Humor

    Innovation 2015 or Five Lame Excuses?

    Death or Kryptonite?

    From Superman Wiki

    From Superman Wiki

    I have a  vinyl record with one of those strategic skips that has it repeating — it drives me nuts — but I still play the record because I love the song so much.

    The song is Jimmy Olsen’s Blues by the Spin Doctors. It’s a hard rocker about the lament of Superman’s pal who has a crush on Superman’s gal. In the song Jimmy Olsen is competing with the man of steel for the affection of Miss Lois Lane. He’s got a secret weapon, a pocketful of Kryptonite.

    Innovation ca feel a lot like that — your competition is a big tough impossible-to-beat player like Superman.

    And no matter your size as an organization, you’d better be like little Jimmy Olsen with a secret weapon — a hidden pocket full of Kryptonite. Don’t let fear stop you from getting started.

    Or your toast.

    I’m going to be like  a broken record in this blog post (I wrote a similar one a year ago):

    If you don’t have an Innovation Plan, you aren’t doing innovation. And if you’re not doing innovation, you are planning something else — your demise, your death, your toasting . 

    Here’s the thing, like the inept and psychologically damaged journalist Jimmy Olsen, even a dysfunctional company that heretofore hasn’t managed to get innovation going can start now. Now is the time to impact 2015. Jimmy Olsen has a pocketful of kryptonite to take on the man of steel.  What’s your Kryptonite to protect you against all those who are out there, right now, thinking up ways to beat you? What’s your Kryptonite to get you growing and not dying?

    Your Kryptonite my innovation-ist friends, is an innovation plan that you start executing. Projects are what change culture. In fact, Nothing changes innovation culture except real world innovation projects. It’s the Only Kryptonite.

    You can forget these Five Lame Excuses to Delay Innovation:

    1. I don’t care if you don’t have funding — you can still get started.
    2. I don’t care if you don’t have time — that’s a BS excuse for not doing your job — make time.
    3. I don’t care if you don’t have approval — create something exciting and you’ll get approval.
    4. I  don’t care if you don’t have resources — getting resources or working around that is part of your plan — and see #3. above.
    5. I don’t know how to do innovation — start a project and learn as you go!

    I don’t care if you’re competing with Superman — you’ve got a pocketful of Kryptonite. Your Kryptonite is your urgent plan, your inventive brain, your courageous guts, your steadfast persistence — and most of all your action.

    Look, there are a million methods to do innoation, including those methods I espouse. But at the heart of it, it’s about ongoing projects. Don’t get hung up on whether to use Lean, or Design Thinking, or CPS, KILN’s FuseTrail, or some arcane method history has hung around your neck. Get a project started and use and abuse those tools, but GET STARTED Now, and keep the projects moving forward, and keep on executing innovation cycles. Don’t get beaten by one of five lame excuses.

    If you need help creating a plan, call me. We can get something useful on paper in a day.

    Get your pocketful of Kryptonite, get off your ass, and get innovating. Next December you’ll look back and be glad you did.

    You might play Jimmy Olsen’s Blues for inspiration.

     

     

     

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    Four Criteria for Hiring an Innovation Speaker

    Four Criteria for Hiring an Innovation Keynoter Let this post work as a guide for meeting planners. You don’t have to hire me as your innovation speaker, but if you hire one, you’ll be well served if you pay attention to these four criteria and my comments in bold. Innovation is a complex, wonky topic and it has some special requirements that go beyond the classic things meeting planners look for in a speaker. Let’s keep this simple and as neutral as possible — my shameless personal plug is at the very bottom. I’m even going to suggest my competition here. So here goes, in my view an Innovation Speaker should: 1. Have a background as a successful entrepreneur and/or

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    Leaders Hate the Concept of Creativity

    SNARK ALERT I’m not trying to be snarky. I am snarky. I’ve always been snarky.  I like being snarky, it’s fun. Here’s the problem: Being snarky is a bit like being the boy that cried wolf. When you’re being a smart ass just for practice you often stretch the truth. Okay, I often throw the truth out the window to be funny or to shock — but not in this blogg! As a creativity and innovation writer I suppress my inner Snark in order to be taken seriously. But now I think I’m doing you a disservice. The value of SNARK is it can be a wakeup call. As an innovation thought leader, I’m here to help. You can improve, you can

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    Ten Ideas for Using Innovation Film Clips

