feeds for 60 Books Full of Cool Innovation Tools<p>Every organization needs a basket of tools and methods to help find innovative ideas and solutions. Give access to the right tools to the right people based on the nature of their jobs and the types of challenges that needs to be solved. Surround them with proper innovation management processes, and the tools will help generate a culture of innovation and new profits. We are happy to share three of our favorite books on innovation tools.</p> <p><img src=" books of cool innovation tools-resized-600.jpg" border="0" alt="3 books of cool innovation tools resized 600" class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" width="97">&nbsp; <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1378390695&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=%2F0071361766" title="The Big Book of Creativity Games" target="_blank"> <img id="img-1392199876472" src=" Big Book of Creativity Games-resized-600.jpg" border="0" alt="The Big Book of Creativity Games resized 600" class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"></a></td> <td valign="top" width="516"> <p><a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1378390695&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=%2F0071361766" title="The Big Book of Creativity Games" target="_blank">The Big Book of Creativity Games: Quick, Fun Activities for Jumpstarting Innovation by Robert Epstein</a></p> <p>In the modern economy, where most workers are knowledge workers, creativity and innovation are the most easily sustainable competitive advantages. In&nbsp;<em>The Big Book of Creativity Games</em>, Harvard trained psychologist Robert Epstein provides dozens of games and activities designed to stimulate creativity and generate innovation in the workplace.</p> <p>Dr. Epstein describes the scientific principles of creativity that underlie the games, and how these principles can be applied to tasks like problem solving, new product development, and marketing. Timely and innovative,&nbsp;<em>The Big Book of Creativity Games</em>&nbsp;is the ideal book for managers to turn to whenever they need:</p> <table style="width: 95%;" border="0" cellspacing="5" cellpadding="5"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <ul> <li>Games that are easy to lead and fun to play</li> <li>Exercises that go far beyond standard brainstorming techniques</li> <li>Innovation jump-starters for team meetings and work groups</li> </ul> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="97">&nbsp;<a href=";field-keywords=" title="Fast Creativity &amp; Innovation" target="_blank"><img id="img-1392199914693" src=" Creativity &amp; Innovation-resized-600.jpg" border="0" alt="Fast Creativity &amp; Innovation resized 600" class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"></a></td> <td valign="top" width="516"> <p><a href=";field-keywords=" title="Fast Creativity &amp; Innovation" target="_blank">Fast Creativity &amp; Innovation: Rapidly Improving Processes, Product Development and Solving by Charles W.&nbsp;Bytheway</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>Function Analysis Systems Technique (FAST) is a powerful mapping technique that can graphically represent goals, objectives, strategies, plans, projects, processes, and procedures in function terms to identify related dependencies by organizing them into a cause-and-effect relationship. It is used as a tool to enhance productive thinking, innovation, creativity, and complex problem-solving by allowing problems to be represented quickly and clearly. "Fast Creativity &amp; Innovation" explores all the original concepts behind the FAST method with examples from all sorts of disciplines and industries, as well as looking at some of the newer derivatives of the method - such as fishbone diagrams and process mapping - and how they can be re-introduced to the original concept to tap into undiscovered opportunities for success.&nbsp;</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="97">&nbsp; <a href=";field-keywords=" title="The Rudolph Factor" target="_blank"><img id="img-1392199939799" src=" Rudolph Factor-resized-600.jpg" border="0" alt="The Rudolph Factor resized 600" class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"></a></td> <td valign="top" width="516"> <p><a href=";field-keywords=" title="The Rudolph Factor" target="_blank">The Rudolph Factor: Finding the Bright Lights that Drive Innovation in Your Business by Cyndi&nbsp;Laurin&nbsp;&amp; Craig Morningstar</a>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Praise for The Rudolph Factor</b></p> <p>"Whether you're just starting a business or are a seasoned veteran,&nbsp;<em>The Rudolph Factor</em>&nbsp;provides the guiding light for continuously stimulating innovation. People are the key, and this is just the recipe for waking up the creative power within!"</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><b>The Takeaway</b></p> <p>Innovation is an ever-evolving discipline.&nbsp;&nbsp;Many practitioners and academics have invented and popularized many tools to help you accelerate your innovation efforts.</p> <p><b>Over to you.&nbsp;&nbsp;Please comment below.</b></p> <ol> <li>What other books would you add to the recommended reading list?</li> <li>What is your favorite innovation tool?</li> <li>In what area of innovation would you like to see new tools created?</li> </ol> <img src="">Rob BermanThu, 13 Feb 2014 14:00:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:105106 Components to Building Innovation Momentum<P>Our research and experience has led us to identify six components of building momentum and change to help you accelerate your innovation journey and lift off.&nbsp;</P> <P><IMG title="6 Components to Building Innovation Momentum" class=alignCenter style="MARGIN-LEFT: auto; DISPLAY: block; MARGIN-RIGHT: auto" border=0 alt="" src=""></P> <OL> <LI><B>Develop your innovation story.</B>&nbsp;Develop a compelling case for innovation, what innovation is, and why the company is pursuing the innovation journey now. Include how it will benefit everyone.</LI> <LI><B>Evoke change leadership.</B>&nbsp;No one likes change. During the uncertainties of a change process, people don't hang onto concepts, they hang onto people. Create a sense of urgency and build awareness and excitement about innovation for your key sponsors and change agents.&nbsp;</LI> <LI><B>Identify innovation leaders and best talent.</B>&nbsp;Identify the natural intrapreneurs, innovation champions, and innovation igniters along with your key innovation leaders, advisors, and mentors. This talent pool will help you build the required innovation capability.&nbsp;</LI> <LI><B>Communicate, communicate, and communicate.</B>&nbsp;Go for fast and small wins and tell everyone about it. Collect momentum data showing progress, and implement and integrate a solid public relations strategy using any and all resources at your disposal.&nbsp;</LI> <LI><B>Build awareness--educate everyone.</B>&nbsp;In many ways an innovation change initiative begins and ends with education. It is the primary method of advancing and improving organizational knowledge and acceleration for desired changes in the hearts and minds of everyone involved.&nbsp;</LI> <LI><B>Protect the momentum.</B>&nbsp;Vigilantly protect innovation principles. Many will want to go back to status quo and forget the agreements, processes, and principles in the playbook. Every small win is a huge step toward the future and part of the foundation-building process. Protect the foundation.&nbsp;</LI></OL> <P><B>The Takeaway</B></P> <P>Innovation momentum is created, not decreed by senior management. Use your momentum to establish&nbsp;<A href="">your innovation objectives and goal</A>.&nbsp;</P> <P><B>Over to you.&nbsp;&nbsp;Please comment below.</B></P> <OL> <LI>What steps would you add to the list?</LI> <LI>How do you motivate your innovators?</LI> <LI>Please share an anecdote about innovation momentum.</LI></OL> <img src="">Rob BermanThu, 06 Feb 2014 14:00:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:104854 Important Innovation Change Questions<P>In our experience at the DeSai Group, when dealing with innovation as a major change initiative, employees seek answers to these five questions:&nbsp;</P> <OL> <LI>What is happening with the innovation program?</LI> <LI>Why are we pursuing innovation as a major change?</LI> <LI>When is it going to happen?</LI> <LI>How will I be impacted during the rollout and after implementation?</LI> <LI>Where can I go with more questions, issues, and concerns related to the innovation program in my area?</LI></OL> <P><B>What if we do not communicate to staff?</B></P> <P>If these questions are not answered, you are leaving it to chance for employees to create their own interpretations, leading to possible negative consequences and waste of your valuable resources.&nbsp;</P> <P><IMG title="5 Important Innovation Change Questions" class=alignCenter style="MARGIN-LEFT: auto; DISPLAY: block; MARGIN-RIGHT: auto" border=0 alt="" src=""></P> <P><B>Communication Plan Template</B><B></B></P> <P>Your high-level communication plan may include these points:&nbsp;</P> <OL> <LI>Develop answers to the five questions. Then make sure the questions are addressed in every innovation initiative communication document, meeting, and webcast.</LI> <LI>Develop a one-minute message--your elevator pitch about the innovation program. It should describe the business case and vision for the future.</LI> <LI>Demand consistent dialog at all levels, especially middle management.</LI> <LI>Use multiple media to teach and tell--remove uncertainties and doubt from day 1.</LI> <LI>Clearly identify the objective of each communication: awareness building, skill development, network development, employee engagement, and so on.</LI> <LI>Check often for alignment of process objectives and productivity for the parties in the communication activity.</LI> <LI>Be open to examine and test for what people hear.</LI> <LI>Actively respond to feedback and make adjustments to the plan as required.&nbsp;</LI></OL> <P><B>Communication, Communication, Communication</B></P> <P>Don't underestimate the need to repeat the messages even when you know everyone has heard them time and again. Even with your best efforts, there are always many who will not understand the importance of the innovation change initiative.