Category Archives: Design

Think Outside Which Box?

Think Outside Which Box?

GUEST POST from Howard Tiersky

We’ve all said it. We need to think “outside the box.”

But what is this box-like barrier that would otherwise constrain our thinking, and how do we move beyond it?

At FROM, we use our custom-built workshop space, Innovation Loft, to help teams from some of the largest brands in the world move beyond that metaphorical box to create new products, processes or entire businesses. We’ve spent a lot of time studying the barriers that limit individual or team thinking, and testing methods to break free of those barriers.

Through our work, we’ve discovered there isn’t just a single box. Instead, there are four nested barriers that can limit thinking.

  1. HABIT
  2. BELIEF
  3. IDENTITY
  4. IMAGINATION

You can use a variety of different techniques that you can apply to help get past each box, but they differ, depending on which box you’re focused on.

BOX ONE: HABIT

People constrained by habit are best described by the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” This box exists because it’s our comfort zone – where we know what works. But the uncharted territory is where much of the treasure lies!

Overcoming the Limits of Habit

How do you move teams beyond habit? One way is to explore ‘stretch-goals,’ or goals well beyond what’s possible with your current method of doing business. For example, if your manufacturing process takes 90 minutes to produce a carton of ice cream, conduct an exercise to brainstorm how you could produce that same carton in only 5 minutes. This type of exercise requires completely different thinking about the entire manufacturing process. It might not actually be practical or cost-effective to make the cartons in 5 minutes, but the process of thinking about how it could be done is one way to explore what lies beyond the box of habit.

BOX TWO: BELIEF

Even when we’re ready to move past habit and try something new, there’s another box that constrains what we believe will work or are capable of accomplishing. In corporate environments, the box of belief is epitomized by statements like, “We tried that before and it didn’t work,” or “We can’t compete in that space.”
Whether these beliefs are true or not, they’re often over-generalized or stated in absolute terms. Take, “We can’t compete in that space.” It may not be wise to compete in that space, but is it really impossible? By staying in the box of belief, you could be dismissing possible opportunities.

Overcoming the Limits of Belief

To tackle the barrier of belief, use an exercise that sorts beliefs from facts. Underlying facts are helpful, but the beliefs associated with them can be limiting. If you chose to pursue a certain goal, how would you move past the facts? If it’s not that you can’t compete, but that there are barriers to doing so, what are they and how might you get past them? Ultimately, you want ideas for clearing each obstacle, so you can evaluate if it makes sense to proceed.

BOX THREE: IDENTITY

Even when we’re willing to change and believe certain things are possible, we can remain stuck inside of a box of our own identity. This box is best characterized by statements like, ‘We don’t do that at this company,” or “That wouldn’t be consistent with our brand.”

Overcoming the Limits of Identity

First things first: It’s valuable to have an identity, and to have a brand that customers know stands for something. However, getting past a belief barrier doesn’t necessarily mean acting outside the box, but just to think outside the box. Identities need to grow and change over time, and can’t do that if you never consider possibilities beyond your current identity. (e.g., Apple used to be called ‘Apple Computer,’ but now they make more money from phones and are known as simply ‘Apple.’)

To temporarily think outside your current identity, play the ‘What Would Company X Do?” game. Give separate teams one company or entity, and have them look at the problem at hand in the way that organization might. Apple, the Marines, Starbucks, and Disney are good companies to use as models, as they’re all successful entities with very different identities and ways of solving problems. Viewing your company’s problems or opportunities through the lens of another company can yield interesting, new ideas. If some of the ideas aren’t a good fit, that’s ok! In ideation, we’re mining for gold, so a large quantity of sand and pebbles in the pan is not an indicator of failure – it’s the number of gold nuggets that indicate success.

BOX FOUR: IMAGINATION

Ideas beyond the box of imagination aren’t even a blip on the radar, or even in the realm of our thinking. We don’t consider them outside our beliefs, or inconsistent with our identity because we don’t consider them at all.

