Author Archives: Braden Kelley

About Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a Human-Centered Experience, Innovation and Transformation consultant at HCL Technologies, a popular innovation speaker, and creator of the FutureHacking™ and Human-Centered Change™ methodologies. He is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons and Charting Change (Second Edition) from Palgrave Macmillan. Braden is a US Navy veteran and earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Rise of the Atomic Consultant

Or the Making of a Superhero

Rise of the Atomic Consultant

by Braden Kelley

In today’s rapidly evolving world, the consulting landscape is undergoing a profound transformation. I was recently asked a series of questions to capture my thoughts on how the consulting industry and its employees will need to evolve to thrive in the coming years – including my thoughts on the creation of “superhero” consultants. The emergence of the “superhero” consultant is not merely a result of advanced tools and technologies, but rather the cultivation of essential skills and capabilities. As we navigate through this era of unprecedented change, it is imperative for consulting firms to foster a culture of flexibility, growth, and continuous learning. The future of consulting lies in the hands of those who can seamlessly integrate human expertise with artificial intelligence (AI), build meaningful connections in a hybrid work environment, and facilitate diverse perspectives to drive innovation. This article delves into the key attributes that will define the next generation of consultants and explores the obstacles that must be overcome to unlock their full potential.

1) What are the tools and technologies that a consultant should use to become a “superhero” consultant? Why are these specific tools/technologies important? How should these tools be used most effectively?

This is the wrong question. It is not tools and technologies that will enable “superhero” consultants, but instead the development of the right skills and capabilities. The future of consulting will require consulting firms to hire and develop employees that are:

  1. Flexible and growth minded – the world is changing at an accelerating rate and consultants more than ever before will need to be lifelong learners, comfortable with knowledge gaps and eager to become an expert in something on behalf of the client with each new project
  2. AI Taskmasters – the future of work is man and machine working together and consultants skilled at breaking down work to the right size (atomizing work) and assigning it to both human and AI workers
  3. Socially Savvy – remote and hybrid work is here to stay and even clients have soured on having consultants travel in every week, so “superhero” consultants must excel at building connections and relationships via internal, external and client social tools to both distribute/execute work and to source new work
  4. Skilled facilitators – as data and AI-generated work products become plentiful, sense-making rises in importance along with a diversity of perspectives – often in workshops facilitated by consultants
  5. Open Sourced – gone are the days of rinse and repeat projects powered by proprietary frameworks and IP, instead “superhero” consultants will excel at identifying the right tools and frameworks to bring to bear – from FutureHacking™ to Design Thinking to the Change Planning Toolkit™

The capabilities of tools and technologies will grow over time and new ones will emerge. The best consultants will constantly be scanning the horizon for new tools, technologies, and capabilities and leverage the above skills and capabilities to unlearn and then re-learn the best ways to create value for their clients.

2) What are the biggest obstacles that prevent consultants from being able to access or learn the steps needed to become a “superhero” consultant? What should be done to remove these obstacles to help make this transformation easier for more consultants?

The biggest obstacles that prevent consultants from becoming “superheroes” are internal – to both the consultants themselves and the firms they work for. Companies will need to examine their own policies, procedures, and training programs to right-size them for this emerging new reality. Firms will need to allow consultants to pick the right frameworks, tools and technologies for addressing client challenges – instead of limiting them to those owned by the firm. Consultants will need to shift their mindset from being experts in a particular tool or technology and towards being masters of the above skills and capabilities and experts in achieving key client outcomes. Firms will need to invest in the training and the technology necessary to provide AI’s built for purpose to accelerate the ability of consultants to more efficiently and effectively solve client challenges. Firms will also need to update their tools and methods for capturing and sharing knowledge to leverage AI capabilities at the same time.

3) What specific areas of consulting (eg. IT, finance, marketing, etc.) have the greatest potential to produce this new brand of “superhero” consultants? Why?

This new brand of “superhero” consultants will excel in a number of different disciplines because they will be able to not only find more efficient and effective ways to execute work traditionally performed by consultants (technology implementations, analytical work, etc.), but as they are helping clients transform the ways they perform different types of work, they will also be able to help clients identify new activities that will be made possible by the transformation and the new technologies and ways of working they bring with it. The reason is their focus on building skills and capabilities into which tools and technologies plug in – somewhat interchangeably.

Conclusion

The journey to becoming a “superhero” consultant is not without its challenges, but the rewards are immense. By embracing a mindset of lifelong learning and adaptability, consultants can harness the power of emerging technologies to deliver unparalleled value to their clients. The future of consulting is not about rigid frameworks or proprietary tools, but about the ability to unlearn and relearn, to innovate and collaborate, and to drive meaningful change. As we look ahead, it is clear that the most successful consultants will be those who can navigate the complexities of a dynamic world with agility and foresight. Let us continue to push the boundaries of what is possible and strive to create a brighter future for the consulting industry. Keep innovating!

p.s. Be sure and follow both my personal account and the Human-Centered Change and Innovation community on LinkedIn.

Image credit: Bing Copilot (Microsoft Designer)

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Video Killed More Than the Radio Star

Video Killed More Than the Radio Star

by Braden Kelley

If you are a child of the eighties, you will remember when MTV went live 24 hours a day with music videos on cable television August 1, 1981 with the broadcast of “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles.

But I was thinking the other day about how video (or taken more broadly as streaming media – including television, movies, gaming, social media, and the internet) has killed far more things than just radio stars. Many activities have experienced substantial declines due to people staying home and engaging in these forms of entertainment – often by themselves – where in the past people would leave their homes to engage in more human-to-human-interactions.

The ten declines listed below have not only reshaped the American landscape – literally – but have also served to feed declines in the mental health of modern nations at the same time. Without further ado, here is the list

1. Bowling Alleys:

Bowling alleys, once bustling with players and leagues, have faced challenges in recent years. The communal experience of bowling has been replaced by digital alternatives, impacting the industry.

