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Creativity & Innovation
Where will your next great idea come from? Topics include personal creativity, lateral thinking, design, failure, intrapreneurship, risk, vision, the arts, and what if everything you know is wrong?
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A New Definition of Luxury
from Henry Liska

Henry's principles of design have a relevance to business leadership, today more than ever before. In his words he describes his approach and creativity as one of "deep articulate thinking," a beautiful expression that conveys the "mindfulness" and the magic that brings a concept to life. One only needs to think of "Apple" to appreciate how deep articulate thinking can make already innovative products appear magical and transform an entire industry.

Four Smart Ways to Expand Your Small Business
by Carol Roth

For many small businesses -- particularly sole proprietors and mom-and-pop operations -- expanding brings with it challenges as well as opportunities. The key to growing your small business is to do it the smart way. Here are some tips that may help.

Six Ways to Rebound after a Setback
by Robert Jordan

I interviewed 45 highly successful company founders, each of whom started, grew, and sold a company for approximately $100 million or more, or took their company public for $300 million or more. Along the way, I discovered that they all share one trait in common: resilience.

The 7 Common Myths of Innovation
by George Chen and Ian Pallister

Innovation is by far the hottest management issue today; so, no doubt like many others, your organization will be abuzz with the rhetoric of innovation.  But here’s a question:  Is your organization, like so many others, suffering from a massive rhetoric–reality gap?  If you are thinking right now:  “Hell no!” then it’s likely your organization is blinded by one or more of the seven deadly myths of innovation. Read on and judge for yourself.

The DNA of Innovative Companies: Visionary CEO or Coherent System?
by Joe Lee, Nate Hutchins, and the Winning Team of Strategos-CBIG Innovation Challenge

Can companies achieve breakthrough innovation in the absence of a visionary CEO? Can innovation be embedded into the DNA of an organization, such that it repeatedly brings to market game-changing products and services? Our review of today’s most innovative companies reveals that a systematic approach to innovation can be as effective for driving growth as a visionary CEO, and perhaps even more sustainable over the long run.

Six Ways to Find a $100 Million Idea and Top Founders' Advice for New Entrepreneurs
by Robert Jordan

Ever wonder how entrepreneurs come up with brilliant business ideas that turn into successful companies? I interviewed 45 company founders, each of whom started, grew, and sold a company for $100 million or more, or took their company public for $300 million or more. Here are some of their secrets.

Seven Principles for Starting a Microbusiness
by Dal LaMagna

I started Tweezerman, the global beauty tools company, with $500 in cash. When I sold the company in 2004, I walked away with millions. One of the reasons I succeeded is because I started small, very small, and had learned from all the mistakes I had made in numerous failed small businesses that preceded it. So, a foundational principle for starting a business is to start small. Here are seven more.

How Does Innovation Have Impact?
by Amy Elliott Hemeter and Nate Hutchins

For the last few years, the business press and experts have stressed the strategic criticality of innovation.  However, as you consider investing your scarce resources in innovation, maybe you should step back and ask yourself, “What is innovation?” and more particularly “How does innovation have impact?”

Starting with a Blank Sheet of Paper Doesn’t Work and Other Reasons Why Most Innovation Programs Fail
by Chris Jones

Learning from others’ mistakes is a great way to improve performance.  Look at your innovation program and confirm that you are building new perspectives about your customers, industry, and yourself.  Then, make sure you are applying these new perspectives as stimulus for generating ideas for properly framed customer problems and exploring innovation across the entire business model.

Ten Entrepreneurial Strategies for Success
by Renee and Don Martin

Believe that growth and opportunity for this nation's economy are inevitable. Look at the world through the eyes of an entrepreneur. Use your imagination to identify market opportunities that others have overlooked. Believe in the power of your ideas and just start the pursuit of your own entrepreneurial dream. It's up to you to reclaim the American Dream.

Three Secret Weapons for Entrepreneurs
by Renee and Don Martin

Whether you're considering starting your own business -- or looking for ways to expand an existing enterprise -- there are three time-tested secret weapons you can use to help gain a sharp competitive edge. These weapons are three broad business strategies that can help you to create a new business or push your company to the next level of success.