&nbsp;</P> <P>There have been stories where after six months of implementation activities, senior executives have publicly asked, "Why are we doing all this innovation stuff?".&nbsp;&nbsp;Although this raised a few eyebrows, the question was taken seriously and led to rather thorough discussions of the whys that had not surfaced before.&nbsp;</P> <P><B>The Takeaway</B></P> <P>Innovation is about approaching products and processes in a different way.&nbsp;&nbsp;The communications surrounding the innovation effort require different methods as well.&nbsp;</P> <P><B>Over to you.&nbsp;&nbsp;Please comment below.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</B><B></B></P> <OL> <LI>How do you disseminate information about your innovation change program?</LI> <LI>What else would you add to the communications plan template?</LI> <LI>What other questions do you find that employees tend to ask?</LI></OL> <img src="">Rob BermanThu, 30 Jan 2014 14:00:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:104750 Acquisitions - Telecommunications Case Study<P>Everything is connected to everything. Everything is moving from large, to small, to micro, to nano. That means computing power in the palm of our hands and soon in our blood cells.&nbsp;</P> <P>In order to turn data into information and knowledge, we need telecommunications.&nbsp;&nbsp;As an example, one of the largest growing fields is the convergence of 2-D data and entertainment.&nbsp;&nbsp;The convergence requires much larger and more efficient communication pipelines.&nbsp;&nbsp;Not everyone needs the same pipeline of services.&nbsp;&nbsp;Therefore, the Telecommunications industry must respond with customized communication services for any rich-media object.&nbsp;&nbsp;That means, for anyone in the world, at anytime, all the time, in any direction.<B>&nbsp;</B></P> <P><B><IMG title="Telecommunications Case Study" class=alignCenter style="MARGIN-LEFT: auto; DISPLAY: block; MARGIN-RIGHT: auto" border=0 alt="" src=""><BR></B></P> <P><B>Client Situation</B></P> <P>Let’s take a look at a<B>&nbsp;</B>US Based, Telecommunications&nbsp;company&nbsp;with 9,000 employees, operating in 34 states plus one international operation.&nbsp;</P> <P>They sought DeSai’s help to develop new service offerings.&nbsp;&nbsp;Organic growth was their focus although they were open to acquisitions that would bring capabilities the company sought for wireless communications. The company asked DeSai to validate the targets before it spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the acquisitions.<B>&nbsp;</B></P> <P><B>DeSai Approach</B></P> <P>The DeSai team dug deep into what jobs customers were really trying to get done in the target market by conducting interviews, implementing surveys and performing observational research.&nbsp;</P> <P>The work resulted in the conclusion that customers were seeking to accomplish a set of jobs involving much different performance dimensions than what the client had originally envisioned.</P> <P><B>DeSai Recommendation</B></P> <P>DeSai recommended acquiring the capabilities to address the jobs from one of several struggling (and inexpensive) firms, rather than the high-priced acquisition target the firm was considering.&nbsp;&nbsp;Why?&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Because of the different capabilities identified during the vetting process.</P> <P><B>Results Are&nbsp;The&nbsp;Measure of Innovation Success</B></P> <P>How did applying the DeSai Body of Knowledge impact the company?<B>&nbsp;</B></P> <UL> <LI>DeSai’s recommendation saved the telecom client millions of dollars in acquisition costs while showing the company an inexpensive route to acquire the capabilities it really needed to address the right customer jobs-to-be-done.</LI> <LI>Client achieved 22% top-line growth in first three years.</LI> <LI>15% net contribution to the bottom line during the first three years resulting from the innovation program/process.&nbsp;</LI></UL> <P><B>The Takeaway</B></P> <P>Change your innovation culture to allow validation of key assumptions before committing large amounts of resources to a project.&nbsp;</P> <P><B>Your</B><B>&nbsp;Turn.&nbsp;&nbsp;Please comment below.</B></P> <OL> <LI>What is your system of checks and balances for vetting possible acquisitions?</LI> <LI>How is convergence impacting your business opportunities?</LI> <LI>Do you prefer organic growth or acquisitions to increase the size of your business?</LI></OL> <img src="">Rob BermanThu, 23 Jan 2014 14:00:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:104659 to Define Innovation Objectives and Innovation Goal<P>To help facilitate a strong leadership conversation about&nbsp;<A href="">innovation objectives</A>&nbsp;and innovation goals, here are some examples of why you might choose to enable an&nbsp;<A href="">innovation engine</A>&nbsp;for your organization:</P> <UL> <LI>To differentiate your organization in the marketplace</LI> <LI>To build customer loyalty</LI> <LI>To identify savings potential</LI> <LI>To achieve revenue potential</LI> <LI>To accelerate exploitation of new business ideas worthy of pursuing</LI> <LI>To a build climate and culture of innovation as per the organization’s innovation mission</LI> <LI>To become a leading innovation brand for products and services in the markets served and new markets you may serve</LI> <LI>To improve and expand current products and services</LI> <LI>To access new technologies</LI> <LI>To access new markets</LI> <LI>To identify market trends</LI> <LI>To improve product quality and associated core processes</LI> <LI>To improve employee attraction, engagement, and retention</LI> <LI>To develop new competencies&nbsp;</LI></UL> <P><IMG class=alignCenter style="MARGIN-LEFT: auto; DISPLAY: block; MARGIN-RIGHT: auto" border=0 alt="how to define innovation objectives and goals resized 600" src=""></P> <P><B>Defining the Innovation Goal</B></P> <P>The&nbsp;<B>innovation goal</B>&nbsp;should be visionary and exciting. It should be something that has not seen before, measurable at least once per year (eventually more often), customer focused, and ultimately delivering value (top line, mid line and bottom line).&nbsp;</P> <P>Following are some examples of innovation goals:&nbsp;</P> <OL> <LI>Increase the product pipeline from x to y, to grow the top line by 5% better than your sector’s GDP.</LI> <LI>Annually achieve 25% additional margin from new customer-driven services.</LI> <LI>Increase the top line every three years by 25%.</LI> <LI>Double the top line and bottom line every three years.</LI> <LI>Achieve 25% of the top line from new services created within the past 24 months.</LI> <LI>Develop new customer-driven products from the top ten customers that will increase net margins by 5% every year.</LI> <LI>Build a new S-Curve: Invent a completely new business with a new category of offerings.</LI> <LI>Improve customer acquisition ratio by 15% every year for the next three years.</LI> <LI>Achieve a customer satisfaction index (CSAT) (or some other best practices method such as net promoter score (NPS) score of 6.0 out of 7.0 (85% or better).</LI> <LI>Achieve 25% net profit from 3 new businesses and 25 new current product enhancements in the next five years.</LI> <LI>1% profit before income tax (PBIT) above the current PBIT targets.</LI> <LI>Top customers rate us as most innovative in markets and categories we serve.</LI> <LI>2x/3y: Grow 2x every three years, both top line and bottom line.</LI> <LI>3/30/3: Within three years achieve a rate of 30% new revenue from products/services introduced in last three years.</LI> <LI>20/20: 20% of new business (top line) should come from 20% of new customers every year.</LI> <LI>10/20/30: Ten new offerings that yield 20% growth in revenue and 30% growth in profitability.</LI> <LI>50% of all products should be engineered or should include technologies from outside the firm by 2020.&nbsp;</LI></OL> <P>These are good examples of innovation goals to consider. Use the list to engage senior leaders in dialog, debate, and consensus. Then, define innovation goals for your company and for each business unit.&nbsp;</P> <P>If your innovation initiative is for the&nbsp;<B>entire enterprise</B>, one goal should be directly linked to the business strategy.&nbsp;</P> <P>If you are rolling out innovation only in your&nbsp;<B>own business unit or information technology department</B>, the goal should be aligned to the area’s business or operational strategy.&nbsp;</P> <P>Whatever you choose as your innovation goal, it should be fixed for a minimum of three years.&nbsp;&nbsp;At the end of three years, you can always enhance it or pick an alternative.&nbsp;</P> <P><B>The Takeaway</B></P> <P>To communicate the innovation agenda to your organization you must first clearly define the innovation strategy, objectives and goals.&nbsp;</P> <P><B>Over to you.&nbsp;&nbsp;Please comment below.</B></P> <OL> <LI>How do you plan to motivate your company’s employees to generate innovative ideas and products?</LI> <LI>What is your goal for company innovations in the next 12 months?</LI> <LI>What other items would you add to the above lists?</LI></OL> <img src="">Rob BermanThu, 16 Jan 2014 14:00:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:104394 Innovation Culture Books Worth Reading<p align="center" style="text-align: left;">I have spent most of my career involved in the Innovation arena. For long-term sustainable and continuous growth, a company must build a climate and culture of innovation.&nbsp;The recommended books in this category covers topics such as the role of leaders, how to design organizational structures and inspire teams to reach for the very best solutions.