2. Roller Skating Rinks:

Roller skating rinks, which were once popular hangout spots for families and teens, have seen declining attendance. The allure of roller disco and skating parties has waned as people turn to other forms of entertainment.

3. Drive-In Movie Theaters:

Drive-in movie theaters, iconic symbols of mid-20th-century entertainment, have faced challenges in recent decades. While they once provided a unique way to watch films from the comfort of your car, changing lifestyles and technological advancements have impacted their popularity.

4. Arcade Game Centers:

In the ’80s and ’90s, video game arcades were buzzing hubs of entertainment. People flocked to play games like Pac-Man, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat. Traditional arcade game centers, filled with pinball machines, classic video games, and ticket redemption games, have struggled to compete with home gaming consoles and online multiplayer experiences. The convenience of playing video games at home has led to a decline in arcade visits. Nostalgia keeps some arcades alive, but they are no longer as prevalent as they once were.

5. Miniature Golf Courses:

Mini-golf courses, with their whimsical obstacles and family-friendly appeal, used to be popular weekend destinations. However, the rise of digital entertainment has impacted their attendance. The allure of playing a round of mini-golf under the sun has faded for many.

6. Indoor Trampoline Parks:

Indoor trampoline parks gained popularity as a fun and active way to spend time with friends and family. However, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns forced many of these parks to close temporarily. Even before the pandemic, the availability of home trampolines and virtual fitness classes reduced the need for indoor trampoline parks. People can now bounce and exercise at home or virtually, without leaving their living rooms.

7. Live Music Venues:

Live music venues, including small clubs, concert halls, and outdoor amphitheaters, have struggled due to changing entertainment preferences. While some artists and bands continue to perform, the rise of virtual concerts and streaming services has affected attendance. People can now enjoy live music from the comfort of their homes, reducing the need to attend physical venues. The pandemic also disrupted live events, leading to further challenges for the industry.

8. Public Libraries (In-Person Visits):

Public libraries, once bustling with readers and community events, have seen a decline in in-person visits. E-books, audiobooks, and online research resources have made it easier for people to access information without physically visiting a library. While libraries continue to offer valuable services, their role has shifted from primarily physical spaces to digital hubs for learning and exploration – and a place for latchkey kids to go and wait for their parents to get off work.

10. Shopping Malls

Once bustling centers of retail and social activity, shopping malls have faced significant challenges in recent years. Various technological shifts have contributed to their decline, including e-commerce and online shopping, social media and influencer culture, changing demographics and urbanization. Shopping malls are yet another place that parents are no longer dropping off the younger generation at for the day.

And if that’s not enough, here is a bonus one for you:

11. Diners, Malt Shops, Coffee Shops, Dive Bars/Taverns, Neighborhood Pubs (UK) and Drive-In Burger Joints

If you’re a child of the seventies or eighties, no doubt you probably tuned to watch Richie, Potsie, Joanie, Fonsie and Ralph Malph gather every day at Al’s. Unfortunately, many of the more social and casual drinking and dining places are experiences declines as diet, habit and technology changes have kicked in. Demographic changes (aging out of nostalgia) and the rise of food delivery apps and takeout culture have helped to sign their death warrant.

Conclusion

In the ever-evolving landscape of entertainment, video and streaming media have reshaped our experiences and interactions. As we bid farewell to once-thriving institutions, we recognize both the convenience and the cost of this digital transformation. For example, the echoes of strikes and spares have faded as digital alternatives replace the communal joy of bowling. As we navigate this digital era, let us cherish what remains and adapt to what lies ahead. Video may have transformed our world, but the echoes of lost experiences linger, urging us to seek balance in our screens and our souls. As these once ubiquitous gathering places disappear, consumer tastes change and social isolation increases, will we as a society seek to reverse course or evolve to some new way of reconnecting as humans in person? And if so, how?

What other places and/or activities would you have added to the list?
(sound off in the comments)

p.s. Be sure and follow both my personal account and the Human-Centered Change and Innovation community on LinkedIn.

Image credit: Pixabay

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References:
(1) Duwamish Drive-In was not really about the movies. https://mynorthwest.com/289708/duwamish-drive-in-not-really-about-the-movies/.
(3) How online gaming has become a social lifeline – BBC. https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20201215-how-online-gaming-has-become-a-social-lifeline.
(3) Social media brings benefits and risks to teens. Psychology can help …. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2023/09/protecting-teens-on-social-media.
(4) Frontiers | Social Connectedness, Excessive Screen Time During COVID-19 …. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fhumd.2021.684137/full.

London Calling

London Calling Braden Kelley

by Braden Kelley

I will be in London attending a reunion soon and have some availability May 15-17, 2024 if anyone would like to book a keynote, workshop, or advisory session while I’m there.

Are you looking to build a continuous innovation infrastructure in your organization?

Would you like to learn more about the Change Planning Toolkit?

Want to learn how to become your own Futurist using the FutureHacking™ suite of tools?

I’m also open to helping promote a get together if someone has a space in central London to offer up for hosting a Human-Centered Change and Innovation community meetup.

Contact me if you have interest in any or all of these!

p.s. Be sure and follow both my personal account and the Human-Centered Change and Innovation community on LinkedIn.

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Innovation the Star of the 2024 NBA All-Star Game

Innovation the Star of the 2024 NBA All-Star Game

by Braden Kelley

Eight years ago, back in 2016, I wrote an article titled What April Fool’s Day Teaches Us About Innovation about an April Fool’s prank played my alma mater, the University of Oregon involving an announcement that football games at Autzen Stadium would no longer played on artificial turf, but would be played on a giant digital screen instead. Here is the video:

It seemed preposterous at the time (2016) during the era of the technologically ancient Apple iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 when the average LCD TV size according to Statista was only 43 inches.

Fast forward to February 16, 2024 and NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana and we saw the first ever basketball game of note held on a glass basketball court. But isn’t glass slippery when wet? Yes, but so is a heavily lacquered hardwood court – believe me I know from repeated spills during pickup basketball games. To help give it the traction of a hardwood court they’ve engineered thousands (or maybe millions) of tiny raised dots onto the glass surface.

