The Anatomy of a Great Idea

Ideas are not invented equally. I’d suggest that anyone who repeats the adage that ‘no idea is a bad idea’ has never attended a management away day.

So what makes a great idea?

What Effect Does Environment Have On Our Ability To Think Creatively?

When you think of the “space to innovate” what immediately springs to mind? Is it the physical space , the mental space, the calendar space? All three? I’ve been thinking a lot about spaces and environments this week: specifically what are the best creative spaces to boost collaboration? Few companies measure whether the design ofContinue reading “What Effect Does Environment Have On Our Ability To Think Creatively?”

How To Kill Ideas (Part 53)

Many organisations act as inhibitors of innovation. Rules and protocols are put in place, often for very good reasons, that preserve the status quo.  Over time, organisations develop a set of social norms – ‘the way we do things around here’ – that can quell any creativity or dissent. Organisations can quickly develop an autonomic immune responseContinue reading “How To Kill Ideas (Part 53)”

How To Resist Corporate Hoarding

Many companies are still using software built or purchased from a time when Blockbuster were fining us for late returned videos. Most of the companies we admire for their innovation , your Amazons, your Netflixes or your Apples have no such legacy ways of working holding them back. They either cleared them out years agoContinue reading “How To Resist Corporate Hoarding”

The Complex Problem With Big Change Programmes

Change-washing (noun): the process of introducing reforms that purport to bring about change but fail to result in any substantive shifts in systems, services or culture.  — Thea Snow and Abe Greenspoon One of the unfortunate side-effects of writing a post that becomes popular such as  People Aren’t Sick Of Change. They’re Just Sick OfContinue reading “The Complex Problem With Big Change Programmes”

The Problem With Seeing People As Vulnerable

Never mistake your Twitter feed for your country — Nick Cohen (@NickCohen4) December 12, 2019 Now, more than ever, it’s easier to exist within a bubble. We spend a lot more time communicating through screens than talking face to face. Our digital social networks are powered by algorithms designed to feed us information confirming whatContinue reading “The Problem With Seeing People As Vulnerable”

Redesigning Organisations For Positive Deviance

What if the traditional way that we think change happens is all wrong? What if our focus on the spread and scale of innovative business solutions isn’t the answer – but is part of the fundamental problem? In 1990, an American couple named Jerry and Monique Sternin were sent by Save the Children to fightContinue reading “Redesigning Organisations For Positive Deviance”

The Complex Task of Simplicity

If you want to make things truly simple to use by your customers, you will nearly always have to make your organization take on more complexity – Gerry McGovern Yesterday, I delivered a talk at a conference that was aimed at getting organisations ‘back to basics’. The problem, I proposed, was that we live in aContinue reading “The Complex Task of Simplicity”

How Technology Can Increase Collaboration And Build Trust

This post is an shortened version of a plenary talk delivered in Cardiff for the Wales Audit Office  Depending on your age it’s likely that the two things you were not taught in school were: a) how to collaborate effectively and b) how to use technology to connect and share with others And yet theseContinue reading “How Technology Can Increase Collaboration And Build Trust”

How To Kill Doomed Projects

The challenge for managers in the “can-do” culture of business is to distinguish between belief as a key driver of success—and belief as something that can blind managers to a project’s ultimate failure – Isabelle Royer  It’s always easier to start something new than it is to stop doing something. Many of our organisations areContinue reading “How To Kill Doomed Projects”

How To Avoid Corporate Initiativitis

We’ve never felt so busy at work, and never been less engaged. 90% of people say they expect to find a substantial degree of joy at work, yet only 37% report that they do. Many of our organisations remain afflicted by: Initiative-itis: The condition of mistaking busyness for productivity Vanity Projects: Things that only gotContinue reading “How To Avoid Corporate Initiativitis”

How To Kill Ideas

We were asked a really good question last week with the visit to Bromford of the Disruptive Innovators Network. How long should you spend on an idea? In the early days of Bromford Lab we had a 12 WEEKS MAX rule. If we couldn’t get an idea up and running within that time – it shouldContinue reading “How To Kill Ideas”

What We Can Learn From The Oldest Companies in The World

Shigemitsu Kongo, a Japanese Buddhist temple builder, formed his construction company Kongo Gumi in in 578 AD. His company built relationships with their customers that lasted for 1,400 years, surviving through many wars and natural disasters,  just like their temples. It wasn’t technology that nearly killed the company, but cashflow. The oldest company in the worldContinue reading “What We Can Learn From The Oldest Companies in The World”

Lessons Learned From Five Years of Failure

Sometimes the execution of the idea doesn’t need to be the best to succeed. In 1989 a video game designer called Gunpei Yokoi changed the world with the launch of the original Nintendo Game Boy. It took gaming out of the hands of geeks and paved the way for the industry to become the mostContinue reading “Lessons Learned From Five Years of Failure”

Why We Don’t Collaborate

Everyone says they love collaboration. Our open offices are designed to encourage collaboration. We recruit for people who are collaborative in nature. The digital tools we use are aimed at fostering greater collaboration. We promote the benefits of collaboration , or even co-creation, with our customers and service users. Collaboration has replaced innovation as theContinue reading “Why We Don’t Collaborate”

How Good Company Culture Can Go Bad

Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write. One of the best hours I spent this week was with our Governance, Risk and Assurance Team. There – I said it. Joking aside, the relationship between governance and innovation is an important one.  As I wrote in my last post – for an organisation to support innovationContinue reading “How Good Company Culture Can Go Bad”

Creating The Right Culture For Innovation and Change

I’m not sure I buy into the concept of organisations having a culture of innovation. After all, innovation is a process consisting of four things: Having an idea that solves a problem Doing something with that idea Proving that it delivers new value for people Translating it into reality and making it part of theContinue reading “Creating The Right Culture For Innovation and Change”

The Fruitless Quest For Inbox Zero: Eight Tips To Protect Your Time

You can seek to impose order on your inbox all you like – but eventually you’ll need to confront the fact that the deluge of messages, and the urge you feel to get them all dealt with, aren’t really about technology. They’re manifestations of larger, more personal dilemmas – Oliver Burkeman At the back-end ofContinue reading “The Fruitless Quest For Inbox Zero: Eight Tips To Protect Your Time”

Who Really Wins From Digital Transformation?

The birth of the change management movement began in the 1960s and 70s – when big consultancy began to see a vast new market – convincing organisations of the benefits of ‘transformation’. Alongside this came the development of a distinctive, pseudo-scientific language of change which the consultants needed to pitch themselves to new clients. ItContinue reading “Who Really Wins From Digital Transformation?”