&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="alignCenter" id="img-1380758684442" style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block;" alt="Seven Patterns Of Innovation resized 600" src=" Patterns Of Innovation-resized-600.jpg" border="0"></p> <p>&nbsp;<a href=";s=books&amp;qid=1287592818&amp;sr=1-1" target="_blank"><img class="alignLeft" id="img-1379445213003" style="float: left;" alt="Managing Innovation blog" src=" Innovation_blog.jpg" border="0"></a> <a href=";s=books&amp;qid=1287592818&amp;sr=1-1" target="_blank">Managing Innovation, Design and Creativity by Bettina Von Stamm</a></p> <p><span style='background: white; color: black; line-height: 115%; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif"; font-size: 10pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: Shruti; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US;'>Innovation is the major driving force in organizations today. With the rise of truly global markets and the intensifying competition for customers, employees and other critical resources, the ability to continuously develop successful innovative products, services, processes and strategies is essential. While creativity is the starting point for any kind of innovation, design is the process through which a creative idea or concept is translated into reality.<span class="apple-converted-space"> </span><em>Managing Innovation, Design and Creativity, 2nd Edition</em><span class="apple-converted-space"> </span>brings these three strands together in a discussion built around a collection of up-to-date case studies.</span></p> <p><a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1378397389&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=%2F0787910082" target="_blank"><img class="alignLeft" id="img-1379445213003" style="float: left;" alt="Positive Turbulence blog resized 600" src=" Turbulence_blog-resized-600.jpg" border="0"></a> <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1378397389&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=%2F0787910082" target="_blank">Positive&nbsp;Turbulence: Developing Climates for Creativity, Innovation, and Renewal (J-B&nbsp;CCL (Center for Creative Leadership)) by Stanley S. Gryskiewicz) </a></p> <p>Can your company manage&nbsp;even encourage&nbsp;turbulence in ways&nbsp;&nbsp; that actually strengthen its competitive stance? Absolutely. In this work, top organizational psychologist Stanley Gryskiewicz argues that challenges to&nbsp;the status quo can be catalysts for creativity, innovation, and renewal and&nbsp;shows leaders how they can keep their company on the competitive edge by&nbsp;embracing a process he calls Positive Turbulence. Developed through the&nbsp;author's work with many of the world's leading companies over the course of&nbsp;thirty years, Positive Turbulence delivers proven methods for creating an&nbsp;organization that continuously renews itself through the committed pursuit of&nbsp;new ideas, products, and processes.</p> <p><a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1378390397&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=%2F0071499873" target="_blank"><img class="alignLeft" id="img-1379445213003" style="float: left;" alt="Closing the Innovation Gap blog resized 600" src=" the Innovation Gap_blog-resized-600.jpg" border="0"></a> <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1378390397&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=%2F0071499873" target="_blank">Closing&nbsp;the Innovation Gap: Reigniting the Spark of Creativity in a Global Economy by&nbsp;Judy Estrin </a></p> <p><b>Named one of the "Best Books on Innovation,&nbsp;2008" by <em>BusinessWeek</em> magazine</b></p> <p>Does innovation come about by luck or hard work? Is it&nbsp;a flash of inspiration or the result of careful management? Are innovators&nbsp;born or taught? In <em>Closing the Innovation Gap</em>, Judith Estrin provides&nbsp;the answers to these and other questions critical to our future. A technology&nbsp;pioneer and business leader, Estrin describes what will be required to&nbsp;reignite the spark of innovation in business, education, and&nbsp;government ensuring our long-term success in the global economy.</p> <p>Innovation does not occur in a vacuum. It grows from&nbsp;the interplay of three drivers of creative change research, development, and&nbsp;application. Estrin calls this dynamic the “Innovation Ecosystem,” explaining&nbsp;how these communities work together to create sustainable innovation.</p> <p><a href=";field-keywords=" target="_blank"><img class="alignLeft" id="img-1379445213003" style="float: left;" alt="The Elegant Solution blog resized 600" src=" Elegant Solution_blog-resized-600.jpg" border="0"></a> <a href=";field-keywords=" target="_blank">The&nbsp;Elegant Solution: Toyota's Formula for Mastering Innovation by Matthew E. May&nbsp;and Kevin Roberts</a></p> <p>One&nbsp;million. That's how many new ideas the Toyota organization receives from its employees every year. These ideas come from every level of the organization&nbsp;&nbsp;from the factory floors to the corporate suites. And organizations all over&nbsp;the world want to learn how they do it. Now Matthew May, Senior Advisor to&nbsp;the University of Toyota, reveals how any company can create an environment&nbsp;&nbsp; of every day innovation and achieve the elegant solutions found only on the&nbsp;&nbsp; far side of complexity. A tactical guide for team-based innovation, THE&nbsp;ELEGANT SOLUTION delivers the formula to the three principles and ten practices that drive business creativity. Innovation isn't just about&nbsp;technology it's about value,&nbsp; opportunity and impact. When a company embeds&nbsp;a real discipline around the pursuit of perfection, the sky is the limit.&nbsp;Dozens of case studies (from Toyota and other companies) illustrate the power&nbsp;and universality of these concepts; a unique 'clamshell strategy' prepares&nbsp;managers to ensure organizational success. At once a thought-shaper, a&nbsp;playmaker, and a taskmaster, THE ELEGANT SOLUTION is a practical field manual&nbsp;for everyone in corporate life.</p> <p><a href=";field-keywords=" target="_blank"><img class="alignLeft" id="img-1379445213003" style="float: left;" alt="Swarm Creativity blog" src=" Creativity_blog.jpg" border="0"></a> <a href=";field-keywords=" target="_blank">Swarm&nbsp;Creativity: Competitive Advantage through Collaborative Innovation Networks&nbsp;by Peter A. Gloor</a></p> <p><em>Swarm&nbsp;Creativity</em> introduces a powerful new concept-Collaborative Innovation Networks, or COINs. Its aim is to make the concept of COINs as ubiquitous among business managers as any methodology to enhance quality and competitive advantage. The difference though is that COINs are nothing like other&nbsp;&nbsp;methodologies. A COIN is a cyber-team of self-motivated people with a collective vision, enabled by technology to collaborate in achieving a common goal n innovation-by sharing ideas, information, and work. It is no&nbsp;exaggeration to state that COINs are the most productive engines of innovation ever. COINs have been around for hundreds of years. Many of us have already been a part of one without knowing it. What makes COINs so relevant today, though is that the concept has reached its tipping&nbsp;point-thanks to the Internet and the World Wide Web. This book explores why&nbsp;COINS are so important to business success in the new century. It explains&nbsp;the traits that characterize COIN members and COIN behavior. It makes the&nbsp;case for why businesses ought to be rushing to uncover their COINs and nurture them, and provides tools for building organizations that are more&nbsp;creative, productive and efficient by applying principles of creative&nbsp;&nbsp; collaboration, knowledge sharing and social networking. Through real-life&nbsp;&nbsp; examples in several business sectors, the book shows how to leverage COINs to develop successful products in R &amp; D, grow better customer relationships, establish better project management, and build higher-performing teams. In&nbsp;&nbsp; short, this book answers four key questions: Why are COINs better at&nbsp;&nbsp; innovation? What are the key elements of COINs? Who are the people that&nbsp;&nbsp; participate in COINs and how do they become members? And how does an&nbsp;&nbsp; organization transform itself into a Collaborative Innovation Network?</p> <p><a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1378393504&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=%2F0749454792" target="_blank"><img class="alignLeft" id="img-1379445213003" style="float: left;" alt="Leadership for Innovation blog resized 600" src=" for Innovation_blog-resized-600.jpg" border="0"></a> <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1378393504&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=%2F0749454792" target="_blank">Leadership&nbsp;for Innovation: How to Organize Team Creativity and Harvest Ideas by John&nbsp;Eric Adair</a></p> <p>New ideas and new ways of doing things are one of the main&nbsp;ingredients in sustained business success, but how does one&nbsp;create the&nbsp;right conditions for innovation?<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;<br> <em>Leadership for Innovation</em> will help&nbsp;readers create an innovative&nbsp;climate that encourages the development of new products and services. Drawing&nbsp;upon real-life examples including Google, Honda and 3M, John Adair sets out&nbsp;practical ways for bringing about change in organizations. As well as&nbsp;identifying the characteristics of an innovative organization, he discusses&nbsp;key topics such as organizing for team creativity; motivating creative&nbsp;people, how to build on ideas and how to be a creative leader and team&nbsp;member.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>&nbsp;<em>Leadership for Innovation</em><b>&nbsp;</b>shows how to inspire teams to go&nbsp;one step further and generate the kind of ideas that are the foundations of&nbsp;future success.</p> <p><a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1378396981&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=%2F0749447974" target="_blank"><img class="alignLeft" id="img-1379445213003" style="float: left;" alt="The Leader%27s Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills blog resized 600" src=" Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills_blog-resized-600.jpg" border="0"></a> <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1378396981&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=%2F0749447974" target="_blank">The&nbsp;Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills: Unlocking the Creativity and&nbsp; Innovation in You and Your Team by Paul Sloane </a></p> <p>In this lively, energetic guide to leadership, highly acclaimed author,&nbsp;trainer and presenter Paul Sloane shares dynamic techniques that are sure to&nbsp;unleash creative energy and lateral thinking. Packed with real-life examples,&nbsp;practical methods and lateral thinking exercises, the book encourages you to&nbsp;question your assumptions and develop new ideas with a variety of techniques.