Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Innovation Year-In-Review

C. Engdahl
The Big E of Big E Toys

Before the clock hits midnight, I want to take a quick look back on 2010.

Do You Know Who You Are?
In my May 11, 2010 post entitled “Know Who You Are And Act Like It” I ruminated on seeing Life Is Good CEO Bert Jacobs at the then recent Front End of Innovation Conference in Boston. In looking over some of the inspirational letters received by the company and posted as part of its FUEL page, it’s evident to me that Life Is Good understands who they are and what they mean to others.


Still Culturally Significant
Despite not taking home the Oscar for Best Picture or Best Director (which was the right call, the award having gone to The Hurt Locker and Kathryn Bigelow), Avatar did pull down three Academy Awards including Best Cinematography, Art Direction, and Visual Effects. Having not won the Best Picture honor doesn’t diminish its cultural significance. Although his film watching repertoire is still limited at his pre-teen age, my eldest son considers Avatar the best movie ever made. Looking forward to seeing what James Cameron has in the works for the sequel.

More Talk About Girl Talk
About a month after I posted “Innovation Is Girl Talk” on October 19, 2010, musical impresario Girl Talk (a.k.a. Gregg Gillis) dropped his new album – “All Day” - on the Illegal Art website for any and everyone to download for free. Once word was out, people downloaded in droves. So many in fact that the internet began to break (not really but it makes for a good story). Check out the track “This Is the Remix”.

Other Random Jottings
1. I still haven’t gotten my $25 back. Not really expecting to.
2. Seth Godin’s workbook ShipIt might help you practice.
3. What becomes of corporate mythology when a story – like the founding of Facebook - becomes so public so early?

In Memoriam
C.K. Prahalad (Aug 8, 1941 – Apr 16, 2010) – with co-author Gary Hamel, University of Michigan professor C.K. Prahalad introduced the concept of “core competency” in 1990. In addition to other writings, Professor Prahalad co-authored the influential books “Competing For The Future” (1994, with Gary Hamel), and “The Future of Competition” (2004, with Venkat Ramaswamy). (I personally found both books to be excellent.) The Times of London, in conjunction with Thinkers 50, a system of rating the world's top business strategists, called Dr. Prahalad "the No. 1 most influential management thinker in the world" in its two most recent rankings. He was a true giant among strategic thinkers. For additional info.

John Wooden (Oct 13, 1910 – Jun 4, 2010) – despite his advanced age when I included a mention of coach Wooden in my March 15, 2010 post entitled “March To Madness”, I didn’t really expect him to pass just a few months later. John Wooden’s accomplishments as a player and especially a coach are legendary. His 10 national championships while the coach at UCLA will never be equaled. His mixture of basketball with life lessons is what made him innovative. His ideas on leadership and inspiration have been used throughout the corporate world for decades.

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