I am convinced that revolutionary leaders bent on innovation will take over the universe. With the status quo in just about every industry sucking wind, there is a new book out there that is kicking in teeth and helping business leaders – and marketers – take it to the next level.
Recently, I wrote in the Harvard Business Review digital edition a piece entitled “Marketing in Revolutionary Times.” I asked “how does a smart business respond in a time of heightened passions and greater activism?” And suggested that you run the risk of being out of step with your customers, if you fail to respond to this shift in the culture, with your company looking like a status quo brand in a revolutionary world.
Let’s talk innovation. Let’s … Read More »
How can you tell when someone is really innovative? These days, this question is on a lot of people’s minds as they look to expand their team and bring in people who have capabilities that will drive them forward with innovation.
We’ve developed a comprehensive tool called Questions for Hiring Innovators that has over 60 questions you can use to get at key capabilities around innovation. Some of those are things like Strategic Imagination, Provocative Inquiry, Creative Problem Solving, Agility, and Resilience. The probing questions are asked in interesting and open-ended ways to show you how people think and solve problems. For example:
- You have 5 minutes with the CEO. What question would you ask to get him/her thinking differently about the business?
- You’ve solved a problem in a totally different way. Explain how you did it and what the result … Read More »
What do you do to keep your antenna up? How do you and your teams look for what’s next? At futurethink, we use something called Futurist Sources. Futurists are people that know how to find possible, probable, and preferable futures for tomorrow. They use a mix of both mainstream and offbeat resources to help them figure it out.
Let me give you some examples: they might visit Shell’s website and look in the area on scenarios for the future to find alternative visions around energy. Or they might visit Long Bets, a site where visionaries of today place bets on what they think will happen tomorrow.
For this and other suggestions of how you can find the future, visit www.killthecompany.com
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Often, teams feel that by going to a contingency plan or Plan B, it’s bad. In fact, with innovation things rarely go to plan, so being able to teach your teams to plan for change is probably the best thing you can do. One technique that we use with companies is called Wild Cards. It helps them prepare for change by thinking in more creative ways. Here’s how it works:
Get everybody together and give them a similar aspirational challenge. For example, what if we had to be the most innovative product team, or service team, or company in the next 12 months? We have unlimited funds, timing, resources… how would we do it? Let them brainstorm, give them 10 minutes. But at 7 minutes, stop them, catch them off-guard and call “Wild Card.” You can do this verbally or you … Read More »