Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Back End of Innovation 2012: Program Released


We are thrilled the unveil the full program for BEI: Back End of Innovation taking place October 9-11, 2012 at the State Room in Boston, Massachusetts.


What is BEI: Back End of Innovation?

BEI is about making money. A conference focused 100% on the execution of innovation.

BEI is about commercializing ideas and creating new value the drives bottom line profitability. If you are looking to create a Sustainable, Repeatable and Profitable Innovation System within your organization then you DO NOT want to miss BEI. Register now and save!

Here are some of this year's program highlights:

  • Keynotes: The Best keynotes yet delivery expertise through storytelling:
  • - Ron Adner, Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College and Author, The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation
  • - Chris Trimble, Author, Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, and Win Everywhere and Ten Rules for Strategic Innovation: From Idea to Execution
  • - David Robertson, Professor of Practice, The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, and Author, Brick by Brick: How LEGO Reinvented its Innovation System and Conquered the Toy Industry
  • - Vice Admiral (Ret.) Joseph W. Dyer, Chief Strategy, iRobot Corporation
  • - James Stikeleather, Chief Innovation Officer & Executive Strategist, Dell Services
  • - Garrett Fravesen, Co-Founder, Addo Institute
  • - Download the brochure to see full speaker list.
  • Full Day Summits: Choose from 2 Summit options on RETURN ON INNOVATION or PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT. These two Summits are tailored around effectively measuring and communicating innovation revenue goals AND maximizing new product development to drive breakthrough solutions.
  • Workshop: Attend the Workshop on Leading Innovation, an interactive leadership workshop that teaches you how to solve the challenge of executing innovation initiatives.
  • Collaboration Sessions: 30 minute collaboration sessions led by Jonathan Vehar, Senior Faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership, will set the stage for each of the core content areas.
  • New Core Content Areas: Featuring sessions on Leadership & Organizational Structure, Partnering Across the Eco-System, Creating a Repeatable Innovation System and Commercialization. Download the brochure to see full session descriptions.
  • Four Learning Formats: Choose from four different learning formats that encourage interactivity: FIRESTARTER, CHAMPION, SANDBOX and CLASSROOM.
  • Tangible Take-Aways to Bring Back to Senior Management: After each session, your team will work together to create a PowerPoint that will be immediately distributable to your colleagues when you leave the event.

Download the brochure to learn more about this year's event!

BEI explores Innovation in practice that will prepare you with new skill sets, talents and leadership to PUSH innovation further in your organization. Register now to lock in the lowest rate!


Registration Information: 

Please mention priority code BEI12BLOG and save 15% off the standard and onsite rate.

Online: http://bit.ly/KTebLS
Email: register@iirusa.com
Phone: 888.670.8200

Save the date: RSVP via Facebook and LinkedIn today. Use #BEI12 and follow us @BEI_Innovation to join the begin exploring BEI now.




Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Fan Fiction of Ideation: A Perspective from Ideas To Go, Inc

Creative Consumers
Creative Consumers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E L James, is an international pop culture phenomenon. The books, categorized as erotic fiction—and dubbed “mommy porn” by The New York Times—have been at the top of that paper’s bestseller list for weeks. The movie rights have been sold. And the media is gaga over the author’s story. What’s so special about these books?

They started as Fan Fiction—as in, one ardent fan’s love for something so much (the Twilight books and movies), that she had to respond with her own embellished twist on the story.

Fan Fiction is a passion-fueled online trend where fans of a particular book, movie, TV show, etc., write their own version as a tribute to the story, characters and worlds they love.

Like Fan Fiction, building on something you love is rampant in ideation sessions. We call it elaboration. And there are lots of benefits to it.

  1. 1. Sometimes it’s easier to respond to something that's already out there, than it is to come up with an idea on the spot. 
  2. 2. Elaborating on an idea can add depth and breadth to an idea generation. 
  3. 3. Passion for an idea increases the energy in the room—making it more comfortable for others to offer even more ideas, and taking the passionate builders in other new directions. 

Perhaps the most rewarding benefit shared by elaboration and Fan Fiction alike, is the viral enthusiasm that grows from one person to the next. This phenomenon fuels not only the shaping of the idea, but also the adoption—transforming a possibility in the ether into something with real application for its users…which is something anyone in the idea business should be a fan of.

