Category Archives: Design

Now is the Time to Design Cost Out of Our Products

Now is the Time to Design Cost Out of Our Products

GUEST POST from Mike Shipulski

With inflation on the rise and sales on the decline, the time to reduce costs is now.

But before you can design out the cost you’ve got to know where it is. And the best way to do that is to create a Pareto chart that defines product cost for each subassembly, with the highest cost subassemblies on the left and the lowest cost on the right. Here’s a pro tip – Ignore the subassemblies on the right.

Use your costed Bill of Materials (BOMs) to create the Paretos. You’ll be told that the BOMs are wrong (and they are), but they are right enough to learn where the cost is.

For each of the highest-cost subassemblies, create a lower-level Pareto chat that sorts the cost of each piece-part from highest to lowest. The pro tip applies here, too – Ignore the parts on the right.

Because the design community designed in the cost, they are the ones who must design it out. And to help them prioritize the work, they should be the ones who create the Pareto charts from the BOMs. They won’t like this idea, but tell them they are the only ones who can secure the company’s future profits and buy them lots of pizza.

And when someone demands you reduce labor costs, don’t fall for it. Labor cost is about 5% of the product cost, so reducing it by half doesn’t get you much. Instead, make a Pareto chart of part count by subassembly. Focus the design effort on reducing the part count of subassemblies on the left. Pro tip – Ignore the subassemblies on the right. The labor time to assemble parts that you design out is zero, so when demand returns, you’ll be able to pump out more products without growing the footprint of the factory. But, more importantly, the cost of the parts you design out is also zero. Designing out the parts is the best way to reduce product costs.

Pro tip – Set a cost reduction goal of 35%. And when they complain, increase it to 40%.

In parallel to the design work to reduce part count and costs, design the test fixtures and test protocols you’ll use to make sure the new, lower-cost design outperforms the existing design. Certainly, with fewer parts, the new one will be more reliable. Pro tip – As soon as you can, test the existing design using the new protocols because the only way to know if the new one is better is to measure it against the test results of the old one.

And here’s the last pro tip – Start now.

Image credit — aisletwentytwo

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Leading a Culture of Innovation from Any Seat

3 Ways to Leverage Human-Centered Design at Your Organization

Leading a Culture of Innovation from Any Seat

GUEST POST from Patricia Salamone

In a world where business challenges are increasingly complex, identifying your objective and framing your problem correctly is an integral way to demonstrate leadership and ensure teams don’t inadvertently solve the wrong problem. This is where a Human-Centered Design (HCD) mindset comes in—providing a groundbreaking way to define and ensure teams are focused on the right objective.

First, consider the challenge and objectives.

Not all business challenges need to be completely reimagined. Before jumping back to the drawing board, ask yourself, is there an obvious answer? Is there a clear approach to finding a solution? Can the team define what isn’t right? If you can’t say yes to these questions, then your business can benefit from the application of HCD principles. While teams understand they need to align and reframe challenges, having the proper tools in place is where many teams can fall short.

Move past traditional methods and be inspired to see challenges by taking a step back to reframe the problem:

  • Align the team. Often, internal teams will have differing viewpoints on a business problem. Rather than seeing this as a barrier, cross-functional alignment can open the door for creativity and new ideas.
  • Keep the focus on the issue. It’s often tempting to jump from “we have a problem” to, “here’s what we should do.” Instead, keep digging deeper. For every apparent problem definition, ask, “why does that matter?” multiple times, enabling yourself to get to the root cause and ensure you’re focusing on the “problem” rather than a “symptom of the problem.”
  • Use different words to reframe. Next time your team states a problem, challenge everyone to restate it using different words. Each iteration can reveal new facets of the problem, bringing clarity to the challenge at hand.
  • Zoom out. Rather than using a microscope to see details that aren’t immediately visible, approach the problem from a broader, more abstract perspective. Look at the customer’s “job to be done,” rather than what they may say their challenge is. This enables a more holistic and pragmatic view.

By making problem-reframing a habit, you are opening your organization up to greater flexibility and new pathways for innovation. This method also has the added benefit of clarifying gaps in knowledge and revealing where additional customer insight is needed.

Make empathy a daily habit.

A core principle of HCD is that empathy must permeate every aspect of traditional research initiatives. Simply seeking customer feedback to develop strategies often leads to insular thinking. While a research project-driven mindset is very much the norm, empathy in an HCD context is much more than that, it must permeate every aspect of the work.

Similar to reframing challenges, it is imperative to listen and learn from customer stories and perspectives. Here are some ways to establish daily habits and build stronger relationships with your customers.

  • Advocate for the customer’s voice in team meetings. Always begin by asking questions like, “how would our customers feel about this?”
  • Socialize existing wisdom within an HCD team on a weekly basis. This could look like emails containing important insights or bringing in a small group of clients together for “speed dating” with stakeholders to gain a human understanding of your customers’ experiences, wishes, and pain points.
  • Obtain real-time feedback. Online research communities can enable on-demand responses to explore fuzzy, front-end ideas, rapidly iterate on new product concepts, or gather deep insights into how your customers use a product post-launch.

