Killer Innovations
The award winning Killer Innovations™ Podcast and nationally syndicated talk radio show (on +30 radio stations) is hosted by Phil McKinney, an award winning innovator of technologies and products used by hundreds of millions of consumers and businesses worldwide. The podcast is Phil's way to "pay-it-forward" by sharing his experience and expertise in innovation so that individuals and organizations can achieve success in the innovation/creative economy. About the Host: Phil retired as the CTO at Hewlett-Packard where he led the product/R&D for the $40B PC, Mobile, Display/TV and Workstation business. He is currently the President and CEO for CableLabs, the non-profit R&D and innovation lab for the global cable industry. Phil shares his rule-breaking approach to innovation and creativity in his book "Beyond The Obvious" and via the podcast. He has been credited with forming and leading multiple teams that FastCompany and BusinessWeek list as one of the “50 Most Innovative”. His recognition includes Vanity Fair naming him the “The Innovation Guru”, MSNBC and Fox Business calling him "The Gadget Guy" and the San Jose Mercury News dubbing him the "chief seer". For more information on Phil visit his blog at philmckinney.com.

Technology megatrends, or what some call long range technology roadmaps, are an important input into your strategic thinking as you build your innovation pipeline. I've been researching, tracking and presenting on technology megatrends for the last 30 years of my career.

During a live show broadcast on Facebook, a member of the audience asked about what technology trends would have major impact on businesses. Rather than just giving a quick off hand answer, I took on objective of giving you insight into the technology megatrends that I'm tracking. The megatrends will have significant impact on society, governments, businesses industries and career.

[button href="https://philmckinney.lpages.co/bonus-technology-megatrends/" primary="true" centered="true" newwindow="true"]Download the Technology Megatrends Slides[/button]

Background on Technology Megatrends

How do you get from technology to innovation? When I think about technology, I look specifically at exponential technologies such as Moore's Law. I think what capabilities it will bring 2, 3 even 5 generations in the future. This in turns starts to inspire exponential ideas. These are the ideas that are disruptive to industries and economies. The final step is to translate these exponential ideas and turn them in to exponential innovations.

So -- for me, it all begins with looking at technology that could be transformative.

Major Technology Megatrends

Catalyst & Building Block Technologies: These are technologies that are combined with others to create resulting innovations. For example, high density batteries in the future and their role in innovating transportation.

Perceptive Technologies: Technoligies that acquire input from the world and transform it into a useful purpose. This include machine learning (taking large amounts of data and looking for pasterns) and macro robots that learn by observing.

Immersive Media: How will we receive and consume media in the future? These technologies cover the range from flexible displays to smart vision contact lenses.

Augmented Communications: The ability to enhance and improve our ability to communication and collaborate can transform society and relationships. For example, the transition from immersive telepresence to holographic volumetric displays will allow true seamless collaboration across distances.

Experience Continuum: Enhanced experiences from technologies are just around the corner. Imagine virtual travel where you can experience people, places and things you never thought possible. How will that impact the empathy of others when you can see and experience people from around the world in their environment.

Long Better Lives: I can make one prediction that I'm 100% positive I will get right. We are all getting older. Technology can play a critical role that will allow us to age gracefully and make the near future a better place. One technology that I'm particularly interested in is genome-matched treatment that would allow Dr's to create cures for a specific person based on their genetic code.

Sensor-Driven World: Sensors will allow these other technologies to become smarter about the environment around us. This in turn will enhance our ability to take advantage of the technology megatrends we've been talking about.

[button href="https://philmckinney.lpages.co/bonus-technology-megatrends/" primary="true" centered="true" newwindow="true"]Download the Technology Megatrends Slides[/button]

Conclusion

Continue the conversation by joining The Innovators Community over on Slack. This is a private community of innovators from a wide range of industries who come together on Slack to share and discuss creativity and innovation.

