Using Innovation to Buy Better Gifts

Using Innovation to Buy Better Gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, and if you’re anything like me, you are no where near finished buying holiday gifts for your list of loved ones, colleagues, and/or customers. 

The reason I didn’t take advantage of all the deals was that I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to buy for people yet. I did try to browse and be struck by inspiration, scrolling through pages and pages of products. But then I became paralyzed by the options and just couldn’t make decisions.

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 11.29.2017

This week's Spark Deck Slides include:

Market Mining: What complex feature or product could you simplify?

Unrelated Mining: Online sales boomed on Black Friday :: What can you offer online to potential customers?

Future Mining: The end of net neutrality could shackle the internet of things :: what problems will your business face as the rules change?

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 11.22.2017 - THANKSGIVING EDITION

This week's special edition Thanksgiving Spark Deck Slides include:

Market Mining: Holiday Feast to Go Packages :: What can we pre-package or pre-prep for Thanksgiving Day?

Unrelated Mining: 43% of Americans watch Fireworks on 4th of July :: What could we do to create a big bang finale for Thanksgiving!

Insight Mining: Top 5 Thanksgiving Activities include visiting family & watching football what else could we possibly squeeze in to do our day?

How to START and SUSTAIN an Innovation Culture

How to START and SUSTAIN an Innovation Culture

Ed Tazzia told me recently, As I’ve spoken to large companies three things seem apparent.  

  1. They recognize the need for Innovation, but have no idea how to make it happen. 
  2. They don’t lack for ideas, but seriously lack big ideas.  
  3. Their biggest problem is they can’t get their ideas to market.

The solution to all three of these challenges involves a chain reaction of three elements….

DISCOVERY - the TWO REASONS 70% of employees are DISENGAGED

DISCOVERY -  the TWO REASONS 70% of employees are DISENGAGED

According to Gallop 70% of workers are disengaged in their work (65% of managers).  Disengaged workers, view their jobs as an exchange of time for a paycheck. They arrive and leave on time, take their breaks, never volunteer for extra work or projects, and do little else in between beyond the minimal effort. They show little passion or creativity for their jobs and go through the motions. (UNC Executive Development)

Last week I spent time thinking about the REAL REASONS for 70% of employees being disengaged in their work.   I explored why aren’t more people actively engaged in finding ways to work smarter, faster and more creatively.  My learning was powered by…

    • Qualitative feedback from participants at a Leadership Class last week 

    • Qualitative observation of a group of investors starting a new company

    • Quantitative review of Innovation Engineering historical data 

    • Quantitative feedback from surveys from a webinar on innovation leadership practices.  

Quite simply the TWO REASONS people are DISENGAGED is….

Two Innovation Tools to Disrupt Your Team's Thinking

Two Innovation Tools to Disrupt Your Team's Thinking

Our passion at the Innovation Engineering Institute and Eureka! Ranch is innovation and more specifically educating and teaching people how to be more innovative at work and in their every day lives. This week I'm going to borrow some brilliance from my colleague, Maggie Pfiefer, Director of Education as she shares 2 different tools that can help you and your team innovate faster.

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 11.8.2017

This week's Jump Start Your Brain Slides include:

Technology Mining: A cap full of 6 cups of coffee grounds improves nose, throat surgery. How can taking a step back improve your offering?

Future Mining: Amazon recently acquired Whole Foods Market, but predominantly brick-and-mortar grocers should not be concerned because…or should they be?

Unrelated Mining: Customer Journey - Shortened. In-Fridge Delivery services.

I’m Fired Up - Excited - Optimistic!

I’m Fired Up - Excited - Optimistic!

SPECIAL Opportunities in Cincinnati, Kansas City, Toronto - Edinburgh and Cincinnati at Bottom of Blog

From the nastiness of Brexit, Spain, US Politics and the Stress of this Rapidly Changing world - a new spirit is coming to life.   To paraphrase the movie Network, “change agents are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.”  They are taking responsibility for their world - they are educating themselves, experimenting, dreaming and taking action on their dreams.  

Are You Innovating on How You Innovate?

Are You Innovating on How You Innovate?

It’s no secret that companies must innovate today to remain relevant, especially with the rapid pace of technological change.  But even with this knowledge, most are just addressing todays challenges and obvious opportunities instead of doing what really needs to be done to create or even just deal with disruption

A story I read recently on resonated with me on this issue.  In it Chunka Mui commented that “too few [companies] are being innovative in how they innovate.”  He referenced Douglas Englebart’s framework for the “ABCs of Organizational Improvement,” which supports his assertion that “the key to long-term viability of an organization is to get better and better at improving itself.”

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 11.1.2017

This week's Jump Start Your Brain Slides include:

Future Mining: 5 Essential trends in the sports technology sector for organizing companies and innovation.

Wisdom Mining: A study by researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a scientific measure of charisma and it’s mostly comprised of 2 elements.

Insight Mining: Millennials have replaced Baby Boomers as largest generation (leading with 4.75M 26 year olds).

The Top 3 Innovation System Insights from 2017

Asking yourself to go up on the mountain to review all you’ve learned from a year of innovation systems work and boil it down to 3 things is no small feat.  But without it, how can you know where to go next?

From our 2017 Innovation Engineering Annual Conference I am providing you my 3 learnings distilled from 1,000 distinct moments from the past year.

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 10.25.2017

This week's Jump Start Your Brain Slides include:

Future Mining: 52% of Americans avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame :: How would you react if customers walk away because of one part of your offering? 

Patent Mining: Seating Arrangement and Method :: What can you rearrange in your offering that gives you an advantage?

Unrelated Mining: Experts at Crafting Goof Proof Cooking :: What are the barriers that keep your customers from getting the maximum benefit?

Back to Basics

Back to Basics

I am old enough that when I went to school, our school supplies included purely analog tools: pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.

If I wanted to connect with friends, we did so by talking face to face, ran around at recess, and passed notes.  We interacted directly with one another.  

Seemingly overnight, but in truth slowly over the past couple decades, technology has become pervasive in our personal and professional lives.

Most everyone has a "smart" phone.  Having home Internet access is an expected monthly utility cost.  Businesses allow and encourage telecommuting rather than physically coming into the office.  People now meet potential spouses via a computer before ever meeting in person.

It is becoming more difficult to find places where we cannot digitally communicate with others, than where we can. 

Technology is great.  I'm a technology geek.  But it is a tool, like a hammer, that can be used to build or to hurt.

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 10.18.2017

This week's Jump Start Your Brain Slides include:

Wisdom Mining: Don't Cut Your Price :: Customer expectations of value received and cost paid are set when they make a purchase. 

Insight Mining: Hipsters :: A subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture...what rules do you always follow, but maybe should break?

Unrelated Mining: The Internet of Things :: The network of physical devices, vehicles, and other items which enable these objects to collect and exchange data.

The TRUE ROOT CAUSE of the lack of innovative thinking

The TRUE ROOT CAUSE of the lack of innovative thinking

Over the past week I had one of those shattering insights that made me stop and think long into the night.  The insight occurred during a conversation with Dr. Leann Mischel, Assistant Professor at Coastal Carolina who teaches Innovation Engineering.  

The root cause of people not embracing innovative thinking or being entrepreneurial (either inside a company or in their own business) is simply “THEY DON’T KNOW HOW”