Friday, August 29, 2014

Ways to Cultivate a More Creative Mindset: Dan Pink

In this Friday Flashback, we've uncovered this video from our sister event where bestselling author Daniel Pink describes how to build creativity into your daily routine. He offers some tips to begin your transformation to a more creative mindset in your role in your business.

Lesson 1: Creative Disruption from Creative Leadership on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Changing Role of the Chief Innovation Officer (CInO)

As the competency of corporate innovation continues to expand and improve, more Chief Innovation Officer roles are appearing in large, corporate organizations. This is a welcome development and recognition of the ongoing value that leadership sees innovation efforts delivering for organizations. This recognition is demonstrated by the focus on the CInO role by several conferences, including The Back End of Innovation in Las Vegas on October 6-8.

I have been reading a lot about the CInO role lately and recently spoke with Luis Solis, the author of a book titled “Innovation Alchemists: What Every CEO Should Know to Hire the Right Chief Innovation Officer” to get his perspectives on the CInO role in the context of this value generation.

What changes have you seen with the CInO role recently?

As the CInO role continues to evolve and develop, one significant change is that the previous focus on process and activity is being augmented with a serious and deep scouting function. That includes scouting for technologies, trends, and cultural insights. This means that the role is expanding into other more established corporate functions, such as Competitive Intelligence, Strategy, and HR, so these CInO’s need to better manage and shape relationships across the organization, often where there may be competing interests. More than ever, it’s a delicate balancing act.

There is also more focus on impacting the culture of an organization as a precondition for success, but not only that, it is viewed that the CInO and resources may be a better catalyst for shifting the organization towards an innovative culture, perhaps more than what has been in place until now.

How do you see the role changing going forward?

Look, the reality is that the CInO is here to stay and it’s an expanding role. We are in a macro-economic recovery and this gives companies more confidence. So I think that this and next year will be a bumper crop of CInO roles becoming available. Unfortunately I don’t think that there is a body of future leaders to take that leading role, so there is a market opportunity for that pipeline to be filled.

I have heard you talk about the importance of employee innovation networks, so how does that connect back to the CInO role?

This goes back to maturity, because the current view is that innovation takes place at the BU level. What this approach misses is connecting the effect of those project teams for intelligence gathering, practice sharing, risk reduction, speed, etc. All the benefits that come from connecting networks are missed, or at least more difficult to generate with discrete teams. So organizations are anywhere above two years in their innovation journey are, or should be, looking for something that is better than the separate projects. Innovation networks are just the natural extension beyond that.

At a certain point, leaders recognize that this is more than just about an innovation department or program, but it is a set of capabilities spread across the organization. With that perspective, the innovation program becomes the enabler of systems behaviors, rituals, and ultimately about building and managing an enhanced culture.

What has surprised you about the book’s reception, now that it has been out for a few months?

The first thing that I learned was that there is an extraordinary amount of interest in this CInO role. Leaders want to know “What it is?” “How it should be designed and organized?” “Who is qualified to fill that role?”

What I had not expected to encounter is that most leaders are not asking “if” they should have a CInO, but now it’s “who do we use and when?” It’s just a given now that this role is essential to business leaders. To me that’s a pretty big change in the past couple of years.

What are the biggest risks or conflicts that CInO’s need to manage?

One of the key issues for CInO’s is that they are impacting leaders of Strategy, Marketing, Competitor Intelligence, Digital, and R&D functions in vary tangible ways. So proper thought needs to be given to addressing the inevitable tensions that this new role generates. When designing this role, the CEO really does need to account for 2-4 years of their support, or it will be difficult to take route and grow. In my experience that has been a challenge, especially when a CEO rotates which can lead to a high rate of failure.

About the Author: Anthony Ferrier is the CEO of Culturevate (, an organization that empowers a company’s employees to execute ideas and inspire a culture of innovation, through employee networks, a resource portal and training programs (developed in association with Professor Chris Labash from Carnegie Mellon University). Anthony is a widely read author (, speaker and advisor to industry leaders at organizations such as Pfizer, U.S. Postal Service, Johnson & Johnson, ADP and Fidelity. He previously led The BNY Mellon innovation program and has a Masters of Commerce (University of Sydney) and Bachelor of Economics (University of Newcastle).

