Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Innovation Reads in Review

We've gathered our most read posts to share with you while we take a holiday break from blogging for the remainder of the year:

 (Photo: masondan)
1. Trend Spotlight: Humanity (A visual journey)

2. The 5 Trends that will Disrupt EVERYTHING: Macro Forces Shaping the Future

3. The Myth of Hiring Passionate Employees

4. Why "Instant Entrepreneurship" May Be Crucial in 2014

5. Color Me Creative: A Visual Trip Through Color Psychology

6. Live from FEI 2013: Delony Langer-Anderson and Cristin Moran on Finding the Next Big Idea in the Corporate Jungle

7. Call for Presenters: Future Trends

8. Value Innovation: Improving the Buyer Utility Map

9. The 6 Most Important Steps to Building an Internal Innovation Culture

10. Front End of Innovation 2013 Media

Thank you for another amazing year at The Front End of Innovation and bringing us over 49,000 pageviews. May all you have a great holiday and a happy new year with lots of endless innovation!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Here's Our 2014 Innovation Line-up

We all get into ruts where we start going through the motions. But as innovation executives, we need to rekindle the innovation fire… to seek out avenues that will inspire, motivate, and push us to think and act differently.

FEI: Front End of Innovation event brand is recognized as The World Leader in Advancing Innovation because it does just that. With 3 unique conference experiences, the FEI brand has been empowering innovation executives around the world for over 12 years, fueling the creation of future value.

4-6 February 
Marriott Hotel * Munich, Germany

17-19 March
Ca’ Foscari University * Venice, Italy

May 13-15
Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center * Boston, MA


FEI Supply Chain Innovation 2014 
May 14-15
From Functional Manager to Strategic Innovation Partner at the Front End 
Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center * Boston, MA

FEI OPEN Innovation 2014 
May 14-15
Open as an Enabler to Inclusivity, Frugality, and Agility
Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center * Boston, MA

FEI Manifesto! 2014 
May 14-15
Talent Matters: Understanding and Developing Leaders as People
Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center * Boston, MA

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How Intuit Innovates

Suzanne Pellican, chief design strategist for Intuit Small Business Group, presented at a Back End of Innovation 2013 field trip a few weeks ago in Mountain View, California.

Over the last five years Intuit has knitted innovation into the core fabric of the company using Intuit’s innovation driving process “Design for Delight” aka “D4D.” Using design theory as an innovation process through their D4D approach, the company has created an organic innovation culture.

D4D doesn’t just give customers what they ask for, it aims to go far beyond their expectations – seeking inspiration from many different places, from comparable industries to extreme perspectives. Training over 180 Innovation Catalysts within their organizations where these sparks of innovation has helped facilitate the D4D behaviors across Intuit’s 10, 000 employees all across the globe.

Check out Pellican’s BEI 2013 presentation below:

Back End of Innovation 2013: How We Innovate from Intuit Inc.

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at Follow her at @AmandaCicc. 
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Save the Date: FEI: Front End of Innovation 2014

It's the artful combination of perspectives that makes FEI so unique. It's a platform where stories of the truly remarkable collide with the everyday realities of those championing innovation in the trenches. FEI is based on the premise of cohesiveness and cumulative intelligence. It's a facilitated exchange where EVERYONE is a contributor. It's a place where what YOU bring to the table truly adds value towards creating new solutions to shared challenges.

Who will you trade secrets with at FEI's a sneak peek:

Save the Date & Lock in the Lowest Rates to Attend!

May 13-15, 2014 
Seaport World Trade Center Boston 
Boston, MA

Mention your FEI Blog Reader code FEI14BL to save 15% off the standard rates when you register here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Three Insights Into The Process Of Asking For Help When Collaborating

One of the tasks a moderator of an innovation social network needs to concern themselves with is how to put different people together to facilitate the collaborative process.  Sometimes those with shared interests find each other serendipitously.  Other times the moderator needs to make the introduction.  Ultimately the person most responsible for the selection of their collaborator is the person seeking help.

I’ve been reading some of the studies by Vanessa K. Bohns of the University of Waterloo - Department of Management Sciences.  She is doing remarkable work helping predict how collaboration works.  Her work also informs the notion of what type of partner you need during the collaborative process.