Seven Ways to Inspire Innovation
by Robert F. Brands

Taken in totality, with its iPhone, iPod, MacBook laptops, and the original Macintosh computer itself, Apple's ability to hit innovation home runs has changed technology -- and the way people relate to electronic devices, and thus, each other. What was the inspiration behind these products? How does a man -- CEO Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak -- foster such an upwelling of inspiration? More importantly, how can you foster such inspiration in your organization?

Six Steps to the Perfect Pitch: Learn to Succeed With Investors - From a Guy Who Failed
by Scott Gerber

Shortly after my college graduation, a few friends and I started a new media company. Even though our business had yet to bring in a single dollar, and none of us had ever been the CEO of coffee shop let alone a multi-million dollar enterprise, we were all confident that we had a sure thing on our hands. After all, our financial projections forecasted gross revenues of $200 million. What investor could say no to that?

Why Unemployed College Grads Should Channel Their Inner Entrepreneur
by Donna Fenn

Last spring, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployment among 18 to 25-year-olds was a staggering 16.1%. That was grim news for college grads, plenty of whom headed straight to grad school, or promptly moved their belongings into the family basement. If you are among this army of unemployed or underemployed young people, it's time you considered another option: start your own business. 

What Business are We In? and Your Ideal Elevator Pitch
by Paul Sloane

What is it that your business really sells?  What is the true value that customers get from your products or services?  When you know the answers to these questions you can start to conceive new ways to provide that value.  It is the starting point for real innovation.

Mind Mapping
Raju Mandhyan

Mind Mapping is a fun and simple technique that can help you generate large number of ideas, sort them by effectiveness and applicability. It can also analyze options more efficiently, structure presentations, memorize more and store large volumes of data, ideas, opinions and thoughts on single sheets of paper. Originated by creativity expert Tony Buzan, Mind Mapping has done wonders for my learning, thinking, and speaking skills.

Trouncing the Recession like an Upstart!
by Donna Fenn

Small business owners are typically an optimistic lot, even in the face of dismal economic conditions. But a recent American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor survey found that GenY entrepreneurs are more optimistic than most. GenY business owners were most likely to be hiring and making capital investments, and least likely to have cash flow issues and to be "stressed out" about the economy.

The World According to Twitter
by David Pogue

New York Times technology columnist David Pogue has tapped into the brilliance of his half-million followers on Twitter by posting a different, thought-provoking question every night. Here is an excerpt of one his questions and a sample of the many "tweets" in response: Question: Compose the subject line of an email message you really, really don’t want to read. Read on and enjoy!

Lateral Thinking for Innovation
by Paul Sloane

A great deal of humour is based on lateral thinking.  The comedian ridicules existing beliefs; he comes at an issue from unusual directions; he makes unexpected connections to give the surprise that makes us laugh.  The two best reasons to use lateral thinking in our everyday lives are because we will generate many fresh, better ideas and because it is great fun.

Unsticking an Idea
by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Since Made to Stick came out, many anxious people have asked us, "How do I unstick a sticky idea?" They want to unstick a rumor about their company or a false perception of a particular product. They want to unstick whispered mistruths about political candidates. Once, we were even asked, "How would you unstick Paris Hilton?" Our advice is simple: Fight sticky ideas with stickier ideas.

Create a Think Tank and Create a Business Revolution
by Rosemary Rein

We all know that it's no time for Business as Usual. Now there is sufficient pain to seek creative solutions and business revolutions in just about every industry and company. Here are ten ways to bring creative ideation to your organization and move from pain to solutions.

Linking New Product Development to Strategy
by Gary Getz and Pedro do Carmo Costa

Many companies implement Stage-Gate or other forms of new product development processes that promise to accelerate growth while managing risk.   Few, however, are satisfied with the output of their efforts.  One potential reason for their dissatisfaction is the disconnection between their organization’s new product development (NPD) and strategy development processes.  Without this connection, product development pipelines become stuffed with incremental extensions of existing products but void of breakthrough concepts. 

Break Down Internal Barriers
by Paul Sloane
Knowledge sharing and collaboration are essential for innovation success.  A key responsibility of the innovative leader is to constantly fight the silting up of the internal communications and to force contact and sharing between departments.