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rank the Qualities Needed to be an Innovation Leader

A consistent theme in innovation research is that the people involved in the effort are the final differentiator between success and failure. However, there is little data to help guide the selection, development, and assessment of senior innovation leaders.

To close this gap, Celent and Mick Simonelli, former senior innovation executive and thought leader, are partnering to survey innovation professionals to determine their priority ranking of the qualities of successful senior innovation leaders.

The survey explores four areas: technical business skills, leadership qualities, personal attributes, and previous job experience. For each, the survey lists seven or eight characteristics. Participants are asked to rank them according to their relative priorities -- from most important to least important.

The results form a snapshot of what, for this community of practitioners, contributes the most to the success of an innovation leader.

If you would like to participate, please click on the link below:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bryant’s Rules of Creativity

via Cartoonaday

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Innovation Execution Best Practices Revealed by Mattel, Chobani, Campbell Soup, VF Corp & More

If you've heard it once, you've heard it 100 times before - successful innovation is all about the execution and taking your ideas through to market. That's where the challenge lies, where the obstacles need to be overcome. How are you addressing these challenges?

Join us at BEI: Back End of Innovation this October for a program 100% Focused on Execution. BEI covers the entire innovation process - process & design, culture & structure, through to commercialization, paying close attention to the impact on execution.

Download our new, updated conference agenda for full program details here:

Back End of Innovation
October 6-8, 2014
The Cosmopolitan
Las Vegas, NV

At BEI, you'll hear how some of the most respected companies in the industry have successfully made innovation happen:

Process & Design from Mattel
Martin Elliott, Senior Director, New Business Ventures will share how innovation leaders at Mattel secure funding to commercialize ideas. Mattel's funding plan has been inspired by funding models of start-up and venture companies, replacing traditional budget requests and capital allocation processes with VC-style pitches. 

Organizational Culture & Structure from VF Corporation
Soon Yu, Global VP of Innovation knows that successful innovation starts and ends with people. Find out how VF Corporation has developed a program to direct the analytical side and motivate the emotional side to win with innovation.

Commercialization from Campbell Soup & Chobani
Michael Goodman, Director Innovation Commercialization at Campbell Soup will share Campbell's new approach to bringing breakthrough innovation to market - an approach that's helped them develop and commercialize products faster than ever before. Plus, you'll hear from Chobani's VP Global R&D, Kai Sacher, as he reveals how Chobani found the right focus, grew the brand and how they kept the understanding that "how" something is produced matters.

And that's just the beginning. BEI 2014 features 35+ inspirational case studies arming you with the insight, processes and tools you need to successfully executive innovation. Plus, you'll be joining over 250 innovation professionals from Insurance, Financial Services, Pharmaceutical & Healthcare, Packaged Goods, Telecommunications, Chemicals, Automotive & Transport, Manufacturing, Education and more. Download the updated agenda:

PLUS! Be sure to secure your spot in our limited availability offsite learning sessions - you'll have the opportunity to visit a few of the most innovative companies in Las Vegas and see how they make innovation happen. Click here for more information:
Mention code BEI14BL and save 15% off the standard rate. Register today:

We hope to see you in Las Vegas in October!

The BEI Team

P.S. We're excited to share new content with our BEI subscribers. Check out Strategy&'s article on Warfare, Software & Industrial Design: and SmartOrg's study on Innovation Portfolio Management:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Top 10 Living Futurists in 2014

Over at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging TechnologiesTed Kupper and Jon Perry recently hosted a Review the Future podcast that examined their nominations for the top (living) futurists today. Their conversation is definitely worth a listen and offered a lot of ideas to explore about leadership in foresight, prediction, trends, innovation and the rapid face of change we are facing today.

