Can It Grow?

Retired SunflowerIf you’re working in a company you like, and you want it to be around in the future, you want to know if it will grow.  If you’re looking to move to a new company, you want to know if it has legs – you want to know if it will grow. If you own stock, you want to know if the company will grow, and it’s the same if you want to buy stock.  And it’s certainly the case if you want to buy the whole company – if it can grow, it’s worth more.

To grow, a company has to differentiate itself from its competitors.  In the past, continuous improvement (CI) was a differentiator, but today CI is the minimum expectation, the cost of doing business.  The differentiator for growth is discontinuous improvement (DI).

With DI, there’s an unhealthy fascination with idea generation.  While idea generation is important, companies aren’t short on ideas, they’re short on execution.  But the one DI differentiator is the flavor of the ideas.  To do DI a company needs ideas that are radically different than the ones they’re selling now.  If the ideas are slightly twisted variants of today’s products and business models, that’s a sure sign continuous improvement has infiltrated and polluted the growth engine. The gears of the DI engine are gummed up and there’s no way the company can sustain growth.  For objective evidence the company has the chops to generate the right ideas, look for a process that forces their thinking from the familiar, something like Jeffrey Baumgartner’s Anticonventional Thinking (ACT).

For DI-driven growth, the ability to execute is most important.  With execution, the first differentiator is how the company investigates radically new ideas.  There are three differentiators – a focus on speed, a “market first” approach, and the use of minimum viable tests (MVTs).  With new ideas, it’s all about how fast you can learn, so speed should come through loud and clear.  Without a market, the best idea is worthless, so look for “market first” thinking.  Idea evaluation starts with a hypothesis that a specific market exists (the market is clearly defined in the hypothesis) which is evaluated with a minimum viable test (MVT) to prove or disprove the market’s existence.  MVTs should error on the side of speed – small, localized testing.  The more familiar minimum viable product (MVP) is often an important part of the market evaluation work.  It’s all about learning about the market as fast as possible.

Now, with a validated market, the differentiator is how fast company can rally around the radically new idea and start the technology and product work.  The companies that can’t execute slot the new project at the end of their queue and get to it when they get to it.  The ones that can execute stop an existing (lower value) project and start the new project yesterday.  This stop-to-start behavior is a huge differentiator.

The company’s that can’t execute take a ready-fire-aim approach – they just start.  The companies that differentiate themselves use systems thinking to identify gaps in resources and capabilities and close them. They do the tough work of prioritizing one project over another and fully staff the important ones at the expense of the lesser projects.  Rather than starting three projects and finishing none, the companies that know how to do DI start one, finish one, and repeat.  They know with DI, there’s no partial credit for a project that’s half done.

All companies have growth plans, and at the highest level they all hang together, but some growth plans are better than others.  To judge the goodness of the growth plan takes a deeper look, a look into the work itself.  And once you know about the work, the real differentiator is whether the company has the chops to execute it.

Image credit – John Leach.

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The Safest Bet Is Far Too Risky

Playing It SafeIt’s harder than ever to innovate, and getting harder.

The focus on growth can be empowering, but when coupled with signed-in-blood accountability, empowering turns to puckering.  It’s an unfair double-bind. Damned if you try something new and it doesn’t work, and damned if you stay the course and don’t hit the numbers.  The most popular approach seems to be to do more of what worked.  A good approach, but not as good as it’s made out to be.

Doing more of what worked is good, and it works.  But it can’t stand on its own.  With today’s unreasonable workloads, every resource is fully booked and before doing more of anything, you’ve got to do less of something else.  ‘More of what worked’ must walk hand-in-hand with ‘Stop what didn’t work.’  Without stopping, without freeing up resources, ‘more of what worked’ is insufficient and unsustainable.

But even the two together are insufficient, and there’s a much needed third leg to stabilize the stool – ‘starting new work.’  Resources freed by stopping are allocated to starting new work, and this work, also known as innovation, is the major source of growth.