About the Authors


This post was written by the innovation experts at Ideas To Go. Ideas To Go is an innovation process consulting firm. Our expert facilitators, along with our Creative Consumers® associates, will help stretch your thinking to discover insights, areas of opportunity, and your next big idea. For additional information, contact srobertson@ideastogo.com.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Color Me Creative: A Visual Trip Through Color Psychology

Are you harnessing the effects color has on us to promote creativity within your workplace, relaxation at home or trigger excitement or some other emotion in your clients and consumers?

Here's a look at how color influences our perceptions and triggers different responses and behaviors from us: *Keeping in mind that many of these perceptions maybe learned or cultural behavior and may differ globally.


Credit: Men's Health

Credit: Lit Lighting






Further reading: 


Valerie M. Russo is a Senior Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a technology, anthropology, marketing and publishing business acumen.  She is a published poet and also maintains a literary blog. She may be reached at vrusso@iirusa.com. Follow her @Literanista. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

FEI 2012 Review: Keynotes Recap Part 1

Adaptive Business Models, Futurist Physics, Open Sourcing Innovation and Storytelling Dominate Day One Keynotes

By Marc Dresner, IIR USA

Now that FEI 2012 has concluded, it seems prudent to take a moment to reflect on what we heard and learned while it’s fresh. I can think of no better way to do so than by highlighting a few of the defining moments from a handful of this year’s outstanding keynotes. Part 1 of this two-part post will focus on the first official day of the conference general session.

The 10th Annual Front End of Innovation (FEI) general session kicked off old school style Wednesday May 16th with an overhead projector welcoming attendees to 2002—FEI’s inaugural year—courtesy of FEI Chairperson Peter Koen, Director of the Stevens Institute of Technology’s Consortium for Entrepreneurship and Co-Founder of Myideashare, and Kim Rivielle, Managing Director of IIR’s Marketing and Business Strategy Division.

Editor’s note: Congratulations to Kim, an innovator in her own right whose tireless quest to evolve the conference experience at IIR earned her the additional appointment of company-wide Innovation Czar earlier this year!

Koen and Rivielle took us on an amusing and provocative journey through a decade of radical change and beyond—landing the audience squarely in the year 2022—and set the tone for the opening keynote…


Leading Growth and Renewal: A Blueprint for Business Model Innovation

Innosight Co-Founder and Senior Partner Mark Johnson delivered a morning jolt more potent than my double espresso with his incisive take on business model innovation, noting that the average lifespan of S&P companies has been in precipitous decline for decades.

“Even the most successful business models will sooner or later be disrupted,” Johnson said, with a special emphasis on sooner given the accelerating pace of change.

Indeed, one need not strain to find examples of companies that stubbornly refused to change things up and which now reside in the business boneyard. (Remember Smith-Corona’s response to word processing? The electric typewriter. If all you’ve got is a hammer…)

The challenge, Johnson noted, is balancing our current day jobs with our future day jobs.

The need to continually adapt and change your existing business model while simultaneously nurturing and growing it is so crucial to survival that Johnson argued business model innovation is the front of the front end of innovation, Johnson insisted. And it ain’t easy.

Fortunately, Johnson proffered a solution to this universal dilemma.

Four prescriptive steps for organizations to thrive in a state of continuous, disruptive business model bliss:

1. Create a common innovation language across the organization

2. Set strategy

3. Build the right structure to sustain it

4. Create a process

Key takeaways:

Assess and manage your organization’s knowledge-to-assumption ratio. Challenge your business model assumptions by “future-backing”—craft a narrative of what your business and the context in which you exist might look like 20 years out.

Don’t try to predict the future; envision it. Think in terms of an impressionist painting, not a photograph, Johnson advised. Then work backward to understand the path you’ll need to take to arrive successfully at your destination.

Cramming technology into existing business models is not business model innovation, he stressed. The publishing industry—newspapers, in particular—learned this the hard way. They reluctantly reacted to the advent of the Internet by migrating their terrestrial business model online, while the Craigslists and Google AdWords of the world completely changed the game.

Music industry, too. Now Apple owns it.

These massive industry disruptions were enabled by technology, but driven by people who saw possibility and opportunity by looking through a completely different lens in order to upend business models.

Every successful business has rules, norms and metrics. They’re necessary on a day-to-day basis, but they’re also blinders that effectively bind organizations to the status quo. Create a team devoted to breaking them.

One of the biggest problems in modern corporations is that the structure dictates strategy. Co-locate autonomous, business model disruption teams and set them free.