    I’ve written an article on Innovation in movies – Inspiring Innovation Films: a Top Ten List.  It’s been published on the Innovation Excellence portal — I’d be most grateful if you’d read it and comment over there. Today’s post is a value add to that article with some ideas on how to use creativity and innovation clips in projects and meetings. If you’re an innovation educator, manager, or team leader you may want to consider using clips as training and/or stimulus tools. I’m a big one for keeping things entertaining no matter what you’re doing. Movie clips are a great way to do that. Here are Ten Ideas on how to integrate film clips into an innovation project: Send out a

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    Love a Meeting Planner Day

    As Valentines Day approaches I’m reminded that everybody needs love. Even Meeting Planners. I’ve worked with many different meeting planners over the years and it’s a tough job. Endless details. Complex challenges. Ego’s to manage. Negotiations. Speakers to hire (ahem). Clients to please. Sore feet. Migranes. Exhaustion. Pre-meeting anxiety, post meeting collapses. I do appreciate Meeting Planners, but I wouldn’t want to be one! And always the unexpected. No matter how well planned an event is, something always happens that is unpredictable. Meeting Planners are often very creative in resolving problems. So, today January 30th, is Love a Meeting Planner Day. Why? Because I said so. I declare it. How to show the love today?  Here are 10 ways: Thank

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    Ideational Speaker, Gregg Fraley

    I do keynotes on creativity and innovation topics — and this is not something I hide. It’s all over my website and I do my best to promote my speaking on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and in my blog postings. So, it’s not unusual for me to be confronted — at a cocktail party or a business meeting — with the comment: So you’re a “Motivational Speaker.” It’s a fair observation, but it’s really…inexact when it comes to describing what I actually do. It’s not Wrong, but there’s more to my speaking than motivation. My talks are about ideas, so really, I’m an Ideational Speaker.  Yes, I make an effort to motivate people to be more creative and innovative. So, I

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    Spontaneous Thinking and the Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Jonathan Winters

    “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it.” Jonathan Winters Last week, a personal hero of mine, Jonathan Winters, passed away. He had a long, full, complicated, crazy, and indeed, mad, mad, mad, mad, life. If you don’t know who he is or why I’d be doing a post about him in a creativity and innovation blog, please just go to YouTube and watch this. If you really want to snort milk through your nose, try this one. Winters was a comic genius, a creative tour-de-force, and, a man who “used” his affliction with bi-polar disorder positively. He was one of the first public figures to admit to treatment for mental illness having “gone to the zoo”

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    Destructive Intelligence Limits Innovation

    My illustrious partner at KILN, the subtly dynamic Mr. Indy Neogy, MBA, has penned a very insightful piece on how research and analytical intelligence actually hoses innovation. Hoses, a term I’ve borrowed from Bob & Doug McKenzie, means “screws up” or “ruined”. To read the full piece click here. I did an illustration to go along with the words, which I’m posting below because it’s a bit of fun.* By the way, KILN is an innovation services company — I’m proud to be a founding partner. Indy’s article and my illustration are to be found in KILN’s newsletter Kindling — brain food for your innovation efforts (sign up here to get it via email). That’s all for today folks, but read

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    Dying is Easy, Starting Creative Projects is Hard

    I’m in Cincinnati visiting for Christmas and coincidentally have been invited to the First Annual Cincinnati Comedians Homecoming Show. I’ll be going to Funny Bone Newport, KY tonight and hope to see a few of my old colleagues from the early 80′s, back when I was doing stand-up. People often ask me what doing stand-up was like, so, here’s the story, but with a twist. I’m going to relate it to starting anything creatively challenging. In the late 70′s and early 80′s comedy went from a somewhat quaint and staid art practiced mostly in the Catskills and New York City to something more akin to rock and roll. The influence of Saturday Night Live and the late, great, seminal comics

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    Do You Want Innovation or a Dirty Martini?

    I’ve been following some interesting posts lately by Paul Hobcraft regarding management engagement in Innovation. Paul’s posts have a lot to do with the concept of engagement. It inspired the attached cartoon. I think many high level executives simply don’t know what they have. Until it’s too late. There are a lot of smart people out there, with great ideas. Talent is something you need if you really want to innovate. And yet, really, most organizations already have that talent. No, not every employee is Jony Ives and is an impact player at that level, but nearly every company has some people that, under the right circumstances, can hit home runs (score goals, set records, win gold, etc.). Ives himself

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