‘More of what worked’ is all about productivity – doing more with the same resources; and so is ‘stopping what didn’t work’ – reclaiming and reallocating ineffective resources. Both are important, but more importantly – they’re not innovation.

As you’re well aware, the rules are changing faster than ever, and at some point what worked last year won’t work this year. The only way to stay ahead of a catastrophe is to make small bets in unproven areas.  If the bets are successful, they turn into profitable innovation and growth. But the real value is the resiliency that comes from the ritualistic testing/learning cycles.

Going all-in on what worked last year is one of the riskiest bets you can make.

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An Injection Of Absurdity

Things are cyclic, but there seems to be no end to the crusade of continuous improvement. (Does anyone remember how the Crusades turned out?) If only to take the edge off, there needs to be an injection of absurdity.

There’s no pressure with absurdity – no one expects an absurd idea to work.  If you ask for an innovative idea, you’ll likely get no response because there’s pressure from the expectation the innovative idea must be successful. And if you do get a response, you’ll likely get served a plain burrito of incremental improvement garnished with sour cream and guacamole to trick your eye and doused in hot sauce to trick your palate. If you ask for an absurd idea, you get laughter and something you’ve never heard before.

When drowning in the sea of standard work, it takes powerful mojo to save your soul.  And the absurdity jetpack is the only thing I know with enough go to launch yourself to the uncharted oasis of new thinking.  Immense force is needed because continuous improvement has serious mass – black hole mass. Like with light, a new idea gets pulled over the event horizon into the darkness of incremental thinking.  But absurdity doesn’t care.  It’s so far from the center lean’s pull is no match.

But to understand absurdity’s superpower is to understand what makes things absurd.  Things are declared absurd when they cut against the grain of our success.  It’s too scary to look into the bright sun of our experiences, so instead of questioning their validity and applicability, the idea is deemed absurd.  But what if the rules have changed and the fundamentals of last year’s success no longer apply?  What if the absurd idea actually fits with the new normal?  In a strange Copernican switch, holding onto to what worked becomes absurd.

Absurd ideas sometimes don’t pan out.  But sometimes they do.  When someone laughs at your idea, take note – you may be on to something.  Consider the laughter an artifact of misunderstanding, and consider the misunderstanding a leading indicator of the opportunity to reset customer expectations.  And if someone calls your idea absurd, give them a big hug of thanks, and get busy figuring out how to build a new business around it.

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Retreating From Activity To Progress

Cabin RetreatEvery day is a meeting-to-meeting sprint with no time for some of the favorite fundamentals like the bathroom and food.  Though crazy, it’s the norm and no longer considered crazy.   But it is crazy.  When you’re too busy to answer emails that’s one thing, but when you’re too busy to realize answering email isn’t progress, that’s a problem.

Our in-boxes are full; our plates are full; our calendars are full. But our souls are empty.

You’re clear on what must get done over the next 48 hours, but the pace is too fast to know why the work is important in the first place. (One of the fastest way to complete a task is to deem it unimportant and don’t do it – all of the done with none of the work.) But it’s worse.  It’s too fast to do the work no one is asking you to do, and it’s too fast to do the work you were born to do.

We have confused activity with progress; and with all the activity, we’ve forgotten what it feels like to think.  We need a retreat.

The perfect retreat eliminates distractions and gives people time to think.  After a nice Sunday flight into Boston, it’s a calm two hour coach ride to rural New Hampshire. (Done right, a coach is soothing.)  After pickup it’s a fifteen minute drive to a remote trail head.  With a pack on your back, it’s a five minute walk to a big, remote cabin.  No cell service, no power, no interruptions.

As you enter the cabin, you unload all your electronics into bin (Yes, your smart phone goes in the bin.) which is locked away for the remainder of the retreat.  You race to get the best bunk, drop your gear, and share a meal with your fellow over achievers. (Y es, the non-disclosures are signed so you can actually talk to each other.)

