Tue, 30 July 2019
What is Co-Innovation? Co-Innovation is two parties with unique expertise that come together in a 50/50 funding of resources. The key component being they have complimentary interests. Think of it as a Venn diagram. The goal of Co-Innovation is to find where the Venn diagrams overlap. Co-Innovation means:
If you set up a Co-Innovation program successfully, they will have benefits to your organization such as:
Over the years of creating these programs there are a couple lessons I have learned.
How do you manage these programs once they are under way?
How do you get a Co-Innovation program going?
When Co-Innovation programs go wrong, the case is usually that people want to call it a Co-Innovation program when it really is not.
If you follow these basic rules, Co-Innovation programs can really ignite your organization and take you into market opportunities you would never be able to achieve on your own.
Why is it so hard for people to pitch their ideas? To tell their ideas in a way that people swarm towards it and want to be a part of it. The skill of the pitch is so hard to find. What I have found is that the skill of pitch usually falls into two categories:
So, what is it that makes people struggle with coming up with a well thought-out and structured pitch? Many people forget about the fact that decisions are personal. You cannot ignore the personal and emotional side of decision making. In doing the pitch, you have to create an emotional side to your story to hook the listeners in and make them understand your pitch. The way I do this is called “Strategic Storytelling.” Storytelling is a critical part of the pitch. Storytelling around a strategic pitch involves three things:
The Structure of Strategic Storytelling
The way to structure the strategic storytelling is the structure of a three-act play. A three-act play is typically what you see in TV shows and movies.
Think about the acts in the context of a movie. Use this structure in your presentation; don’t just use slides, talk and engage. There are a few basic rules I have learned about strategic storytelling:
At the end of your pitch there are a few things you can do to improve your strategic storytelling.
I hope today’s show inspired you to look into co-innovating and engaging in strategic storytelling. Don’t get bogged down by distractions that take you off course from creating the next Killer Innovation, telling a compelling story and achieving your goals. If you have questions or comments on this week’s show, I’d love to hear from you. Or carryon the conversation about these steps to building innovation strength at The Innovators Community.
Direct download: Better_Ways_to_Co-Innovation_and_Strategic_Storytelling.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:00am PST
Tue, 23 July 2019
The success of the Apollo 11 mission, the first moon landing, inspires our innovative passions and pursuits. With the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, I’ve been looking back at all of those that impacted and supported an incredible journey. In this episode of Killer Innovations, I had the pleasure of interviewing the inventor of the early display technology that ultimately resulted in the creation of the moon monitor. It was the moon monitor that allowed NASA and the rest of the world to watch Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. An IEEE Fellow for Logic Analysis technology, he also was President of ACM, the world’s largest Computer Science society, and is an ACM Fellow. He holds HPs only Medal of Defiance, awarded by David Packard for “extraordinary contempt and defiance beyond the normal call of engineering duty”. Other awards include Engineer of the Year, Smithsonian Wizard of Computing, Top 50 inventions of the 20th century, CNN top 25 inventions of the past 25 years, Entrepreneuring Honor Roll.
Past in HP
Long before the Apollo 11 success, Chuck House was a physics major at CalTech when he had an interview with HP. He went on to work at HP for 28 years. It was there that he was challenged by the CEOs and directors to be on top of innovation. House says that every year at HP there was an oral exam to review each project. They would ask questions such as:
The notion at the company was that you had to be part of a team and the team must understand the science behind what you are working on. House discusses a number of insightful practices in a book he co-authored about his time at HP.
Impactful Successes & Awards
House’s second project at HP, which ultimately led to the moon monitor for NASA, was to figure out how to stabilize a scope screen. The project appeared to have been a waste of time. It even failed the technical evaluation. House was told to cancel the project and remove it from the lab. Instead of abandoning the project, House and his team decided to put the product in production. Within ten months it was finished. Who would have known about this project’s pivotal role in the Apollo 11 mission? The project turned out to be a huge success with sales to many leading companies and NASA. Sixteen years later, in April of 1982, House was awarded a going away gift…the Award of Defiance. House speaks more of this in his HP memoir. House also received the Innovative Applications in Analytics Award (IAAA). Other awards include Engineer of the Year, Smithsonian Wizard of Computing, Top 50 inventions of the 20th century, CNN top 25 inventions of the past 25 years, Entrepreneuring Honor Roll.
