10 Questions to Inspire Innovation

What Types of Questions Push Thinking and Inspire Innovation? Pushing thinking to find breakthroughs and innovate is as much about asking the right questions as finding the right answers.  CIO Insight recently published a great summary of 10 questions that can be used for leapfrogging mindsets to foster innovation: 1. Accentuate the Positive “What experiences…

The Power of Surprise

Why do we avoid uncertainty and surprise? Most leaders avoid uncertainty.  Most organizations hate surprises.   It makes sense.  Predictability and control are the unquestioned holy grails of management. But could we be overlooking an essential and critical ingredient of breakthrough leadership and innovation?  For example, every management book on Amazon with the word “surprise” in…

Five Leadership Competencies for Disruptive Innovation

What are the leadership competencies for disruptive innovation? Disruptive innovation is no longer the exception, it’s the rule. Just look at Blackberry, Blockbuster, Borders, and Kodak – all companies that missed opportunities to leapfrog to the next big thing. If we’re not proactively driving disruption, we’ll eventually need to react to it. Most leaders, however,…

Why Too Much Power Stifles Innovation

Does power hinder or help our ability to innovate? When it comes to innovation, we all know that open-mindedness, deferring judgment, including diverse inputs from diverse people, and fostering collaboration inside and outside the organization are all success factors when going for big ideas that will make a big difference. But recent research from USC’s…

Don’t Fear Failure, Fear Fear Itself

How does FEAR impact innovation? At many companies, there’s a lot of room for lip service, but little for real failure. We hear the catch phrases over and over: failure is necessary for success, we must fail faster to succeed sooner, and so on. But as soon as the possibility of actual failure arises, suddenly…

Take an External Perspective for Breakthroughs

It’s tough to challenge assumptions and innovate when we have the same conversations with the same colleagues and about the same topics. So how do we stir things up to shift our mindsets, come up with new ideas and innovate? This video interview, conducted by Tad Milbourn, the host of Intuit’s Innovators Exchange, describes the…

Innovation Lessons from the Economic Downturn

What lessons can we draw from times of scarcity and discipline to help us be more creative and innovative during periods of greater prosperity? During an economic downturn, it’s hard to think outside the bucks – let alone the box. We often jump to cost-cutting in an effort to preserve profits and cash flow. The…