I don’t know about you but when people ask for my advice or assistance I’m usually flattered and try my best to be of service.  It’s been my experience that when I ask others for assistance, they’re generous with their contributions. 

Now that we’re all engaged on collaborative social networks, we work with a variety of different people we might not otherwise be exposed to in or our normal work day.  There is a claimed advantage of innovation social networks:  We don’t have to know everyone intimately, but we can find an expert when we need one.  They’re identified based on their previous contributions.
Studies tell us we’re only capable of managing about 50 real personal relationships tops.  Yet, there are over 7500 people I’m connected to in my social networks.  When I ask for help the choice to collaborate must be based more on human psychology than the good times we’ve spent together.   

Asking Someone To Collaborate
You might be surprised to learn it’s easier to get people to help you on a project; to collaborate on your idea, than you suspect.  We’re busy worrying about taking up the time of the person we’re considering to ask.  Our targeted helper is usually more concerned how they’ll look if they refuse.

In studies by Bohns and her colleagues, most people underestimated by as much as 50% the likelihood that others would agree to a direct request for help.  It seems potential helpers appreciate the social costs of refusing a direct request for help, while help seekers consider instead the instrumental costs of helping.

Wanting Someone To Ask Us To Collaborate
If you’re interested in providing your expertise, let people know your door is open instead of selling the benefits of your skill set.

People in a position to provide help tend to underestimate the role that embarrassment plays in decisions about whether or not to ask for help.  They don’t realize the angst the help seekers are going through preparing to solicit assistance. 

As a result, potential helpers may overestimate the likelihood that people will ask for help.  And helpers may misjudge the most effective means of encouraging help-seeking behavior - emphasizing the practical benefits of asking for help, rather than attempting to assuage help-seekers’ feelings of discomfort.

Who to ask for help depends on what stage you’re in the process
When you do decide to ask for a collaborative partner, you might want to give some thought to what that partner brings to the table, depending on where you’re at in your process.  If you’re at the formative stages of the project, someone with complementary skills might be the most helpful.  While you can address the portions of the project you’re most expert with, the other folks can focus on the parts in their wheelhouse.

This is because there is a distinction between the two types of interpersonal compatibility in determining partner preferences for joint tasks.  When the collaborative effort requires folks to work on the early stages, or strategic moments, complementary disciplines are most useful.  You two can “divide and conquer”.

When you’re getting to the end of the project and you’re focused on outcomes, a similar collaborative partner is a better choice.  Your work effort serves as additive and you march more productively toward a finished project.

Wrap Up
We’re all learning how to collaborate better within social networks.  We don’t have to be afraid to ask for help as others are likely inclined to jump in rather than be judged poorly.  For those of us who are interested in collaborating on interesting projects, with sharing our accumulated expertise, we should let others know it’s no big deal to be asked, rather than tout the skills we have on offer.  Lastly if you’re in the thick of a project you should be looking for someone with a complementary skill set.  If you’re in the home stretch perhaps someone just like you is the best collaborator.

“Liking the Same Things, But Doing Things Differently: Outcome Versus Strategic Compatibility in Partner Preferences for Joint Tasks”, Bohns, Higgins, Social Cognition, 2011
If You Need Help, Just Ask: Underestimating Compliance with Direct Requests for Help”, Flynn, Bohns, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 95, No. 1, pp. 128-143, 2008
'Why Didn’t You Just Ask?' Underestimating the Discomfort of Help-Seeking, Bohns, Flynn, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 2010

Ron Shulkin blogs, researches and writes about enterprise technology focused on social media, innovation, voice of the customer, marketing automation and enterprise feedback management.  You can learn more about Ron at his biography web You can follow him Twitter. You can follow his blogs at this Facebook group.  You can connect with Ron on LinkedIn.   

Ron Shulkin is Vice President of the Americas for CogniStreamer®, an innovation ecosystem. CogniStreamer serves as a Knowledge Management System, Idea Management System and Social Network for Innovation. CogniStreamer has been rated as a “Leader” in Forrester’s recent Wave report on Innovation Management Tools. You can learn more about CogniStreamer here . Ron also manages The Idea Management Group on LinkedIn (JoinHere).

