Category Archives: Innovation Inspiration

Explanations on how to help the innovation process

Find out how to focus your innovation lens

sherlock holmes laptop computer silhouette in studio on white background

A way to focus your innovation team’s efforts

A misère game is a term used in card games . In short it is defined as a game that is played according to its conventional rules, except that it is “played to lose”.

In my new book Innovation Muscle I set out a practice misère as a tool generate ideas.

By playing misère it is possible to revolutionize the practice of Brainstorming the technique favoured by unimaginative management types to world over to acquire status in ones business.

So how can you use the technique to create new ideas… let me tell you.

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Foreword for Innovation Muscle

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A Foreword for Innovation Muscle

I’m very proud to say that my new book has this foreword by Dr Sylvester Arnab of Coventry University.

Sylvester

Fostering innovation has never been more important as many countries are taking further steps towards economic recovery and growth. Innovation is at the heart of all successful businesses and the returns and impact can be significant – from developing products and services that secure a competitive advantage to disrupting the market and changing the face of the industry and society.

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Why does Brainstorming suck so much? Here’s how to fix it.

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Why does brainstorming suck so much?

The word brainstorm is so abused that it seems pervasive in modern business.

In actual fact Brainstorming is a old fashioned technique invented in the 1950’s the era of the Mad Men. In my opinion brainstorms are used by lazy management types to give a metaphorical tick to the political expediency required to rope buy in from all those people from the office. Its a trick to make people feel involved.

That may be good for team building, but as a mechanism to generate new ideas or innovation it sucks.

The basic tenants for a brainstorm are

  • To generate as many ideas as possible
  • Not criticise people’s ideas
  • Welcome unusual and daft ideas
  • Combine and improve ideas in a collaborative environment.

So why do brainstorms fail?

Let me tell you

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Your customer is NOT always right, so here’s what to do about it.

An innocent lawyer and an angry client blaming him

Your customer is not always right

I guess you have subscribed to the mantra that we professionals are all meant to follow…

The customer is always right!

If you do then you’d be wrong!

We all have finite resources. There are some customers whose unreasonable requests can gnaw away at your soul. These guys steal so much of your resource that you end mistreating your more meaningful clients and that is simply not good.

Unreasonable customers then are NOT always right.

So what should you do… let me tell you:

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Changes: Innovation using the Bowie technique

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How you can innovate using the same techniques as David Bowie

Game development is a one of the coolest jobs on the block. I’m lucky enough to have been doing it for a few years now. Being this “experienced”, I am often called upon to make presentations to wax lyrical about my career in entrepreneurial innovations I’ve made.

Whilst I love talking about myself, what the audience really want is for me to spell out the secret recipe to innovation so that they can recreate it themselves.

But there is a big problem.

Put simply there is no reason why some cultural phenomena take off burning simultaneously into so many people’s consciousness while others don’t. But explaining that your hit titles are based in random magic inspired rather than controlled innovation process doesn’t make great reading in a CV does it?

Whilst there is no secret recipe to innovation success there are tools to facilitate it.

Let me tell you how David Bowie does it.

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How Harry Potter should sell his innovation

CX161F ITAR-TASS: MOSCOW, RUSSIA. NOVEMBER 8, 2010. Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter appears in a still from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 movie directed by David Yates. It is the seventh and final adventure in the Harry Potter film series. (Photo ITAR-TASS/ Caro Premier's press service) . . 8 . ( ) " : 1" . -/ - "-"

How Harry Potter should sell his innovation

A black swan is a metaphor devised by Nassim Nicholas Taleb for an event or item that is totally outside the perception of a person’s consciousness that they write it off as an impossibility. The metaphor goes that there was a time not so long ago when the general perception was that all swans were considered to be pure white. When an actual black swan was subsequently discovered it sent the this notion into a metaphorical tail spin as people readjusted to the new normal. Up until this moment people simply did not believe in Black Swans.

As developers of innovative products it is our job to wrestle Black Swans into a manner we can exploit. At no point in our history have black swans been discovered at the rate they are now. But once we think we have one of our own how the heck do you convince the fragile inward looking world that what we have is a genuine thingy that will benefit the world?

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The Selfie Stick an Example of Premature Innovation

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The selfie stick an example of premature innovation.

I have just come back from a holiday in Venice. The city is beautiful and only slightly marred by the hundreds of people brandishing selfie sticks. This irritating innovation seems to have completely captured a moment in many people’s lives.

So you’d have thought then that fellow who invented it must be planning his retirement living off the income from this?

Well if you did, you’d be wrong.

It turns out that the genesis of this simple little gadget is a sorry example of Premature Innovation a problem that affects all innovators at some point in their career.

Do you think you suffer from premature innovation? Let me tell you how to solve it.

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How to get the Incredible Hulk to estimate his next workload

BPWT71 THE HULK THE INCREDIBLE HULK; HULK 2 (2008)

How to get the Incredible Hulk to estimate his next workload

What the heck do these project management types actually do? Check what has been done; Make a list of what still needs to be done and guess how long its going to take for the rest of it to be done. Bosh my whole career distilled into one line. Obviously there’s a few nuances I have missed out here and there but there’s no escaping that at some one has to make a guess about the completion date.

So how do you do it? Let me tell you how.

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Agile Fu My Book on Agile Development

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Excuse me for feeling a bit smug.

I launch my book  Agile Fu: Leadership Development for the Project Management of Innovation Teams this coming Monday! It will be free for a limited time before being released for the paying public.

I’ve been working on it in my head for years, but spent the last few weeks committing it to paper… well e-paper!

You can check it out for your self by clicking this here link

http://smashthinking.com/AgileFu

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Need to Improve Your Innovation? Get Basil Fawlty to Teach You

BP88M3 JOHN CLEESE BASIL FAWLTY FAWLTY TOWERS (1975)

Basil Fawtly teaches Innovation

I bet you think that someone like this guy opposite couldn’t possibly bring a h’penny of value to your creative world?

Well if you do, you’d be wrong!

John Cleese is famous for being one of  Monty Python’s Flying Circus. While he looks a bit dated and crazy in this picture (to be fair it was taken in 1975) he is actually playing character Basil Fawlty in the hilarious Fawlty Towers. He is an all round super clever bloke and definitely someone you should check out for creative inspiration.

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