Sports are always experimenting with various technologies, some of which don’t work out (like the tail following the puck on hockey broadcasts), and others which are executed so well that they enhance the viewing experience (first down yardage line in American football) or that most people don’t even know that they exist (advertisements projected onto the court in basketball television broadcasts that aren’t actually on the court but look as if they are).

So, how has this 2016 April Fool’s prank visualization evolved into a 2024 reality? What does it look like? Here is a video that will give you a sense of its capabilities:

First let me say this a pretty incredible technology that has definitely added to the excitement of this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend, but second I must also say that I would NEVER want to watch a regular NBA, college or international game played on a court like this because for me, sporting events are a time to unplug from technology, not be over-stimulated by it. But, for a special event like NBA All-Star Game Weekend or maybe the Harlem Globetrotters I think it makes sense.

How does this court make the leap from invention to innovation you might ask?

How does this court not find itself in the digital trash can next to the tail on the hockey puck?

The short answer is that scores well on my Innovation is All About Value framework. It creates value by adding value to the contest (skills challenge, celebrity all-star game), translates that value very quickly because it’s all visual, and the barriers to value access are non-existent for all but the visually impaired.

The court allowed the NBA to hold different games with different rules and lines on the same court without changing courts or making physical modifications. For example, the celebrity all-star game had a four point line (sponsored by Frito Lay) and at times the three point and four point lines even were actively moving. There was also a micro competition in game where three people ran to stars that appeared on the floor and shot and when they made a shot there a new star appeared and you could see over time which side of the court was winning because you could see which side had more stars. There was another moment where for a limited time the coaches faces appeared on the court and six points were awarded for each shot made from that spot. The dynamic nature of the game meant that you almost didn’t know what might come next – which was kind of exciting.

The integration of the court into the competition occurring upon it is what helps this technology make the leap from invention to innovation. But again, for me, only in special use cases like an All-Star game, an entertainment-based event or skills competition, but NOT for a pure competition use case where in my mind it distracts from the sport.

Here is a video of the skills challenge relay race – notice that the floor shows the player which way to go, but despite that Tyrese Maxey still goes the wrong way and has to double back. 😉

Then in the skills challenge passing team event the floor showed players where to stand and how many points had been scored at each of three targets. Again, it felt like part of the event and it allows the court to be instantly and uniquely re-configured.

And here are video highlights of the celebrity all-star game where you can see some of what I mentioned above:

So, what do you think? Innovation or not?

Image credit: NBA.com

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4 Simple Steps to Becoming Your Own Futurist

An Introduction to the FutureHacking™ methodology

FutureHacking Foresight and Futurist Primer

by Braden Kelley

The starting point for becoming your own futurist is of course to first understand what futurology (or a futurist) is. Then we must also understand what strategic and market foresight are as well.

What is Futurology (or a Futurist)?

  • Futures studies, futures research, futurism or futurology is the systematic, interdisciplinary and holistic study of social and technological advancement, and other environmental trends, often for the purpose of exploring how people will live and work in the future. Predictive techniques, such as forecasting, can be applied, but contemporary futures studies scholars emphasize the importance of systematically exploring alternatives.

Source: Wikipedia

What are Strategic and Market Foresight?

  • Strategic Foresight is about combining methods of futures work with those of strategic management. It is about understanding upcoming external changes in relation to internal capabilities and drivers.
  • Market Foresight is about the consideration of possible and probable futures in the organization’s relevant business environment, and about identifying new opportunities in that space.

Source: Aalto University

Now we are ready to look at the four simple, but powerful steps to becoming your own futurist using the FutureHacking™ methodology:

STEP ONE: Picking the Signals That Matter

FutureSignals™ Radar & NowBuilder™ Canvas

  • Identify up to the eight most critical signals to monitor or amplify in order to look back, reach an innovation goal, describe them and capture for each signal what the status quo, small change and big change scenarios might look like – and which scenario is most likely.

STEP TWO: Mapping Signal Evolution

FutureSignals™ Radar Summary & Tracking

  • Summarize the most likely scenarios for up to the eight most critical signals along with their descriptions and whether you plan to monitor or amplify each. Use a tracking sheet to record changes in the signal over time – revisit and re-prioritize as needed.

STEP THREE: Choosing the Possible, Probable and Preferable Future

FutureCanvas™ & Picker (macro view)

  • Leveraging your FutureSignals™ summary, create a headline for an imagined future. Then capture the problems that have been solved, how society has changed, the new problems that may now exist and what we must do to shape the future. Rinse and Repeat.

STEP FOUR: Making Your Preferable Future a Reality

FutureSignals™ & FutureCanvas™ Action Plans (micro)

  • Leveraging your FutureSignals™ summary, create a headline for an imagined future. Then capture the key signals related to this headline, how the customer is changing and how the company must change in response.

These four simple steps to becoming your own futurist are accelerated by adopting the 20 new tools of the Futurehacking™ methodology that I have created.

“FutureHacking™ is the art and science of getting to the future first.”

It’s a methodology I’ve created that contains a suite of simple, but powerful tools at its core that will enable you to be your own futurist.

FutureHacking™ is designed to make foresight and futurology accessible to the average business professional.

Prototyping the Future

FutureHacking™ is a revolutionary approach that empowers cross-functional leadership teams to visually prototype the future and collaboratively create the roadmap and guideposts for manifesting your preferred, possible future.

FutureHacking Tool Collection

Why is Investing in Futures Research (or a Futurist) important?

  • Every stakeholder-responsible organization is compelled to realize its vision, execute its strategy, and achieve its goals – indefinitely. But, the future is uncertain. We cannot extrapolate that what has made an organization successful this year or last year will make it succeed in future years. Responsible organizations must invest in understanding the possible futures and realizing their preferable future. FutureHacking™ makes this investment much easier, cheaper and faster – helping you get to the future first.