The first day is all about recognizing the discomfort that comes with no distractions and your natural tendency to create distraction to sooth your discomfort.  The objective is to help you remember what if feels like to have more than 30 seconds of uninterrupted time.  Then, once you remember, it’s time to actually think.

There are no video conferencing capabilities (or electricity) in the cabin, so all work is done the old-fashioned way – face-to-face.  The objective is to help you remember the depth, complexity, and meaning that come when working with actual faces.  Yes, there’s good facilitated discussion, but the topics aren’t as important as remembering how to share and trust.

There is ritualistic work of cooking, cleaning, splitting the wood, and stoking the fire.  The objective is to remember what it feels like to connect the mind to the body and to connect with others.  And, there’s a group hike every day to remember what it feels like to be grounded in the natural world.  (Sometimes we forget the business world is actually part of the natural world.)

After the rituals and hikes have done their magic, the right discussions start to emerge, and deep contemplation dances with deep conversation.  Though there’s a formal agenda, no matter.  With the group’s awaking, the right agenda emerges.

At the end of the retreat, there’s immense sadness.  This is a sign of importance and deep learning.  And after the hugs and tears, there’s a spontaneous commitment to do it next year.  With eyes dried, it’s off the bus station and then to the airport.

You don’t have to wait for the perfect retreat to start your journey.  Start your practice by carving out an hour a day and set a recurring meeting with yourself and turn off your email. And start by asking yourself why.  Those two tricks will set you on your way.

And if you’re interested in a real retreat, let me know.

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Slower Can Be Faster

Radar GunThere are two types of drivers – those that speed as a way of life and those that speed when they forget to pay attention.  But for both, speed kills.

For the everyday speeder, life is an opportunity to push limits and break rules.  Every highway is a Formula One course; every traffic light an opportunity to run the red light.  They know every speed trap and have honed their drag racing tactics, and, mostly, they don’t get caught.  And driving this way year-on-year, they no longer realize they’re speeding and no longer see it as dangerous behavior.  They see themselves as invincible and even take pride in their reckless behavior, and that’s dangerous.

If you’ve made the product before, or you’ve done something similar, you know all the traps and a fast business decision isn’t bad.  But fast all the time isn’t the answer. When you’re in country that drives on the wrong side of the road and you approach a round-about, slower is better.  When you don’t understand the road signs; when your left-right decisions are backward; and you don’t know how to negotiate the big circle of traffic, it’s pretty clear slower is better.  But if you’ve been successful with your habitual speeding, you’ll likely accelerate into the traffic circle, rear-end someone, and flip yourself end others into a deadly pileup.  And if you survive, likely curse those stupid drivers who didn’t know enough to get out of your way.

But there’s a simpler case that seals it.  When you don’t know where you’re going, clicking off miles on the odometer isn’t progress, it’s just activity (that burns fuel).  In these conditions, going fast in the wrong directions is worse than not driving at all.  When you’re lost, it doesn’t make sense to speed.

The conscientious speeder keeps two hands on the wheel and maintain safe separation distance at upwards of ten car lengths.  For them, every day is an opportunity to check the tire pressure and check the dipstick for oil.  They plan out the trip, check the road conditions, and pay attention. (Cell phones off for these folks.)

Today’s cars are quiet and smooth which makes for calm, comfortable driving.  But they’re also powerful, and, even with good intentions, a brief lapse in attention can generate breakneck speed.  The conscientious speeder backs off the accelerator as soon as attention returns, and the danger is low.  But, when a lapse in attention overlaps with a quick change in driving conditions (a deer runs across the highway, or the car in front jacks on the breaks), you can’t react quickly enough, and that’s dangerous.

If you’ve made the product before, or you’ve done something similar, and you checked the tire pressure, a lapse in attention once in a while isn’t bad. But doing the same drive every day and lulling yourself into a road trip stupor isn’t the answer.  When you’re cruising over the limit on a well-lit, dead-straight highway, in your serenity you can easily speed past your exit without knowing.  And the faster you’re going, the more exits you’ll miss until you realize it.

