design thinking

The Innovation Imperative

Innovation Imperativev1The Innovation Imperative… growing innovation culture and capacity

If you want an organization to survive, you must innovate. But innovation is more than survival, it’s the heart beat of an organization. What you make, what you do, and how you do it — is the lifeblood of who you are.

Staying in business means reinventing as markets shift. In this inspirational speech Gregg Fraley answers the Why Innovation question, and informs as to what innovation means to you and your group. It advocates that innovation is an exciting part of everyone’s job, not “extra work.” The stories of great innovation moments, overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles, and inventive breakthroughs will leave audiences empowered to innovate. The content is about how the best organizations do it; mindset, frameworks, project selections, and how to create the elusive culture of innovation. Gregg talks specifics about:

  • How to quickly assess your current innovation culture and process
  • How to get, or provide, a specific mandate for innovation
  • Getting innovation teams and projects started and accelerated
  • The pro’s and con’s of deliberate processes and frameworks versus organic innovation
  • Power tools and techniques for identifying new markets (Design Thinking)
  • Developing ideas for products, services, and improvements (idea generation)
  • Pitching ideas, prototyping, and resourcing innovation
  • Making innovation a continuous effort

Audiences of this talk walk away with highly strategic approaches to innovation, as well as practical, tactical tools for implementing innovation projects. Gregg Fraley is a theorist, and a hands-on practitioner of innovation with a wealth of real world experiences to share.

Nine Questions CEO’s Should Ask About Innovation

Nine Questions CEO’s Should Ask About Innovation “Tell me what I should be thinking about.” The man asking the question, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, was dead sincere. We were at a social event. We were chatting about the weather when he’d asked me what I did, and when I told him I was an innovation consultant, his eyebrows raised. Then he popped the question. This question, mercy, an open door to summarize my philosophy, is not one I get asked every day, especially by someone as empowered as a CEO. Clearly a savvy gentleman, I wondered for a moment if he was testing me or putting me on, but his eyes said he really wanted to know.




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Training is an Innovation Accelerant II

Do You Wish To Accelerate Innovation? Get Training! When I step into a room to facilitate an innovation, strategy, or idea generation session I always find a great deal of energy. What I also often find is inexperience. Inexperience in: the kind of divergent thinking necessary to innovate, in specific meeting behaviors and facilitation skills, and in innovation process, approaches and frameworks Here are details regarding innovation courses you can attend in the near future, Denver, August 28 – 31. Energy, motivation, and inspiration are important factors in getting innovation rolling. But none of them, or all of them together, are enough to overcome untrained thinking, poor session facilitation, and an un-anchored or non-existent innovation approach. Your innovation efforts will




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Free Workshop at Workspring Chicago — Creative Choices, Innovative Results

Notice: Gregg Fraley Speaking at Workspring Chicago Wednesday August 2, 2017 — 8 am to 10 am The free workshop at Workspring Chicago will focus on creative behaviors that enhance creative effectiveness. The habits/behaviors and associated tools and techniques apply to both personal and business roles. As the graphic says, you’ll learn approaches you can immediately use. Highly useful for innovation teams, team leaders, and anyone who wants to enhance their creative effectiveness. This will be presented by Gregg Fraley, author of Jack’s Notebook, co-inventor of IdeaKeg, and originator of MoshPit Innovation. RSVP with Workspring: rsvp@workspring.com Cheers.




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Innovation Training in Denver, CO

Denver, Colorado — Innovation & Facilitation Training — Two Public Courses In late August I’m co-hosting and delivering two public courses on Innovation in Denver. Working with Kim Smoyer of Smoyer & Associates, a Colorado based consultancy that focuses on non-profits. My experience is mostly with corporate innovation, so, we’ve got perspectives and insights for both contexts. We’re holding the courses at the Community Resource Center (CRC) in downtown Denver. The first course is a one-day Innovation Intensive Overview, targeted for executives. It’s theory, practice, and how to get started, or improve your innovation process. If you take this course you’ll know why and how to move forward with results oriented innovation projects. The second course is a 2.5 day




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Disaster: CEO’s Ignoring Digital Innovation

Does Any CEO Have the Luxury to Ignore Digital Transformation and Innovation? Gregg Fraley and Karen Kirby, copyright 2017 Innovation + Business + Technology = Digital Leadership Turnover of CEOs is already high, about 14.9 % a year as of 2016*. The demands of digital leadership and the enterprises of the future could dramatically accelerate that rate in the next few years. The conversation CEOs need to be having, to remain in the shrinking 85.1%, is about how to integrate digital technology and seize new pathways to industry leadership. In HBO’s Game of Thrones there has been that recurring foreboding phrase, “winter is coming.” For years, the phrase has been whispered in the ears of CEOs “digital is coming”. They




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Five Ways Incivility Decapitates Innovation

A Culture of Incivility Harms USA Innovation Five Ways Incivility “Decapitates” Innovation The recent flap around Kathy Griffin’s posting a picture of a fake severed head, of our President, was a sad attempt at humor, but incredibly successful at provocation. It has brought up the discussion, once again, of the civility of our discourse in America. I think Tiffany Quay Tyson does a nice job of summing up how many people are reacting to the Griffin incident, and the subsequent howls of reaction. No matter your political persuasion, civil discourse, and it’s close cousins, politeness, gentility, tolerance, compassion, and good manners have slipped far from where we once were. Those who keep track of civility are in agreement about the




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To Innovate, Invest (USA, UK, listening?)

Ben Tarnoff’s recent article for the Guardian hits hard. America has become so anti-innovation – it’s economic suicide This article is worth a careful reading. If you care about American Innovation, or UK Innovation for that matter, you’d better realize something; our governments are currently committing economic suicide. They are doing this by not investing in deep theoretical science and in infrastructure. Small “i” innovation is something we do well in the USA, but we can’t live on that kind of innovation forever. We need to create new markets and build new jobs based on new science and technology, new materials, and new infrastructure. This means countries like China, who are investing, are paving the way for their future success.




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Organizational Creativity, A Practical Guide for Innovators & Entrepreneurs

Book Review of: Organizational Creativity, A Practical Guide for Innovators & Entrepreneurs I read the literature associated with creativity and innovation. Can you hear me snoring? I don’t review most of them because I’d have to pan them. They are consistently boring, dry, and wonky. At the end of the day many books in the genre are, weirdly, not very creative. I’m happy to report that I’ve read a new creativity book that is quite dynamic. Organizational Creativity, A Practical Guide for Innovators & Entrepreneurs, by Gerard Puccio, John F. Cabra and Nathan Schwagler* is a breath of fresh air. It’s dense with fascinating and fresh information about innovation. As claimed in the title, it really is practical, and indeed,




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Different Ideas Emerge From Different Doing

Different Isn’t That Difficult; It Requires … Doing Things Differently Innovation Programs Based On Best Practices are Doomed to Mediocrity Things I’ve heard recently from c-suite executives about their own innovation programs: “Floundering and ineffective, if I’m honest.” “Mediocre results, we just can’t seem to get to anything really different.” “Lackluster. I’m not impressed by what they come up with.” “We don’t do idea generation well.” These are the words I’ve heard innovation directors and c-suite executives use to describe their own innovation programs. Sad isn’t it, those words are depressing. It’s enough to contemplate bringing a swift end to the thing. The quotes above are all from larger company high level managers who already have highly defined innovation processes




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