[callout]Listen below to this weeks show and see what Technology Megatrends could impact you! [/callout]

Direct download: Technology_Megatrends_S13_Ep30.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:13am PST

Over the last few decades, the importance of design has been growing in the context of how to create disruptive game-changing innovations. Human centered design (HCD) is the way that innovators integrate design with a clear view of customer in to the process of creating an innovation that has impact. Be careful as bad design can doom innovation to the trash heap.

What is human centered design?

[shareable]Human-centered design (HCD) is a design and management framework that develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective. Human involvement typically takes place in observing the problem within context, brainstorming, conceptualizing, developing, and implementing the solution.[/shareable]

Early Inspiration

Many guests on the show have shared their inspirations when it comes innovation and design. This week is no different. Our guest, Gordon Stannis, shared how a 9 month cross country bike ride sabbatical armed him with a sense of fearless curiosity. By meeting and talking with a wide range of people from different backgrounds, Gordon became equipped to represent them and needs when designing products and services.

He took that experience and perspective to leading design positions at Herman Miller, BMW Group and Prince / Johnson Controls. Even with that experience, he recognized the need to do more. It just wasn't about design but an integrated discipline of design plus technology.

Started Twisthink

Gordon and a partner (who was technical) made the decision to create a company that was both design and technical with some unusual characteristics. There are no departments so no silo's could get established. To reinforce this, every six months Gordon re-shuffles where people set. This creates a constant sense of making of new connections across the organization.

Advice On Human Centered Design (HCD) And Innovation

What are the three pieces of advice Gordon gave for organizations who are thinking about embracing human centered design?

Develop a common language: Teams should create a process and language of human centered design and then train everyone in your organization to understand and use it. This will allow anyone to then run with it on their own.

Visualize: Vizio, PowerPoint and project charts are not tools of visualizing the solution. Organizations need to embrace the process of creating 3D highly visualized forms of the ideas and put them up for everyone to see. Not on some some small whiteboard. Take up the entire wall 10 feet high. Immerse yourself and the team in the visual representation of the innovation.

Understand the hierarchy of innovation: There is a hierarchy of innovation that organizations needs to understand and reward individuals and teams for achieving. These are:

  1. Curiosity (Like the parking lot when attempting a climb)
  2. Imagination (Base camp)
  3. Creativity (Mid-camp)
  4. Innovation (Peak of the mountain)

About Gordon Stannis

Gordon Stannis is the Director of Design and Strategy at Twisthink.  One of Gordon’s greatest accomplishments is Co-Creating Twisthink based on the belief that there was a better way to create and deliver value to clients battling against the relentless wave action of commoditization.

Gordon holds a large number of Utility Patents and International Design Awards in transportation, consumer electronics, durable goods, medical, furniture and more.

[callout]Listen below to this weeks show and be inspired to take advantage of human centered design (HCD).[/callout]

Direct download: Human_Centered_Design_HCD_S13_Ep29.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 3:06am PST

When it comes to sourcing innovation, most focus on trying to come up with a clever technical or business hook. Over years of experience of both innovation success and failures, I've uncovered three areas of focus for sourcing innovation that will have significant impact.

Before jumping into the three areas of focus, there is a basic skill that is required. That is the ability to create questions that will cause you to look at these three areas differently.

Power of Questions

I believe that a good question is one that causes people to really think before they answer it, and one that reveals answers that had previously eluded them.

Our ability to ask and answer question is uniquely human. According to primatologists, the great apes can understand and answer simple questions. However, unlike humans, a great ape has never proven that it can ask questions.

Learning how to use the power of questions to think differently is a skill that everyone has -- even if it’s not your automatic instinct. I believe that anyone can develop and harness this power through the use of provocative questioning and discovery.

Secret #1 - People

The key to many innovation successes is to dig deep and understand the customer/user of your innovation. I'm not a fan of using third party definitions of customer segments. If you are going source innovation that are different from everyone else, you need to have unique insights of your target customers. These insights will allow you to uncover their unspoken needs and wants.

See the slides below for common and not so common ways others look at customer segments.

