Blog Articles on the Future of Business Collaboration, Strategy, Innovation, Organizational Change Management and Execution

Learn the latest from the world’s leading experts across disciplines and industries on our blog with articles and resources that give your team the strategic edge. Get practical insights, tools, & templates to accelerate business success.  Our global network of Thought Leaders write for Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, and other academic, professional, and business press. They all have one big thing in common: they’re shaping the future of business best practices.

Articles

5 Steps to Run a Successful Virtual Brainstorm Session

Brainstorming is an art and science. Here’s how to help your virtual team generate and prioritize the best ideas.   Over the past 25 years, I have run hundreds of brainstorming workshops for high-performing teams. My sessions are often part of larger strategy and innovation initiatives. But all sessions are focused on the same thing: generate, prioritize, and develop…

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Create Your Customer Problem Statement or Risk Irrelevance

As a consultant, I’ve had the chance to work with some of the world’s biggest businesses and organizations to help guide innovation initiatives and business strategies. What continues to surprise me is how often leaders lack a clear understanding of what problems their customers are actually facing before developing new products and services to meet…

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Create a Customer Empathy Map to Develop Better Products & Services

It always surprises me that business leaders think they know what’s best for their customers without asking them. Unless you’re Steve Jobs, chances are you won’t know exactly what customers want without doing your due diligence and developing a deep understanding for what makes your customers tick. A Customer Empathy Map is one of the best tools…

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How to Use Concept Screening to Create New Innovative Products and Services

One of the most important skills a manager and a business leader must have is the ability to quickly filter through information and ideas to pick the best one for a particular situation.     Concept Screening is a process that an organization can use to narrow down the number of ideas that are generated as options for new…

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How to Create a Business Case to Turn an Idea into a Funded Project

Creating a solid business case is integral to the success of any new opportunity. The right business case can mean the difference between funding your idea and floundering to make it a reality. Many people fail to gain support for their ideas because they fail to create a compelling business case.    For over 25 years, I’ve worked with innovation teams within big companies…

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How to use the 70-20-10 Rule to Drive Innovation Within Your Business

How does your team allocate time to driving innovation within your business?  The 70-20-10 Rule is a strategy for determining how to allocate time and resources in order to make a successful innovation. Generally, the rule helps organizational stakeholders determine if they should make high risk/high reward innovations or improve upon existing products or services.  …

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Amazon Execs use a 4-Step Innovation Process Template to Create Breakthrough Products

Amazon’s unique approach to innovation helps teams “work backwards” to create breakthroughs The best business strategies focus on meeting and exceeding customer needs and expectations. This means envisioning customer problems as well as ideal solutions to those problems before actually developing a product or service–and this is exactly how Amazon innovates. Amazon’s secret to innovation is the…

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No Plan for 2021? No Problem. Use a Project Charter to Get Focus

A project plan is a list of ingredients. A project charter is the recipe. Having worked with both startups and big companies for more than 25 years, I’ve seen executives get so enamored of their “disruptive” future visions, they neglect the short-term plans that get things going. I’ve also seen leaders so focused on implementation they lose sight of their…

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6 Ways to Create Innovation Culture with Virtual Tools

Culture is a key success factor for every team and organization. Shape it to get more innovation, even from your remote workforce. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, Box, Slack, and Salesforce all say that employees can keep working remotely well into next year or even forever. We’re seeing a sea change toward remote work and how…

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One Simple Template Can Bring Your Business Lasting Success

Management guru Peter Drucker once said, “What’s measured improves.” So true. You get what you measure when it comes to business performance. The problem is that most teams don’t have clear key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of their strategies and projects. Sure, they may have goals, but without clear KPIs, they don’t have a way to know quantitatively that they’re…

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How Consulting Will Likely Change Because of the Pandemic

The consulting industry was already being disrupted before the coronavirus. Now the disruption is accelerating. If you work with consultants or have your own consultancy, take note: Things are changing, fast. Right around the corner are threats or opportunities, depending on how you respond. I’ve already written about how the management-consulting industry is being disrupted by various trends like emerging technologies, the commodification…

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Is creativity learned? upBOARD

Nature versus Nurture: Creative & Innovative Learning

One of the longest standing questions in the field of innovation lies in the debate surrounding whether or not “creativity” is an innate trait or whether it’s something that can be learned. The answer has big implications. If you think creativity can be learned, you can then train people to be move innovative. If you…

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How the Objectives Goals Strategies & Measures (OGSM) template helps teams grow

The OGSM model (Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Measures) can help teams get on the same page and moving in the right direction. For the past 25 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of groups across dozens of big companies and startups. One thing’s consistent: everyone works in teams, and the ultimate success of any organization relies on the overall…

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Is creativity learned? upBOARD

Innovation in the Family – Is Creativity a Trait or can it be Learned?

One of the longest standing questions in the field of innovation lies in the debate surrounding whether or not “creativity” is an innate trait or whether it’s something that can be learned. The answer has big implications. If you think creativity can be learned, you can then train people to be move innovative. If you…

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The Future of No-Code and Low-Code Software is all about Business Innovation

No-code and low-code software may create a massive opportunity. A massive transformation faces the software industry, similar to the disruption we’ve seen hit other industries like health care and manufacturing. We’ve already seen how Google Docs took the world by storm through free cloud-based software, forcing Microsoft to change its Office 365 business model. Cloud-based software is now the norm. Now, we’re…

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10 Disruptive Trends for 2020

Disruption is everywhere. Here are 10 trends that will create opportunities – and threats – in 2020. Twenty years ago, when I started advising startups and Fortune 500 companies on their innovation strategies, a “2020 vision” served as a key staple in most business planning efforts. The future is finally here. Emerging technologies catalyze disruption. But 2020 promises to be…

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Four Types of Customer Experiences for Competitive Advantage

Want to improve your customers’ experience? Try these connected strategies. What’s the secret to a winning business model and long-term competitive advantage? It’s not just about technology, products and services. Your customer experience may just be the ultimate competitive advantage. Strategy and innovation experts Nicolaj Siggelkow and Christian Terwiesch just published a new book called Connected Strategy: Building Continuous…

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Forget Your Business Plan. Create a Strategy Map.

Strategic plans become outdated the moment they’re created. Instead, create a one-page strategy map. Having run the internal strategy consulting group at HP, and then consulting to both startups and big companies like Disney, Visa, Colgate, Medtronic and others, I’ve created hundreds of strategic plans. Business strategy used to be a clear and methodical process. No more. Today’s discontinuous technologies and…

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