Coke, P&G, & LEGO Share Innovation Strategy

We are thrilled to announce the inaugural Front End of Innovation: Venice. Visionaries from across Europe will join forces with Italy's most innovative at CA' Foscari University, 17-19 of March for the all new FEI: Venice Event.

For over a decade, The FEI: Front End of Innovation brand has been the trusted source in congregating the smartest, most accomplished thought leaders from across industries and functions.  These pioneers turn to FEI each year to engage in powerful narratives and help solve each other's greatest challenges- from the front end through the back end- by immersing themselves in shared experiences and showcasing best and next practices.

2014 Keynote speakers include:

Vince Voron, Former Designer at APPLE, COKE, AVP of Creative Excellence and Global Design, DOLBY

Frank Stephenson, Legendary Designer, Design Director, MCLAREN

Alberto Alessi, Legendary Designer, Founder, ALESSI SPA

Heather Moore, Design Strategist and Visionary, Group R&D, VODAFONE

Frank T. Piller, Professor of Management and Director, Technology & Innovation Mgmt. Group, RWTH Aachen & MIT MEDIA LAB

Giuseppe Morici, Chief Marketing Officer, Group Director, Brand Development, Innovation, and Marketing, BARILLA

Christer Windelov-Lidzelius, Founder, THE KAOSPILOTS

Jaspar Roos, Chief Inspiration Officer and Dialogues Incubator, ABN AMRO, Founder, FUTUREIDEAS

Mauro Piloni, VP, Advanced Development and Cross Product Categories, President, Whirlpool R&D,WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION

And more!  Download the brochure for the complete speaker line-up and full conference agenda.
Core Content Areas: 
Innovation Management
Cultivating the Innovation Environment
Design & Trends as Early Influencers
Foresight and Trends Driven Innovation
Aligning Innovation Ecosystems
Business Model Opportunities

We hope you will join us as we fuel the creation of future value at FEI: Venice.

Use Blog Reader Code: FEIV14BL to save 15% off the standard rate when you register to attend here.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Directed Innovation Methods--Motorola's Secret Sauce

Those of us who came to the Back End of Innovation Conference, #BEI13, looking for

strategies and techniques for successfully implementing innovative ideas were rewarded with Maria B. Thompson's comprehensive and generous talk on “Directed Innovation Methods to Successfully Move from Ideation to Implementation.”  Thompson, whose LinkedIn profile reads "Innovation Instigator | Inventor Mentor | Creativity Coach | Patent Professional | Change Champion | TRIZ Tipster," shared Motorola's complete soup-to-nuts innovation process, which they call "Directed Innovation."

Directed innovation is a process that combines a number of innovation practices at each step. Thompson shared a wealth of techniques for each phase, drawing on a number of innovation methods, but combining them into an organized workflow.

The nine steps that Thompson laid out are: 
1. Get senior management sponsorship
2. Use an experienced Directed Innovation (DI) facilitator
3. Identify high-value problems of the future
4. Conduct problem storming
5. Generate questions bank
6. Select diverse participants for ideation
7. Use the question bank to ideate in pairs
8. Combine, evaluate, and eliminate ideas
9. Generate metrics

A key component of Motorola’s innovation model, one that is too often overlooked, is the identification high-value problems. Motorola uses design thinking and user observation, including ride-alongs and other qualitative techniques to truly identify problems from the user perspective. Thompson spoke about the importance to articulating problems and not rushing to solutions. Acknowledging that we all love to solve problems, Thompson shared with us a powerful Einstein quote: 
"The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution, which may be merely of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.”   --Albert Einstein

Imagination comes from reframing the problem multiple ways as well. “People weren’t coming back with problems; they were coming back with solutions,” said Thompson “We all want to solve problems.” The practice is known as “problem storming” and includes tools such as TRIZ, which is the acronym for “Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatel’skikh Zadach” or the "Theory of Inventive Problem Solving." G.S. Altshuller and his colleagues in the former USSR developed the method between 1946 and 1985. TRIZ is an international science of creativity that relies on the study of the patterns of problems and solutions. 

Generating questions is also known as “Assumption Storming.”  The Questions bank is all about assumptions and limitations. Question Banks are organized topical collections of questions that inspire diverse, creative and innovative thinking to achieve goals, overcome  challenges, or solve problems.  Thompson shared a wealth of tools for generating questions, including a copy of the “Provocation Tool,” a fishbone-diagram-like worksheet that encourages participants to continue probing with questions.