Take a look at the customer segments I talked about in the show.

Secret #2 - Time

Time is valuable. You can't save it. You can't store it. You can't but more of it. Its perishable. Innovations that understand and find unique ways to make time even more valuable to customers can find themselves in a unique and defensible position.

See the slides below for unique ways to think and innovate time.

Secret #3 - Money

Rather than think like other innovators when they think of money (e.g. this idea will make me rich), focus on how to deliver value to your customer. If you innovate ways for them to make more, save more, get more items for less, protect money, etc -- you will separate yourself from most of your competition.

Bonus Secret: Pitching Your Idea

Once I've discovered an idea that I believe in, then I need to find a way to show and tell others what I'm thinking. One of the most impactful ways in through vision videos. Vision video's use strategic storytelling to place the person in the middle of the story and create empathy for the impact of your idea. Done right -- they will attract others who will want to invest time and in money to realize your vision.

Sourcing Innovation

Now you know my secrets to better sourcing of innovation. The key is to look beyond the obvious and align your innovations to people, time and money.

[callout]Listen to this weeks show and learn my 3 secrets to sourcing innovation.

We've also included below the slides that Phil shared during the live broadcast.[/callout]

[slideshare id="79614937"]

 

For help and guidance in sourcing innovation for your organizations, check out The Innovators Network.

Direct download: My_Secret_to_Sourcing_Innovation_S13_Ep28.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 3:43am PST

Some of the smartest, most creative people I know spend time doing nothing but thinking. For example Einstein was often criticized for his day dreaming. His form of day dreaming was to run his thought experiments.  Experiments carried out completely within his imagination.

Our society doesn't embrace or allow for day dreaming. Most organizations view this as being lazy and unproductive. Companies are focused are measuring things like hours worked, project deliverables and improved productivity.

Henry Ford and Day Dreaming

There is a famous Henry Ford story where an efficiency expert he had hired complained about a man who sat at his desk with his feet up. The expert's point was the obvious lack of productivity and output from this person. Ford said that that specific person came up with an idea that saved him millions by setting at his desk and just thinking. Ford added that he was paying that man to come up with the next great idea.

When I look at people whose ideas have changed the world, day dreaming combined with "reflective thinking" was a common trait.

Is it a coincidence or is there something to this?

[shareable cite="Fiona Kerr, University of Adelaide"]Daydreaming (with reflective thinking) allows the mind to wander. The outcome is consistently more productive when dealing with complex problems or coming up with creative solutions and ideas.[/shareable]

Day Dreaming Experiment

To either prove or disprove the hypothesis that day dreaming improves creativity, I'm proposing an experiment. This experiment was inspired by Zat Rana.

I commit (and invite you to do it yourself) to two hours per week for two months of focused day dreaming. What does that mean?

  • No computer
  • No mobile phone
  • No music
  • No talking

I will be using my Moleskine notebook to record my thoughts and ideas to see if I can notice an improvement in my personal creativity.

How To Get Started Day Dreaming?

One way to spark your day dreaming is to simply ask yourself a set of questions. Here are few to start with (again, inspired by Zat Rana)

  • Do I have the right set of priorities and do I apply them?
  • Is my work/life balance working?
  • What idea do I have that I am not pursuing?
  • What small step could I take that would have a MAJOR impact on the idea
  • Where do you want to be in one year with your idea with your life?

Be Part Of The Experiment

If you are part of The Community, I will setup a Slack channel for this experiment so that we can discuss, share and track the results. If you are not part of The Innovators Community, you should check it out. Its a community of innovators and creatives from around the world who share, challenge and grow as innovators.

I will also share my results in a future show.

[callout]Listen to this weeks show on how day dreaming can be the spark to boost your creativity.

Note: We apologize for the background clicks and pops in this weeks show. [/callout]

Show Links:

Direct download: Day_Dreaming_2_Hours_To_Boost_Your_Creativity_S13_Ep27.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 1:02pm PST