Overcoming the Limits of Imagination

What we can imagine comes from a combination of our experiences, plus an ability to take those experiences and combine them in novel ways. To stimulate imagination, it’s important to define a clear goal for your team, and encourage them to share and explore past experiences that may be relevant to that goal. If you want to increase customer loyalty, have your team review experiences that have affected their loyalty to other products and services. Then, expose them to new ideas and knowledge – things like competitive case studies, trends or technologies that might be part of a solution to the problem. When teams have a greater range of experiences to draw from, they can start to imagine possibilities that they didn’t previously have the “raw materials” to form.

It’s fantastic to have an identity, beliefs, and habits. All these aspects of our personality serve us in various situations. But it’s also valuable to be able to temporarily turn these psychological limits off in the context of exploratory ideation. You never know what’s out there, and you can enrich your value proposition, your brand and even yourself by embracing the freedom to explore what lies beyond. Then, you can decide for yourself whether or not to expand the box!

This article originally appeared on the Howard Tiersky blog
Image Credits: Pexels

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Problems are Required for Progress to Occur

Problems are Required for Progress to Occur

GUEST POST from Mike Shipulski

Without a problem, there can be no progress.
And only after there’s too much no progress is a problem is created.
And once the problem is created, there can be progress.

When you know there’s a problem just over the horizon, you have a problem.
Your problem is that no one else sees the future problem, so they don’t have a problem.
And because they have no problem, there can be no progress.
Progress starts only after the calendar catches up to the problem.

When someone doesn’t think they have a problem, they have two problems.
Their first problem is the one they don’t see, and their second is that they don’t see it.
But before they can solve the first problem, they must solve the second.
And that’s usually a problem.

When someone hands you their problem, that’s a problem.
But if you don’t accept it, it’s still their problem.
And that’s a problem, for them.

When you try to solve every problem, that’s a problem.
Some problems aren’t worth solving.
And some don’t need to be solved yet.
And some solve themselves.
And some were never really problems at all.

When you don’t understand your problem, you have two problems.
Your first is the problem you have and your second is that you don’t know what your problem by name.
And you’ve got to solve the second before the first, which can be a problem.

With a big problem comes big attention. And that’s a problem.
With big attention comes a strong desire to demonstrate rapid progress. And that’s a problem.
And because progress comes slowly, fervent activity starts immediately. And that’s a problem.
And because there’s no time to waste, there’s no time to define the right problems to solve.

And there’s no bigger problem than solving the wrong problems.

Image credit: Pexels

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Derision Means You’re Doing It Right

Derision Means You're Doing It Right

GUEST POST from Mike Shipulski

When you see good work, say so.

When you see exceptional work, say so in public.

When you’ve had good teachers, be thankful.

When you’ve had exceptional teachers, send them a text because texts are personal.

When you do great work and no one acknowledges it, take some time to feel the pain and get back to work.

When you do great work and no one acknowledges it, take more time to feel the pain and get back to work.

When you’ve done great work, tell your family.

When you’ve done exceptional work, tell them twice.

When you do the work no one is asking for, remember your time horizon is longer than theirs.

When you do the work that threatens the successful business model, despite the anguish it creates, keep going.

When they’re not telling you to stop, try harder.

When they’re telling you to stop it’s because your work threatens. Stomp on the accelerator.

When you can’t do a project because the ROI is insufficient, that’s fine.

When no one can calculate an ROI because no one can imagine a return, that’s better.

When you give a little ground on what worked, you can improve other dimensions of goodness.

When you outlaw what worked, you can create new market segments.

When everyone understands why you’re doing it, your work may lead to something good.

When no one understands why you’re doing it, your work may reinvent the industry.

When you do new work, don’t listen to the critics. Do it despite them.

When you do work that threatens, you will be misunderstood. That’s a sign you’re on to something.

When you want credit for the work, you can’t do amazing work.

When you don’t need credit for the work, it opens up design space where the amazing work lives.