TRIZ includes 40 inventive principles that can be used to look at problems/questions in new ways to generate ideas. One of the major activities researchers should focus on is looking for contradictions and design-arounds. What are the contradictions that consumers face? For example, in looking at purses (an example Thompson used), a contradiction would be “I want a small purse, but I want to carry a lot of things.”  A design-around might be—“I need ready access to my smart phone, so let me add an external pouch to my purse with Velcro.” Inventors don’t accept compromises; they resolve contradictions by the equivalent of having their cake and eating it too. This is also known as “busting constraints.” 

Ideation, which happens during face-to-face sessions, consists of the “triplet” of a problem statement, constraint, and opportunity space.  Participants in Thompson’s sessions have helpful worksheets to record ideas. Once several worksheets are filled out, the team will look for themes that resonate or are especially compelling. Thompson finds that handwritten inputs and outputs are more effective during sessions than capturing insights online. During these sessions, the innovators are scribes, and subject matter experts ( SMEs) as well as patent attorneys are on hand for concept evaluation. [Note: Thompson directed participants to her LinkedIn profile, which includes presentations that can be viewed or downloaded.] 

Breakthroughs come at the very end of the day when they are exhausted. Thompson’s final words of advice were “If you want to become an inventor, read the patents. Everyone wants to describe their idea. What they need to do is describe the problem they are solving.”  

Ivy Eisenberg is founder of Our IdeaWorks, an Innovation and Lean Customer Research™ consultancy that helps companies connect to customers and other stakeholders to discover business opportunities, accelerate growth, and build and deliver successful products and services.  Ivy has more than 25 years of experience in the Front End of Innovation, user interaction design, and software product and project management. She has worked in healthcare, financial services, B2B, consumer goods, and telecommunications sectors.  Ivy is also an award-winning humor writer and storyteller, with an MBA in Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Innovation from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Key Innovation Quotes and Observations from Day 3 of BEI

The third day of the Back End of Innovation (BEI) Conference in Silicon Valley had a great roster of thought leader and innovation practitioner speakers. If you don't follow me on twitter where I tweet as @innovate then you will have missed my thoughts on what some of the key innovation quotes and observations were from Day Three, so I'll recollect them here the best that I can.

The third day began with Lisa Marchese of The Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas. Here are some Lisa's key quotes and insights:

  • When we created the Cosmopolitan brand we did so with the knowledge that most visitors came from LA, SF, NYC, etc.
  • "When we launched The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, room occupancy and room rates were low. This created a can't lose environment."
  • "We've out Belagio'd the Belagio. We've got the best view of the fountains."
  • "We looked at 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas' and we had a different insight - people want to take constraints of their normal life off"
  • "We arrived at the Curious Class (tm) as a target - help curious, creative people leave with a story to tell."
  • "We saw Vegas mystique slightly differently. People want to be constraint-free self and have memorable experience."
  • "It is very difficult to keep a passionate, innovative culture where people feel that we are doing something different"
  • RT @virtualdavid - Innovators lose mojo over the years. It is hard to keep burning passion that we are doing something different going.
  • When innovation is in play, if people avoid conflict, the outcome is affected. It is not always a pleasant experience.
  • RT @RominaAK - Innovative Marketing - It's emotive. It makes you want to learn more
  • "Look for friction, and push innovation focus all the way through to marketing. Even marketing people go back to what they know."
  • We created something new with the Cosmopolitan, and then we had several other people competing in us in white space we created.
  • Lisa described how their team keeps creating innovation only to have other people knock us off, again and again, it's exhausting
  • We innovate in creative and channel - We buy where they don't buy - As soon as someone comes where we are, we leave
  • We don't want to be seen as at parity with the competition
  • We know we are in a saturated market & we have less money to spend, so we try to own channels we use - figuratively or actually
  • Because we must maintain agility in our marketing and advertising & not appear in cluttered channels, we are running out of channels
  • Because we are running out of channels, now we have to start thinking about owning the channels
  • Flipping things on their head is how we stay fresh as a marketing-led organization
  • People who in the innovation industry are "openers" are not necessarily "operators" and a lot of the creators are leaving
  • It is a big challenge to keep things fresh, and we have had some cultural and service challenges, things haven't been perfect
  • RT @virtualdavid - Mutation is progress. Correct is a mistake. Just right amount of wrong. From Cosmopolitan Hotel ad via Lisa Marchese
  • RT @thehealthmaven - Agility! When your competition zigs YOU zag.
  • When you get one win under your belt is helps you get future boundary pushing work approved.
  • We create a lot of content for our property and this all has to be curated in order to ensure the success of brand and hotel
  • "Trying to be like someone is not innovative, even if it's Apple."
  • If you want to create a great brand, you can't live in the middle, you must firmly plant your feet on one side or the other.
  • It is okay to piss people off or not have them like you. A strong brand can't be for everyone.
  • How do you keep people motivated in innovation? Have them look at more stuff. - Love it - Agrees with inspiration as center!

