Category: Innovation

Leading Innovation in 2019

For a client of ours, we recently compiled a special edition of The Working Report highlighting the best articles on leading innovation. I’ve selected a few key takeaways for leaders to consider.

Turning Failure Into Success

Nobody fails because they make mistakes. Failure is only when people stop trying. Leaders should not frame mistakes as failures, but as learning points—inevitable steps on the path of innovation.

How to Stimulate Creative Flow

As a leader and manager, how do you spark creative flow in other people? I think there are four keys.

Organizing for Innovation

This tool provides a valuable checklist of specific ideas to make sure your company is organized for innovation. It lists specific strategies for creating an environment in which innovation flourishes. Among other things, it details the pros and cons of technological “push” versus market “pull.” It also describes the role of corporate headquarters in fostering …

Enabling Local Invention

The most successful innovations are typically “demand-pull” in nature, driven by insights into what customers want. The people at the front lines of your business are most likely to have those insights. Many executives make the mistake of asking high-level executives to lead the innovation charge. But fueling local invention will have greater success. Here …

What Google Can and Can’t Teach Us

Two recent articles about Google are worth reading. “What Cloud Computing Means To Your Job” appeared in The New York Times business section on November 24. It cites Google, Amazon and Microsoft as companies that are using cloud computing to drive rapid cycle innovation on the web. The common factor, the article states, is that all three …

Creating a Currency of Innovation

The world’s top performing organizations are dedicated to fueling innovation among employees. Unfortunately, innovation is notoriously difficult for organizations to foster and encourage. Leaders can’t wait around for their employees to create and implement fresh ideas. They also can’t expect innovation to sprout up after a single inspiring speech at a company meeting. Leaders must work …

The Dynamics of Creative Flow (Part 2)

Creative flow happens when people aren’t feeling afraid – afraid of losing their jobs, scared of losing status, scared of being left out, afraid of being punished. The dynamics of fear can be asphyxiating to an organization. Who is responsible for eliminating fear? If you’re a leader or a manager, then it’s you, of course. …

The Dynamics of Creative Flow (Part 1)

Whether driving a tractor or making investment decisions, people like doing what they can do well. When I was 21, I was selected to be part of a team of fire fighters called “hot shots.” We were a rapid response team, flown in by helicopter to fight forest fires in California. We trained hard. The …

Celebrate Failure

Leaders should not only celebrate successes, but failures as well. Failures are inevitable on the path of innovation, and smart leaders know there’s much to be learned from failure. We worked with a company that made software applications for medium-sized companies. Tom, the company’s CEO, was a big, affable guy in his mid-40s and a …