&nbsp;Lateral thinking puzzles at the end of each chapter illustrate the importance&nbsp;of thinking outside the box.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1378397050&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=%2F0273712926" target="_blank"><img class="alignLeft" id="img-1379445213003" style="float: left;" alt="Giant Steps in Management blog resized 600" src=" Steps in Management_blog-resized-600.jpg" border="0"></a> <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1378397050&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=%2F0273712926" target="_blank">Giant&nbsp;Steps in Management: Innovations that change the way you work by Julian<br>Birkinshaw and Michael J. Mol </a></p> <p>Succinctly but completely describing 50 of&nbsp;the most important management innovations in the past 150 years, Mol and&nbsp;Birkinshaw educate us on where and how managerial innovations arise. An&nbsp;amazing overview of the management practice landscape, Giant Steps in&nbsp;Management provides invaluable insights for organizations seeking better&nbsp;performance. Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor, Graduate School of Business,&nbsp;Stanford University Never has it been more important for managers to innovate&nbsp;the way they manage. As this book so powerfully shows management innovation&nbsp;advances in how we manage is a secret weapon in the search for competitive&nbsp;advantage. With a fantastic compendium of the 50 most crucial management&nbsp;innovations this book will surprise, inform and inspire any manager who&nbsp;believes that they need to innovate the way they manage. Lynda Gratton,&nbsp;Professor of Management Practice, London Business School Author of Hot Spots;&nbsp;why some teams, workplaces and organisations buzz with energy and other's&nbsp;don't. "This book might be called 'Everything you wanted to know about&nbsp;&nbsp; management, but were afraid to ask'. It's an invaluable quick guide to the&nbsp;entire arsenal of techniques and models, and I recommend it to anyone who&nbsp;takes the job of management seriously. It is typical of the authors work, in&nbsp;that it is clear, crisp, and useful." Tim Brooks, Managing Director,&nbsp;Guardian News &amp; Media Limited INNOVATION IS AT THE HEART OF GREAT&nbsp;MANAGEMENT How do you manage? What skills, ideas, tools and techniques do you&nbsp;use? Have you always used them? Think about it: how we manage organizations&nbsp;and ourselves is in a constant state of evolution. Nothing about the way you&nbsp;work today is forever. Managers are always trying new things, different&nbsp;approaches. There are management &nbsp;innovations underway all the time in large organizations.&nbsp;Many fail. Some work. A few make history. The most valuable ones are picked&nbsp;up and absorbed across entire industries and countries. These are the ones&nbsp;this book will tell you about. Giant Steps in Management presents a thought&nbsp;provoking selection of the 50 most important management innovations of the&nbsp;last 150 years and describes the impact they have on management today. Some&nbsp;of the innovations will be familiar to you; others will be new, different,&nbsp;surprising. Together, they form a fascinating compendium of the ideas,&nbsp;techniques and practices that have rocked the world of management. If you&nbsp;want to be on the right side of innovation, keep this book to hand.</p> <p><b>The Takeaway</b></p> <p>Growing your climate and culture or innovation can be jumpstarted by reading the books featured above.&nbsp; The authors explore and outline many of the areas necessary to succeed.</p> <p><b>Your turn.&nbsp;Tell me what you think.&nbsp; Please comment below.</b></p> <ol> <li>What other books would you recommend be included on the list?</li> <li>What is your favorite book on the topic of Innovation Culture?</li> <li>Who is your favorite Innovation writer?</li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <!--more--> <img src="">Jatin DesaiFri, 04 Oct 2013 13:00:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:102308 Higher Education Be Free? - An Extreme Innovation Challenge<p><img width="106" height="79" title="Govindarajan-Jatindesai" class="alignLeft" id="img-1379445213003" style="float: left;" alt="Govindarajan-Jatindesai" src="" border="0">On September 5, 2013, Professor Vijay Govindarajan and I co-authored a blog about Higher Education for Harvard Business Review Blog website. To our surprise, it became one of the most popular blog ever. It reached over 225 comments in matter of few days.&nbsp;</p> <p>Obviously we struck a nerve.&nbsp;Why?&nbsp;</p> <p>In the article, we suggested that the time has come for new business innovation models to fix the higher education system here in the US and across the globe. Here is the beginning of it:</p> <p>-----------------------------</p> <p>In the United States, our higher education system is broken. &nbsp;since 1980, we've seen a 400% increase in the cost of higher education, after adjustment for inflation -- a higher cost escalation than any other industry, even health care. &nbsp;We have recently passed the trillion dollar mark in student loan debt in the United States.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Read the entire article</a> at <em>Harvard Business Review</em><em> &gt;&gt;&gt;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <!--more--> <img src="">Jatin DesaiThu, 12 Sep 2013 13:00:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:101754 Entrepreneurial Curiosity: Think Small and Fast<P>Many world-class companies have designed their business innovation engine to be small, nimble, and fast just like a start-up.</P> <P><IMG class=alignCenter style="MARGIN-LEFT: auto; DISPLAY: block; MARGIN-RIGHT: auto" border=0 alt="Corporate team building" src=""></P> <P>Following are specific examples of how world-class organizations support their innovation engines in order to enable a higher success hit rate from their innovation teams and “intrapreneurs”:</P><!--more--> <UL> <LI>IBM has become the world’s technology leader because of their commitment to innovation through collaboration. Their innovation philosophy is “Fail Many, but Fail Cheap”. They use “Single Portal” (one of world’s Top 10 intranets), Innovation Incubator (Technology Adoption Process), Lotus Connections (for fast information sharing), Innovation Jams (worldwide online ideation sessions), BluePedia (one of the largest internal Wikipedia sites), and Sametime (for instant online meetings).</LI> <LI>Whirlpool has an innovation college-like program that creates innovation mentors who are trained in structured innovation tools. These mentors are the primary innovation consultants for business teams to achieve their respective execution strategies.</LI> <LI>Intuit conducts multi-day “lean start-ins” for trained intrapreneurs to teach them how to conduct rapid experimentation for their products and services.</LI> <LI>Kimberly-Clark conducts “expert acceleration sessions” where they bring in external thought leaders (domain experts, industry analysts, scientist, leading edge technologists) face to face with business teams to help identify game-changing opportunities.</LI> <LI>3M mandates internal sharing of all new innovations across product lines, markets, and R&amp;D centers. They also have 30 customer technical centers across the world designed to better understand unique market needs and to accelerate global product introductions.</LI></UL> <P class=Para>These big companies are successful because they understand how to grow big, with a Silicon Valley mindset. They have nurtured small start-up environments within their larger organizational structure and in the process have embraced how to continually experiment with what might be ‘next’. Most importantly, they have realized they can never survive by primarily relying on knowledge and expertise solely within the four walls of the company.</P> <P class=Para>In other words, they deliberately pursue outside-in (looking for emerging needs of the customers and markets) and inside-in (collaboration across internal business areas) perspectives as a standard practice.</P> <P style="TEXT-ALIGN: left"><SPAN style="COLOR: #0000ff"><STRONG>How are you incubating <SPAN style="TEXT-DECORATION: underline">and institutionalizing</SPAN> “entrepreneurial&nbsp; curiosity” within your organization?</STRONG></SPAN></P> <P>Learn more about&nbsp;developing entrepreneurial thinking via our <A title="Venture Competitions" href="" target=_self>Venture Competitions</A> article.&nbsp; When properly deployed, the business plan competition concept can&nbsp;result in&nbsp;1) generation of new products and services, 2) development of employee business acumen and entrepreneurial capability, and 3) improved internal networks, enhancing cross-company collaboration and business results.&nbsp;</P> <img src="">Larry GregoryThu, 11 Oct 2012 18:16:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:90722 is Commodity Island and why should I be concerned about it?<p>Executives are concerned that their product and services offerings&nbsp;are being commoditized. For every move they make, competitors are responding quickly and at a seemingly lower cost basis.&nbsp; They are stuck on Commodity Island.</p> <p><img src="" border="0" alt="Innovating Off of Commodity Island" class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>Often, the organizational focus has shifted to a &lsquo;win at all cost&rsquo; mentality with very complex pricing models. Everyone is doing the same, and now everyone look and feels the same to the customer.&nbsp;</p> <p>Some organizations miss their window to "<a href="" title="Jump the S-Curve" target="_self">Jump the S-Curve</a>": leaders must disrupt the current business for new growth, before draining the life out of the existing business. Otherwise they will be stranded on Commodity Island.