I then attended a session with Kenneth Klimpel of Colgate Palmolive. Here are the most interesting things I came away with from this session:

  • With the exception of pet nutrition, all our products are driven by four core technology innovation spaces
  • We can make exactly the same thing as anyone else for less because all of our plants are optimized for purpose
  • Amazing! A Colgate-Palmolive toothpaste plant can make 700 tubes of toothpaste - wait for it - PER MINUTE! That's a lot of toothpaste
  • When we looked at electric toothbrushes we didn't have the competencies to succeed there, but we wanted to do it, now what?
  • KK just showed an ad for the Colgate 1500 electric toothbrush via a partnership with Omrom - Looks like a smart toothbrush. Cool!
  • Colgate 1500 was outcome of Colgate looking at a mature market where they wanted to enter, but didn't have competencies.

The third session I attended of the day, was with David Davidovic of PathForward (formerly Genentech) and Sara M. Roberts of Roberts Golden Consulting and here are some of the key insights and quotes from that session:

  • RT @Smartorginc - David Davidovic says you can't understand a company's innovative-ness by only looking at its products and services.
  • Volatility is the new normal - Must focus on the Volume, Velocity and Variety in your innovation efforts
  • RT @Smartorginc - Sara Roberts says we hire for diversity but incentivize conformity
  • Sara Roberts told story behind Blockbuster demise through the lens of a change in CEOs and switch from online to retail focus
  • My reaction - I would argue that Blockbuster was not innovative because their board was not innovative & ultimately they run show. With public companies, if a board lacks innovation vision, they can kill an otherwise innovative company. Be careful who you pick for your board!
  • Sara Roberts says we've been asking for ideas when we need to be asking for involvement - we must empower the crowd
  • Most nimble & innovative companies ask employees not just for ideas but also to drive business planning process with predictions

The fourth session I attended of the day was with Bill Demas of Turn. Here were some of the interesting bits from my tweet stream:

  • Bill Demas talked about their pivot from an ad network to a completely different business model
  • Talked about their employee recognition award of burning a plastic boat in their honor instead of an employee of the month
  • Bill Demas talking about their pivot from an ad network to a self-service platform and how they had to let people go and hire new ones
  • Bill Demas talked about how they really try to build in transparency into what they do in what was a very obfuscated market
  • Bill Demas talking about how the advertising market has become so much more fragmented across a plethora of channels and devices
  • @BillDemas talked about how their turn software creates a Bloomberg-like system for tracking advertising spend
  • He talked about how their new vision was moving forward and then suddenly Google bought their biggest competitor
  • "I kept reinforcing that smaller companies move slower than big companies, and so our advantage was speed."
  • They started hiring software folks and teaching them digital advertising - We're a SaaS company first
  • @BillDemas talked about their use of traditional forming, storming, norming, performing framework as they went through tech pivot
  • They have a one pager that they use to track their future strategy and the things that are important to management
  • Sorry, had to leave a bit earlier to set up for my speech...

The final session of the event was my talk on Building Effective Innovation Teams. I spoke about several different tools, techniques and understanding that are important when it comes to building better innovation teams. Some of this content can be found in FREE innovation eLearning available from Innovation Tutors, including in the two following BETA eLearning modules:

If you were at the conference, what did you take away from Day Three?

Did you miss the Day One Highlights?

Did you miss the Day Two Highlights?

P.S. Don't forget to register for the FREE Beta of the Global Innovation Certification and the FREE Innovation eLearning BETA for the Global Innovation Certification BETA for Innovation Catalysts.