Words of Advice
Lastly, I asked House: What advice would you give people who really have a passion to be inventors, to be innovators, to really change the world? What advice would you give them? What should they do to get ready? House believes in a lot of experimentation. What you learn are not formulas, it is a way of thinking. And the way of thinking is a logical, ordered, structure of cause and effect or of relationships that work. And that ordered, structured way of thinking is crucial to being able to work through to a solution. The curiosity and the enthusiasm and the drive is essential to the creativity side. But unless you can take that creativity and harness it so that you can make traction and get something in a resultant way, you are going to be slowed down. You cannot be afraid to try new things and make mistakes.
Giving in to corporate antibodies and giving up at the first signs of failure could seriously limit the out of this world opportunities. Had Chuck giving up when he was told to shelf his project, we may never have seen the Apollo 11 moon landing.
If you have questions or comments on this week’s show, I’d love to hear from you. Do you have failures that lead to success you’d like to share with us? Spark the conversation at The Innovators Community.
Direct download: Apollo_11_Moon_Landing_the_Innovation_that_gave_NASA_and_the_World_the_View.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:00am PST
Tue, 16 July 2019
What is the strength of innovation in your organization? In this week’s Killer Innovations, we explore avenues to building innovation strength. Innovation from Mergers and Acquisitions can be a fast track to innovation. What are the pros and cons to this innovation path? We also look at the five biggest risks to innovation. Your company’s innovation depends on avoiding the pitfalls. Is building innovation strength through acquiring innovation right for your company? Avoiding the risks to innovation stretches across a broader spectrum. Any company should be aware of the five biggest risks to innovation.
Mergers and Acquisitions: Acquiring Innovation
A growing means of building innovation strength is through acquiring innovation. Innovation from Mergers and Acquisitions has its benefits and its drawbacks.
To start, there are two types:
Let’s discuss the first type, acquiring the company. Innovation from Mergers and Acquisitions has its pros and its cons.
The most common reason for Innovation from Mergers and Acquisitions are:
Innovation from Mergers and Acquisitions can work if it is:
The second type of Innovation from Mergers and Acquisitions is purchasing Intellectual Properties (IP). Why has it become so important? In a word: litigation. Patent lawsuits offer lucrative opportunity. Exclusivity to a company’s investment can reap financial gain. This creates issues for those seeking to build innovation strength in this way. It can be especially difficult for the small business. To buy a patent can be expensive. Options are out there for acquiring innovation to build innovation strength. Companies can join a patent pool. Another option is for companies to join forces and make a group purchase of a patent.
Whether you are part of a large or small organization, think of this approach. If you are a seller of patents, write it in your agreement. Prevent the buyer from using your patents in proactive litigation. Allow the patents to only be used in defense. Why do people acquire patents?
Allowing your patents to be used only in defense, make them unattractive to patent trolls. Patent trolls’ sole purpose is to buy patents and sue. We need to come up with a radical approach to addressing the patent lawsuit challenges that are taking place in organization.
Another aspect of this are PCLs (Patent Cross Licenses). Most large companies pre-negotiate a patent cross license. This takes the whole risk of litigation off the table.
The Five Biggest Risks to Innovation
It does not matter what or who you are as an organization. It’s a common theme I have seen across organizations, irrespective of their size. I’ve compiled what I’ve observed into “The Five Biggest Risks to Innovation.” Those risks are as follows:
Within your organization you could see anywhere from one to all five of these risks to innovation. As an innovation leader, you need to define the problem and find a solution. Don’t try to solve all five problems at once. I recommend defining the “BHAG” and the ambiguous process first because those you can directly control.
I hope today’s discussion gives you the insight on ways to build innovation strength. Through acquiring innovation, you can get an innovative edge over the competition. But be wary of this approach as a way to play catch up. Then, for any organization with a drive towards innovation, watch out for the Five Biggest Risks to Innovation. If you have questions or comments on this week’s show, I’d love to hear from you. Or carryon the conversation about these steps to building innovation strength at The Innovators Community.
Direct download: Innovation_Strength_Acquiring_Innovation_Avoiding_the_Biggest_Risks_to_Innovation.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:00am PST
Tue, 9 July 2019
Innovation is all about translating ideas into real products, real services and real solutions. Ideas without execution are a hobby. Is your organization in the business of innovation? This week’s show boils it down to a simple equation. Ideas + Innovation Culture = Innovation Success. The process starts with ideas and the management of them. But ideas won’t develop and thrive without the right culture. Core Attributes are about setting the basis for Innovation Culture. When you set up a good system of gathering ideas and lay a foundation for innovation culture, innovation success ensues.