And work outside-in. Keep a constant dialogue with those outside the organization. Identify the “job to be done” and design around it. Meet that unmet need.

And again, Johnson stressed, don’t assume the way you make money today will apply tomorrow.


Unpacking the Physics of the Future

Theoretical physicist and famed futurist Michio Kaku complemented Johnson’s points quite well with a guided tour of the future based on what’s happening in the lab front lines today. My colleague, Valerie Russo, hit the high points well in her live summary on Wednesday.

I would add that Kaku noted science is the source of all wealth and the primary economic driver. It comes in waves and the cycle from invention to bubble to burst is entirely predictable because wealth is restless; it needs to move. Kaku illustrated this using the crashes of 1850, 1929 and 2008, respectively, as examples.

The fourth great wave, he predicted, will occur roughly 80 years from now and will involve nanotech, biotech and artificial intelligence. Look to Moore’s Law for inspiration and confirmation.

The most radical disruption will occur in healthcare. Like Johnson, Kaku cited the publishing and music industries as examples. “Medicine is the next to be digitized,” he said.

Consider that we now have nanoparticles the size of molecules that can locate and precision target cancer cells. “Chemotherapy will be viewed by the modern science of tomorrow much as leeching is viewed today: crude, absurdly inefficient and ineffective and almost cruel in a medieval way.”

We’re also on our way to producing MRI technology the size of cell phones.

And by the way, we’re growing organs. Today. Donor cards will in 50 years be completely unnecessary.

Tissue engineering thanks to gene sequencing—think of it as an owner’s manual for your body—will enable healthcare providers to produce a new heart or liver customized to you inside of 48 hrs.

Lastly, cancer will be flushed down the toilet, literally. Your commode will come equipped with a DNA chip that can identify cancer colonies 10 yrs before they become tumors.

In summary, there will be more computing power in your can and your cell phone than in most major hospitals today.

Sounds like science fiction, but it’s already on its way to becoming fact.

“The future is a lot closer than you think!” said Kaku.


Open Sourcing Opens Pandora’s Box?

Yours truly had to sit out Chris Anderson’s initial talk because I was in our private studio conducting interviews for the 2012-13 FEI TV series. Stay tuned!

What I do know is that the Editor-in-Chief of Wired and author of the legendary “Long Tail” and other best sellers gave a whopper of a presentation. The place was absolutely buzzing about it!

I did manage to get a seat in the interactive dialogue that followed Anderson’s speech, which took place in FEI’s “Greenroom” topical session—aptly fresh and one of eight such breakout learning forums unique to FEI.

Unscripted, uninhibited and entirely interactive, the session turned Anderson loose on the audience and vice-versa.

Much of the dialogue centered on open sourcing and the democratization of information and production via online communities and CAD.

Editor’s note: Anderson is also founder and chairman of DIYDrones/3D Robotics, an open source community of amateur inventors focused on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and robotics. UAV aficionados and DIYers can purchase parts, plans and complete kits at the DIYDrones online superstore.

Complex and controversial fun! We wrangled with:

Q: When you open-source hardware and software innovation, how do you avoid piracy?

A: “We don’t. The same things that empower the community empower pirates. The Chinese steal and replicate typically in fewer than 7 days and sell at 30% less. We compete on brand—for lack of a better term. The value is captured via trust in the equity of the community, not the intellectual property.”

Q: What about regulation?

A: “Regulators can’t keep up, and the open source format allows us to skirt much of the regulatory barriers that encumber major corporations. If your technology is public domain, you have a huge advantage here. My kids can fly drone prototypes in the park.”

Q: Liability?

A: Nil. Almost. Anderson said software and hardware created by a community for free eliminates a lot of liability. Of course, there’s always a danger of some rogue high-schooler flying an unmanned drone over the White House. Open-sourcing gene sequencing can also be a hazardous proposition (another DIY “hobbyist” community). Anderson and his organization work closely with the law enforcement community. Misbehavior can also be discouraged within the community; members police one another.

Also covered:

- The risk of disintermediation is most threatening to less complex products. “If you’re in the hardware industry and your business depends on product IP, open sourcing is a hammer and sooner or later you’re going to get hit…You’ll see some Kodak-style bankruptcies in plastics 10 years from now,” Anderson predicted.

- Reverse engineering consumer commercial goods: How long until it’s considered infringement?

- Atoms are the new bits. E.g., Aerospace physical instrumentation in the cockpit is being converted to apps.

