Why The Employee Idea Scheme Doesn’t Work


The concept of asking employees to share their ideas to drive innovation is always a good one. Unfortunately, the traditional suggestion scheme is, in my opinion, not the way to go about it.

Community Is The Most Powerful Unit Of Change


We are less pessimistic about our own lives than we are about larger units. We’re not very pessimistic about our village, we are not pessimistic about our town – but we are very pessimistic about our country, and even more pessimistic about the future of our planet. The bigger the unit you look at the … Continue reading Community Is The Most Powerful Unit Of Change

Can The Pandemic Usher In An Era of Creative Disruption?


If we’d followed a conventional big transformation/ big consultancy approach to vaccine development and deployment we’d be getting our jabs sometime around the middle of 2033.

The question is, can your organisation draw on the lessons of the pandemic to forge a more effective partnership with your customers and stakeholders?

The Creative Value Of Open-Mindedness


Innovation is, essentially, about being endlessly curious. Curious, and a little bit paranoid that the way you do things isn’t the best way. Looking outside your organisation means gathering and understanding trends and weak signals that indicate emerging needs or opportunities. These weak signals are often overlooked or ignored by organisations that will only listen … Continue reading The Creative Value Of Open-Mindedness

Putting The Needs Of The User Before The System


Are some countries more innovative than others? Certainly many have tried to measure it, with the UK being outperformed by the likes of South Korea, Israel and Finland. As the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla has said, the role of Government when it comes to encouraging innovation is crucial: “We need to make sure that … Continue reading Putting The Needs Of The User Before The System

Moving From The Reactive To The Pre-Emptive


As Matthew Manos has written, many of us in the social sector are employed in the expectation that the things that go wrong will always go wrong.  Indeed, our work often profits from past societal failure rather than the contemplation of the signals of failures that have yet to exist. The entire premise relies on … Continue reading Moving From The Reactive To The Pre-Emptive

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 these … Continue reading How Technology Can Increase Collaboration And Build Trust

The Smartest People Will Never Work For You


Joy’s law is the principle that “no matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else”. Bill Joy, the computer engineer to whom it’s attributed argued that if you rely solely on your own employees, you’ll never solve all your customers’ needs. It’s a quote that’s never been more true. Joy … Continue reading The Smartest People Will Never Work For You

Does Regulation Really Stifle Innovation?


Last week I did a presentation to a group of managers when the issue of governance and regulation ‘getting in the way’ of innovation came up. People often think regulations stifle innovation, new business and services. They assume that regulators are there to control and curtail what they want to do. “We are so heavily … Continue reading Does Regulation Really Stifle Innovation?

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 should … Continue reading How To Kill Ideas

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 most … Continue reading Lessons Learned From Five Years of Failure

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 the … Continue reading Creating The Right Culture For Innovation and Change

How To Avoid Innovation Theatre


Consistent investment, dedicated teams, proper evidencing of decisions, alignment with strategy. A simple but critical recipe for innovation in future-ready organisations – Tom Cheesewright One of the questions I get asked most frequently is“How do you define innovation?” This week I’ve been asked it several times so here’s a short post to recap my thoughts. … Continue reading How To Avoid Innovation Theatre

The Danger Of Listening To People Who Talk A Lot


Research indicates that even when everyone within a group recognizes who the subject matter expert is, they defer to that member just 62% of the time; when they don’t, they listen to the most extroverted person – Khalil Smith Innovation must be founded on a deep understanding of the problem we are seeking to solve. It … Continue reading The Danger Of Listening To People Who Talk A Lot

Why We Need To Learn To Love Project Managers


‘There isn’t a child alive who dreams of being a project manager’ –  so said Scott Berkun. He pointed out that project managers can unintentionally reinforce their work as (let’s be honest) dull – by trying to get everyone to pay attention to spreadsheets, specifications, PowerPoint presentations and status reports, failing to realise these are the … Continue reading Why We Need To Learn To Love Project Managers

How To Kill Innovation In 10 Easy Steps


Many of our organisations, without realising it, 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’ designed to protect the business from failure. … Continue reading How To Kill Innovation In 10 Easy Steps

How To Find And Kill Zombie Projects


According to Clayton Christensen , of the 30,000 new consumer products that are launched each year – 95% fail. Compare this with the public, voluntary and non-profit sectors – where hardly anything fails. The social sector must either be fantastic at launching new initiatives, or there’s a lot of things going on that shouldn’t still be living. … Continue reading How To Find And Kill Zombie Projects

Stop Talking, Start Experimenting


Thinking different isn’t enough, you have to act different – Jorge Barba I took a call this week from a person working for another organisation, we’ll call her Bill. Despite having a hugely supportive executive team the problems Bill faces are numerous: Managers are asking why are we working on a new initiative when the … Continue reading Stop Talking, Start Experimenting