, Demystifying Innovation Culture Efforts. You can download the full eBook, Podcasts, Webinar Recording and more here.
Let us know what you think.
Inspirational idea du jour.
It's springtime in the northern hemisphere, and a lot of us are getting back out on our bikes after a long snowy winter. As regular readers know, we recommend reading magazines like Popular Science and Popular Mechanics.
The business model for both magazines it to be good aggregators - curators of useful tidbits to inspire creativity and help us with general day-to-day problem solving.
The folding helmet is an interesting concept. Read more about it at PopSci.
We're also fascinated by the Hövding – Airbag for cyclists sometimes called the invisible helmet.
Can you see it? If not, you will when you watch this video of it in actual use: How it works.
Have a great, creative week, and try to spend some time exersizing outdoors. The research is clear: It will help your innovative brain! Just protect it when you do.