Sometimes, when the conditions are right, slower is faster.

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The Importance Of Knowing Why You’re In The Boat

Ship run aground

Whether at work or home, there are highs and lows.   And you’re not getting special treatment, that’s how it is for everyone.  And it’s a powerful fundamental, so don’t try to control it, ride it.

When the sailing is smooth, at some point it won’t be – the winds change, that’s what they do.  And when you’re suddenly buffeted from a new direction, you take action. But what action? More sail or less? Port or starboard? Heave the anchor or abandon ship? It depends.

Your actions depend on your why.  Regardless of wind or tide, your why points where it points and guides your actions. Much like magnetic north doesn’t move if you spin your compass, your long term why knows where it points.  If the storm on the horizon is dead ahead, you go around it.  But it’s a balance – deviate to skirt the storm, but do it with your long term destination in mind.  If you know your long term why, the best course heading is clear.

Often you set sail without realizing you don’t have your why battened down and stowed. When you sail where you sailed last time, you know the landmarks and use them to navigate. You can unknowingly leave your why at the pier and still get to your destination. But when you’re blown out to sea and can no longer see the landmarks, your moral compass, your long term why, is the only way to tack and jibe toward your destination.

Before you set sail, it’s best to know why you’re in the boat.

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A Singular Pillar of Productivity

human pillar of productivityProductivity generates profit.  No argument.  But it has two sides – it can be achieved through maximization by increasing output with constant resources (machines and people) or through minimization with constant output and decreasing machines and people.  And the main pillars of both flavors are data, tools, and process.

Data is used to understand how things are going so they can be made more productive.  Process output is measured, yields are measured, and process control charts are hung on the wall like priceless art.  Output goes up and costs go down.  And the two buckets of cost – people and machines – are poured out the door.  But data on its own doesn’t know how to improve anything.  The real heroes are the people that look at the data and use good judgment to make good decisions.

You can pull the people out of the process to reduce costs, but you can’t pull the judgment out productivity improvement work.  And here’s the difference – processes are made transactional and repetitive so people can be removed, and because judgment can’t be made into a transactional process, people are needed to do productivity improvement work.  People and their behavior – judgment – are the keys.

Tools are productivity’s golden children.  Better tools speed up the work so more can get done.  In the upswing, output increases to get more work done; in the downturn, people leave to reduce cost.  Tools can increase the quality (maximize) or reduce the caliber of the people needed to do the work (minimize).  But the tools aren’t the panacea, the real panacea are the people that run them.

Any analytical tool worth its salt requires judgment by the person that runs it.  And here’s where manufacturing’s productivity-through-process analogy is pushed where it doesn’t belong.  Companies break down the process to run the tools into 6000 to 7000 simple steps, stuff them into a 500 page color-coded binder, provide a week of training and declare standard work has saved the day because, now that the process has been simplified and standardized, everyone can run the tool at 100% efficiency.  But the tool isn’t the important part, neither is the process of using it. The important part is the judgment of the people running it.

Productivity of tools is not measured in the number of design cycles per person or the number of test cases run per day.  This manufacturing thinking must be banished to its home country – the production floor.  The productivity of analytical tools is defined by the goodness of the output when the time runs out.  And at the end of the day, measuring the level of goodness also requires judgment – judgment by the experts and super users.   With tools, it’s all about judgment and the people exercising it.

And now process.  When the process is made repetitive, repeatable, and transactional, it brings productivity.  This is especially true when the process lets itself to being made repetitive, repeatable, and transactional.  Here’s a good one – step 1, step 2, step 3, repeat for 8 hours.  Dial it in and watch the productivity jump.  But when it’s never been done before, people’s judgment governs productivity; and when the process has no right answer, the experts call the ball. When processes are complex, undefined, or the first of their kind, productivity and judgment are joined at the hip.