I would like to share the top 10 living Futurists they selected here and invite you to nominate others who you think deserve a place on the list, please share your thoughts in the comments below:

1. Ray Kurzweil 

Raymond "Ray" Kurzweil is an American author, computer scientist, inventor, futurist, and is a director of engineering at Google.

Known for Book: The Singularity Is Near

2. Vernor Steffen Vinge 

Vernor Steffen Vinge is a retired San Diego State University Professor of Mathematics, computer scientist, and science fiction author.

Known for The Coming Technological Singularity

3. Aubrey de Grey 

Aubrey David Nicholas Jasper de Grey is an English author and theoretician in the field of gerontology and the Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation.

Known for ideas on how medical technology may enable human beings alive today to live to lifespans far beyond what has been conceived before

4. Nick Bostrom

Nick Bostrom is a Swedish philosopher at St. Cross College, University of Oxford known for his work on existential risk and the anthropic principle. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics.

Known for transhumanism-related topics, such as artificial intelligence, superintelligence, mind uploading, cryonics, nanotechnology, human enhancement, and the simulation argument

5. Alvin Toffler

Alvin Toffler is an American writer and futurist, known for his works discussing the digital revolution, communication revolution and technological singularity.

Known for Books: Future Shock, The Third Wave

6. Cory Doctorow

Cory Efram Doctorow is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing.

Known for outspoken ideas on intellectual property, Whuffie, and sci-fi writing

7. Eric Drexler

Kim Eric Drexler is an American engineer best known for popularizing the potential of molecular nanotechnology, from the 1970s and 1980s.

Known as the founding father of Nanotechnology

8. David Brin

Glen David Brin is an American scientist and award-winning author of science fiction.
Known for Book: The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?

9. David Pearce

David Pearce is a British independent philosopher.

Known for Book: The Hedonistic Imperative

10. Gordon Moore

Gordon Earle Moore is an American businessman and co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Intel Corporation and the author of Moore's Law.

Known for Moore’s Law


Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at or @Literanista

Monday, August 18, 2014

What Determines the Success or Failure of an Idea?

Photo: Energy arc, central electrode of a plasma lamp by Blaise Frazier aka PiccoloNamek

It starts with the process and metrics, moves to the culture and structure of your organization and finally ends with the commercialization and product/service launch and integration, according to Back End of Innovation (BEI) Conference Producer Romina Kunstadter.

At BEI, Oct. 6-8 in Las Vegas, Nevada, you’ll hear from industry experts as they share their stories of success and struggle. In the meantime, read on as Romina explains how BEI can help your organization transform its innovation mindset and drive profitable growth.

Peggy Bieniek, ABC: What would you say makes this event unique?
Romina Kunstadter: BEI is solely focused on the execution of innovation. It goes beyond the ideation and shows you how to profit from innovation.

PB: Who should attend BEI?
RK: The event is for anyone charged with executing innovation, whether in terms of process, culture or the commercialization of a new idea/service/product. It’s for people in Innovation, Strategy, Business Development, R&D and Marketing.

PB: What is the purpose of BEI?
RK: BEI illustrates how companies are successfully executing innovation, but it also provides insight into the challenges faced along the way. You'll get an inside look at the tools and processes used by other companies that have led to innovation success. BEI also takes you outside of the conference walls to explore companies like Zappos & SuperNap that are changing the way business is done.

PB: What inspired BEI to be created?
RK: The identification of a problem. There are a multitude of great ideas, but an idea without profit is just an idea. The challenge isn’t coming up with a new idea, but actually bringing it to life.

PB: How did you come up with the event name?
The execution is truly on the back end – it’s what happens behind the curtain that defines the success or failure of a project

PB: What is most important for people to know about BEI?
RK: The three-day BEI experience will provide you with a new set of process, tools, skills and connections to help you drive your organization’s bottom line.

PB: How can BEI help organizations to innovate?
RK: BEI will help you ensure that your innovations are carried through to their final stage. It will show you how to mitigate risk and push your ideas through the pipeline.