When your work makes waves, that’s nice.

When your work creates a tsunami, that’s better.

When you’re willing to forget what got you here, you can create what could be.

When you’re willing to disrespect what got you here, you can create what couldn’t be.

When your work is ignored, at least you’re doing something different.

When you and your work are derided, you’re doing it right.

Image credit: Pexels

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Technical, Market and Emotional Risks

Technical, Market and Emotional Risks

GUEST POST from Mike Shipulski

Technical risk – Will it work?
Market risk – Will they buy it?
Emotional risk – Will people laugh at your crazy idea?

Technical risk – Test it in the lab.
Market risk – Test it with the customer.
Emotional risk – Try it with a friend.

Technical risk – Define the right test.
Market risk – Define the right customer.
Emotional risk – Define the right friend.

Technical risk – Define the minimum acceptable performance criteria.
Market risk – Define the minimum acceptable response from the customer.
Emotional risk – Define the minimum acceptable criticism from your friend.

Technical risk – Can you manufacture it?
Market risk – Can you sell it?
Emotional risk – Can you act on your crazy idea?

Technical risk – How sure are you that you can manufacture it?
Market risk – How sure are you that you can sell it?
Emotional risk – How sure are you that you can act on your crazy idea?

Technical risk – When the VP says it can’t be manufactured, what do you do?
Market risk – When the VP says it can’t be sold, what do you do?
Emotional risk – When the VP says your idea is too crazy, what do you do?

Technical risk – When you knew the technical risk was too high, what did you do?
Market risk – When you knew the market risk was too high, what did you do?
Emotional risk – When you knew someone’s emotional risk was going to be too high, what did you do?

Technical risk – Can you teach others to reduce technical risk? How about increasing it?
Market risk – Can you teach others to reduce market risk? How about increasing it?
Emotional risk – Can you teach others to reduce emotional risk? How about increasing it?

Technical risk – What does it look like when technical risk is too low? And the consequences?
Market risk – What does it look like when market risk is too low? And the consequences?
Emotional risk – What does it look like when emotional risk is too low? And the consequences?

We are most aware of technical risk and spend most of our time trying to reduce it. We have the mindset and toolset to reduce it. We know how to do it. But we were not taught to recognize when technical risk is too low. And if we do recognize it’s too low, we don’t know how to articulate the negative consequences. With all this said, market risk is far more dangerous.

We’re unfamiliar with the toolset and mindset to reduce market risk. Where we can change the design, run the test, and reduce technical risk, market risk is not like that. It’s difficult to understand what drives the customers’ buying decision and it’s difficult to directly (and quickly) change their buying decision. In short, it’s difficult to know what to change so they make a different buying decision. And if they don’t buy, you don’t sell. And that’s a big problem. With that said, emotional risk is far more debilitating.

When a culture creates high emotional risk, people keep their best ideas to themselves. They don’t want to be laughed at or ridiculed, so their best ideas don’t see the light of day. The result is a collection of wonderful ideas known only to the underground Trust Network. A culture that creates high emotional risk has insufficient technical and market risk because everyone is afraid of the consequences of doing something new and different. The result – the company with high emotional risk follows the same old script and does what it did last time. And this works well, right up until it doesn’t.

Here’s a three-pronged approach that may help.

  1. Continue to reduce technical risk.
  2. Learn to reduce market risk early in a project.
  3. And behave in a way that reduces emotional risk so you’ll have the opportunity to reduce technical and market risk.

Image credit: Unsplash

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The Remarkable Power of Negative Feedback

The Remarkable Power of Negative Feedback

GUEST POST from Dennis Stauffer

The most effective innovators—entrepreneurs, scientists, new product developers, and advocates of social change—are adept at seeking feedback. But not just any feedback. They look for a particular type of feedback that may surprise you. They actively seek negative feedback, feedback that tells them when they’re wrong.

