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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