Launching a Business? Don’t Leap Before You Leverage

August 14, 2013

I’ve had a recurring conversation with quite a few friends and colleagues lately. They’re unhappy in their current jobs and want to do something different. For many, this means becoming an entrepreneur and launching their own business. Conventional wisdom suggests they will follow one of two distinct paths: They’ll leave their current jobs and make the leap, the philosophy being that if you stay where you are, you will never make a change. They’ll stay where they are until they have enough “security.” The reality is, that no one ever […]

Book Review by Gartner

August 12, 2013

Jake Sorofman, a Research Director at Gartner, just reviewed “Best Practices Are Stupid.” His review started… Don’t let its compact size—or snarky title—fool you. It’s a worthwhile read. Unlike so many other books in this particular genre, it doesn’t disguise otherwise straightforward concepts with overwrought explanation. Shapiro gets straight to the point with 40 often counterintuitive tips on how to strengthen your innovation muscles, served up with respect for your time and intelligence. Read the entire book review here.

Avoid Technology for the Sake of Technology

August 9, 2013

It seems that all too often, innovation has become synonymous with technology. I was recently working with a company that had a number of challenges they wanted to solve. Most of them looked something like this… “How can we use big data in order to better understand customer needs?” Of course, this is a common challenge in today’s world of analytics. The problem is, as it is worded, this question implies a particular solution: big data. It assumes that a technological answer is the best approach. However, what this company […]

Work One Hour a Day

July 30, 2013

Do you feel overworked? Do you feel as though you never have time to relax? What if you needed to work only one hour a day? I was recently interviewed by Dorie Clark for and discussed how I do this with my business. To be clear, I do not work one hour a day. I work one hour a day on my “current” business. I invest my free time in “future” business endeavors such as developing new products or creating new intellectual property. Because my time is disproportionately spent […]

Everyone Reacts Differently

July 22, 2013

Back in 1996, I was conducting an important three-day “train the trainer” session for a program we were launching at Accenture. I was personally training 200 top client partners and managers. It was critical that we got everyone’s buy-in. At the end of day one, the partner in charge of program, Bob, asked me how I thought it was going. I responded, “Overall, I think it is going well. But I’m concerned about Dave. His body language tells me he is not on board. Or maybe he is just bored.” […]

Free Quick Reference Card

July 20, 2013

On my Monday July 22 at 11AM EDT free webinar, I will be giving attendees my latest creation: The 10x Innovation ROI Quick Reference Card. This 2-page checklist summarizes four important innovation concepts: Ask the Right Challenge [FOCUS] Frame Challenges the Right Way [FRAME] Ask the Right People for Solutions [FIND] Treat Innovation as an Experiment [FAIL] Applying these approaches can massively improve your innovation ROI. If you did not yet register, go here to reserve your free seat now. NOTE: This event is oversubscribed. Therefore, we suggest you sign […]

Proactive Customer Service

July 18, 2013

I recently had a problem with my Bose bluetooth headset. I called their customer service department and they solved the problem quickly. They had me return the old one (postage paid) and they sent me a new one. I have had other amazing experiences with Bose over the years…always exceeding my expectations. Staples went one step further. I had a problem with a desk chair I purchased a year ago. They too sent me a new one. But in this case, I didn’t have to return the old chair. That […]

Pilots Are Not Experiments

July 16, 2013

In previous blog entries, I discussed why you need to make your innovation a form of experimentation. Doing this redefines the meaning of failure. Experiments (and as a result, innovation) only fails when you don’t have enough data to support or refute your hypothesis. Disproving your hypothesis is success because you can kill the project (or specific solution) and stop making more investments in a losing concept. All too often, companies confuse experiments with pilots. They are not the same thing. Typically, a pilot is not designed to test a […]

Free Webinar: Improve Innovation ROI by 3x to 10x

July 12, 2013

What if almost everything you know about improving innovation ROI is wrong? The expensive and inefficient reality is most organizations are working on ideas that don’t really matter. Everyone talks about innovation, but few know how to do it. In my opinion, Albert Einstein said it best, “If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute finding solutions”. I have shared my innovation philosophy and process with nearly 500,000 people in 45 countries during the last 20 years. And […]

Stretching the Truth

July 9, 2013

Back in 2006, I wrote a book called Goal-Free Living. Last year I wrote an article for American Express OPEN Forum, How Oprah Nearly Killed my Business. And recently I wrote a blog entry titled, Do Not Develop Breakthrough Innovation. For each of these, I stretched the truth. Goal-Free Living did not advocate a complete abstention from goals; only the avoidance of goalaholism. How Oprah Nearly Killed my Business had little to do with Oprah and was more about how I didn’t consider my target audience and as a result, […]

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