Meetings and Events

    Innovation MoshPit

    MoshPitIconV1What’s Really Needed is an Innovation MoshPit

    Reinventing Combinations, Concept Blends, and Mash-Ups

    I’ve been touting concept blends in innovation for some time. My reason is simple, it’s a fast path to new and different ideas. From the Printing Press to the iPhone, big new market-creating innovation happens when concepts from two different domains are combined. These Mash-Ups are not intuitive for most people to do and maybe that’s why some people try it and fail. Take heart, smart people can do concept blends with careful mental scaffolding.

    The key benefit to concept blends for organizations is finding breakthrough innovation. It’s my contention that a lot of breakthrough innovation is left on the table because not enough thinking work is done to combine well known, if very disparate, concepts.

    Isn’t breakthrough innovation enough of a benefit for organizations? Weirdly, for some organizations it’s not, because they’re not actually looking for breakthrough innovation. Some organization are actively waving it off! Many are organized to resist breakthrough and focus on incremental innovation. Innovation leaders are rewarded for incremental, low risk, innovation — but that’s another topic.

    At KILN, we’ve tried to encourage a holistic, hands-on, whole-brained way to combine concepts. We focused on using inspiration from global trends applied to an organizations broad business challenges. The commercial product/service we invented at KILN, and now offer, is called IdeaKeg. IdeaKeg works, we’ve consistently wowed clients and even academics with the methods effectiveness at finding breakthrough.

    Here’s the thing that I’ve discovered working with clients at KILN and Gregg Fraley Innovation (GFI). Really, IdeaKeg doesn’t go far enough. Don’t get me wrong, IdeaKeg can be, and is, super effective. The scaffolding for mash-up thinking in the IdeaKeg framework is a necessary factor in any complex concept blend. Indeed, if you want to do concept blending for innovation, there is hardly a better place to start than IdeaKeg.

    And, there’s more that can be done with concept blending, because there is more out there to blend.

    What’s more powerful than IdeaKeg is an even broader concept blending framework. A “MoshPit” where the elements (domains) listed below are combined by carefully composed diverse teams, in a rigorous way, to apply to broad organizational challenges:

    Set A — Domains of Concepts Outside Your Organization

    • Global Trends
    • Consumer Insights
    • New Materials or Science

    Set B — Domains of Concepts Inside Your Organization

    • Organizational IP
    • Unique Org Capabilities
    • Existing Products and Services

    With careful facilitation and rigorous planning, you then have a MoshPit intensive workshop session that scaffolds and explores the concept “dots” inside each of the elements above. Imagine if you will a very rich set of concepts a team develops for each of the domains listed above. Focused small teams combine listed concepts from inside Set A with concepts listed inside Set B. They will have never before had such a rich set of dots to connect.

    I guarantee you will come up with breakthrough concepts using a MoshPit; it’s almost difficult not to.

    This is a process oriented towards big “I” innovation, not incremental, although that might fall out. My vision is this front-ends a yearly innovation cycle. There is no reason why a MoshPit session can’t be done within any other innovation method, be it Design Thinking, Lean, or whatever your organization uses. In fact, the combination of this new tool with those older frameworks can make those methods more effective.

    MoshPit is what I’m calling this matrix of concept blending. Like a dance MoshPit, a lot of mashing-up is going to happen. Unlike the complete chaos of a dance MoshPit, an innovation MoshPit is a carefully prepared combination of combinational chaos with focused structure.

    That’s the concept. I can tell you (in a non-Trumpian way) that the secret sauce of how to make this work is how the session is prepared and facilitated. Combining concepts from different domains requires artful scaffolding that leads people and teams to intuitive connections. The planning and facilitation is the hard part, once the table is set, the combinations come naturally.

    I’ve spent the last ten years figuring out how to do that artful scaffolding — and do it consistently. This is not Post-It Note brainstorming folks. It’s more like a focused psychedelic ideation experience, but without drugs. It’s better than drugs! What you will get is business results.

    The benefit, as I said above is Breakthrough Innovation. Wouldn’t you like to see how much of that good stuff your organization is leaving on the table undiscovered?  Simply because you haven’t looked at the possible combinations? If your organization is highly “silo-ed”  a MoshPit session might be the perfect way to cross those divides.

    Don’t get punked, but do MoshPit.



    Intrapreneurship Chicago 2016

    Authentically Different Conference In recent years I’ve become a bit anti-conference. I still go to some but I find the formats tired. The formula favors big name authors and speakers who sometimes miss the mark. The agenda is so jammed you don’t have time to talk to your peers. The social events are fun, but a bit… forced. So, you may be surprised when I bend over backwards to promote Intrapreneurship Chicago 2016.  The event is going to be held at the TechNexus accelerator in the River North area. Chicago area innovators and intrapreneurs, take note. June 22! This conference is authentically different. And highly useful if you are a real working Intrapreneur. 90% of the conference attendees will be

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    The Flaming Lips and Economic Development

    Consider Attending the Creativity World Forum 2015 As many of you know I’ve participated in the annual State of Creativity Forum in Oklahoma for several years. I’ve written here previously about how effective their model is in getting broad-based involvement, participation, and attendance. This is arguably the most successful creativity conference in the world right now. Those interested in the creativity and innovation field should attend Creativity World Forum 2015 if at all possible. It’s affordable, the content is superb, and it’s a great networking opportunity. It’s in just a few weeks, so register, and make plans now to arrive in Oklahoma City for the March 31st one day event. The illustrious Sir Ken Robinson is  returning as a keynoter (he

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    FAQ Re: Dr. Alan Black

    Greetings from gray and chilly Three Oaks, Michigan. As gloomy as it is, I’m grateful to be here and free. Freedom is not something we should take for granted. Later this morning I’ll take a walk outside around my pond and say prayers for my friend Alan Black. I might take a photograph. When he’s released I hope he’ll come visit me here so we can enjoy a walk outside together — and photograph whatever catches our eye. Below is the latest information from Friends of Alan Black. The FAQ pretty much says it all. Much of this has been covered in news reports, but FAB thought it would be helpful to put all the facts into one document. Alan’s

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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:                  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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    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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    Take Advantage — Innovate More for Less

    I’ve done 385 general interest creativity and innovation posts in the last few years. This post is different — it contains a commercial offer — albeit a fairly innovative one. If you’re not interested please ignore this post. Here’s the offer — I’ve decided to double the value I provide to my customers by offering a good old fashioned two-for-one deal. Why? I want to generate more buzz about my service offerings. To generate more buzz I want the perception of my value to be exceptional. So exceptional that people will talk , tweet, and refer. There is no sleight of hand here, I’ll be working twice for one fee. For both services delivered I won’t be cutting preparation time or the customization I

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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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