Strategy. Innovation. Brand.


Gamification – Software Innovation

Why do people play video games for hours on end?  Why couldn’t accounting software be equally addictive? Well, actually, it could be if we designed accounting software the same way we design video games.  There are five key attributes that make a difference.  Learn more in the video.

Does your innovation make business sense?

Let’s say that you’ve come up with an innovation and now need to convince your company’s executives that it makes business sense.  The first rule: beware of the Finance department.  Financial analysts are great with an alphabet soup of classic financial tools: ROI, IRR, NPV, hurdle rates, and so on.  Unfortunately, classic tools are good only for classic markets. That is, mature markets that are well understood and more or less predictable.  With an innovation, these tools are less than useless — the market doesn’t exist.  It’s like trying to measure the path of an electron using Newtonian physics. Newtonian tools are good for classic physics but will do nothing but mislead you in the subatomic space.

So how do you measure the potential impact?  Well, you need new analytic tools — and so do your financial analysts.  One option (no pun intended) is real options analysis. Traditionally, “options” meant the option to buy or sell something in the future.  “Real options” are similar but they give you the option to do something in the future.  In other words, we’re trying to put a value on the concept of keeping your options open.  A good financial analyst working in an innovative company should know about real options — you can use the video to introduce it to them.


Innovation and Blind Spots

blind spot railroadDo you want to be more innovative? A good first step is to discover your blind spots. If you can’t see something, you can’t make it better.  But, how do you know if you’re not seeing something?  After all, your blind spots are blind.  It’s not so hard if you follow the tips in this week’s video — you’ll discover how to identify your blind spots and see the world more fully.  You’ll also discover why a diverse organization is essential. Building a diverse organization is not just the right thing to do.  It will also stimulate new innovation. Now watch the video:

Sustaining versus Disruptive Innovations

Every company wants to be more innovative.  But some innovations will help your business while others will disrupt it.  You need to enable sustaining innovations and defend against disruptive innovations.  But sometimes, disruptive business innovations are inevitable.  The only way to defend against them is to adopt them and disrupt your own business.  Hey, better to disrupt your own business rather than have someone else do it for you.  Right, Kodak?

Learn more in the video.

Mash, Mash, Innovation

Do the mashed potato with me!

What do DJ Danger Mouse and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have in common? They’re examples of one of the main engines of innovation: the mashup.  Some innovations involve the creation of something entirely new. More often, innovations combine existing concepts from different domains. The concepts are well understood. The innovation comes from mashing them up — combining concepts to create something new.

What do you get if you combine wheels with luggage?  Rollable luggage.  (Why did it take us so long to figure that out?)  What do you get if you add a power supply?  Self-propelled luggage. That sounds like a good business idea.

We even have jokes that follow the same pattern.  What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite. (I didn’t say they were good jokes).

Mashup thinking can lead to stunning new product development, devices, tools, and processes. What do you get when you cross an X-ray with data processing? The MRI. Mashup thinking is also fairly easy to master. You just add things together. Sometimes the result doesn’t make sense but often times, it leads you to an intriguing discovery. If you want to be more innovative, think about doing the mash.

So, what do DJ Danger Mouse and IEDs have in common?  Well, watch the video.

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