July 2014

A year ago, the GE Global Innovation Barometer study indicated, frankly, that senior executives were a bit freaked out by this "innovation thing" and experiencing what GE termed "Innovation Vertigo."

Executives unintentionally backed themselves into a corner. Innovation appeared on their company's value statements, in their organizational branding materials and in their executive communications. But the unpleasant truth was that most of the leaders didn't know how to best achieve their aspirations. And, as they became more aware of the interrelated complexity of efforts needed, it made their heads spin. Welcome to Innovation Vertigo - a guaranteed malady when one aspires to innovation but lacks anything resembling a strategic road-map to follow.

The good news is that senior leaders are learning and expanding their perceptions around innovation efforts as evidenced in both our practice at New & Improved and in this year's GE findings.

Leaders now understand that an important part of the puzzle is encouraging creative behaviors. To do so means that internal processes will need to be changed - in some instances radically. Not just with respect to training people but across every function and value stream in the enterprise. It is not as simple as once thought - that we simply need to train people to be more creative. The tough truth is that moving from the current state to a more sustained innovation culture will be disruptive. While many wish it was not so, those who are first to wake up to this reality are carving out more value in their competitive niche and setting themselves up to do so for the long run.

Full access to the creative potential of your human resource is so necessary to remain competitive that it must be done. And done more rapidly and wisely than your competitive set.

We have found that there is a real hunger at the executive level for a more complete enterprise approach to innovation culture. An approach that goes beyond the narrowly focused pressure to fill the new offering pipeline. The results of this year's GE survey affirm what we have been seeing. They reflect our experience and the guidance that we share in our new eBook "Demystifying Innovation Culture Efforts." Take a look at our 12 key strategic action areas and you'll note they are entirely supported by GE's findings.

Now, take a look at your organization. Where are you putting effort? Are there strategies that are being ignored? Are there "magic bullets" where you are putting all your efforts? (We call these "dangerous obsessions".)

We have a prediction about next year's findings which generally lag behind our "on the ground" experience as practitioners. Next year, we'll hear about a growing awareness that creative behaviors, and the value they create for an enterprise, are beginning to be encouraged at EVERY level and in EVERY value stream within a business. Additionally, we predict that there will be an increased awareness about the virtuous links between employee engagement, innovation culture, progress and meaning.

Some leading indicators of progress are:
  • More agile business lines
  • Increased personal responsiblity for innovation
  • New accountabilities
  • Reduced conflict - Better Collaboration
  • Tangible ROI through revenue, efficiencies and business models

And what fuels our hearts even more here at New & Improved? The fact that more and more people are taking creative thinking skills home and using them with their families and within their communities to find good solutions to tough problems.

These are exciting times! 

Webinar Alert:

Thursday, September 4th
1:00 pm ET (New York Time)
How to Use your Innovative Brain to Create Long Term Wins
This webinar, featuring the just released book, Never Be Closing, is designed to create value. The authors, Tim Dunne and Tim Hurson, will show you how Creative Problem Solving principles apply to selling.
From Our Blog:
Turning Wood Into Water
As design thinkers and creative problem solvers, we're always on the lookout for interesting creations that inspire us. Be inspired by artist and furniture maker, Greg Klassen, and his
Influencers Make Trends Contagious

Social networks and emerging technologies are making anyone a potential influencer. Watch a new video about what it takes to be an influencer.
Innovation Conferences
Meet other Innovative Brains at:


"Avoid delegating responsibility for innovation strategies to a small group, one or two business units, or a single C-Level individual.  For an enterprise-level innovation culture to be positively sustained, steady efforts to improve creative thinking, collaborative interaction and innovation, in both processes and offerings, must be undertaken on an all-encompassing scale."

Excerpt, Demystifying Innovation Culture Effort
Bob Eckert and Natalie Jenkins

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About New & Improved
New & Improved is a global firm that focuses on the capabilities organizations need to create growth through innovation.  


Email: info@newandimproved.com 

Call:  +1 518-327-3554


Check out our Innovation HotSpot for free resources.