</p> <p>Innovating your way off Commodity Island requires visionary leadership, organizational culture change, and effective employee engagement. Read about our <a href="" title="Innovation Execution Methodology" target="_self">Innovation Execution Methodology</a>&nbsp;and chart your path to new business growth.</p> <img src="">Larry GregoryFri, 15 Jun 2012 11:49:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:85547 at the World Economic Forum: Apple vs. Google<p><b>Apple vs. Google&hellip; Creativity vs. Science&hellip; Convergence <span style="text-decoration: underline;">and</span> Collaboration</b>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re curious where the world is heading and what is top of mind for global leaders, there&rsquo;s few better vantage points than from Davos and the World Economic Forum.&nbsp;</p> <p>World-changing innovation is also discussed at Davos.&nbsp;</p> <p>This year, there was an interesting discussion about innovation by consultant John Kao, as reported by the New York Times (click <a href=";hpw" target="_blank">here</a> for the original article).</p> <p>The innovation discussion and article focused on the differing strategies of Apple and Google.&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Kao compared Google and Apple&rsquo;s approach to innovation, pointing out it <em>&ldquo;highlights the &lsquo;archetypical tension in the creative process.&rsquo;&rdquo;&nbsp;</em><em>&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em><img id="img-1328035914313" src=" vs google.jpg" border="0" alt="" title="" class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></em></p> <p>The article notes, <em>&ldquo;The Apple model is more edited, intuitive and top-down. When asked what market research went into the company&rsquo;s elegant product designs, Steve Jobs had a standard answer: none. &lsquo;It&rsquo;s not the consumers&rsquo; job to know what they want.&rsquo;&rdquo;</em><em>&nbsp;</em></p> <p>Regarding Google, the article reasons: <em>&ldquo;Google speaks to the power of data-driven decision-making, and of online experimentation and networked communication. &nbsp;The same Internet-era tools enable crowd-sourced collaboration as well as the rapid testing of product ideas &mdash; the essence of the lean start-up method so popular in Silicon Valley and elsewhere&hellip;&rdquo;</em></p> <p>Importantly, the article quoted Errol B. Arkilic, program director at the National Science Foundation, on the important use of <em>&ldquo;the scientific method to market-opportunity identification.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</em><em>&nbsp;</em></p> <p>While not expressly mentioning it, the article highlighted the value in collaboration. In fact, regarding the importance of collaboration, the article referenced how some of Apple&rsquo;s top ideas have been sourced through collaboration.&nbsp;</p> <p>Consider these article highlights about Apple:&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;Apple product designs may not be determined by traditional market research, focus groups or online experiments. <b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">But its top leaders, recruited by Mr. Jobs, are tireless seekers in an information-gathering network on subjects ranging from microchip technology to popular culture</span></b>.</em> &ldquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>The article further notes that Apple&rsquo;s early computing design included a point &amp; click mouse and graphical, on-screen icons that came from a visit to Xerox&rsquo;s Palo Alto labs; and Siri, a more recent acquisition and now key iPhone feature, originated in the Pentagon&rsquo;s DARPA.&nbsp;</p> <p>Wow!&nbsp;What innovation nuggets.&nbsp;</p> <p>Apple leaders tirelessly pursue convergences of market data and trends - and collaboration with other entities has been critical to Apple&rsquo;s success.&nbsp; It would be interesting to apply our Innovation Styles diagnostic across Apple leadership to see if they have a mix of complementary styles.&nbsp;</p> <p>Interestingly, we at The DeSai Group have been focused on two fundamental drivers to innovation:&nbsp; 1.) convergence of market issues/trends; 2.) collaboration.&nbsp;&nbsp; And it looks like these strategies have been responsible for some of the world&rsquo;s top innovations.&nbsp;</p> <p>That&rsquo;s good to know, especially today as I am currently leading several innovation leadership sessions with a major India-based, multi-national conglomerate in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Chennai, India.&nbsp;</p> <p>I&rsquo;m guiding the innovation discussion by summarizing global trend convergences and identifying how specific collaborations can make a major impact in the world.&nbsp;&nbsp; And we&rsquo;re specifically addressing key concerns voiced at the World Economic Forum.&nbsp;</p> <p>What do <em>you</em> think about Apple vs. Google&rsquo;s approach to innovation?&nbsp;</p> <p>-Jatin</p> <img src="">Jatin DeSaiWed, 01 Feb 2012 16:00:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:77207 innovators have figured out how to harvest the left and right brains of all employees.<p style="text-align: left;">Left Brain and Right Brain can help create balance between Performance and Innovation.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Just like every individual, every organization, business unit, and team has a left brain and right brain. Unfortunately most organizations have not developed an eco-system to allow both to co-exist visibly as a daily practice. That is akin to hiring an employee but only using 50% of their full capacity.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">What causes this to occur?&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">One answer lies in the natural &ldquo;S-curve&rdquo; growth cycle in every business. When organizations grow large they gravitate toward process and execution, and gravitate away from their entrepreneurial roots. Focusing on execution forces them to rely on process, structure, and measurement. This ultimately creates amnesia; where they forget how they got started and how innovative they were at the early stage as a start-up. This amnesia grows into full-fledged sickness. This sickness shows up as risk-averse organizational culture focused only on short-term success and bottom line thinking as the driving force for all activities at every level. I call this culture &ldquo;left-brain&rdquo; centric.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img src="" border="0" alt="" title="World-class innovators have figured out how to harvest the left and right brains of all employees." class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">So what to do?&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Understand both brains and encourage both.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Left brain is about management, science, structure, analytics, predictability, certainty, and guarantee.&nbsp; Left brain protects you from failure and keeps you in the center of &ldquo;the box&rdquo;. If we don&rsquo;t do this work well, the organization can die quickly. We need process and financial predictability.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The problem is we overuse the left brain and don&rsquo;t develop organizational right brain behavior.&nbsp; Left brain helps protect organizational norms and orthodoxies (beliefs, standards). There are many examples of how corporate beliefs limit innovation.&nbsp; Why didn&rsquo;t Sony invent the iPhone? Why didn&rsquo;t Kodak invent digital photography?&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Right brain is about leadership, art, creativity, passion, beliefs, fun, and learning through experimentation. Right brain gives you access to what is possible because it loves freedom and exploration.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Right brain does not require planning and operates mostly in the moment. Most people are happiest when their right brain is fully engaged (hobbies, passion, family events, holidays, etc.)&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Most cultures value&nbsp;only left brain and most people leave their right brain at home when they enter the workplace.&nbsp; Managers should learn to &ldquo;tap into&rdquo; the organizational right brain to help drive innovation and activate employee passion to create. &nbsp;More engaged and energetic employees ultimately lead to improved revenue and profits (as evidenced by employee engagement surveys by Gallop and Hewitt).&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><b>What are you doing to activate the right brain of your organization?</b></p> <img src="">Jatin DeSaiTue, 11 Oct 2011 14:49:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:69154 Crises is causing Ethical Banking – A story of Innovation<p>This is one of many such stories, where it takes a burning platform to wake up human beings. It seems that the Man takes things seriously only when he is about to perish. We as society, in general, seem to want to always live on the edge, the materialistic edge as opposed to ethical edge. It is sad to see that we only wake up when we are pushed to the corner.</p> <p><img id="img-1315921493830" src="" border="0" alt="" title="Global Crises is causing Ethical Banking &ndash; A story of Innovation" width="326" height="305" class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>Smart innovative executives have figured out how to take such insights and turn it into a new business model.&nbsp;</p> <p>Best innovators have a unique ability to connect dots or see what others cannot easily see. They are extremely inquisitive, especially when systems are breaking down.&nbsp;</p> <p>The banking system (along with many other systems such as education, political, etc.) are all breaking down and the Man is being pushed to the corner.&nbsp;</p> <p>What can we learn? What can an innovator learn?&nbsp;</p> <p>One solid example is the Tridos Bank of Netherlands. It has been around for 30 years with over 300,000 global clients. It is amongst five banks in Spain that is growing at an amazing pace to attract consumers that demands ethical investments and transparent and moral banking services.