- “We can’t put the genie back in the bottle, but in five years I wouldn’t be surprised if I were called before a Congressional hearing because a community member misused something we open sourced. It’ll be something big and they’ll be shocked by how little they knew about what has been happening in this space—right out in the open—for years. They can lock me up, but they can’t shut ‘it’ down.”

- Medicine is next. “We have high school kids out there synthesizing DNA.”


True Innovation Stories, Told Live

Storytelling was a major theme throughout the event, so I feel obliged to close with a nod to a keynote that drew the audience in like moths to a flame. (Apologies, but I can’t resist a bad pun.)

Acclaimed not-for-profit The Moth imparted a lesson in how to flaut conventional storytelling, literally (an actual flute was employed; no one was harmed).

The Moth’s “live” storytelling methodology opened the door to narratives that might not have been surfaced in a traditional presentation.

Of course, given the innovation theme and crowd, there were some predictable outcomes: rule-breaking, failure (and putting it in proper perspective), embracing uncertainty and stepping outside one’s comfort zone were prized qualities.

Most of all, though, the session provided the audience with a different way of thinking about how they communicate in a business context—an asset well worth investment.

That wraps Part 1 of my FEI 2012 keynote review and recap. Stay tuned for Part 2, which will cover a handful of the final day’s sessions. And keep a look out for FEI’s upcoming executive summary!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s senior editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market research industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Photo Slideshow: Front End of Innovation US 2012

Here's a look a look back at Front End of Innovation 2012:


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Live from Front End of Innovation 2012: The Power of ‘Pop’-Culture to Launch a Brand

Keith Belling, Serial Entrepreneur, Co-Founder & CEO at Popchips, spoke to us about launching an innovative food product during our Champions/Taste session.

He leveraged health and wellness trend to transform healthy snacking options. There was a void, no real, healthy, great-tasting packaged snacks. they started with "great flavor" that appeal to the whole family. They wanted to create a new category, not just a product.

They continue to innovate. New flavors like Sweet Potato chips, and later this year will launch a new product line.

They were lucky to organically get celebrity taste makers, nutritionists, moms, and high level fans who influenced their followers and audience about the new product, which gave the company lots of social proof and credibility.


Part of their success was in choosing the "right" partners to help build their brands; leading airports, premiere gyms, college campuses....

They do grassroots marketing, lots of social media, they use their spend very, very carefully. They have a field marketing teams and an army of ambassadors covering 15 major markets.

They constantly look for new ways to build awareness especially since they don't have a big budget. They have never paid for product placement but they've been depicted on Twilight, Pitch, ...

They try to tell a story with personality. They are fun, young company, and they want to be seen as healthy, edgy and cool.

Music is a key marketing platform. They do a lot of grassroot and handpicked events like Coachella music festival. Very cost-effective campaigns fueled by social media.

There is so much passion and excitement around the brand. It has resulted in becoming one of the top brands.




Valerie M. Russo is a Senior Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a technology, anthropology, marketing and publishing business acumen.  She is a published poet and also maintains a literary blog. She may be reached at vrusso@iirusa.com. Follow her @Literanista.   

Live from Front End of Innovation 2012: Barry Calpino on Doubling Down on Innovation

Innovation is not for the faint of heart.

You have to be able to look yourself in the mirror, and it's easy to say, but hard to do.  It requires honest, frank discussions, that actually mention the proverbial elephant in the room.  It also requires transcending the all-too-common risk-aversion in which companies mire themselves.

One of the other demons that companies need to fight is the overfull portfolio.  Rather than trying to be all things to all customers, companies need to leverage their strengths, focus on the best projects, and put big bets behind their big brands.  As Steve Jobs's advised Nike CEO Mark Parker, "Just get rid of all the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff." (Orin's aside: see Jim Collins's take on the Hedgehog Concept).

There are two other key strategies that companies should employ:

1) Shift the emphasis to multi-year business plans that drive category growth.  Despite the apparent need for instant results, it is important to consider long-term strategies that drive brand growth across multiple years.

2) Increase resourcing and support, especially from the C-suite.  Innovation, development, and strategy require resources of all kinds, and that goes hand-and-hand with support from all of the C-level executives.

As noted, innovation requires tough conversations and hard looks in the mirror, but a solid portfolio that brings in hundreds of millions in revenue is hard to knock!