Processes, on their own, don’t rain productivity from the sky; the real rainmakers are the people that run them.

Today’s battle for productivity is overwhelmingly waged in the trenches of minimization, eliminating judgment skirmish by skirmish. And productivity’s “more-with-less” equation has been toppled too far toward “less”, minimizing judgment one process at a time.

Really, there’s only one pillar of productivity, and that’s people.  As everyone else looks to eliminate judgment at every turn, what would your business look like if you went the other way?  What if you focused on work that demanded more judgment?  I’m not sure what it would look like, other than you’d have little competition.

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Look Inside, Take New Action, Speak New Ideas.

Look InsideThere’s a lot buzz around reinvention and innovation. There are countless articles on tools and best practices; many books on the best organizational structure, and plenty on roles and responsibilities.   There’s so much stuff that it’s tough to define what’s missing, even when what’s missing is the most important part. Whether its creativity, innovation, or doing new, the most important and missing element is your behavior.

Two simple rules to live by: 1) Look inside. 2) Then, change your behavior.

To improve innovation, people typically look to nouns for the answers – meeting rooms, work spaces, bean bag chairs, and tools, tools, tools.  But the answer isn’t nouns, the answer is verbs.  Verbs are action words, things you do, behaviors.  And there are two behaviors that make the difference: 1.) Take new action. 2) Speak new ideas.

To take new action, you’ve got to be perceptive, perceptive about what’s blocking you from taking new action.  The biggest blocker of new action is anxiety, and you must learn what anxiety feels like.  Thought the brain makes anxiety, it’s easiest to perceive anxiety in the body.  For me, anxiety manifests as a cold sinking feeling in my chest.  When I recognize the coldness, I know I’m anxious.  Your task is to figure out your anxiety’s telltale heart.

To learn what anxiety feels like, you’ve got to slow down enough to actually feel.  The easiest way for overbooked high performers to make time to slow down is to schedule a recurring meeting with yourself.  Schedule a recurring 15 minute meeting (Daily is best.) in a quiet place.  No laptop, no cell phone, no paper, no pencil, no headphones – just you and quiet sitting together.  Do this for a week and you’ll learn what anxiety feels like.

To take new action, you’ve got to be receptive, receptive to the anxiety.  You’ll naturally judge anxiety as bad, but that’s got to change.  Anxiety isn’t bad, it’s just unpleasant.  And in this case, anxiety is an indicator of importance.  When you block yourself from taking an important action, you create anxiety. So when you feel anxiety, be receptive – it’s your body telling you the yet-to-be-taken action is important.

After receptive, it’s time to be introspective.  Look inside, turn toward your anxiety, and understand why the task is important.  Typically it’s important because it threatens the status quo. Maybe it would dismantle your business model, or maybe it will unglue the foundation of your company, or maybe something smaller yet threatening.  Once you understand its importance, it’s time to use the importance as the forcing function to start the task first thing tomorrow morning.

The second magic behavior is to speak new ideas.  To speak new ideas, you’ve got to be perceptive to the reason you self censor.  Before you can un-censor, you’ve got to be aware you self censor.  It’s time to get in touch with your unsaid ideas.  Now that you no longer need the 15 minute meeting for taking new action, change the agenda to speaking new ideas. Again, no laptop, cell phone, and headphones, but this time it’s you and quiet figuring out what if feels like right before you self-censor.

In your meeting, remember back to a brainstorming session when you had a crazy idea, but decided to bury it.  Get in touch with what your body felt like as you stopped yourself from speaking your crazy idea.  That’s the feeling you want to be aware of because it’s a leading indicator of your self censoring behavior.

Next, it’s time to be receptive, receptive to the idea that just as you choose to self censor, you can choose to stop your self censorship, and receptive to the idea that there’s a deep reason for your behavior.