Braden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B inbound marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He has recently begun distributing Innovation eLearning and is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Key Innovation Quotes and Observations from Day 2 of BEI

The second day of the Back End of Innovation (BEI) Conference in Silicon Valley had a great roster of thought leader and innovation practitioner speakers. If you don't follow me on twitter where I tweet as @innovate then you will have missed my thoughts on what some of the key innovation quotes and observations were from Day Two, so I'll recollect them here the best that I can.

The second day began with Vijay Govindarajan. Here are some Vijay's key quotes and insights:

  • "Strategy = Innovation"
  • "If you want to lead in the future, you must do innovation"
  • "Strategy is not about competition for the present, it's about competition for the future"
  • "Common sense is not necessarily common practice."
  • "We say there is no innovation in education but none of the Top 10 universities in the world are in Top 10 today."
  • Vijay talked about his box 1,2,3 thinking model. Personally, I think the error is tasking one person with success in all three boxes.
  • "Companies over-emphasize idea generation and under-emphasize idea execution when it comes to innovation."
  • My reaction - People hype business model innovation WAY too much. Most Business Model Innovation examples started with the innovation, not other way around.
  • My reaction - The business model canvas is a useful tool for innovation, but it is not by itself the source of it.
  • My reaction - Ugh. I am so tired of hearing about fail fast, success comes not from failing fast, it is about LEARNING fast.
  • "You can ask your performance engine to do MORE work, but not DIFFERENT work."
  • "For Box 3 experiments you must create a dedicated team with permission to create its own culture"
  • "CEO must recognize that there will be tensions between performance engine & Box 3 experiments that they must manage"

I then attended a panel with Rachel Birney of Exxon Mobil, Jon Fredrickson of Innocentive, and Julie DiSandro and Kurt Scherer of Booz Allen Hamilton. Here are the most interesting things I came away with from this session:

  • "Innovation = change with impact" Simple. Powerful. Elegantly stated. - K Scherer
  • "Don't communicate something about your innovation program until you have a real story to tell." - J DiSandro
  • "When it comes to managing an innovation community, you must stimulate people with a variety of things to react to." - J Fredrickson
  • "Recognize and fight the two antibodies that will kill innovation: corporate antibodies and personal antibodies" - Unknown

The third session I attended of the day, was with Maria B Thompson of Motorola Solutions and here are some of the key insights and quotes from that session:

  • People tend to come back from ride alongs not with problems, but solutions.
  • When people come back from ride alongs with solutions, you end up with incremental innovation instead of breakthroughs you seek
  • To get to innovation you need to get people to park in the problem space and refrain from jumping to solutions
  • When you are observing customers, look for the BUTs and the unexpected workarounds
  • Look for the important contradictions that customers seem to want "I want long battery life but low weight"
  • “Park in the problem space and force yourself to stay there and reframe it in multiple ways.” Yes!
  • "Engineers love questions"
  • Problemstorming or Provocation Sessions should have at least 8+ people, but she prefers 20+ people to get more dots to connect
  • Interesting that Maria B Thompson mentioned that she switched from going to FEI to BEI. I wonder if that might be a trend?
  • "The measure of intelligence is the ability to change" - Albert Einstein
  • Interesting idea that for innovation, instead of brainstorming ideas, you should focus on assumptionstorming and problemstorming"
  • Directed Innovation model being discussed is a good example of peer-to-peer collaboration - Motorola Solutions & Medtronic
  • Maria gave a shoutout to Conceptual Blockbusting
  • You might be on to something if your engineers tell you you're asking them to violate the laws of physics.
  • Rule #1 to ideation sessions, don't give the lawyer the pen for the whiteboard!
  • Contribution from audience - for remote people trying to participate in assumption, problem, or idea storming - partner them up
  • Demise of Motorola Mobility? The success of the RAZR - People reassigned from smartphone work to RAZR work because of its success.
  • "Vision without execution is hallucination." - Thomas Edison

The fourth session I attended of the day was with Michele R Westlander, Chief Technology Officer (Public Sector) and Innovation Evangelist from Google. The presentation was heavily skewed towards evangelism, but here were some of the interesting bits from my tweet stream:

