Jack’s Notebook

    What’s Your Innovation Plan for 2014?

    imagesIt’s that time of year again.

    Time to think about what your innovation plan for 2014 is going to be. Have you done anything more than ponder this question? Have you even noodled about with it? Written anything down?

    The time is NOW!

    It doesn’t really matter if you have on your personal beret or your business fedora — if you don’t plan, and soon, you won’t be starting 2014 with anything like momentum.

    What you want, at the very least, is a general statement that focuses your efforts, and a breakdown of how you’ll get there through the next four quarters. If you’ve never done this before, I would suggest that you put creativity, creative problem solving, and innovation training at the top of the list. If you’re more organized, good on you, and might i suggest that you pump up the frequency of your “cycle?”

    Be specific, measurable, and, imaginative. Get to a reflective space where you can sit back and think, ideate,and create. It might actually be fun. Do a mind-map maybe and then organize it into a more linear plan later.

    So, get out that yellow pad, white board, notebook, journal, iPad and start writing. If you want some help with this — get in touch.

    Best of luck.

     

     

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    Yes, I Tweet a Bit (Innovators Use Twitter)

    I was just named as one of the Top 50 Innovation tweeters by Innovation Excellence. A tweeter is one who uses Twitter. It’s a fairly informal sort of top 50 list — I don’t think there is a great deal of analysis around content or reach, but still, it’s nice to be recognized. I crossed the 10,000 follower line about a month ago, and weirdly, it felt like a real accomplishment. Then I saw that my friend and colleague Dr. Cindi Burnet (@Cyndiburnett) is over 50,000 followers and I didn’t feel quite so glamorous. And, you get out of Twitter what you put into it. I’m happy with my results at my current time-investment level. 10,000 feels like a “very

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    Creative Transformation

    Much is written about various creativity tools and techniques. If you do a Google or Bing search you’ll find countless articles and videos related to brainstorming, brain-writing, Mind-Mapping and other creative thinking tools. As someone who talks about creativity all the time, I get it, people want something they can use to become more creative. And it’s true, these tools have immediate and positive impact. I’ve covered many of them in this blog, including frameworks like CPS. But ultimately creative tools and techniques won’t make you “more creative.” They’ll make you more creatively effective, and there’s a difference. Becoming more creative means you change who you are and how you are being, core creative improvement, really, requires personal transformation. The

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    Run to the Innovation Jungle

    Guerilla Innovation Chapter Fourteen Run to the Jungle I’ve written what amounts to a short book on innovation for small business these last couple months. I’ve called it Guerilla Innovation (the starting post is here) and I’ve targeted those who want to create a start-up, or, are internal innovators at companies who have little experience with innovation (and innovation-speak). This is a basic, but I think highly useful, field-guide-like innovation book for small business. Every business starts as a small business, so, I’m not limiting the book to those who don’t have much ambition — I merely wanted to provide a more readable, more practical, approach to innovation without all the “MBA-speak”. In the spirit of providing real value in this

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    Training Is Innovation Accelerant

    I’ve neglected to write about a critically important aspect of creativity and innovation —  the value of training. Creativity and innovation training is a highly effective accelerant for business results. And yes, you can train creativity. And by the way, if you want brainstorming that works – don’t skip training. Much of the research that says brainstorming doesn’t work (ahem) studied groups with no training. You can also train people in the fuzzy front end of innovation. That difficult bit of  invention that analysis can’t quite solve on its own is especially challenging for corporations. Training can make a big difference in bridging the gap between market knowledge and… what could be. You’ll see immediate and positive results with creativity training.

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    Money Mindset Matters

    Guerilla Innovation- Chapter 12 Having a Healthy Money Mindset One major factor that stops people from making the jump into business ownership is their relationship with money. Before I get into ways in which entrepreneurs (aka ‘guerilla innovators’) can get funds, a blurb on the whole money mindset is in order. Money, because of its importance, is deeply entwined with our thinking. It is often an emotional relationship. These emotions about money can inhibit creativity and put a damper on innovation. Before you go out fund raising, think about these statements: Do you have a problem with asking for money? Do you have a fear of rejection? Do you worry you can’t prove or persuade others you and your concept are

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    Notebooking is Innovation Viagra

    Guerilla Innovation Chapter Five Notebooking is Innovation Viagra What do Leonardo DaVinci, Thomas Edison, Jack Kerouac, Beatrix Potter, Madame Curie, and Twyla Tharp all have in common? They all do Idea Notebooks. Call the behavior Notebooking. It’s not just ideas, it’s also questions, facts, observations — products of your curiosity. The big company version of Notebooking is an Idea Management System (IMS). Notebooks are the IMS for small business innovators. You have a Jungle Business Plan in your purse or man bag. It’s a short document that forms the outline of what you are doing in your quest for innovation. It’s a guide and you’re actively working it, evolving as the landscape in front of you changes. You use creative

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    Start a Spiral of Positive Creative Words

    Words of wisdom can echo through time. Words of positive creativity creates virtuous circles that can spiral for many years. I’m writing today of the words others have given me, and also, my own words. I occasionally hear from somebody who has read my business novel, Jack’s Notebook. The notes are generally positive. Some have been — inspirational. It’s a profoundly fulfilling thing to hear about the positive impact your words have on others. I’m grateful for the audience, and grateful for the words of empowerment others have given me. Yesterday a reader of Jack’s Notebook, Aaron Eden, posted an interesting blog piece about his journey into the world of creativity and innovation. In Butterflies to Hurricanes – How Innovation and Creative

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    Creativity is Not a Muse, it's a Choice

    “Creativity is Not a Muse, it’s a Choice.” Gregg Fraley Yes, that’s my quote, and what this post is all about today. I’m writing this piece to co-publish on a cool new blog called Follow the Weasel. Most of the content on FtW is in German, but selected bits, such as mine, are in English. FtW is a potpourri of creativity and innovation topics, a bit of design and invention, and it has a younger readership in Austria and Germany. Thank you to “Alf Red” a young visionary for the invitation to guest post on FtW. My post is directed at younger people, but it might resonate with anyone seeking greater creativity. There is a ton of written material about

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    Do You Brainstorm Like It's 1949?

    “If you’re gonna brainstorm… please do it like it’s 1999″…(sing this to the tune of Prince’s 1999). I’ve been busy lately doing a training course for salespeople called SalesStorming. My course is not rocket science, it’s just applied creativity concepts focused on selling challenges. I’ve been in front of about 50 sales reps in recent weeks and although they are regularly involved in highly complex sales challenges (the kind that are difficult to win, with long sales cycles, and require a team effort) virtually none of these sales professionals had any idea, really, about how to brainstorm. It was fun to bring them into the new century of creative thinking. In two days we were thinking up breakthrough ideas and

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