That probably sounds counterintuitive. Who goes around wanting to fail? The whole field of positive psychology has convinced many of us that to be successful, we need confidence and plenty of positive reinforcement. There’s some truth to that. Entrepreneurs understandably want their businesses to be successful. Scientists don’t win many awards for failed theories.

But deficits matter. One crucial flaw can torpedo the best of ideas. In the real world there are always many things that can go wrong. Figuring out what those shortcomings are can save you a lot of time and wasted effort. Negative feedback tells you when the strategy you’ve chosen isn’t working, so you can adjust, either by overcoming some obstacle, or adopting a different strategy.

Seeking only positive feedback predisposes you to confirmation bias, when you tend to see what you expect, or hope will happen. It feels good, but it may not be telling you what you most need to know, to be at your best. Savvy investors—and my own research—have found that those innovators and entrepreneurs who most actively seek negative feedback, create by far the greatest value.

Almost any feedback is better than none. You need feedback to get a clear take on the realities you face, so you can respond effectively. But only seeking positive feedback ultimately fosters false-confidence and insecurities. It’s always looking for validation and simply wanting to be right.

Negative feedback can be humbling, but you can build confidence in your ability to respond to setbacks and failures, rather than pretending they aren’t there. Accomplished innovators can handle the bad news because they’ve done it many times before. When you’re trying to bring change, it comes with the territory—and it’s always an opportunity to practice being creative and resourceful.

The next time you face some challenge, hoping for success is understandable, but the best way to make sure that success is real is to look for indications that what you’re doing isn’t working. 

That’s the fastest way to make sure it is working.

View this post as a video here:

Image Credit: Pixabay

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5 Innovation Leadership Lessons That Go Beyond “Yes, And”

5 Innovation Leadership Lessons That Go Beyond Yes And

GUEST POST from Robyn Bolton

“Yes, and….”

You know it.  You love it.  You may even use it.

The phrase is a core principle of improv that has become the “magic” brainstorming phrase.  On stage, it encourages acceptance and collaboration, and in innovation, it quiets the critics (“No, because”), one-uppers (“No, but”), and passive-aggressive show-offs (“Yes, but”).

And there are other core Improv principles that will help you lead your team to innovation success.

You probably know them.  You may or may not love them.  And you definitely need to use them.

1. Be human

As Alla Weinberg pointed out in our conversation about Psychological Safety, “People are messy.”  YOU are a person (I assume), meaning YOU are messy.  And that’s ok because guess what?  Your boss, team, and even that super annoying person in (fill in the function) are people, meaning they’re messy. 

Improv embraces the mess.  When someone says the wrong thing, something unexpected happens, or everything goes wrong, the actors don’t stand around, point fingers, and complain.  They embrace the opportunity to step into the scene, support their fellow actor, and move things forward. Plus, as Coach Beard says, “Perfection sucks.  Perfect is boring.”

2. Connect

Building genuine and authentic relationships is central to building Psychological Safety.  It’s also central to great Improv.  Consider this example:

If two performers come on stage and only talk about the muffins they are baking, it’s going to be a boring scene. The audience doesn’t care about the muffins! What they really want to know is how these characters feel, especially about each other. Is one character sad because her daughter is about to go off to college, and she will miss spending time with her? Or is the other character fearful because she will have to navigate adulthood without her mom nearby? If the scene doesn’t focus on the relationship, it isn’t going very far. In order to connect well in the scene, improvisers must be attuned to one another.

If all you do as a leader is talk about your calendar, your To-do list, and deadlines, people aren’t going to care about the work.  They’ll do the work because that’s what you pay them to do.  But they won’t care enough to problem-solve (they’ll ask you for the solution), suggest improvements (they’ll do what you ask), or develop new ideas (they’ll wait for your orders).  As a leader, you need to connect to create. That applies to creating solutions, new businesses, and the next generation of leaders.

3. Actively Listen

Active listening isn’t just about nodding your head while someone else speaks. Active listening requires giving full attention to the speaker, letting go of judgment, and understanding their point of view.  You don’t have to agree with what they’re saying, but you do have to understand and respond to it.