PB: What are the main concepts you want attendees to take away from BEI?
RK: Everyone is struggling with the commercialization of innovation – to push new ideas through the pipeline and ensure they get to market. At BEI you’ll hear from people who are experiencing challenges similar to yours. BEI will give you a new perspective on how to avoid certain pitfalls and to make sure your new innovation has all the right processes in place for a successful launch.

Immerse yourself in innovation at BEI! To learn more and register, visit

Stay connected with BEI:
- #BEI14
- End of Innovation

This article was originally featured on Starry Blue Brilliance.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Build a Bridge Between Insights & Innovation

Are you looking for deeper understanding of your customers wants, needs, and values? Are you looking to act on those and create innovative products? You are in luck! You will get a deeper understanding of what drives consumer behavior with new innovation research technologies to connect with consumers in a meaningful way at Consumer Insights Canada this September.

Plus, an added bonus, one pass two event, join us under the same roof at the FEI Toronto, which brings together the best-of-the best in innovation, r&d, product development, commercialization, marketing and strategy from leading Fortune 1000 companies to be enlightened and inspired.  Register for either event and have access to the other! Double the content, double the sessions, double the speakers, double the insights, double the value - Don't miss out, register today!

Consumer Insights Canada 
September 29-October 1, 2014
The Ritz Carlton, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The team behind the World's Best Insights Event - The Market Research Event, and Shopper Insights in Action introduce The Consumer Insights Canada Event. Bringing the caliber of actionable content, inspiration and peer-to-peer networking you have come to expect to Canada. This is a 3-day experience focused on the power of insights in motivating smarter decision making.

FEI Toronto
September 29 – October 1
The Ritz Carlton, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

FEI is a global event brand that has become the annual meeting place of the most seasoned innovators across the globe. This year alone, over 1,100 of your innovation, product development, trends and R&D colleagues have already attended one of the FEI portfolio of events in Boston, Munich, or Venice. That's why we are so excited to extend the FEI experience to Toronto this Fall- a city that exudes all the elements essential to the FEI brand- creativity, ingenuity, diversity, and passion.

We hope to see you this fall in Toronto!

Friday, August 15, 2014

5 Great Ways to Boost Creativity

Via Rachel Gadiel

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Invest in Your Customers' Futures

Photo: Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada by David Stanley, Nanaimo, Canada

In "Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become?", Michael Schrage maintains that your organization's innovations should be investments in your customers' futures. He proposes to "shift the focus from extracting value from customers to making customers more valuable. Simply put, this new focus redefines the purpose of innovation — which is not just designing better products and services, but designing better and more valuable customers."

Looking for a resource to help your organization redefine their innovation mindset? Immerse yourself in innovation at this year's Back End of Innovation (BEI) event in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 6-8.

You'll learn how organizations are investing in their customers' futures. Kim Schaefer, Director of Communications, The Downtown Project, presents "Redefining a City." By helping to revitalize a downtown Las Vegas neighborhood that has been in a state of decline for many years, The Downtown Project is helping to redefine the image of the city itself. This organization is working to create an environment of entrepreneurship, learning, collaboration, innovation and creativity that it hopes will inspire communities around the world.

To learn more about BEI and register, go to

Stay connected with BEI:
- #BEI14
- End of Innovation

This article was originally featured on Customers 1st blog.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Voices From Last Year: The Challenge of Execution

Execution. That one word is more often than not the difference between innovation, failure and success. It sounds simple enough. But the reality is anything but. Without the successful integration of ideas at the back end, innovation doesn't happen. 

At Back End of Innovation (BEI) last year, we asked attendees and speakers about their biggest challenges with innovation. Some said their biggest challenge is connection from front to back end, some said alignment, and some said risks. Check out all the challenges in the full video here:

Check out the full BEI video here:

BEI is an event for the doers. Idea generating is only a portion of the challenge, the bulk of it is in execution. At BEI you will challenge your organization to be an innovation machine that continually drives output. From the process, to the culture, to the resourcing of ideas - you will make innovation happen at BEI.