Orin C. Davis is the first person to earn a doctorate in positive psychology. His research focuses on flow, creativity, hypnosis, and mentoring, and it spans both the workplace and daily life. He is the principal investigator of the Quality of Life Laboratory and a freelance consultant who helps companies maximize their human capital and become better places to work.

Live from Front End of Innovation 2012: Business Innovation

Whirlpool’s Third Diamond: A disciplined Process to Realize and Extract Maximum Value of Innovation in Marketplace was presented by Moises Norena, Global Director of Innovation, Whirlpool.

At Whirpool, Innovation is about customer needs and taking that to innovate and create value for customers - fill that demand.

Their innovation process is about discovery and then developing opportunities and experimenting. They also measure innovation: innovation funnel, pipeline, revenue.

3 Diamonds:
Discovery
Develop Opportunities & Experiment
Measure Innovation

One example is the Fabric Care Pilot: Alpha platform which identified 20 opportunities to maximize value extraction. This case study is now used as the process for the company and the principles are applied on all their projects.

It’s Just Numbers, Right? Prioritizing Investments across the Global Business Portfolio with Ryan Frank, Director of Marketing, Global Innovation, Abbott

Brand categories often address consistent core needs for consumers globally. But global portfolios carry diversity and complexity. Lots of work but little return, but crucial for global expansion. Must do the homework.

For example, baby boomer trends, like healthy aging are becoming global trends, not regional: US, Asia, etc., Find those similarities or differences, understand the insights before placing something in the pipeline. Often, it's the internal artifacts of our business that drives the real differences.

  • Start with insights
  • Leverage core knowledge for phased impact of new tech
  • Value early investments

Innovation Buy-In: Enabling Effective C-Suite Decision-Making Support for Breakthrough Innovation Efforts: with Gordon Hui, former AVP Innovation, The Hartford, Director of Business Design and Strategy, Smart Design LLC


Begin with the end in mind: what is the business going to look like when you bring this to market
Know why the pilot is happening
Think about long term growth, near-term impact

Valerie M. Russo is a Senior Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a technology, anthropology, marketing and publishing business acumen.  She is a published poet and also maintains a literary blog. She may be reached at vrusso@iirusa.com. Follow her @Literanista.   

Live from Front End of Innovation 2012: Michelle James on Using Improv to Foster Innovation

Yes...and!


There are few words as potent and powerful as "Yes," but it takes an improv experience to learn the exponential power of adding the word "And."  Over the course of several exercises, we did not just imagine the force of saying "Yes...and," we watched it happen.

Here's one example: Working with a partner, draw a creature one line at a time.  Each line can be straight, curvy, loopy, or otherwise.   Work in silence, and do not communicate with your partner in any way.  With each contribution, accept the prior line, yes...and draw your line.  When the creature is completed, name it with each of you adding one letter at a time.  At first, it seems weird.  Then, the idea takes some shape.  Then it gets weird, and then it takes shape again.  This process repeats over and over with each partner bringing new twists and ideas into the drawing, and it goes in ways that are creative, interesting, and often beyond the imagination!

When I did this with a partner, we ended up with a creature that sort of resembled Count von Count.  At first, I was posing him giving a "Thumbs-up," (see the drawing), and then watched with a snicker as my partner turned  it into a cigar.  The most humorous moment (which got us roaring with laughter when I told her afterwards), is when I drew what I thought was a button on the creature's jacket.  My partner thought I had started naming the creature, and put a "P" next to my O.  Our creature quickly found itself with the moniker "Skopellasti."

This is only part of the power of "yes...and" -- you never know what interesting things will come out!  But, those incremental steps capitalize on trust, creativity, partnership, and enthusiasm, and unleash the total power of innovation.  Improv and the insights it elicits are a direct translation of the innovation process and, like any gestalt, is a whole far greater than the sum of its parts.


Orin C. Davis is the first person to earn a doctorate in positive psychology. His research focuses on flow, creativity, hypnosis, and mentoring, and it spans both the workplace and daily life. He is the principal investigator of the Quality of Life Laboratory and a freelance consultant who helps companies maximize their human capital and become better places to work.

Live from Front End of Innovation 2012: “New” Mr. Potato Head:

Mr. Potato Head and Friends
Mr. Potato Head and Friends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of our first Sandbox/Touch sessions here in Orlando, on the final day of Front End of Innovation 2012 was on “New” Mr. Potato Head: The Starch Reality of Refreshing an Icon and Finding Creative Inspiration in a Spud That’s No Dud with Wayne Marcus, Senior Director, Design & Development at Hasbro, Inc.