“FutureHacking™ tools help you facilitate the future.”

Click the image to download a PDF flipbook:

Two Ways to Join the FutureHacking™ Ecosystem

  • Data and trend research partners to create service offerings as an input into the FutureSignals™ component
  • Futurists, consulting partners, and technology providers (interactive whiteboarding, etc.) to get FutureHacking™ certified and profit from the delivery of services to help people leverage the FutureSignals™, NowBuilder™ and FutureCanvas™ tools

One Way to Connect and Succeed

Contact me if you think you have a compelling partnership value proposition and subscribe to my newsletter below to find out when the certification program and facilitated off-site offerings are launched!

Image credit: Pixabay

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Top 100 Innovation and Transformation Articles of 2023

Top 100 Innovation and Transformation Articles of 2023

2021 marked the re-birth of my original Blogging Innovation blog as a new blog called Human-Centered Change and Innovation.

Many of you may know that Blogging Innovation grew into the world’s most popular global innovation community before being re-branded as InnovationExcellence.com and being ultimately sold to DisruptorLeague.com.

Thanks to an outpouring of support I’ve ignited the fuse of this new multiple author blog around the topics of human-centered change, innovation, transformation and design.

I feel blessed that the global innovation and change professional communities have responded with a growing roster of contributing authors and more than 17,000 newsletter subscribers.

To celebrate we’ve pulled together the Top 100 Innovation and Transformation Articles of 2023 from our archive of over 1,800 articles on these topics.

We do some other rankings too.

We just published the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2023 and as the volume of this blog has grown we have brought back our monthly article ranking to complement this annual one.

But enough delay, here are the 100 most popular innovation and transformation posts of 2023.

Did your favorite make the cut?

1. Fear is a Leading Indicator of Personal Growth – by Mike Shipulski

2. The Education Business Model Canvas – by Arlen Meyers

3. Act Like an Owner – Revisited! – by Shep Hyken

4. Free Innovation Maturity Assessment – by Braden Kelley

5. The Role of Stakeholder Analysis in Change Management – by Art Inteligencia

6. What is Human-Centered Change? – by Braden Kelley

7. Sustaining Imagination is Hard – by Braden Kelley

8. The One Movie All Electric Car Designers Should Watch – by Braden Kelley

9. 50 Cognitive Biases Reference – Free Download – by Braden Kelley

10. A 90% Project Failure Rate Means You’re Doing it Wrong – by Mike Shipulski

11. No Regret Decisions: The First Steps of Leading through Hyper-Change – by Phil Buckley

12. Reversible versus Irreversible Decisions – by Farnham Street

13. Three Maps to Innovation Success – by Robyn Bolton

14. Why Most Corporate Innovation Programs Fail (And How To Make Them Succeed) – by Greg Satell

15. The Paradox of Innovation Leadership – by Janet Sernack

16. Innovation Management ISO 56000 Series Explained – by Diana Porumboiu

17. An Introduction to Journey Maps – by Braden Kelley

18. Sprint Toward the Innovation Action – by Mike Shipulski

19. Marriott’s Approach to Customer Service – by Shep Hyken

20. Should a Bad Grade in Organic Chemistry be a Doctor Killer? – NYU Professor Fired for Giving Students Bad Grades – by Arlen Meyers, M.D.

21. How Networks Power Transformation – by Greg Satell

22. Are We Abandoning Science? – by Greg Satell

23. A Tipping Point for Organizational Culture – by Janet Sernack

24. Latest Interview with the What’s Next? Podcast – with Braden Kelley

25. Scale Your Innovation by Mapping Your Value Network – by John Bessant

26. Leveraging Emotional Intelligence in Change Leadership – by Art Inteligencia

27. Visual Project Charter™ – 35″ x 56″ (Poster Size) and JPG for Online Whiteboarding – by Braden Kelley

28. Unintended Consequences. The Hidden Risk of Fast-Paced Innovation – by Pete Foley

29. A Shortcut to Making Strategic Trade-Offs – by Geoffrey A. Moore

30. 95% of Work is Noise – by Mike Shipulski


Build a common language of innovation on your team


31. 8 Strategies to Future-Proofing Your Business & Gaining Competitive Advantage – by Teresa Spangler

32. The Nine Innovation Roles – by Braden Kelley

33. The Fail Fast Fallacy – by Rachel Audige

34. What is the Difference Between Signals and Trends? – by Art Inteligencia

35. A Top-Down Open Innovation Approach – by Geoffrey A. Moore

36. FutureHacking – Be Your Own Futurist – by Braden Kelley

37. Five Key Digital Transformation Barriers – by Howard Tiersky

38. The Malcolm Gladwell Trap – by Greg Satell

39. Four Characteristics of High Performing Teams – by David Burkus

40. ACMP Standard for Change Management® Visualization – 35″ x 56″ (Poster Size) – Association of Change Management Professionals – by Braden Kelley

41. 39 Digital Transformation Hacks – by Stefan Lindegaard

42. The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Future Employment – by Chateau G Pato

43. A Triumph of Artificial Intelligence Rhetoric – Understanding ChatGPT – by Geoffrey A. Moore

44. Imagination versus Knowledge – Is imagination really more important? – by Janet Sernack

45. A New Innovation Sphere – by Pete Foley

46. The Pyramid of Results, Motivation and Ability – Changing Outcomes, Changing Behavior – by Braden Kelley

47. Three HOW MIGHT WE Alternatives That Actually Spark Creative Ideas – by Robyn Bolton

48. Innovation vs. Invention vs. Creativity – by Braden Kelley

49. Where People Go Wrong with Minimum Viable Products – by Greg Satell

50. Will Artificial Intelligence Make Us Stupid? – by Shep Hyken


Accelerate your change and transformation success


51. A Global Perspective on Psychological Safety – by Stefan Lindegaard

52. Customer Service is a Team Sport – by Shep Hyken

53. Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2022 – Curated by Braden Kelley

