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Innovation: One Size Does Not Fit All

Sep 25 2014

Innovation: One Size Does Not Fit All

As I am getting ready to speak at the first time ever in Canada FEI Conference – The Front End of Innovation I have pulled out my notes from the first one that I attended in 2012.  

41 concepts & themes that I took away from the fabulous Front End of Innovation conference - I’m sure they will spark your thinking or reassure you that you are on the right path. One thing for sure when it comes to innovation, one size does not fit all:

  1. Get inspired. Be inspired by others. Inspire others.
  2. Be passionate. If you are passionate good things will happen. Find out what your people are passionate about. If they are passionate about what they do, they will do it well.
  3. Ideas can come from anywhere and everywhere
  4. Diversity is key - Learn from as many people, as many places, from as many sources as possible
  5. Network for ideas
  6. You can be “over-connected”, overly influenced by certain people – diversity is good for new ideas
  7. If you’re good, the smartest people will want to work with you
  8. Innovative companies and Innovation teams have Innovative leaders
  9. Make Innovation your Mission
  10. CEOs of innovative companies spend 31% of their time looking for new ideas
  11. Determine how you will create value in the future
  12. Define what Innovation means in your organization
  13. You can’t do innovation well if your base business is not in order
  14. Don’t just talk about it – do it… BUT stories are so important – share your story
  15. The future ain’t what it used to be
  16. (one definition) Innovation: putting together what is known & unknown
  17. Celebrate “Doing” not “Perfection”
  18. Innovation is a contact sport
  19. Failure is not fatal
  20. Discovery is exciting
  21. Rethink the Possible
  22. “Seize the White Space”
  23. Customer Empathy is critical
  24. You have more creative capacity than you think
  25. Think about the people that energize you – spend more time with them, you’ll get more ideas (and have a better time)
  26. Associations/Connections are important – they can happen by chance or be forced, it doesn’t matter as long as they happen
  27. Constraints can stimulate creativity
  28. Envision the Future State and plan backwards, not forwards
  29. Creativity is cool
  30. Innovation should be everyone’s job
  31. Innovators will find the time, will make the time
  32. Innovation is messy
  33. For innovation to happen it can’t be “extra work” – extra meetings, extra time = overload
  34. Collaboration can happen anywhere – make time for it, make room for it, allow it to happen
  35. Your idea might not be new to you but it might be new to someone else – share it
  36. Be Curious. Questions are central to innovation. Ask good questions.
  37. Innovation can be emotional.
  38. Do something that scares you
  39. Change isn’t an event, it’s a process and you’ve got to start somewhere.
  40. Change is hard
  41. Don’t travel with a harmonica in your carry-on unless you are prepared to play it (learned that one the hard way)

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