Creating Order from the Brainstorm of Ideas
The process starts with ideas coming from many sources. Then comes the question of how to manage your ideas. How do you log, track and rank them? Where are your ideas today in the innovation lifecycle? What about from all the brainstorming sessions over the last few years… and could you easily put your hand on the list of those ideas? Ideas have value over time.
The Idea Management System, Step By Step
If you believe ideas are the currency of the economy, you need to manage ideas as a valued asset for innovation success. Treat ideas as a valuable asset.
What’s needed in an idea management system?
My Experience With These Tools
Last June, I took over a new role as CEO where I set out a hundred day plan looking at the organization and figuring out what made it tick. I spent a significant amount of time doing one on one interviews with all the key stakeholders. I asked them four questions:
Ninety-five percent of employees were afraid that the new CEO would not change anything. They understood that in order for the company to flourish, some things needed to be changed. I realized that I had to build the core attributes from scratch. So, how do you do that? The key is to help everyone understand why core attributes are so important. What is it the team wants the organization to become? Core attributes articulate what you stand for. The ones we came up with are:
Once you have captured this, you are ready to start the process. Having the list is the beginning of the process. The senior executives must own this; this must always be controlled by the senior executives. We need to manage the process to get everyone on board with the innovation culture. It is communicating the process and communicating the core attributes. Instead of telling people these are the core attributes, we published them and invited people to come in as part of group sessions. We collected a list of core attributes employees liked and helped brainstorm recommendations to the executive team about how we could live it. We have included core attributes into our performance management. At the end of the year, employees are getting assessed on those core attributes. The impact on the organization was beyond anything I expected. It is not static and it is a never ending process, but it develops an effective framework for an innovation culture that drives success.
Direct download: Ideas__Innovation_Culture__Innovation_Leadership.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:00am PST
Tue, 2 July 2019
When it comes to the process of generating ideas, the default answer is to host a brainstorming session. Are there other ways to generate new ideas that are not dependent on traditional brainstorming? Today on Killer Innovations, I am going to share with you five that I use.
Mind Mapping and Wishing
Mind mapping is a fairly common term nowadays; there are many types of software proving templates for mind mapping. Traditionally they are used to organize your data, but it is also a great way to generate new ideas.
It is a fantastic ideation technique that encourages creative answers. Another great way to generate new ideas is wishing. Wishing encourages your team to let imaginations run wild. Assuming you have a well-researched and understood problem statement, ask each participant to dream up the most unattainable solutions they can think of related to the problem statement. Create a list of a few dozen wishes and go through the wishes by considering and discussing the ideas in detail. Ask yourself:
You might be surprised to discover applicable, real-world solutions among the team’s wildest wishes.
Six Thinking Hats
Six Thinking Hats by Dr. Edward de Bono unleashed a new approach to generating ideas by breaking down the ideas into six areas of thought. It helps participants put themselves into the shoes of another. The six hats are:
So, how do you use the tool? Have each member put on one of these different “hats” for the discussion. Make sure everyone has their say and for extended sessions, rotate the hats to others so everyone gets the opportunity to see the problem and ideas from a variety of different perspective.
Brain-writing and Forced Combinations
One challenge for generating ideas is to get everything that is rattling around in your head out. In this exercise, each participant takes a piece of paper and writes down a few rough ideas for solving the problem statement. Each piece of paper is then passed on to someone else, who reads it silently and adds their own ideas to the page. This process is repeated until everyone has had a chance to add to each piece of paper. Once each participant has retrieved their original piece of paper, they read and organize the ideas. Then each participant shares the notes and ideas on their piece of paper. The big advantage of brain-writing is that it makes sure everybody has an opportunity to share their ideas and it also reinforces the idea of “building on the ideas of others.” The last way to generate ideas I wanted to share is one I have used with my own product teams. The premise is to look at non-logical combinations to create entirely new ideas. This exercise involves bringing together ides that serve very different needs or interest to form a new concept. How does this work?
This technique can produce some silly results, but it is ultimately a helpful way of getting your team out of a creative rut.
Five Minutes to New Ideas
Everybody wants and needs change, but on the other hand we enjoy doing what we do well. We tend to limit ourselves to the things we know we do well. When it comes to innovation, this plays out in spades when a new innovation team reaches success. They become repetitive in their process, believing the steps are what lead to success. This week on Five Minutes to New Ideas we will talk about how the only way to change creativity and generate new ideas in our lives is to do it deliberately. We all can do things to get ourselves out of our old ruts and avoid the habit trap.