Now, it’s on to introspective.  When you have a crazy idea, why do you keep your mouth shut?  Turn toward the behavior and you may see you self censor because you don’t want to be judged.  If you utter a crazy idea, you may be afraid you’ll be judged as crazy or incompetent.  Likely, you’re afraid saying your idea out loud will change something – what other people think of you.

There are a couple important notions to help you battle your fear of judgment. First, you are not your ideas.  You can have wild ideas and be highly competent, highly valued, and a good person.  Second, other people’s judgment is about them, not you. They are threatened by your idea, and instead of looking inside, they protect themselves by trying to knock you down.

There’s a lot of nuance and complexity around creativity and innovation, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Really, it comes down to four things: own your behavior, look inside, take new action, and speak new ideas.  It’s that simple.

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You Can’t Saw People in Half

It's a trickWhen there’s a big job, you’re taught to break it into a series of sub tasks, sequence them, and go after them with vigor.  When there are different types of work within a job, you’re taught to break down the work into related bits of work, assign specialists, and take them on with the utmost efficiency. When there’s a big problem, you’re taught to break it into mini problems, solve them one at a time, and then recombine.   This works sometimes, but more often than not, it doesn’t.  The world is complex; everything’s interconnected; and the improvement itself can change the system and create a new and more powerful dilemma.  Though we know this, divide and conquer is still the favorite first choice.

Okay, it works sometimes, and it’s reasonable to use it with projects and problems, but it doesn’t work on all things.  And by far, the most egregious misuse of the separation principle is when it’s used on people.

Mind and body are parts of an inseparable whole, but in practice, that’s not how it goes.  Exercise for the body improves the mind, but exercise is not mandatory.  And in the long term, exercise is preventive maintenance for body and the mind – lower healthcare costs, happier people, more productivity, and better work.  Our machines get preventive maintenance but our people don’t.  For some reason, we think it’s possible to separate the mind from the body.

Home life and work life are two parts of a single, integrated, whole life, but in practice, they’re considered two independent elements.  Much like the old magician’s trick, we’re sawed in half yet expected to function as a whole person at work.  Too much work and the family suffers; and when the family suffers, the work suffers.  It’s that simple. Not enough sleep at home, the work suffers. (And, maybe some sleep at work.)  Crisis at home and no time off to take care of it, work suffers.  Time away from the kids, the work suffers.  The best way to create resentment and bad attitudes is to saw people’s lives in half.  We have only one life, and it can’t be parsed into independent elements.  The magician’s trick isn’t real. It’s a trick.

When accountability is demanded without the authority, resources, tools, training or time, it’s a cardinal misuse of the separation principle.  Here, resources are subtracted from the problem and the solution is no longer part of the equation.  This one causes your best people to apply herculean effort and rip their lives apart trying to achieve success where it’s not possible.

We don’t run our machines without oil; we don’t run them at twice the recommended speed; we don’t expect them to run without electrical power or compress air; and we don’t expect them to do their work without the tooling. Yet we expect people to do their work without the resources.  We religiously perform preventive maintenance on our machines; we schedule downtime; we fix them when they break; and we buy the best replacement parts to keep them in top form.  For people, however, we don’t mandate exercise; we ask them to work through their vacation; and we ask them to work at unsustainable speeds.

Today’s environment is strange.  People are broken into parts and expected to perform like well oiled machines; and machines are given all they need to get their work done, and people are not.

It’s time to treat problems like problems, machines like machines, and people like people.

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The Half-Life of Our Maps

4082547180_b664f5f55a_zThe early explorers had maps, but they were wrong – sea monsters, missing continents, and the home country at the center.  Wrong, yes, but the best maps of their day.  The early maps weren’t right because the territory was new, and you can expect the same today. When you work in new territory, your maps are wrong.

As the explorers’ adventures radiated further from home, they learned and their maps improved.  But still, the maps were best close to home and diverged at the fringes.  And over the centuries the radius of rightness grew and the maps converged on the territory.  And with today’s GPS technology, maps are dead on.  The system worked – a complete map of everything.