54. A Flop is Not a Failure – by John Bessant

55. Generation AI Replacing Generation Z – by Braden Kelley

56. ‘Innovation’ is Killing Innovation. How Do We Save It? – by Robyn Bolton

57. Ten Ways to Make Time for Innovation – by Nick Jain

58. The Five Keys to Successful Change – by Braden Kelley

59. Back to Basics: The Innovation Alphabet – by Robyn Bolton

60. The Role of Stakeholder Analysis in Change Management – by Art Inteligencia

61. Will CHATgpt make us more or less innovative? – by Pete Foley

62. 99.7% of Innovation Processes Miss These 3 Essential Steps – by Robyn Bolton

63. Rethinking Customer Journeys – by Geoffrey A. Moore

64. Reasons Change Management Frequently Fails – by Greg Satell

65. The Experiment Canvas™ – 35″ x 56″ (Poster Size) – by Braden Kelley

66. AI Has Already Taken Over the World – by Braden Kelley

67. How to Lead Innovation and Embrace Innovative Leadership – by Diana Porumboiu

68. Five Questions All Leaders Should Always Be Asking – by David Burkus

69. Latest Innovation Management Research Revealed – by Braden Kelley

70. A Guide to Effective Brainstorming – by Diana Porumboiu

71. Unlocking the Power of Imagination – How Humans and AI Can Collaborate for Innovation and Creativity – by Teresa Spangler

72. Rise of the Prompt Engineer – by Art Inteligencia

73. Taking Care of Yourself is Not Impossible – by Mike Shipulski

74. Design Thinking Facilitator Guide – A Crash Course in the Basics – by Douglas Ferguson

75. What Have We Learned About Digital Transformation Thus Far? – by Geoffrey A. Moore

76. Building a Better Change Communication Plan – by Braden Kelley

77. How to Determine if Your Problem is Worth Solving – by Mike Shipulski

78. Increasing Organizational Agility – by Braden Kelley

79. Mystery of Stonehenge Solved – by Braden Kelley

80. Agility is the 2023 Success Factor – by Soren Kaplan


Get the Change Planning Toolkit


81. The Five Gifts of Uncertainty – by Robyn Bolton

82. 3 Innovation Types Not What You Think They Are – by Robyn Bolton

83. Using Limits to Become Limitless – by Rachel Audige

84. What Disruptive Innovation Really Is – by Geoffrey A. Moore

85. Today’s Customer Wants to Go Fast – by Shep Hyken

86. The 6 Building Blocks of Great Teams – by David Burkus

87. Unlock Hundreds of Ideas by Doing This One Thing – Inspired by Hollywood – by Robyn Bolton

88. Moneyball and the Beginning, Middle, and End of Innovation – by Robyn Bolton

89. There are Only 3 Reasons to Innovate – Which One is Yours? – by Robyn Bolton

90. A Shortcut to Making Strategic Trade-Offs – by Geoffrey A. Moore

91. Customer Experience Personified – by Braden Kelley

92. 3 Steps to a Truly Terrific Innovation Team – by Robyn Bolton

93. Building a Positive Team Culture – by David Burkus

94. Apple Watch Must Die – by Braden Kelley

95. Kickstarting Change and Innovation in Uncertain Times – by Janet Sernack

96. Take Charge of Your Mind to Reclaim Your Potential – by Janet Sernack

97. Psychological Safety, Growth Mindset and Difficult Conversations to Shape the Future – by Stefan Lindegaard

98. 10 Ways to Rock the Customer Experience In 2023 – by Shep Hyken

99. Artificial Intelligence is Forcing Us to Answer Some Very Human Questions – by Greg Satell

100. 23 Ways in 2023 to Create Amazing Experiences – by Shep Hyken

Curious which article just missed the cut? Well, here it is just for fun:

101. Why Business Strategies Should Not Be Scientific – by Greg Satell

These are the Top 100 innovation and transformation articles of 2023 based on the number of page views. If your favorite Human-Centered Change & Innovation article didn’t make the cut, then send a tweet to @innovate and maybe we’ll consider doing a People’s Choice List for 2023.

If you’re not familiar with Human-Centered Change & Innovation, we publish 1-6 new articles every week focused on human-centered change, innovation, transformation and design insights from our roster of contributing authors and ad hoc submissions from community members. Get the articles right in your Facebook feed or on Twitter or LinkedIn too!

Editor’s Note: Human-Centered Change & Innovation is open to contributions from any and all the innovation & transformation professionals out there (practitioners, professors, researchers, consultants, authors, etc.) who have a valuable insight to share with everyone for the greater good. If you’d like to contribute, contact us.

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5 Essential Customer Experience Tools to Master

5 Essential Customer Experience Tools to Master

by Braden Kelley

There are so many different tools that customer experience (CX) professionals can use to identify improvement possibilities, that it can be quite overwhelming. Because CX is a human-centered discipline, it doesn’t require a lot of fancy software to do it well. Mastering these five (5) tools will help you and your customers:

1. Customer Research

Go beyond surveys and purely quantitative measures to include qualitative research that helps you uncover:

  • The jobs your customers are trying to get done
  • Insights across acquisition, usage and disposal
  • Their most frequently used interfaces
  • Their most frequent interactions
  • Where customers diverge from each other on these points

2. Customer Personas (Go beyond the demographics!)

  • Include THEIR business goals
  • What they need from the company
  • How they behave
  • Pain points
  • One or two key characteristics important for your situation (how they buy, technology they use, etc.)
  • What shapes their expectations of the company

3. Customer Journey Maps

  • Make sure you map not only the customer touchpoints and pain points, but any points where lingering actually creates value. Focus each journey map on a single customer persona.

4. Service Design Blueprints

  • Uncover the hidden layers of a service’s true potential. Service design blueprints can become a visionary force to steer the course of exceptional customer experiences. Weave a masterful tapestry of intricate details into a big picture that creates a clarity of execution.

