Assessing how formal education connects with innovation

  During this election season, the topics of education and innovation are in the forefront. All of the rhetoric has made me start to think more critically about the intersection of education and innovation. On one hand, it stands to reason that the two intersect — innovation becomes more likely if education has properly fed…

Baby Boomers present plenty of opportunities for innovation

The needs of the aging Baby Boomer generation will create significant opportunities for innovation. Unlike their parents, boomers will not slip quietly away into old age. Instead, they will reshape what growing old looks like and in the process define the new needs of the elderly. The roar which boomers have made at each stage…

Costs of innovation must be weighed against standing still

When faced with the decision of whether or not to invest in an innovative idea, managers often measure the cost of the incremental investment. That is, the cost of investing in the innovation which is above and beyond current operating costs. However, the error in this analysis is that it doesn’t take into account the…

Creativity is greatest gift to economic health of an organization

It is well-accepted that creativity in the workplace — more commercially referred to as “innovation” — has significant benefits to the economic health of an organization. New products, services and improvements, driven by human creativity, typically yield improved bottom lines. However, what may be overshadowed by the tangible benefits of profit is the significant benefit…

Doing something new and different can spark creativity

Neuroscience is now supporting something which creative people have long understood: New experiences are a pathway to creativity. It seems our brains, and therefore our patterns of thought, get in a rut when we live each day like the last. Doing something new causes the brain to “jump off of its usual track” and expand.…

Don’t try to be more innovative by getting a bigger hammer

Failure of an organization to be innovative is not due to the lack of desire. Most organizations want to be innovative. Failure often lies in what the organization does in its attempt to be more innovative. The plans and initiatives directed at making an organization more innovative are often flawed. The result is an unfortunate…

Innovation requires unique leadership skills for real success

While good leadership is important in any endeavor, leading an innovation group is different from leading other areas of an organization. The right leadership of an innovation group can make the difference between organizations which successfully innovate and those which do not. I have seen innovation departments fail when being led by those who were…