Learn more about BEI 2014 here:

Mention code BEI14BL & Save 15% off the standard rate. Register today:

Rekindle Your Innovation Fire this Fall

Before we know it, the long days of summer will soon be behind us. Now’s the time to think about reinvigorating yourself and your team for the fall – rekindle your innovation fire…inspire, motivate, and push your teams 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. From front end through back end and onto foresight, every one agrees these are the events you won't want to miss:

FEI Toronto
September 29 – October 1
The Ritz-Carlton * Toronto, Ontario
Accelerating Systemic Innovation Growth: From Ideation to Execution
Use 15% off Blog Reader Code M2618BL

BEI: Back End of Innovation
October 6-8
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas * Las Vegas, NV
100% Focused on Execution – Immerse Yourself in Innovation
Use 15% off Blog Reader Code: BEI14BL

Foresight & Trends 2014
November 11 - November 13
SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Exploratory Experiences that Translate Visionary Knowledge into a Strategic Plan for Capturing Future Opportunities
Use 15% off Blog Reader Code: FT14BL

March 11-13, 2015
Imperial Riding School Renaissance Vienna Hotel

Ungargasse 60, 1030 Wien, Austria
Sign up for updates!

FEI USA 2015
May 18-20
Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center * Boston, MA
Sign up for updates!

Friday, August 8, 2014

7 Simple Rules for Creativity


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Embark on the holistic innovation journey - from the Front End through the Back End

This September 29-October 1st, your innovation, R&D, and product development peers and competitors will be joining together at The Front End of Innovation Toronto to embark on the holistic innovation journey-from the Front End through the Back End.

Though the event is called "Front End", we realize the pivotal importance of the execution phase. That's why FEI Toronto has a full day focused on the "back end"- from strategy, to scalability, to commercialization- where the real work happens. Immerse yourself in these sessions and get insights on how to truly get ideas to cross the business chasm.

(Photo: boegh)
Featured sessions include:

The Need for Speed: "Applying a Flexible Approach to Innovation"
- Bill Morris, Innovation Effectiveness Manager, Corning Inc

Corning Incorporated is the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics. Drawing on more than 160 years of materials & technology experience, Corning creates and makes keystone components that enable high-technology systems for consumer electronics, mobile emissions control, telecommunications and life sciences.

Gain insights on the trends and continuous evolution of Corning's Innovation approach to adapt to these trends. Learn how Corning is applying a flexible approach based on experience and judgment and customized their process to meet the specific needs of their new product teams

* Listen to this Podcast: REALLY Rapid Prototyping: Corning Tries to Cut Time to MVP by Half! Tips from an Innovation Process Pro to Get a Minimum Viable Product Faster featuring Laura Bissmeyer, Corporate Innovation Manager at Corning Incorporated

Successfully Bridging Operational Management and Real-Time Innovation
- Mike Steep, EVP Business Innovation, PARC, a Xerox Company

Innovation is everywhere. It has to be. Almost every tech invention becomes obsolete, or at least outdated, every couple of years. As a result, most companies have put innovation at the heart of their corporate culture. But, three things remain true about innovation today:

  1. Pervasive disruptive technologies are reshaping entire industry business models for NON-technology companies; 
  2. Disruptive technologies have become out of control despite technologist pledges to "do no evil;" and 
  3. Proven companies, even famous innovators, know little about managing innovation in the context of technology disruption. 

Steep walks the audience through a few case studies, showing how successful organizations innovate in the real world.

Discover how to make innovation a reality through insights research and testing. Hear examples from others in the trenches to evaluate what worked, what didn't, and why.

Plus, your registration to Front End of Innovation gives you access to Consumer Insights Canada! - that's DOUBLE the content, double the speakers, double the insights, for just ONE conference investment.

Consumer Insights Canada focuses on the power of insights in motivating smarter decision making, and in honor of its host country, the 2014 event will shine a particular lens on the local flavor of shopper and consumer insights in Canada.

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