5. Customer Experience Metrics

  • Every customer experience (CX) leadership team must decide how to measure changes in the quality of their customer experience over time. This could be customer churn, first-contact resolution, word-of-mouth, CSAT, customer effort (CES), or whatever makes sense for you.

Conclusion

The right set of customer experience (CX) tools will enable you to create a shared vision of what a better customer experience could look like and empower you to make the decisions necessary to create the changes that will realize the improvements you seek.

Great customer experience tools will also help you identify:

  • The moments that matter most
  • The tasks your employees need the most help with
  • The information, interactions and interfaces that are most important to your customers
  • Where different customer personas are the same and where you need to invest in accommodating their differences
  • How to efficiently prioritize your CX improvement investments

Let us help you supercharge your customer experience!

Reach out to us at:

https://www.hcltech.com/contact-us/customer

Download the Customer Experience Tools Flipbook

Image credit: Unsplash

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Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2023

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2023After a week 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 2023:

  1. Robyn Bolton
    Robyn BoltonRobyn M. Bolton works with leaders of mid and large sized companies to use innovation to repeatably and sustainably grow their businesses.

  2. Janet Sernack
    Janet SernackJanet Sernack is the Founder and CEO of ImagineNation™ which provides innovation consulting services to help organizations adapt, innovate and grow through disruption by challenging businesses to be, think and act differently to co-create a world where people matter & innovation is the norm.

  3. Greg Satell
    Greg SatellGreg Satell is a popular speaker and consultant. His first book, Mapping Innovation: A Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age, was selected as one of the best business books in 2017. Follow his blog at Digital Tonto or on Twitter @Digital Tonto.

  4. 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.

  5. Braden Kelley
    Braden KelleyBraden Kelley is a Human-Centered Experience, Innovation and Transformation consultant at HCL Technologies, a popular innovation speaker, workshop leader, and creator of the Human-Centered Change™ methodology. He is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons and Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan. Follow him on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

  6. John Bessant
    John BessantJohn Bessant has been active in research, teaching, and consulting in technology and innovation management for over 25 years. Today, he is Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Research Director, at Exeter University. In 2003, he was awarded a Fellowship with the Advanced Institute for Management Research and was also elected a Fellow of the British Academy of Management. He has acted as advisor to various national governments and international bodies including the United Nations, The World Bank, and the OECD. John has authored many books including Managing innovation and High Involvement Innovation (Wiley). Follow @johnbessant

  7. Pete Foley
    A twenty-five year Procter & Gamble veteran, Pete has spent the last 8+ years applying insights from psychology and behavioral science to innovation, product design, and brand communication. He spent 17 years as a serial innovator, creating novel products, perfume delivery systems, cleaning technologies, devices and many other consumer-centric innovations, resulting in well over 100 granted or published patents. Find him at pete.mindmatters@gmail.com

  8. Geoffrey A. Moore
    Geoffrey MooreGeoffrey A. Moore is an author, speaker and business advisor to many of the leading companies in the high-tech sector, including Cisco, Cognizant, Compuware, HP, Microsoft, SAP, and Yahoo! Best known for Crossing the Chasm and Zone to Win with the latest book being The Infinite Staircase. Partner at Wildcat Venture Partners. Chairman Emeritus Chasm Group & Chasm Institute

  9. David Burkus
    David BurkusDr. David Burkus is an organizational psychologist and best-selling author. Recognized as one of the world’s leading business thinkers, his forward-thinking ideas and books are helping leaders and teams do their best work ever. David is the author of five books about business and leadership and he’s been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, CNN, the BBC, NPR, and more. A former business school professor turned sought-after international speaker, he’s worked with organizations of all sizes and across all industries.

  10. Shep Hyken
    Shep HykenShep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times, bestselling business author. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs, go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

  11. Build a common language of innovation on your team


  12. Howard Tiersky
    Howard TierskyHoward Tiersky is an inspiring and passionate speaker, the Founder and CEO of FROM, The Digital Transformation Agency, innovation consultant, serial entrepreneur, and the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Winning Digital Customers: The Antidote to Irrelevance. IDG named him one of the “10 Digital Transformation Influencers to Follow Today”, and Enterprise Management 360 named Howard “One of the Top 10 Digital Transformation Influencers That Will Change Your World.”

  13. Dennis Stauffer
    Dennis StaufferDennis Stauffer is an author, independent researcher, and expert on personal innovativeness. He is the founder of Innovator Mindset LLC which helps individuals, teams, and organizations enhance and accelerate innovation success. by shifting mindset. Follow @DennisStauffer

  14. Stefan Lindegaard
    Stefan LindegaardStefan Lindegaard is an author, speaker and strategic advisor. His work focuses on corporate transformation based on disruption, digitalization and innovation in large corporations, government organizations and smaller companies. Stefan believes that business today requires an open and global perspective, and his work takes him to Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia.

  15. Douglas Ferguson
    Douglas FergusonDouglas Ferguson is an entrepreneur and human-centered technologist. He is the founder and president of Voltage Control, an Austin-based change agency that helps enterprises spark, accelerate, and sustain innovation. He specializes in helping teams work better together through participatory decision making and design inspired facilitation techniques.

  16. Teresa Spangler
    Teresa SpanglerTeresa Spangler is the CEO of PlazaBridge Group has been a driving force behind innovation and growth for more than 30 years. Today, she wears multiple hats as a social entrepreneur, innovation expert, growth strategist, author and speaker (not to mention mother, wife, band-leader and so much more). She is especially passionate about helping CEOs understand and value the role human capital plays in innovation, and the impact that innovation has on humanity; in our ever-increasing artificial/cyber world.

  17. Soren Kaplan
    Soren KaplanSoren Kaplan is the bestselling and award-winning author of Leapfrogging and The Invisible Advantage, an affiliated professor at USC’s Center for Effective Organizations, a former corporate executive, and a co-founder of UpBOARD. He has been recognized by the Thinkers50 as one of the world’s top keynote speakers and thought leaders in business strategy and innovation.