His superpowers are observing, playing, imagining, learning, collaborating - use your strengths, claim your power and stand it. One must have skill is definitely versatility, especially with the speed of technical progress.

Mr. Potato Head's superpower IS versatility.

Recently, he was redesigned and this was incredibly hard - how do you redesign an iconic beloved product?



They began with deep dive into consumer insight and concept design.


Added legs and pants for Mr. Potato Head, made Mrs. Potato Head's nose smaller, added cooler boots and lightened skin. They both now have legs, slimmer bodies, more expressive accessories to give them a sense of being more animated.

During the session, we also began drawing and conceptualizing our own redesign collectively. Have many tools to be able to constantly transform, readjust, look at things with an open mind and look at known things with a fresh lens, focus - have clarity and vision and tune into what people are really saying. Lastly, have fun.

Don't forget your super strength!








Valerie M. Russo is a Senior Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a technology, anthropology, marketing and publishing business acumen.  She is a published poet and also maintains a literary blog. She may be reached at vrusso@iirusa.com. Follow her @Literanista.   

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Live from Front End of Innovation 2012: Jaspar Roos on Bringing Back the Fun in Innovation

Orin's Introduction: Jaspar presented a number of incredible ideas, so rather than try to reproduce his presentation, this post is going to challenge readers to think about several of the most interesting points he made.

* Attention becomes the major currency in content commerce.

* We can learn from failure (in fact, there's even a repository for it), and we should make sure to do so.

* How much, and in how many ways, do companies need a Chief Humor Officer?

* We take ourselves far too seriously sometimes.

* Are we too professional?

* Humor leads to more energy and increases the possibility of innovation.  (Orin's aside: To find out why, check out Barbara Fredrickson's Broaden-and-Build Theory).

Orin C. Davis is the first person to earn a doctorate in positive psychology. His research focuses on flow, creativity, hypnosis, and mentoring, and it spans both the workplace and daily life. He is the principal investigator of the Quality of Life Laboratory and a freelance consultant who helps companies maximize their human capital and become better places to work.

Live from the Front End of Innovation 2012: Cultivating and Celebrating the Journey of Student Entrepreneurship

Gordon Jones, the Director at Harvard Innovation Lab, believes every student should have the opportunity to put their ideas to use and push them as far as they can go. Innovation flows from many fields and the intersections can lead to all sorts of great innovation.

They work with students at every stage of the innovation pipeline: Idea refinement through scaleability and also helps them become agents of change.

The program includes:

Incubation and mentoring
Internship and residency
Laboratory and practicum
Entrepreneurship fundamentals

I-lab strives to fun, purposefully fun.

The Harvard Innovation Lab opened 8 months ago. You can follow them @innovationlab.

Valerie M. Russo is a Senior Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a technology, anthropology, marketing and publishing business acumen.  She is a published poet and also maintains a literary blog. She may be reached at vrusso@iirusa.com. Follow her @Literanista.   

Live from Front End of Innovation 2012: Bret Huff on Innovation Days


Eli-Lilly attempted a series of Innovation Days based on Atlassian's Fed-Ex Day (see Atlassian's FAQ).  It is effectively the full day analog of Google's 20% Time.  (Further thinking from Brad Power.)

The recipe for an Innovation Day

  • A very small organizing team
  • Sharepoint site setup for project submission
  • Projects evaluated by a small senior scientific team
  • Team members choose their projects
  • Make the day fun!
  • Readout day afterward

Some master tips from their three attempts at an iDay

  • A little preparation is necessary
  • Area management must be participating
  • Make it fun!
  • Readout days are tough and long, but worth it
  • Do it again
  • Prototype to see what works for you
  • Get feedback surveys to help you perfect it
  • Beer and wine add to the fun!


Orin C. Davis is the first person to earn a doctorate in positive psychology. His research focuses on flow, creativity, hypnosis, and mentoring, and it spans both the workplace and daily life. He is the principal investigator of the Quality of Life Laboratory and a freelance consultant who helps companies maximize their human capital and become better places to work.

Live from Front End of Innovation 2012: The Art of Storytelling with Noelle Chun

Noelle Chun gave a nice presentation on story telling, based on her experience at Yahoo.  She spoke about how to identify, craft, and how to drive adoption of that story.