Apply an agile mindset.

One of the hallmarks of HCD is agility. But being agile isn’t just about being “fast,” it’s about delivering value as efficiently as possible. In practice, an agile mindset means thinking differently about how your work gets done and the ways in which a team can break through functional silos.

Not sure where to begin? Here are some tactics to get you started:

  • Break up the work of the team into two-week sprints. Define what can be done in those two weeks and create measurable goals to work toward them (even if those outcomes are only intermediate steps toward a bigger goal).
  • Commit to short and frequent stand-ups with your team to share commitments and highlight possible hurdles to accomplishing the goals of the current sprint.
  • Portion out deliverables. Rather than focusing on your next big presentation as your deliverable, think about how you can break your work down and deliver portions of that content to your stakeholders sooner in a more informal way.

While the above suggestions are purely jumping-off points, they serve as solid examples of practical ways you can begin to transition from understanding HCD as a concept to it becoming an enabler of rethinking both your own work, as well as becoming a catalyst to higher-performing teams.

At the end of the day, embracing the principles of HCD is a long-term journey. These proven steps will help you lead and inspire teams to begin developing new habits that quickly demonstrate the strong potential HCD has in creating a new way to see innovation through the eyes of your customers.

Image credit: Pixabay

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What You Must Know Before Leading a Design Thinking Workshop

What You Need to Know Before Leading a Design Thinking Workshop

GUEST POST from Douglas Ferguson

Leading a design thinking workshop can completely transform your company for the better. According to the 71% of brands that champion design thinking, making a shift to a design-centered mindset will dramatically improve productivity and work ethic amongst your staff.

Are you ready to take your team to the next level?

If you’re ready to take your team to the next level by leading a design thinking workshop, it’s essential to know the basics of design thinking first. Having a deeper understanding of this human-centered approach will make it easier to get your team on board with this process.

In this article we’ll cover the basics of design thinking and the best way to approach leading a workshop for your team with the following topics:

  • What is Design Thinking?
  • A History of Design Methodology
  • The Six Phases of Design Thinking
  • Leading a Design Thinking Workshop

Understanding Design Thinking

Design thinking is a creative problem-solving method that centers on the needs of the end-user, by considering them first when creating products or services. When you authentically understand the wants and needs of the consumer, you can develop successful products and services they value and use to improve their lives.

Ultimately, a design thinking approach helps you understand the experience of the end-user by adopting the end user’s mindset and creating your product or service from this perspective.

A History of Design Thinking

The human-centered design process is an extension of the design thinking methodology. Though scientists, creatives, scholars, analysts, and engineers have studied this methodology for the past several years, the idea to apply a design mindset to problem-solving as a business strategy didn’t exist until the cognitive scientist and Nobel Prize laureate Herbert A. Simon coined the term in 1969. Simon explained the modern idea of design as an applicable way of thinking about business in his book, The Sciences of the Artificial.


Since Simon began the conversation about the design thinking methodology, many academic elites and experts have adopted this concept and expanded upon it. Yet one thing remains the same: the user should be at the core of any design process. The human-centered process is an exploration of how to accurately and innovatively create a product or service that satisfies consumers’ wants and needs.

“We must design for the way people behave, not for how we would wish them to behave.” –Donald A. Norman, Living with Complexity

Women with Laptop Pexels

The Six Phases of Design Thinking

Let’s take a look at the six phases of the human-centered design process to learn how to create with purpose as you prepare for leading a design thinking workshop.

1. Observe & Understand Users’ Behavior

The first phase of the design thinking process is to observe and understand the end user’s behavior to learn as much as possible about their needs. This allows you to better understand the people you are designing for as you approach problem-solving from their perspective. Doing so will allow you to deeply empathize with them and identify opportunities to better cater to and address these issues.

By identifying the end user’s behavioral patterns you’ll have a clearer understanding of what your customers enjoy and what they are dissatisfied with. This phase allows for greater innovation as you build trust and connect to your consumers.

Women Collaboration Pexels

2. Ideation

The ideation phase focuses on brainstorming new solutions based on what you learned by observing the end-user. Remember to stay focused on a human-centered design process while generating ideas. The use of divergent thinking is critical in this stage to foster creativity and generate as many ideas as possible.

In the ideation phase, everything is fair game. For example, instead of worrying about the details of how your potential ideas will work, focus on “why not?”

There are no right or wrong answers, only potential creative solutions to the problems you’ve identified. When you prioritize the needs and desires of the people you are creating for, you’ll arrive at the most successful solutions that you’ll continue to refine through the rest of the design thinking process.