  18. Steve Blank
    Steve BlankSteve Blank is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford and Senior Fellow for Innovation at Columbia University. He has been described as the Father of Modern Entrepreneurship, credited with launching the Lean Startup movement that changed how startups are built; how entrepreneurship is taught; how science is commercialized, and how companies and the government innovate.

  19. Diana Porumboiu
    Diana PorumboiuDiana heads marketing at Viima, the most widely used and highest rated innovation management software in the world, and has a passion for innovation, and for genuine, valuable content that creates long-lasting impact. Her combination of creativity, strategic thinking and curiosity has helped organisations grow their online presence through strategic campaigns, community management and engaging content.

  20. Robert B Tucker
    Robert TuckerRobert B. Tucker is the President of The Innovation Resource Consulting Group. He is a speaker, seminar leader and an expert in the management of innovation and assisting companies in accelerating ideas to market.

  21. Dainora Jociute
    Dainora JociuteDainora (a.k.a. Dee) creates customer-centric content at Viima. Viima is the most widely used and highest rated innovation management software in the world. Passionate about environmental issues, Dee writes about sustainable innovation hoping to save the world – one article at the time.

  22. Accelerate your change and transformation success


  23. Arlen Meyers
    Arlen MyersArlen Meyers, MD, MBA is an emeritus professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, an instructor at the University of Colorado-Denver Business School and cofounding President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org. Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ameyers/

  24. Ayelet Baron
    Ayelet BaronAyelet Baron is a pioneering futurist reminding us we are powerful creators through award winning books, daily blog and thinking of what is possible. Former global tech executive who sees trust, relationships and community as our building blocks to a healthy world.

  25. Leo Chan
    Leo ChanLeo is the founder of Abound Innovation Inc. He’s a people and heart-first entrepreneur who believes everyone can be an innovator. An innovator himself, with 55 US patents and over 20 years of experience, Leo has come alongside organizations like Chick-fil-A and guided them to unleash the innovative potential of their employees by transforming them into confident innovators.

  26. Rachel Audige
    Rachel AudigeRachel Audige is an Innovation Architect who helps organisations embed inventive thinking as well as a certified Systematic Inventive Thinking Facilitator, based in Melbourne.

  27. Art Inteligencia
    Art InteligenciaArt Inteligencia is the lead futurist at Inteligencia Ltd. He is passionate about content creation and thinks about it as more science than art. Art travels the world at the speed of light, over mountains and under oceans. His favorite numbers are one and zero.

  28. Paul Sloane
    Paul SloanePaul Sloane writes, speaks and leads workshops on creativity, innovation and leadership. He is the author of The Innovative Leader and editor of A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing, both published by Kogan-Page.

  29. Phil McKinney
    Phil McKinneyPhil McKinney is the Author of “Beyond The Obvious”​, Host of the Killer Innovations Podcast and Syndicated Radio Show, a Keynote Speaker, President & CEO CableLabs and an Innovation Mentor and Coach.

  30. Ralph Christian Ohr
    Ralph OhrDr. Ralph-Christian Ohr has extensive experience in product/innovation management for international technology-based companies. His particular interest is targeted at the intersection of organizational and human innovation capabilities. You can follow him on Twitter @Ralph_Ohr.

  31. Jeffrey Phillips
    Jeffrey Phillips has over 15 years of experience leading innovation in Fortune 500 companies, federal government agencies and non-profits. He is experienced in innovation strategy, defining and implementing front end processes, tools and teams and leading innovation projects. He is the author of Relentless Innovation and OutManeuver. Jeffrey writes the popular Innovate on Purpose blog. Follow him @ovoinnovation

  32. Dean and Linda Anderson
    Dean and Linda AndersonDr. Dean Anderson and Dr. Linda Ackerman Anderson lead BeingFirst, a consultancy focused on educating the marketplace about what’s possible in personal, organizational and community transformation and how to achieve them. Each has been advising clients and training professionals for more than 40 years.

  33. Get the Change Planning Toolkit


  34. Shilpi Kumar
    Shilpi KumarShilpi Kumar an inquisitive researcher, designer, strategist and an educator with over 15 years of experience, who truly believes that we can design a better world by understanding human behavior. I work with organizations to identify strategic opportunities and offer user-centric solutions.

  35. Scott Anthony
    Scott AnthonyScott Anthony is a strategic advisor, writer and speaker on topics of growth and innovation. He has been based in Singapore since 2010, and currently serves at the Managing Director of Innosight’s Asia-Pacific operations.

  36. Anthony Mills
    Anthony MillsAnthony Mills is the Founder & CEO of Legacy Innovation Group (www.legacyinnova.com), a world-leading strategic innovation consulting firm working with organizations all over the world. Anthony is also the Executive Director of GInI – Global Innovation Institute (www.gini.org), the world’s foremost certification, accreditation, and membership organization in the field of innovation. Anthony has advised leaders from around the world on how to successfully drive long-term growth and resilience through new innovation. Learn more at www.anthonymills.com. Anthony can be reached directly at anthony@anthonymills.com.

  37. 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. Follow @paul4innovating

  38. Jorge Barba
    Jorge BarbaJorge Barba is a strategist and entrepreneur, who helps companies build new puzzles using human skills. He is a global Innovation Insurgent and author of the innovation blog www.Game-Changer.net

  39. Chateau G Pato
    Chateau G PatoChateau G Pato is a senior futurist at Inteligencia Ltd. She is passionate about content creation and thinks about it as more science than art. Chateau travels the world at the speed of light, over mountains and under oceans. Her favorite numbers are one and zero.

  40. Jesse Nieminen
    Jesse NieminenJesse Nieminen is the Co-founder and Chairman at Viima, the best way to collect and develop ideas. Viima’s innovation management software is already loved by thousands of organizations all the way to the Global Fortune 500. He’s passionate about helping leaders drive innovation in their organizations and frequently writes on the topic, usually in Viima’s blog.