Actively listening, understanding, and responding are essential to Improv.  When an actor does something completely unexpected, their fellow actors can’t ignore it because that will destroy the show.  They respond to it and build on it.  After all, you shouldn’t say “Yes and” if you don’t know what you’re saying yes to.

4. Pivot

Pivoting is hard.  It’s hard to admit something isn’t working, and often harder to figure out what will work while you’re in the middle of doing the thing that doesn’t work.  And that’s what Improv actors have to do all the time.  You may not notice because it looks easy.  But it only looks easy because they practice all the time.

Flexibility, adaptability, and the ability to change quickly are all skills that can be developed.  But you must practice.  Some people are naturally more comfortable making changes, but everyone can learn skills and tools to recognize when a change in direction is required and quickly sort through the options to find the next best option.

5. Have fun

Improv is hard work, and it’s fun.  Innovation is hard work and (it should be) fun.  We spend too much time at work and with our colleagues to not have fun, laugh, or enjoy ourselves.  Work will never be all rainbows and unicorns, just like not every Improv sketch will be hilarious.  But there must be moments of fun, laughter, and joy because you can’t create or innovate when you’re overwhelmed, downtrodden, or burned out.

As Jeff Ash, Director of Westside Improv, explains:

“Play unlocks the creative spirit that we all have. When people lose a creative spirit and get engulfed in whatever they’re doing in their day-to-day lives, I believe it impacts our ability to connect, build relationships, and be in community.”

What are other lessons we can learn from Improv?

Image credit: Dall-E via Bing

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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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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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Voting Closed – Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2023

Vote for Top 40 Innovation BloggersHappy Holidays!

For more than a decade I’ve devoted myself to making innovation insights accessible for the greater good, because I truly believe that the better our organizations get at delivering value to their stakeholders the less waste of natural resources and human resources there will be.

As a result, we are eternally grateful to all of you out there who take the time to create and share great innovation articles, presentations, white papers, and videos with Braden Kelley and the Human-Centered Change and Innovation team. As a small thank you to those of you who follow along, we like to make a list of the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers available each year!

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

Do you just have someone that you like to read that writes about innovation, or some of the important adjacencies – trends, consumer psychology, change, leadership, strategy, behavioral economics, collaboration, or design thinking?

Human-Centered Change and Innovation is now looking to recognize the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2023.

It is time to vote and help us narrow things down.

The deadline for submitting votes is December 31, 2023 at midnight GMT.

Build a Common Language of Innovation on your team

The ranking will be done by me with influence from votes and nominations. The quality and quantity of contributions to this web site by an author will be a BIG contributing factor (through the end of the voting period).

You can vote in any of these three ways (and each earns points for them, so please feel free to vote all three ways):

  1. Sending us the name of the blogger by @reply on twitter to @innovate
  2. Adding the name of the blogger as a comment to this article’s posting on Facebook
  3. Adding the name of the blogger as a comment to this article’s posting on our Linkedin Page (Be sure and follow us)

The official Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2023 will then be announced here in early January 2024.

Here are the people who received nominations this year along with some carryover recommendations (in alphabetical order):

