Inspirational

    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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    The Invisible Elephant of Non-Self-Expression

    Late Night Dream Anxiety Re: Self-Expression I had a dream last night about self-expression. I dreamed about writing a blog post. I wish I could recall exactly what I wrote in my dreams. The gist of the dream had to do with how pervasive a concept the lack of self-expression is in our lives — so much so that we usually ignore it. The elephant in the creativity and innovation room is a lack of full self-expression. The elephant in the dream — me — was trying to make itself known to an amorphous group in a meeting. I tried to speak but nobody heard my voice. I blew that elephant trumpet and nobody heard. I think the point of

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    Help Detained USA Citizen In Abu Dhabi

    This is a departure for this blog. While there is a direct connection to creativity and innovation it is essentially a press release written by concerned leaders in the creativity and innovation international community. One of our own, Dr. Robert Alan Black, has been detained in Abu Dhabi. The details are below. My request is that if you are so moved, please contact the offices of your elected officials. USA citizens can find contact information here.  Press Release For Immediate Release Contact:                     Rosemary Rein Phone number:       239-910-3354 Email:                         rosemaryrein@rosemaryrein.com   American Creativity Expert Detained In Abu Dhabi Friday October 31, 2014 – Athens, Georgia. Dr. Robert Alan Black, an Athens resident, is being held in Al Wathba prison in

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    Six Ideas for Creative Action

    What kind of action can you take, today, to advance your dream? What action can you take today to make real your invention, your new business idea, or art project? This is a post about taking creative action. All the great ideas in the world, all the wonderful concepts, all the ground-breaking thoughts we have are useless unless we get into real world action. It’s an easy concept to forget for people who love ideas, concepts, and imaginative thinking. Somehow — we are such great rationalisers — the good vibes generated when we have those lovely thoughts feel like action. But sadly they are not. Every day that slips by without real world forward progress on our creative ideas is

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    Have You Made the Creative Choice?

    Have you made the Creative Choice? There is a ton of written material about creativity and innovation. I make an effort to keep up with the waves of literature — there’s a new methodology, a new process, fresh brain research, best practices, anti-best practices, etc. Some of this literature is quite good. There is also stuff about how creativity relates to mysticism and spirituality, also quite interesting. Finally there is also a good deal of useless, boring drivel that only reinforces unhelpful mythology about creativity. If you intend to be more creative and to use that capacity to innovate, I would encourage you to read widely and make your own judgments, but don’t get lost in all the words, don’t

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    The Innovation Metronome

    There is no achievement without hard work. There is no breakthrough innovation without hard work. Innovation happens when you practice with discipline, with rhythm. We sometimes get lucky with things and shortcuts present themselves. Even then, one has to be ready to recognise luck when it’s sitting in front of you — on its hind legs begging for a ham bone. Even recognising a breakthrough innovation opportunity takes the hard work of understanding the market, the context. Call that deep research. Usually innovation is a bit like the guitar lesson I had yesterday. I take a weekly lesson from a kind church lady. Donna is a great teacher, she swings, in the musical sense. I emphasize the kind aspect of

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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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    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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    Reading Widely Means More Dots to Connect

    People ask me what I read. I think this question is inspired by my citing some arcane fact or that I make a weird connection now and then. I am a voracious reader, but I think what I actually read might surprise. Most of it is NOT directly about creativity and innovation (that’s a way to guarantee you’re boring!) Reading widely provides more dots to connect. Broadly, I’m thinking I’m improving my database by reading a lot of varied and weird content. There is some science to this; one can make more conceptual blends if one has more to blend. And, concept blending, new connections, are where innovation comes from. So, this is a snapshot of what I’m reading, for

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    Need Ideas for Creative Alternatives to Government Paralysis

    I’m sick of having a dysfunctional government. I know it’s a complex power struggle. I know there are many points of view as to why this dysfunction exists. I think this crazy partial government shutdown is probably going to happen, and to me this signals a new low. I’m not interested, right now, in a right or left opinion of whose fault it is, or why this is necessary. I think both sides share the blame in this, and, it will require both sides to return to a productive government. I want ideas. I want to focus on ideas that can motivate those in government right now. Before new elections. For years now, it would seem the only thing the

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