Ten Great Ways To Crush Creativity
by Paul Sloane
Directors, VPs and managers have much more power than they realize.  They can patiently create a climate of creativity or they can crush it in a series of subtle comments and gestures.  Their actions send powerful signals.  Their responses to suggestions and ideas are deciphered by staff as encouragement or rejection.  If you want to crush creativity in your organization and eliminate all the unnecessary bother of innovation then here are ten steps that are guaranteed to succeed.

Creativity Produces Profit
by Estienne de Beer
Creativity is marked by the ability or power to create or bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new. When you create something, you are actually bringing it into being, making it from nothing. But how do you make something from nothing? How do you achieve creativity? What is the essence of creativity?

Weird Combinations Work
by Paul Sloane

When you combine two ideas to make a third then two plus two can equal five. In the ancient world one of the great discoveries was that by combining two soft metals - iron and tin - you could create a strong alloy - bronze. In a similar way combining two minor inventions - the coin punch and the wine press - gave birth to the mighty printing press. Try combining your main product or service with a range of foreign concepts and see what you get.

Innovating Management - Reinvent How You Invent
y Peter Skarzynski and Amy Muller
Welcome to the new reality:  Development pipelines are producing too many incremental improvements and too few game-changing new products, categories or service innovations.  Promising but uncertain ideas are being discarded prematurely while safe, me-too, did-it-before-so-let’s-do-it-again ideas flow through stages with marvelous velocity. Based on our work with several companies, we have identified three key ways that successful global competitors have adapted their NPD processes to “disrupt and win.”

The Courage to be Different
by Avil Beckford
Where do great ideas come from? Do great ideas come only to some people? How will you know if you have a really great idea? Make your mind a fertile ground for generating great ideas.

Ten Top Tips for the Innovative Leader
by Paul Sloane

You cannot expect your team to be innovative if they do not know the direction in which they are headed.  Innovation has to have a purpose. Innovative leaders constantly evangelise the need for change. The innovative leader encourages a culture of experimentation, and passion and more.

Service Innovation for SMEs
by Dr. Katalin Eibel-Spanyi and Andrew Spanyi

The opportunities for service innovation now also encompass innovations in business models, delivery channels, and the overall customer experience. Service innovation enables competitive advantage via better market position and greater responsiveness to customer requirements.

Can Bad Attitudes Lead to Good Innovation?
by Paul Sloane

Do we benefit from rebellious employees who challenge assumptions and rudely assert a different point of view? Should we seek to employ more people who are unruly and disrespectful?

Unleash Your Inner Genius
by Paul Sloane

Here are ten great ways to boost your personal creativity! Try them and see what suits you best.

The Human Being in the Spotlight of Corporate Success
by Jennifer Ebermann

It is of utmost importance to create the conditions that allow staff members to feel at ease at their workplace and identify with their corporate culture. Together500+ is a new award-winning tool that can turn your communications into an incredible experience for your people.

Look for the Solution within the Problem
by Paul Sloane

The next time you face a tough problem do some lateral thinking. Try looking first at how you can use the resources in and around the issue. That way you might escape from prison, put out a fire or land a top job!

Innovation: Eight Simple Rules for SMEs
by Katalin Eibel-Spanyi

Innovation drives growth and Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the growth engine of the economy. SMEs must move from the old 'product centric' models of innovation to a more robust, alternative driven model.

Balancing Sustaining and Disruptive Innovation
by Dean Robb, Ph.D.

A renewable entrepreneurial enterprise must juggle, balance and integrate two phenomena, each requiring radically different values, mindsets, leadership and management approaches.

Leveraging the Power of Design
by Ted Mininni

For the current leaders of design and business, we need to embrace the new "creative economy" as it begins to unfold. This is an exciting time for business. Full of challenges, but rife with possibilities.

Take the Brainstorm Quiz
by Paul Sloane
Brainstorms, Thought Showers or Ideation Sessions - call them what you will - can be fun, fulfilling and fruitful or damp, dismal and demotivating. It all depends on how they are run.

Failure is the Mother of Invention
by Paul Sloane

To be truly agile, you must give people the freedom to innovate, the freedom to experiment, the freedom to succeed. That means you must give them the freedom to fail too.