Adi Gaskell – @adigaskell
Alain Thys
Alex Goryachev
Andy Heikkila – @AndyO_TheHammer
Annette Franz
Arlen Meyers – @sopeofficial
Art Inteligencia
Ayelet Baron
Braden Kelley – @innovate
Brian Miller
Bruce Fairley
Chad McAllister – @ChadMcAllister
Chateau G Pato
Chris Beswick
Chris Rollins
Dr. Detlef Reis
Dainora Jociute
Dan Blacharski – @Dan_Blacharski
Daniel Burrus – @DanielBurrus
Daniel Lock
David Burkus
Dean and Linda Anderson
Dennis Stauffer
Diana Porumboiu
Douglas Ferguson
Drew Boyd – @DrewBoyd
Frank Mattes – @FrankMattes
Geoffrey A Moore
Gregg Fraley – @greggfraley
Greg Satell – @Digitaltonto
Helen Yu
Howard Tiersky
Janet Sernack – @JanetSernack
Jeffrey Baumgartner – @creativejeffrey
Jeff Freedman – @SmallArmyAgency
Jeffrey Phillips – @ovoinnovation
Jesse Nieminen – @nieminenjesse
John Bessant
Jorge Barba – @JorgeBarba
Julian Birkinshaw – @JBirkinshaw
Julie Anixter – @julieanixter
Kate Hammer – @Kate_Hammer
Kevin McFarthing – @InnovationFixer
Leo Chan
Lou Killeffer – @LKilleffer
Manuel Berdoy

Accelerate your change and transformation success

Mari Anixter- @MariAnixter
Maria Paula Oliveira – @mpaulaoliveira
Matthew E May – @MatthewEMay
Michael Graber – @SouthernGrowth
Mike Brown – @Brainzooming
Mike Shipulski – @MikeShipulski
Mukesh Gupta
Nick Jain
Nick Partridge – @KnewNewNeu
Nicolas Bry – @NicoBry
Nicholas Longrich
Norbert Majerus and George Taninecz
Pamela Soin
Patricia Salamone
Paul Hobcraft – @Paul4innovating
Paul Sloane – @paulsloane
Pete Foley – @foley_pete
Rachel Audige
Ralph Christian Ohr – @ralph_ohr
Randy Pennington
Richard Haasnoot – @Innovate2Grow
Robert B Tucker – @RobertBTucker
Robyn Bolton – @rm_bolton
Saul Kaplan – @skap5
Shep Hyken – @hyken
Shilpi Kumar
Scott Anthony – @ScottDAnthony
Scott Bowden – @scottbowden51
Shelly Greenway – @ChiefDistiller
Soren Kaplan – @SorenKaplan
Stefan Lindegaard – @Lindegaard
Stephen Shapiro – @stephenshapiro
Steve Blank
Steven Forth – @StevenForth
Tamara Kleinberg – @LaunchStreet
Teresa Spangler – @composerspang
Tom Koulopoulos – @TKspeaks
Tullio Siragusa
Yoram Solomon – @yoram

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

We’re curious to see who you think is worth reading!






Nominations Closed – Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2023

Nominations Closed for the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2023Human-Centered Change and Innovation loves making innovation insights accessible for the greater good, because we truly believe that the better our organizations get at delivering value to their stakeholders the less waste of natural resources and human resources there will be.

As a result, we are eternally grateful to all of you out there who take the time to create and share great innovation articles, presentations, white papers, and videos with Braden Kelley and the Human-Centered Change and Innovation team. As a small thank you to those of you who follow along, we like to make a list of the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers available each year!

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

Do you just have someone that you like to read that writes about innovation, or some of the important adjacencies – trends, consumer psychology, change, leadership, strategy, behavioral economics, collaboration, or design thinking?

Human-Centered Change and Innovation is now looking for the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2023.

The deadline for submitting nominations is December 24, 2023 at midnight GMT.

You can submit a nomination either of these two ways:

  1. Sending us the name of the blogger and the url of their blog by @reply on twitter to @innovate
  2. Sending the name of the blogger and the url of their blog and your e-mail address using our contact form

(Note: HUGE bonus points for being a contributing author)

So, think about who you like to read and let us know by midnight GMT on December 24, 2023.

We will then compile a voting list of all the nominations, and publish it on December 25, 2023.

Voting will then be open from December 25, 2023 – January 1, 2024 via comments and twitter @replies to @innovate.

The ranking will be done by me with influence from votes and nominations. The quality and quantity of contributions by an author to this web site will be a contributing factor.

Contact me with writing samples if you’d like to publish your articles on our platform!

The official Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2023 will then be announced on here in early January 2024.

We’re curious to see who you think is worth reading!

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.