&nbsp;</p> <p>Tridos and four other such banks in Spain, only invests in the real economy, finances projects related to sectors such as renewable energies and ecological agriculture, and holds social justice to be its own particular Bible.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="" title="Read more&hellip;" target="_blank">Read more&hellip;</a></p> <p>Source: <a href="" title="" target="_blank"></a></p> <img src="">Jatin DeSaiWed, 14 Sep 2011 14:01:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:66491 4,000 books now available as free PDF downloads; <p><span style="font-family: 'Verdana','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;">All PDF versions of books published by the National Academies Press are <a href="" target="_blank">now downloadable</a> to anyone free of charge.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: 'Verdana','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;"><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="" title="The National Academies Press" width="260" height="39" class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></span>&nbsp;<strong>Makes All PDF Books Free to Download;<br />More Than 4,000 Titles Now Available Free to All Readers</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: 'Verdana','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;">This includes a current catalog of more than 4,000 books plus future reports produced by the Press. The mission of the National Academies Press (NAP) &mdash; publisher for the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering,&nbsp;Institute&nbsp;of&nbsp;Medicine, and National Research Council &mdash; is to disseminate the institutions&rsquo; content as widely as possible while maintaining financial sustainability. To that end, NAP began offering free content online in 1994.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Verdana','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;">Printed books will continue to be available for purchase through the NAP website and traditional channels. The free PDFs are available exclusively from NAP&rsquo;s <a href="" target="_blank">website</a>,&nbsp;and remain subject to copyright laws.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Verdana','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;"><strong>Source:</strong> <a href="" title="The National Academies Press" target="_blank">The National Academies Press</a></span></p> <img src="">Jatin DeSaiWed, 06 Jul 2011 15:24:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:58700 of HR in Innovation<p>Innovation is the catch word for our generation. Everywhere we look at, we find innovation. There was a time in history when invention was innovation. At the brink of inventing all, innovation is invention. The bottle of beverage is redefining its shape. Every communication device is undergoing metamorphosis. 2G to 3G, rectangular to modular technologies, the world is experiencing change through break neck innovation.</p> <p>We wonder about the soul of innovation! Is it a collective mind frame which innovates? Do innovation leads to more innovation? Or there is an innovator behind every innovation?</p> <p><img src="" border="0" alt="" title="Role Of HR in Innovation" class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>Innovation is definitely a social mind frame. If not initiated participated by all. Whenever something new hits the town and if dubbed happening by a group of people, like a shoal of fish, we run after it to part of the experience. That means innovation is started by an innovator and followed by the masses. Innovation leads to further innovation! That is true but there has to be some innovator to start this chain reaction. Thus innovation is all about the innovator.</p> <p>Innovator is no one but someone among you and me. It is the human brain which innovates. Finding such brains is the real job of our HR Dept. A successful HR professional is always an innovator who identifies the resource who can do trendsetting innovation.</p> <p>Unfortunately the industry is swarmed by unsuccessful HR techniques which fail to identify the real innovator. What is the relevance of totemistic queries like, &ldquo;How experienced you are? And tell us about yourself? How about your achievements and breakthroughs? Who are your clients?&rdquo; And all statistical queries far removed from finding the real innovator with innovation mind. We are not proposing these queries are irrelevant at the time of selecting candidates however we are questioning its relevance in terms of the context of innovation.</p> <p>An ideal HR professional shouldn&rsquo;t be task master or recruitment software. Beyond the plastic smile he/she should have a sensibility to understand the processes one practice to understand and implement business techniques. One should delve in detail to understand the outlook of an interviewee when it comes to innovation.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>However no HR is born with these skills. An integrated HR innovation package can help them tremendously in recruiting innovative personnel in the managerial wire frame of an organization.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <img src="">Jatin DeSaiFri, 27 May 2011 14:19:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:51938 of IT in the Company’s Innovation Process - Part- I<p>Role of IT in the Company&rsquo;s Innovation Process</p> <p>Q&amp;A with Jatin DeSai, CEO The DeSai Group (March 21, 2011)</p> <p>1)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The term "innovation" shows up a lot, and is often used in different ways. So first off, what is your definition of innovation (<a href=""></a>)? What is a specific example you've seen in your work?</p> <ol type="a"> <li>Innovation means lot of things to lot of people. It usually gets confused between invention, creativity, and design. Creativity is an act of being creative; to think and act differently. Most organizations are designed exactly opposite &ndash; to conform, to follow a predictable process, to assure certainty. This is one reason why creativity does not happen at the scale of the organization. There are no rewards for thinking with your left and right brain; that is the whole brain as Daniel Pink wrote in his famous book of the same name.&nbsp; Ideas, especially fresh ideas, come from act of being creative. When ideas turn into something unique, it can be called Invention for the person or the team who created it. But, it is not called Innovation until it creates value for the market and the (internal or external or both) customer. Anyone can invent, but when market accepts it, it is called Innovation.</li> <li>Another way I like to say it is &ldquo;Creativity is when you spend money to find ideas, and Innovation is when you use ideas to make money.&rdquo;</li> <li>Innovation by our highest definition is all about growing the top line - period. Anyone can grow the bottom line, as most senior executives have done to our business climate over the last three decades, by cutting expenses while driving efficiency and optimization techniques. This is not sufficient for long-term success. &nbsp;In fact, I think it is the main source of our failed economy. There is no way a company can grow, year after year, develop a strong brand, retain customer loyalty, and achieve its annual goals without a climate and culture of innovation.</li> </ol> <p>2)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; During these tough economic times, corporations are struggling to make it, struggling just to get by doing their core work. Where does innovation fit into such an environment? In other words, does innovation matter in a recession? And if so, why?</p> <ol type="a"> <li>Yes it is true, that many organizations are trying to survive during this tough time in our world. But it is the result of the past choices that got us into this situation in the first place. It is very hard to ask the same CEO/MD, who did not value innovation, to now all of a sudden make investments for innovation efforts or programs especially when they don&rsquo;t even know what innovation is. In our experience, most executives and even the teams at the top lacks a clear definition of innovation. They first must achieve clarity and find common language for innovation. It is not just R&amp;D, or product development, or throwing fuzzy toys in a meeting, or drawing with crayons.</li> <li>I think that most organizations are now past the recession climate. They are out of ER and into the recovery room; at least here in US. They are now in a phase of strategic and conservative growth. This means they want to invest, but do not want to radically change anything; I agree, they should not! But they must proceed with a different mindset; they must acknowledge moving forward in a new and unique way and focusing on long-term not just short-term success. This creates a dilemma since most executive compensations are still tied to short-term success.</li> <li>For a company who does not have an innovation mandate they must understand that innovation is about long-term and sustainable growth. Therefore, it has very little value during the recession if the executive team is focused on short-term achievements. Once they are out of the ER department, it is prudent to commit to a new way for recovery, rehab, and to stay healthy. If they use the old mindset that got them in to the ER in the first place, chances are they will be back in to the hospital soon. The post-recession period is the best time to develop a strong sponsorship and alignment for innovation as a strategic tool for growth. It means committing to doing things differently, it means challenging the status-quo, it means experimenting more, it means new learning, new technologies, and new knowledge; all of which brings new clarity to help make informed choices for investments instead of&nbsp; external factors dictating and forcing downward demise.