April 2015

Innovation often looks a bit like an accident:
  • Arthur Fry used a  failed glue (that a 3M co-worker developed) on bookmarks for his choir hymnals which led to the development of 3M's Post-its. Watch this video  for the innovative way Fry got buy-in from 3M's less than enthusiastic marketing department.
  • Percy Spencer, a leading scientist during WWII, noticed the chocolate bar in his pocket melted when he inspected a magnetron. This discovery led him to invent another machine that gave rise to the microwaves of today.
These stories and many others may lead you to believe that innovation happens by chance and you may be fooled into thinking that there's nothing you can do but sit around and wait for it to appear. Our advice, don't passively wait - instead, be prepared. As Nobel prize-winning biochemist Albert Szent-Gyorgi said, "A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind."

A great way to prepare your mind is to live by the innovator's values and to diversify your feed of information. Rowan Gibson's research supports our findings. In his book, The 4 Lenses of Innovation, he says innovators have a "desire to develop deep insights into all kinds of phenomena, and to use new knowledge to solve problems, address needs, and improve quality of life in completely novel ways." Rowan goes on to suggest that by looking through this lens he calls, "understanding needs", we can stimulate our creativity and thereby increase our chance of stumbling on a new innovation.

Once a potential innovation is stumbled upon what happens next? In the business world it's often, the pitch - to get buy-in, budget and support. All too often decision makers reject the pitch without even considering the potential value. Watch the video below, What is the Gator Brain, for some insight into why this occurs, how it stifles innovation and what you can do about it.

And, if you need a little help crafting your pitch to a gator brained audience - email us and request our Solution Pitch template.

Go on...prepare your mind and who knows what you'll stumble upon!

From our YouTube Channel
What's our default thinking pattern?  Hint:  it lives in your gator brain.
What's the Gator Brain - www.newandimprove.com
What's the Gator Brain?
New Series!
12 Strategies for Innovation Excellence

Series 7:  A deep dive into STRATEGY

"Strategy" - as we intend you to think about it here - links directly back to "Measurement" (Read more on Measurement.) Get your measurement system right first, then make some clear, mature, and as bias-free as possible decisions about what your specific goals need to be. Read on for some specific examples, watch-outs and success tips. 

Series 8:  A deep dive into GOVERNANCE

Establishing a pipeline for product development is important, but it's only a first step. One "Big Pharma" company saved millions by unclogging its governance review process, simply by making one small shift...  Read more  Watch Praise First Video

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