She said that storytelling has been around from "ancient Greeks to modern geeks."

What makes a good story?

First, set your values.  This creates the foundation.  All of the stories will trickle down from your main story. Your values should address who you are.  It sets a clear direction for the future and informs innovation.  And you must be consistent in all of your stories to reinforce those values.

A good story needs to be: memorable, engaging (speak to heart and head), and actionable (what are they going to implement)

3ABCs of a Good Story 
  • Always be clear
  • Always be concise (one line hook that can be repeated)
  • Always be setting context 
She mentioned that stories need characters: personality of the team or personality of the innovation.

3 Types of Stories
  • Great aspirations - someone who thought of something and achieved it.
  • David vs Goliath - a hero against all odds...small start-up wins against the establishment
  • Contrarian stories - things that break out of the mold of what we believe to be true
  • Personal stories - stories from your own life (versus those of someone else)
Make it easy to distribute.  Make it easy for word of mouth. Make it social (pre-written tweets). Find advocates.  Put in a format that others can send.

Make it easy, create ripples, make it social.

Here's my question: "If a story is told in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does the story exist?"  From today's presentation, the answer would be, "no."  The best story not heard does not create the desired change.

Thank you Noelle.

Live from Front End of Innovation 2012: From the Long Tail, to Free!conomics, to The New Industrial Revolution

Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, WIRED, Best-selling Author of Free, The Long Tail, and The New Industrial Revolution introduced to the MAKER revolution that is currently happening and its repercussions on the future.

Anderson recalled his grandfather's invention of the automatic (timed) sprinkler and making parts out of blocks of metal with him.

The old model of invent, patent, license is over. Now anyone can own end-to-end including manufacturing and speed to market. We are going to use the web's model to re-energize manufacturing in this country - CAD programs now have MAKE menu option.

Kickstarter is one of the most radical #innovations of our age, enabling physical entrepreneurship. The epebble watch sold out online and is one of the most innovative gadgets of the year, brought to market solely via Kickstarter. Created by three guys in basement it raised $10m in weeks and will eventually beat out the Sony ewatch. Kickstarter is the venture capitalist for the maker movement.

The US can regain manufacturing lead via democratized production. We're all designers now, we might as well be good at it. Kids need design classes/tools in order to create the next gen of innovators. They're already creating their own toys. You heard it here first -  The Hot holiday gift for 2012 kids - Makerbot - Make what's in your head!

It took twenty years for the paper revolution to happen it will happen in ten in physical 3D printing revolution.We're creating next generation of manufacturers in same way web/social media created next generation of publishers. We can capture reality, change it, and make it...on an iPad, for free.

Valerie M. Russo is a Senior Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a technology, anthropology, marketing and publishing business acumen.  She is a published poet and also maintains a literary blog. She may be reached at vrusso@iirusa.com. Follow her @Literanista.   

Live from Front End of Innovation 2012: Storytelling by The Moth

With a flutist's flourish, The Moth began with an introduction to the need for people in business to be able to tell a story (and the reminder that rambling will get you attacked by a flute!).

If you could have one superpower to change your world, what would it be?

For one thing, if you can teleport, you can travel, and you might discover along the road that failure depends on how you look at it, and likewise on how you define it.

For another, if you are going to draw "a nekkid man's essence," you are going to have to accept that there is no one way to do it.  It means being willing not to follow the rules, and being willing to excel in ways that you might not have expected.  That can be hard for many, but, if you can do that, you can do anything!

One of the amazing aspects of novelty is that it not only opens you up, but, if you embrace it, it can lead you to new and stunning realizations, and be the gateway to the ideas and experiences of a lifetime.

A final thing to consider is that sometimes taking a little step can lead to exponential change.  Building a network, a business, an endeavor, or a dream, may be a little bit crazy, or even a lot crazy, depending on the goal.  Despite the odds, however, taking just a small step on the journey, and perhaps getting just one small win, can launch something incredible.


Orin C. Davis is the first person to earn a doctorate in positive psychology. His research focuses on flow, creativity, hypnosis, and mentoring, and it spans both the workplace and daily life. He is the principal investigator of the Quality of Life Laboratory and a freelance consultant who helps companies maximize their human capital and become better places to work.

Live from Front End of Innovation 2012: Peter Koen on Innovation Outside the Core

If Sony came out with the Walkman, why didn't they develop the iPod?  Why don't innovators take it to the next level?