</li> <li>For any company. There are two primary external drivers that create most amount of uncertainty for the future &ndash; technological and marketplace regularities. IT departments can play a huge role to help address both factors. Who better to help think though about what will happen to technology change, impact of technology, and adoption of products and services that use technologies then a a good IT department?</li> <li style="text-align: left;">So, the best outcome during this period is to at least agree to adopt innovative mindset at the top, commit to innovation as a new behavior and finally have the CEO and CIO own the innovation charter for the organization. There are at least four different ways to implement innovation in an organization, choose one (details can be found in our <a href="">Innovation Roadmap whitepaper</a> on our site at <a href=""></a>) and drive it.</li> </ol> <p style="text-align: left;"><img src="" border="0" alt="" title="Role of IT in the Company&rsquo;s Innovation Process" class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">3)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There are companies for which IT is a prominent public facing capability (say Google, Microsoft, IBM, HP) and those where IT is a business or supporting service in the delivery of public facing products. Considering the latter types of companies, where is IT in a typical company's innovation mix? Where should it be? In other words, from what you've seen how much do companies tap into their IT departments for help in driving innovation? And what should they be doing?</p> <ol type="a"> <li>In most companies, IT is a support function and not a strategic function. This has always intrigued me. When most amount of changes in the world are due to automation and globalization, I cannot fully understand why most senior teams do not position technology as a strategic weapon.</li> <li>One of the reasons why this occurs is because organization and the senior team have not created distinctions between technology and information systems (IT departments). Most successful innovators have! Without such clarity it is hard to introduce innovation in an organization correctly, especially when most think of innovation only in terms of <em>hard</em> products.</li> <li>To be successful, IT departments must master the delivery and quality demands of information systems first. This means, they must demonstrate that they are making money (coming below the budget and helping the organization achieve a customer centric focus) for the organization and not just a cost center for the organization. Then, they have the right to own the innovation agenda for the organization.</li> <li>&ldquo;Sales&rdquo; is the <em>practice</em> and &ldquo;Marketing&rdquo; is the <em>decision science</em> to help business create value. Same is true for Accounting and Finance areas. I believe Technology-driven IT departments can be as valuable as Marketing and Finance departments are to the organization, once they have demonstrated the value and discipline required to be the <em>best practice</em> <em>area</em> first. Any good &lsquo;practice&rsquo;, such as a consulting company, law firm, or an accounting firm prides its self on, is a set of defined capabilities. It usually has components of professionalism, high-quality, certifications, deep subject matter expertise, continuous learning, knowledge-sharing, and collaboration as some basic methods of their success. IT departments should use innovation internally within their own organization to become the best practice area for the company, and help &lsquo;make money&rsquo; for their internal customers first. Only then, they have the &lsquo;right to be at the table&rsquo; and help drive the overall innovation and technology agenda for the entire organization. When IT departments can help find new insights about customers, markets, macro trends, competitors, and technology enabled new business models, they can be a strategic <em>practice</em> such as the Marketing and Finance departments.</li> <li>Most IT departments do not think it is their job to drive sales, just like most manufacturing plants don&rsquo;t think it is their job to make money. I disagree! Until the mindset shifts to the only goal &ndash; to &lsquo;make money&rsquo; - the game is difficult to win; especially for large multi-nationals.</li> <li>Best example of great IT departments we have seen, across sectors and continents we work in, are those clients who have strong commitment to making money for their internal customers and also to help introduce technologies in their customer&rsquo;s products and services using <a href="">innovation methodologies</a> and <a href="">tools</a>. These departments also have a higher ratio of looking &lsquo;outside&rsquo; then &lsquo;inside&rsquo;; that is they are more outside-in then inside-out.</li> </ol> <p>4)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; How realistic is it that IT can help drive innovation when those departments are probably understaffed more than most, not to mention all the cost cutting there is. Can you contribute to innovation when you can barely even get your regular work done? And if so, how (i.e., how can you overcome those obstacles?</p> <ol type="a"> <li>I don&rsquo;t think IT organizations should wait for the world to change or improve. Innovation happens because fresh ideas happen. Ideas come from people! If you have people, then you can start to innovate now. Focus on &lsquo;<a href="">climate of innovation</a>&rsquo; (video) not the &lsquo;culture of innovation&rsquo;. Manger can create &lsquo;climates of innovation&rsquo; in his/her department much faster than a big <a href="">innovation program</a> from the corporate office.</li> <li>We have found there are more ideas in every organization than what to do with. Problem is they are sitting inside your staff&rsquo;s head and left at the door. When brought out, they are not visible, organized, and prioritized. In other words, innovative ideas are under the &lsquo;corporate nose&rsquo;.</li> <li>Start by creatively asking different question to every problem. First practical step is to demand new questions, than you might get new ideas. Promote &lsquo;The 4 Whys&rsquo; for every project discussion. That is, ask why should something be done; why now; why that way; and why not this path Vs this path? This will start to push people to get out of the &lsquo;regular box&rsquo; and rethink possible solutions. If someone is satisfied with an answer the first time, it is probably not an innovative answer. Learn and teach to dig deeper, just to see what possible <em>new</em> solution(s) are to an old problem.</li> <li>Most obstacles for innovation are about <em>un-learning</em> not just new learning for each individual. This <em>un-learning </em>work is the work for each person. Un-learning is about removing internal-gravity and status-quo. It is our internal orthodoxies that must be uprooted. This work can easily happen during everyday activity without cost. It just needs to be promoted by the manger and embraced by each individual for the sake of innovation and growth. I believe that human beings are at their best when they are creating something new in their projects, work, careers, and life. Innovation is all about creating something new and novel.</li> <li>By allowing such climate at a team level, over time, many micro-climates of innovation will become visible, leading to culture of innovation.</li> </ol> <p>5)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; What specific steps should an IT manager or CIO, who wants to help drive innovation, take?</p> <ol type="a"> <li>See above about climate.</li> <li>Develop innovation policy that specifically defines <a href="">what is innovation</a> (video)? Why is it important? and What is being expected of each individual at all levels as behaviors of innovation?</li> <li>Integrate those behaviors in to HR performance management process.</li> <li>One method is for CIO to set up an innovation council just for IT. Set up a budget line with a small fund - say 1.0% for anyone to find ideas that needs experimentation resources. This will send a strong message to everyone about commitment to innovation and also to the future.</li> <li>Provide basic innovation education to as many people as possible, and provide extended training to help build intrapreneurs (50 people from a size of 5,000).</li> <li>CIO and the council should role model the innovation behaviors.</li> <li>Develop 90-day experiment plans for <a href="">ideas</a> (video) that come from teams across the IT organization. Some of these ideas will surely drive powerful outcomes for your customers.</li> </ol> <img src="">Jatin DeSaiFri, 15 Apr 2011 16:55:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:47362 leaders in your organization are helping employee become Innovative?<p>To stay ahead of the competition, a company needs to constantly innovate, especially in the times when new highways and skyscrapers can change a city's look overnight and&nbsp;new flavors in your coffee at your favorite cafe&nbsp;change as fast&nbsp;as it takes&nbsp;to&nbsp;brew a cupful.&nbsp;</p> <p>But, the question is <a href="" title="what does it take to innovate" target="_self">what does it take to innovate</a>? It&nbsp;takes out-of-the-box thinking in terms of smart strategies,&nbsp;the ability to conceptualize something that is unseen by others and to&nbsp;have the courage to risk everything and bring it out first to lead the industry.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="" border="0" alt="" title="How leaders in your organization are helping employee become Innovative?" /></p> <p>However, in an organization, employees with creative powers and important project managerial roles often lack the organizational support to go with something innovative and&nbsp;brilliant in the fear of being&nbsp;snubbed by the&nbsp;boss or the leader. More often than not, leaders&nbsp;start assuming totalitarian powers over&nbsp;the company's workforce and direct them to work according to certain set parameters and guidelines, such that each and every project starts becoming clone of the other. In our experience, it is this clone-building practice&nbsp;at the level of leadership that causes grave&nbsp;impediments towards healthy and vibrant organizational environment.