5 Other Words for Innovation (and When to Use Them)

November 5, 2020 The manufacturer of window-unit air conditioners wanted customer input but they weren’t sure how to go about it without being overly technical in their questions. They knew the noise level of their units was loud, but they wanted to figure out if customers would pay more for a quieter unit. And if they did, how much would …

How Kamala Harris’ Pick as VP Nominee Impacts Innovation

August 13, 2020 “Haven’t I seen you before?” It’s a cheesy pickup line that’s been around for ages. And while it makes people roll their eyes, there’s something to the familiarity quotient. Studies show that we’re attracted to what we find familiar. The more we’re exposed to certain people, the more familiar they become and the more we like them. …

Interview with an Innovator: Kathy Button Bell on Creating Whole-Brain Innovation Teams

March 5, 2020 In one of the episodes of the U.S. version of the comedy series The Office, Michael Scott rushes into the scene demanding everyone give him ideas. As the narcissistic regional manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin paper company, he’s looking to make his mark. On his way into the building that day, Michael saw wet …

How to be More Creative (77 Ways)

January 9, 2020 Creativity is one of those things that sounds romantically easy to do, but often leaves you scratching your head. Even the creative geniuses get stumped from time to time. The key to getting your creative mojo going is practice. Consistent practice. Since January is International Creativity Month, I wanted to give you some ideas about how you …

Interview with an Innovator: Tim Washer on Inspiration, Humor and Embracing Vulnerability

November 20, 2019 Mark Twain said that, “Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” He’s not wrong. Studies show that a sense of humor can make you mentally and physically healthier, make you more …

Interview with an Innovator: Michael Brenner on why Mean People Suck

October 24, 2019 Many of the best innovators I know don’t carry an “innovation” title on their business card. They are people who understand that new ideas can happen anytime and anywhere. But that’s not how most of the world looks at innovation. “Innovators” are the design thinkers, the data scientists and the engineers. They’re the ones who have a …

How Embarrassing Moments Lead to Creative Genius

October 11, 2019 I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was my first “real” job – I was the marketing director for a mid-size architecture firm. Every Monday started the same, with a meeting in the conference room. Just me and the five partners of the firm. I felt completely out of my league. They were well-traveled, experienced …

Who Owns Innovation?

February 14, 2019 It’s not easy to create an innovation track record like Amazon or Google. But companies that hope to outperform their competitors and shake up their industries are pouring money into innovation programs – labs, hubs and design thinking tanks. But are they successful? Several years ago Booz & Co. (now part of PwC) conducted a Global Innovation 1000 report. …

How to Conduct a Brand Transplant

January 31, 2019 There’s a story of a young boy who showed great promise as an artist. His father, an art teacher himself, sent the boy to schools to hone his talent through rigid academic exercises. A natural finesse had him easily mastering difficult techniques. Instructors entered his work in competitions against more established artists and the student quickly gained the attention …

Why You Have Brand Detachment Disorder

January 17, 2019 In the world of great ideas, there’s iconic brands that get all the credit. Take LEGO, for example. This is a company that sells little rectangular pieces of plastic. But they consistently churn out great idea after great idea. Go to their website and besides ordering products, you can build things, share them with friends and watch videos. Five …

4 Archetypes of Innovators

January 3, 2019 When I give talks or workshops about how to bring new ideas into a company, one of the first things people ask me is how their company compares to other businesses. They’re curious about where they fall on the innovation spectrum. This is how I explain it to them. Who’s allowed to contribute When it comes to innovation, I …

Where Great Ideas Come From

December 21, 2018 One of the biggest complaints I hear from leaders is, “My team never comes to me with new ideas.” They chide. They coax. And they coerce. But…nothing. How can that be? These are the same employees who, their first six months on the job, constantly stood in the doorway of their boss’ office with a slew of …

The 10 Functions of Storytelling

June 12, 2018 by Carla Johnson Storytelling gets too much credit and not enough appreciation. And that’s because people don’t really understand it, much less how to use it. Storytelling comes down to two things – connection and engagement. And when we look at it from this perspective, we have many more opportunities to use storytelling to create influence, affect …

Customers are Key to Innovation

May 29, 2018 By Carla Johnson Lynn Bonge was a larger-than-life executive with a scant shock of salt-and-pepper hair who grew up in a small Nebraska town not far from where I did. Twenty years my senior, Lynn had an enviable reputation in the architecture industry for the wacky ideas he brought to the table and how, somehow, he got …

Six Insights (And One Inspiring Conclusion) from 27 Beneficial B2B Marketing Stats and Facts

May 22, 2018 by Tom Pick Every B2B marketer knows we are in a period of rapid change. But questions abound, and many aren’t sure where to focus their attention or efforts. Marketing technology (martech) is advancing quickly. But which developments are real and imminent, and which are hype? Or at least, not important yet? Image credit: KoMarketing Company leadership …

Digital Transformation Challenges Hindering Customer Experience

May 15, 2018 by Mitch Duckler When it comes to digital transformation, change is constant, and it’s evolving faster than ever. The world has become far more digital, consumer expectations have changed dramatically in recent years, and so much more is technically possible today than even just five years ago. You can’t read an article or go to a conference …