One might suggest that this is because large companies are not innovative, but this does not explain why some companies (e.g., Apple) are innovative.  Perhaps the lack of innovation is rooted in the business model (Mark Johnson said that the business model "Defines the way the company delivers value to a set of customers at a profit."), which is based on sustaining innovation.

Sustaining innovation involves existing customers and extant financial hurdles with technology that is either  incremental (add a little something), architectural (rearrange what exists), radical (revolution).  Anything beyond that, but using any of the technological levels, is innovation outside the core (any combination of [recent customers, new non-customers] and lower-than-expected financial hurdles).

Yet, innovation outside there core can be incredibly difficult, and there are four key reasons why:

1) Routine rigidity.  Leaders will make significant but wrong investments when their business is threatened.  For example, when Sony came out with digital camera.  Kodak invested $5B in digital over the next ten years.  They developed digital CDs and kiosks because that fit into their current channels (e.g., drug stores) -- they tried to leverage their current channels because that made sense.

2) Embedded assumptions based in the current value network.  (cf., Mark Johnson)  They are hard to identify, and can be hard to articulate.  The only way out of this is to be able to prototype with the customer and handle the surprises that come along with it.

3) Unrealistic financial expectations.  Leadership is often seeking immediate returns, but it is important to remember that outside-the-core innovations can take time to grow.  For example, for the first three years, iPod growth was rather slow, and then started explosive growth in the fourth year.  Nespresso started in 1982, but did not break even until 1995.  Yet, today, it is wildly successful in Europe.

4) Lack of CEO commitment.  The success of iPod and Nespresso was strongly rooted in the company CEO's being committed to the vision.  In case studies, it was found that companies with successful innovations understood customer needs (Orin's aside: see also, Demand by Adrian Slywotzky).  If the CEO does not want to support the endeavor, it is not going to happen at the company (Koen's suggestion: if you want to innovate, but don't have CEO support, either accept that it won't happen, or leave the company).

The problem with doing something revolutionary is that most companies invest so much time and technique in their own channels that they do not want to give it up, so they stick with what they know.  Innovation outside the core requires vision, commitment, and prototyping, and if companies are willing to put in all three elements, they will have the potential to change the way we live.


Orin C. Davis is the first person to earn a doctorate in positive psychology. His research focuses on flow, creativity, hypnosis, and mentoring, and it spans both the workplace and daily life. He is the principal investigator of the Quality of Life Laboratory and a freelance consultant who helps companies maximize their human capital and become better places to work.

Live from Front End of Innovation 2012: A Look to Tomorrow: Physics of the Future

Cover
Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Michio Kaku, Famed Futurist, Physicist, and TV Personality, co-founder of the string field theory, took us on a guided trip to the future.

Wealth ultimately comes from science and technology and new inventions lead to waves of wealth. The next 100 years will depend on the 4th wave and will be driven by innovations.

Next 100 Years:

  • The Internet will be everywhere - including glasses. 
  • Children will drive new technology. 
  • Payments and shopping will be moneyless and contactless. 
  • Cell phones will have flexible, intelligent screens.
  • Computers will be as thin and cheap as paper.
  • TV cameras will give you xray vision because you will be able to shoot images from cameras on other side of barrier to your eye.
  • It will become fashionable and normal way of viewing the world to have augmented reality thru glasses or contacts
  • Your living room wall will be computerized and connected.
  • Doctors will provide healthcare via a wall avatars
  • Television will have transparent screens and 3D - without glasses
  • Computers will be disposable scrap 'faucets" offering access to the Cloud
  • Cars will drive themselves using GPS, radar and chips
  • Mass customization instead of mass production will be possible and cheap
  • The consumer will have the advantage: perfect capitalism
  • Data mining will be a rich source for retailers
  • Targeted Cancer therapy: Nano particles will locate and kill cancer cells
  • Intelligent pills you can swallow will shoot pictures and gather information internally inside the blody
  • Your toilet will monitor your health and screen for Cancer
  • MRI Machines will be the size of cell phones
  • A CD with your entire genome sequence will cost $100
  • You will be able to grow new organs as needed
Michio Kaku's Future video playlist available here: discovery.com


Valerie M. Russo is a Senior Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a technology, anthropology, marketing and publishing business acumen.  She is a published poet and also maintains a literary blog. She may be reached at vrusso@iirusa.com. Follow her @Literanista.   



Clicky Web Analytics