</p> <p>In other words, lack of <em>committed</em> leadership support for innovation is the single largest barrier to employees bringing out their very best and being innovative &ndash; everyday.&nbsp;</p> <p>To&nbsp;check whether the leaders of your company are amply motivating&nbsp;the younger and ambitious work force or not, start by seeing whether they are&nbsp;too much into appeasing clients. If they are themselves in the constant fear of rejection by&nbsp;clients and have&nbsp;restricted the use of their brainstorming and creative faculties, chances are they will&nbsp;lead&nbsp;in a negative manner and discourage the teams working under them from carrying out any innovative plan, idea or strategy.&nbsp;</p> <p>Another great sign to look for is which of the &lsquo;<strong>Three-S Mindset</strong>&rsquo; does your leadership predominantly use to run the business?&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><strong><em>&lsquo;Start-Up&rsquo; attitude</em></strong>: meaning do they love to experiment a lot, fail, learn, and keep experimenting until something new arises? They are customer driven to find solutions to the unmet needs of the market or enhance current portfolio of products to make them better &ndash; constantly.</li> <li><strong><em>Scale attitude</em></strong>: here, the leaders have the courage to invest and grow the business fast. Leaders have demonstrated the required balance between growth and optimization, but are driven by speed to market.</li> <li><strong><em>Status-Quo</em></strong>: here the leaders are wired for keeping things as is and not rocking the boat too much. Here leaders have very low risk-tolerance, proactive about cutting costs, optimize everything, and do not show commitment to long-term investments?&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>In our experience, leaders cannot afford to only use one mindset; they must use all the three above really well. This means organize the company strategies, structure, teams, and systems to leverage all three without causing disruption or disengagement of the workforce.&nbsp;</p> <p>Every <a href="">leadership development program</a>&nbsp; must address development of the &lsquo;Three-S&rsquo; mindsets. The DeSai Groups&rsquo; leadership programs are based on the principles of rationality and address the inner&nbsp;conflicts of leaders that restrict them from &lsquo;thinking out the box&rsquo; and the invisible biases that limit their full attention to&nbsp;innovation and dynamism.&nbsp;Our leadership development programs are&nbsp;based on achieving&nbsp;two broad goals -- the motivation to motivate by&nbsp;engaging&nbsp;leaders of your company in self-awareness&nbsp;programs so that they come face to face with their own weaknesses and mental block against innovation and&nbsp;to show them how your company is under-performing due to these personal limitations.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thus, The DeSai Group encourage&nbsp;and trains leaders to&nbsp;become sensitive to the talents and <em><a href="">skills</a></em> of the work force while leveraging the experience and expertise of the best talent pools within. Leaders are taught to promote diversity, challenge status-quos, practice three-dimensional thinking, and identify emerging patterns for themselves and their subordinates that will propel innovation in the company. Ultimately, this will allow your company to&nbsp;benefit from their power to innovate.&nbsp;</p> <p>To build a climate and culture of innovation is a long-term process, which must happen at all levels: leadership, middle-management, work-teams, and at the individual level.&nbsp;</p> <p>Do not waste your company&rsquo;s hard earned money on any <em><a href="">innovation training workshops</a> </em>&nbsp;until you have hard evidences that your leaders at the top are truly ready to walk-the-talk about innovation process themselves. Only then, you can expect teams and individuals to embrace innovation as way of life in your company.</p> <img src="">Jatin DeSaiWed, 23 Feb 2011 15:28:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:40263 your organization with Leadership development programs – critical ingredient for innovation and growth.<p>Leaders are not created leaders are born; is a partly flawed argument. In our experience working with <a href="" title="Fortune clients" target="_blank">Fortune clients</a> since 1983, born leaders are mostly charismatic but they have a tendency to topple organizational values, principles and sometime ethics. That is, they are not true leaders, they are greedy managers. In the short run they can be unprecedented but for a sustained long term growth such charismatic leaders can be detrimental.</p> <p>Various reasons can support the argument.</p> <p>Any above average charismatic leader in a short span makes an impact and convinces the top line management to believe in his convictions. The team assigned to the leader soon follows the diktats of the concerned leader and get used to her or his way of conduct. Failures, misappropriations and disapprovals in such circumstances affect the nerve of the organization heavily because of over reliance on the leader. Same goes true with success stories. The flip side of such methods of leadership is clear devaluation of potential of the large work force. Such leadership tendencies are hierarchical and in most cases create a rift of ideology between large sets of people.</p> <p>In case the leader quits the organization, the entire team crumbles and suffers from a confidence crisis. The situation becomes so worse that newer measures are often treated in comparison to the last leader. In extreme cases employees quit the organization and seek to join their old leader.</p> <p>Thus every <a href="" title="leadership development training program" target="_blank">leadership development training program</a> should make leaders out of ordinary employees based on their loyalty, potential and dedication. Leadership programs should focus within the parameters laid by the organization so that never the will of the leader challenges the authority of the organization. Such systematic leadership creates a deep respect for the organization and not the leader only. Innovation best happens under such circumstances of equality of law. In fact all successful organizations of today in any format of business create organizational leadership over personal leadership.</p> <p>Leadership development programs from The DeSai Group, are targeted towards building pipeline of leaders from within by developing existing employees. Every leader should be groomed and customized to outperform. We believe that best leaders are those who are pushed beyond their current capacity, it is only then the person can tap into the undiscovered capability and the reservoir of potential within. These types of leaders should be taught to stretch their thinking beyond their comfort zone and assure never to endanger the will of the organization at large. Rather the leadership development workshops would stabilize the vision of the organization through proto organizations in the form of leaders. That is, true leaders walk the talk everyday.They should be the ideal role models for leadership for everyone.</p> <p>The DeSai Group engages with clients to build leaders that can drive performance but also innovation. Too many leadership programs only focus on developing expected outcomes. That mindset cannot work any longer. Organizations must demand leaders to go beyond just the left-brain metrics of performance to whole-brain approach for strategic growth and value creation. It is imperative to build leaders that can out-perform but also out-compete in the turbulent markets.</p> <p><a href="" title="The DeSai Group" target="_blank">The DeSai Group</a>&rsquo;s leadership programs are highly constructed with balance of science and art. These programs focuses on leadership performance bereaved of emotional impact. The psychological effect of a leader will be minimized and a leader would lead simply because he is not better than others but by the fact that he has tested <a href="" title="leadership skill" target="_blank">leadership skill</a> acknowledged by colleagues and employees.</p> <img src="">Jatin DeSaiWed, 02 Feb 2011 14:50:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:38859 F. Drucker... On Innvation<p>One of my favorite authors on the subject of innovation...legendary Peter F. Drucker:</p> <p>"There are innovators who are 'kissed by the Muses,' and whose innovations are the result of a 'flash of genius' rather than of hard, organized, purposeful work. But such innovations cannot be replicated. They cannot be taught and they cannot be learned. ..."<br /><br />"But also, contrary to popular belief in the romance of invention and innovation, 'flashes of genius' are uncommonly rare. What is worse, I know of not one such 'flash of genius' that turned into an innovation. They all remained brilliant ideas.<br /><br />"The purposeful work of innovation resulting from analysis, system, and hard work is all that can be discussed and presented as the practice of innovation. ... And the extraordinary performer in innovation, as in every other area, will be effective only if grounded in the discipline and master of it.<br /><br />"Purposeful, systematic innovation begins with the analysis of ... the seven sources of opportunity: ... [which are] the organization's own unexpected successes and failures ... incongruities ... process needs ... changes in market structures ... changes in demographics ... changes in meaning and perception ... [and] new knowledge. All sources of innovative opportunity should be systematically analyzed and studied. It is not enough to be alerted to them. ...<br /><br />"An innovation, to be effective, has to be simple and it has to be focused. It should do only one thing; otherwise it confuses. If it is not simple, it won't work. ... All effective innovations are breathtakingly simple. Indeed, the greatest praise an innovation can receive is for people to say, 'This is obvious. Why didn't I think of it?' "<br /><br />Peter F. Drucker, <em>The Essential Drucker</em>, Harper, 2001, pp. 273-4.</p> <img src="">Jatin DeSaiTue, 24 Nov 2009 14:52:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:11953