  41. Alain Thys
    Alain ThysAs an experience architect, Alain helps leaders craft customer, employee and shareholder experiences for profit, reinvention and transformation. He does this through his personal consultancy Alain Thys & Co as well as the transformative venture studio Agents of A.W.E. Together with his teams, Alain has influenced the experience of over 500 million customers and 350,000 employees. Follow his blog or connect on Linkedin.

  42. Bruce Fairley
    Bruce FairleyBruce Fairley is the CEO and Founder of The Narrative Group, a firm dedicated to helping C-Suite executives build enterprise value. Through smart, human-powered digital transformation, Bruce optimizes the business-technology relationship. His innovative profit over pitfalls approach and customized programs are part of Bruce’s mission to build sustainable ‘best-future’ outcomes for visionary leaders. Having spearheaded large scale change initiatives across four continents, he and his skilled, diverse team elevate process, culture, and the bottom line for medium to large firms worldwide.

  43. Tom Stafford
    Tom StaffordTom Stafford studies learning and decision making. His main focus is the movement system – the idea being that if we can understand the intelligence of simple actions we will have an excellent handle on intelligence more generally. His research looks at simple decision making, and simple skill learning, using measures of behaviour informed by the computational, robotics and neuroscience work done in the wider group.

If your favorite didn’t make the list, then next year try to rally more votes for them or convince them to increase the quality and quantity of their contributions.

Our lists from the ten previous years have been tremendously popular, including:

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2015
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2016
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2017
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2018
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2019
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2021
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2022

Download PDF versions of the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020, 2021 and 2022 lists here:


Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020 PDF . . . Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2021

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2022 . . . Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2023

Happy New Year everyone!

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Top 10 Thanksgiving Innovations of All Time

According to OpenAI, ChatGPT, and Tom the Turkey

Top 10 Thanksgiving Innovations of All Time

by Braden Kelley

Call me crazy, but I’ve always been a big believer in fun as a key component to the successful pursuit of innovation.

In the spirit of this belief and to celebrate this year’s Thanksgiving Holiday I thought I would ask OpenAI to make a list of the top ten Thanksgiving innovations of all time because I honestly have no idea what to put on such a list. So, in honor of the holiday, here is what it came up with:

1. Turkey Fryer: The invention of the turkey fryer revolutionized Thanksgiving cooking, providing a faster and delicious alternative to traditional roasting methods.

2. Canned Cranberry Sauce: The introduction of canned cranberry sauce made it easier to serve this beloved Thanksgiving side dish, eliminating the need to cook fresh cranberries.

3. Instant Pot: This versatile kitchen appliance has made Thanksgiving meal preparation much quicker and hassle-free, reducing cooking time for dishes like mashed potatoes and soups.

4. Green Bean Casserole: Created in 1955 by a staff member of Campbell Soup Company, the green bean casserole quickly became a Thanksgiving staple, providing a tasty and easy-to-make side dish.

5. Thanksgiving Parades: Starting with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, Thanksgiving parades have become a cherished tradition, bringing joy and entertainment to families across the country.

6. Stuffing Mixes: Pre-packaged stuffing mixes have made it simpler to prepare the traditional stuffing, saving time and effort while still delivering the traditional flavors.

7. Pumpkin Pie Filling: Canned pumpkin pie filling has made it convenient for home cooks to make the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert, allowing everyone to enjoy a delicious pumpkin pie without the hassle of preparing fresh puree.

8. Thanksgiving Football: Thanksgiving football games have been a long-standing tradition for many families, providing entertainment and friendly competition after the big feast.

9. Online Recipe Resources: The availability of online recipe resources has made it easier than ever to find new and creative recipes for Thanksgiving dishes, expanding our culinary horizons and inspiring unique menu ideas.

10. Pop-Up Turkey Timer: This simple but effective innovation takes the guesswork out of roasting a turkey by indicating when it is done, ensuring a perfectly cooked bird.

Maybe I have been living in a cave, but I had never heard of Instant Pot so I had to Bing it. ChatGPT also suggested “Thanksgiving Themed Decor” which I thought was a bad suggestion, so I asked it for three more options to replace that one and ended up swapping it out for the beloved “Pop-Up Turkey Timer.”

I hope you enjoyed the list, have great holiday festivities (however you choose to celebrate) and finally – I am grateful for all of you!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving innovation that you’ve seen or experienced recently?

SPECIAL BONUS: My publisher is having a Thanksgiving sale that will allow you to get the hardcover or the digital version (eBook) of my latest best-selling book Charting Change for 55% off using code CYB23 only until November 30, 2023!

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Simple Innovations Sometimes Are the Best

Simple Innovations Sometimes Are the Best

by Braden Kelley

Innovations don’t have to be complicated to be impactful. They just need to deliver enough additional value that existing solutions become widely replaced, or flipped around, for the new solution to be widely adopted.

Recently I have been seeing a new simple, yet elegant, solution driving around the streets of Seattle.

It’s pictured in the photo above and it is quite simply the delivery of a temporary license for a newly purchased vehicle that can be printed and installed in a license plate holder in the same way that the eventual traditional license plate will be.

Now, perhaps your state or country already has this, but for me, every vehicle I have ever purchased was instantly defiled by a piece of paper and tape or tape residue that could be difficult remove after a couple months baking in the sun (especially in the summer).

This instant cheapening of a brand new vehicle is now a thing of the past!

Some may say that this is not really that big of a deal because you’re just moving the temporary registration from the back window to now live in the license plate frame, but there are several tangible benefits for multiple parties from this seemingly small change:

  1. Car Owner – improved aesthetics – the car just looks better!
  2. Car Owner – improved safety from increased visibility while driving
  3. State and Car Owner – increased toll revenue so everyone is paying their fair share
  4. Car Owner – improved safety – easier to identify hit and run drivers
  5. Police – improved safety – easier to identify vehicle during traffic stops
  6. Car Owner – improved convenience – easier to quickly find license number when it’s requested

What is your favorite simple innovation that you’ve seen or experienced recently?

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