Intrapreneurship: How to Drive Innovation by Getting Out of the Way!
by Tom Nies

For firms like ours, innovation and speed-to-market are two ways to compete successfully against large, publicly held companies. Creating, fostering and sustaining the right environment really is an intrapreneurial imperative.

New Mobile Applications Shock Market
by Alex MacCaskill

Five stunning, new integrated mobile phone applications are set to revolutionise the way we communicate globally, while adding a whole new meaning to the word "personal."

Seven Strategies for Sustained Innovation
by Dr. Robert Karlsberg and Dr. Jane Adler

Sustained innovation comes from developing a collective sense of purpose; from unleashing the creativity of people throughout your organization and from teaching them how to recognize unconventional opportunities.

The Innovative Enterprise
by Katalin Eibel-Spanyi

Successfully implementing even one innovative concept is tough. Creating a business environment where innovation is an integral part of the fabric of the organization is at least ten times more difficult. Yet, that is precisely what is needed in today's business environment.

Seeking Initiative and Innovation? Reward Failure!
by Jim McCormick

Risk inclination and risk tolerance are core elements of an organization's culture. It is part of what defines the organization. But it can be gradually changed by being consistent in emphasizing the importance of taking thoughtful risks and rewarding initiative and innovation.

Innovation Starts with Vision
by Paul Sloane
You can not develop a passionate, committed and enthusiastic team if they do not know where they are heading. They have to see the destination and buy into the voyage.

Orchestrating Collaboration at Work Using the Arts
by Linda Naiman
An artist and consultant explains how the arts are emerging as a role model for learning about leadership, innovation and collaboration in business.

Establishing a Continuing Business Model Innovation Process
by Donald Mitchell and Carol Coles
This paper describes how to establish a process for continuing business model innovation. The findings are based on current best practices among companies that have gained large competitive advantages through continually improving and replacing their business models.

Gaining and Extending Industry Leadership Through Continuing Business Model Innovation
by Donald W. Mitchell and Carol Bruckner Coles
By shifting attention to continuing business model innovation and improving their business models, firms can achieve large gains over current and potential competitors before those firms shift their focus.

Continuing Business Model Innovation Breakthroughs
by Donald W. Mitchell and Carol Bruckner Coles

A business model is the who, what, when, where, why, how, and how much an organization uses to provide its goods and services and develop resources to continue its efforts. By business model innovation, we mean any successful change in any elements of the business model that substantially enhances a company's on-going performance in delivering benefits versus the available alternatives.

The Easy Way to Innovate is - the Hard Way!
by Robert W. Bradford

Too many companies get on an innovation treadmill by improving their offerings in predictable, copyable ways. With a little care, you can innovate strategically, and truly put your company in a position that yields long-term advantage in the marketplace.

Mining the Future
by Linda Naiman

Successful trend spotting will allow you to determine which trends are commercially viable to exploit and to apply those trends to your business equipped to handle change.

The Top 10 Reasons to Play
by Linda Naiman
Change is a constant in the world we live in and maintaining balance can be a challenge. To stay replenished, do a systems check. When was the last time you fed your soul good music, art and literature? When was the last time you immersed yourself in nature to revitalize body, mind and spirit, or took time out to do nothing at all?

The Top 10 Brainjuicers to Enhance Your Creativity
by Linda Naiman
In order to enhance your creativity, your body and mind should be operating at peak efficiency. Try these brainjuicers to boost your brain power.

Managing Innovation in Organizations - A Framework for Creativity and Collaboration
by Paula Gamonal

It is a great paradox that there are innumerable obstacles to innovation in the current corporate environment. Since history tends to repeat itself, we'll take a quick tour of some of the perils of innovation, and then outline the framework that will help manage and minimize the risk and maximize the rewards.

Overcoming Innovation Barriers
by Keith Hopper & Karl Rexer, Ph.D.
Constant innovation has become an inarguable strategy for business survival. With such a powerful and straightforward strategy, why are so many organizations struggling to survive?

Creative Genius? Rubbish!
by Malcolm Macpherson
The best innovators aren’t lonely geniuses, and the most innovative companies have learned how to systematize the creative process.

Innovation at Ground Zero
by Bray J. Brockbank
In today's rapidly changing world, entrepreneurs and executives must create a "culture of innovation" that increases performance and output throughout the organization.

Related Topics: Creative Leadership I | II | III

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