  • Google doesn't call it HR, they call it People Ops. "It's all about the people, and the corporate culture."
  • Google Corporate Philosophy - "If you give people freedom, they will amaze you."
  • People ask us about expense of Google cafeterias, but think about expense of lost time & collaboration of people going off-campus.
  • Google's offices have a Tech Stop for hands on computer issue repair. Time is money.
  • My question - Some people would say that Google is great at invention (Microsoft too), but not so good at innovation. What do you think?
  • My reaction - Google's new collaboration model they are touting isn't new though, this was whole Lotus Notes model available twenty years ago. Just saying.
  • "At Google, failure is expected, if you're not failing you're pushing hard enough or reaching far enough."
  • Love that - "Don't take 'No' from someone who can't give you a 'Yes' in the first place."
  • My reaction - Happy to see Google is the first one to talk about learning fast being more important than failing fast - my mantra
  • Three biggest barriers to innovation - culture (people) aka resistance to change, policy (business processes), and technology

The fifth session I attended of the day was with Steve Garguilo and Matt Kane of Johnson & Johnson. They spoke about their efforts to bring the TEDX model into the Salon events that they were helping to organize within J&J:

  • They wanted the Salon events to be very local and how they spread to Brazil and China and other J&J places
  • Their Salon format was based on TEDX format and had a goal for 75% internal and 25% external speakers
  • They told a story about how an employee created art out of styrofoam waste & how that evolved into an effort to reimagine waste at J&J
  • They talked about how powerful it can be to change people's experience - used accordion & post-its under people's chairs to make point
  • They focus not just on compelling content on main stage, but chances to connect & explore, and to experience something new
  • My reaction - I like what they are doing with their Salon experiences, ties in nicely with the first of the Eight I's of Infinite Innovation
  • My reaction - It's becoming more common to have a Chief Innovation Officer, but do you have a Chief Inspiration Officer? Inspiration drives innovation...
  • They told a powerful story about how someone installed a "Before I die, I want to..." picture on the wall and how people engaged with it, and how it evolved into a "Before the end of 2013..." campaign within the company
  • They talked about how the TED library is being translated into other languages and how this can be leveraged for global event rollout
  • They started their events informally because they were passionate about it, and it has grown into a corporate funded event series.
  • We are not only ones doing TEDX kinds of events, Google, Disney, Intuit and others are doing too & can be learned from
  • They used a nomination process, required rehearsals, and had people who could help shape presentations & evaluate whether people were ready
  • Part of how we convinced people to conform to the TEDX style was to reinforce how they were going to help people look good
  • My reaction - Interesting to see how the TEDX format has spread from expanding to additional cities, and now expanding into inspiring employees
  • My reaction - Must say that by making employee inspiration investment in right way, you will not only increase innovation but employee engagement too
  • It is worthwhile work to contribute towards getting people to bring their authentic selves to work...
  • Their efforts were off the side of the desk of their full time jobs until it grew to a keep doing or stop doing moment...

The final session I attended was with Ken Perlman of Kotter International. Here are some of the key insights and quotes from that session:

  • "Too often we deprive people of something to take home to show that they matter."
  • "We don't have the time to work on the stuff that is truly important because we're working on the things we have to do."
  • "Leaders should lead with a question. Leaders should be asking WHO and WHY to drive innovation." - Are you?
  • "Most people are good at self managing. Most people are focused on the WHEN, WHERE, and HOW. Leverage this!"
  • "Leaders ask people to take ownership." - If nobody responds, then it is on you & your framing.
  • Our hierarchical approach to management is really all about risk management - Not built for speed.
  • "Employers are competing for employees' time."
  • "Simple is not equal to easy. Clarity creates speed."
  • "It is human nature that when pushed, we push back."
  • "Hierarchy needs the network to innovate."
  • "Organizations become more hierarchical as they grow and networked organization shrinks."
  • "We argue about the what when we should be focused on agreeing on the why."

If you were at the conference, what did you take away from Day Two?

Coming up next, highlights from Day 3 of BEI...

P.S. Don't forget to register for the FREE Beta of the Global Innovation Certification and the FREE Innovation eLearning BETA for the Global Innovation Certification BETA for Innovation Catalysts.


Braden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B inbound marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He has recently begun distributing Innovation eLearning and is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.

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