Today you have your maps of  your business environment and the underlying fundementals that ground them.  Like the explorers you built them over time and checked them along the way.  They’re not perfect (more right close to home) but they’re good.  You mapped the rocks, depths, and tides around the trade routes and you stay the course because the routes have delivered profits and they’re safe. You can sail them in your sleep, and sometimes you do.

But there’s a fundamental difference between the explorers’ maps and yours – their territory, the physical territory, never changed, but yours is in constant flux.  The business trade winds shift as new technologies develop; the size of continents change as developing countries develop; and new rocks grow from the sea floor as competitors up their game.  Just when your maps match the territory, the territory changes around you and diverges from your maps, and your maps become old.  The problem is the maps don’t look different.  Yes, they’re still the same maps that guided you safely along your journey, but they no longer will keep you safely off the rocks and out of the Doldrums.

But as a new age explorer there’s hope.  With a healthy skepticism of your maps, frequently climb the mast and from the crow’s nest scan the horizon for faint signs of trouble.  Like a thunder storm just below the horizon, you may not hear trouble coming, but there’ll be dull telltale flashes that flicker in your eyepiece.  Not all the crew will see them, or want to see them, or want to believe you saw them, so be prepared when your report goes unheeded and your ship sales into the eye of the storm.

Weak signals are troubling for several reasons.  They’re infrequent and unpredictable which makes them hard to chart, and they’re weak so they’re tough to hear and interpret.  But worst of all is their growth curve.  Weak signals stay weak for a long time until they don’t, and when they grow, they grow quickly.  A storm just over the horizon gives weak signals right up until you sail into gale force winds strong enough to capsize the largest ships.

Maps are wrong when the territory is new, and get more right as you learn; but as the territory changes and your learning doesn’t, maps devolve back to their natural wrongness.  But, still, they’re helpful.  And they’re more helpful when you remember they have a natural half-life.

My grandfather was in the Navy in World War II, though he could never bring himself to talk about it. However, there was one thing he told me, a simple saying he said kept him safe:

Red skies at night, sailor’s delight; red skies in morninng, sailor takes warning.

I think he knew the importance of  staying aware of the changing territory.

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Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2013!

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2013Top 40 Innovation Bloggers just announced.

Blown away to be in the top 5!  Proud to be part of such an amazing group!

FROM INNOVATION EXCELLENCE — After two weeks of torrid voting and much passionate support, along with a lot of gut-wrenching consideration and jostling during the judging round, I am proud to announce your Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2013:

  1. Jeffrey Baumgartner
    Jeffrey BaumgartnerJeffrey Baumgartner is the author of the book, The Way of the Innovation Master; the author/editor of Report 103, a popular newsletter on creativity and innovation in business. He is currently developing and running workshops around the world on Anticonventional Thinking, a radical new approach to achieving goals through creativity — and an alternative to brainstorming.

  2. Paul Hobcraft
    Paul HobcraftPaul Hobcraft runs Agility Innovation, an advisory business that stimulates sound innovation practice, researches topics that relate to innovation for the future, as well as aligning innovation to organizations core capabilities.

  3. Gijs van Wulfen
    Gijs van WulfenGijs van Wulfen leads ideation processes and is the founder of the FORTH innovation method. He is the author of Creating Innovative Products & Services, published by Gower.

  4. Jeffrey Phillips
    Jeffrey PhillipsJeffrey Phillips is a senior leader at OVO Innovation. OVO works with large distributed organizations to build innovation teams, processes and capabilities. Jeffrey is the author of Relentless Innovation and the blog Innovate on Purpose.

  5. Mike Shipulski
    Mike ShipulskiMike Shipulski brings together people, culture, and tools to change engineering behavior. He writes daily on Twitter as @MikeShipulski and weekly on his blog Shipulski On Design.

Click here for the whole list.


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