3. Prototype

Now that you have potential solutions, it’s time to bring your best ideas to life with rapid prototypes. In this phase, you’ll test your ideas in real-time with real people to get their feedback. Rapid prototypes are quick and easy versions of the ideas you want to create. Their role is to ensure that your vision is on target and it allows you space to make amendments based on feedback before you make the final product.

This experimental phase isn’t about perfection. The goal is to create a quick, tangible prototype so that you can test it.

Group of People Whiteboarding Pexels

4. Feedback

In the feedback phase of the design process, you’ll test your prototype. This is perhaps the most vital part of the human-centered design process as it will determine whether or not your idea works for the people you are designing for.

Get your prototype in the hands of your target consumer and ask them: how and why does this product/service achieve or fail to reach your needs and desires? During this stage, you’ll want to collect as many details as possible from testers as you’ll use this feedback to finalize your solution.

5. Integration

The integration phase of the design thinking process helps you to identify the usefulness of the proposed solution. Consider the feedback you receive and how you can implement it into your design to make it better. This is a fluid process: integrate, test, and repeat until you reach the best version of your idea. Once your solution is fully-fledged and replicable, it’s time to share it.

6. Application

It’s time to send your idea out into the world! During this last stage of the design thinking process, make the final prototype and share it. It’s important to keep an eye on changes in your target audience and their needs and desires as time progresses so that you can make adaptations to your design as necessary.

With each new update, return to phase one and repeat the process for best results. Remember that the user’s needs change over time, so it is important to anticipate future alterations to best serve consumers’ changing needs.

Leading a Design Thinking Workshop

When we approach innovation with a human-centered design process, we are able to empathize with and therefore better understand the end-user and what they truly desire. Everything we create is an extension from t

When we approach innovation with a human-centered design process, we can empathize with and therefore better understand the end-user and what they truly desire. By leading a design thinking workshop, you’ll encourage your team to innovate in this human-centered way. As you create everything from this level of self-awareness, you’ll ultimately develop better products and services as you improve your company and team as well.

Once you have a clear understanding of the design thinking process, you’ll be able to lead your design thinking workshop with your team. Whether your design sprint is a few days or a few hours, a well-executed design thinking workshop will help you keep your customers’ needs top of mind.

Hiring a professional facilitator is one of the best ways to lead a design thinking workshop at your company. At Voltage Control, our team of facilitators is happy to assist you in your design thinking needs. With a clear understanding of this methodology and an effort to lead your team with the same mentality, you’re sure to see the benefits of adopting a design thinking approach.

This article originally appeared on, you can find it HERE.

Do you want to learn more about human-centered design?

Voltage Control facilitates design thinking workshops, innovation sessions, and Design Sprints. Please reach out at for a consultation.

Image credits: Pexels, Unsplash

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Five Immutable Laws of Change

Five Immutable Laws of Change

GUEST POST from Greg Satell

When I first arrived in Poland in 1997, change was all around me. It was like watching a society transform itself through time-lapse photography. Everywhere you looked, the country was shaking off decades of post-communist rust and striving to make good on the promise of 1989’s historic Round Table Agreement.

Yet it wasn’t until the fall of 2004 that I truly understood the power of change. By then, I was living in Kyiv, Ukraine and the entire country erupted in protests now known as the Orange Revolution. While Warsaw in the 90s was like rebuilding after a tornado hit, Ukraine was like being in the eye of the storm itself.

That experience led to a 15-year long journey of discovery and my book Cascades. What I found was that throughout history many have sought to create change and most have failed, but a few succeeded brilliantly. Starting out with very different challenges, philosophies and personalities, they eventually all arrived at the same principles that allowed them to prevail.

Law #1: The Status Quo Has Inertia On Its Side And Never Yields Gracefully

We tend to overvalue ideas. We think that if we have a good idea, people will immediately see its worth. Yet that’s hardly ever the case. As computer pioneer Howard Aiken put it, “Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.”

Consider the case of Ignaz Semmelweis, who first came up with the idea that medical staff in hospitals should wash their hands before operating on patients. You would think that would be an obviously good idea. Nevertheless, he was ostracized for it and ended up dying in an insane asylum, ironically from an infection he contracted under care.

Semmelweis’s plight was tragic, but is also so amazingly common that the tendency for the establishment to reject ideas is referred to as the Semmelweis effect. In fact, while researching my book Mapping Innovation I interviewed dozens of successful innovators and I found that every single one had to overcome stiff resistance to transform their idea into something useful.

The fact that you will face opposition when protesting an authoritarian regime is obvious, but an organizational environment can be just as cutthroat. Make no mistake. If your idea is important and has real potential for impact, there will be some who will hate it and they will work to undermine it in ways that are dishonest, underhanded and deceptive.

That must be your primary design constraint.

Law #2: Small Groups, Loosely Connected, But United By Shared Purpose Drive Transformational Change

For decades, change consultants have been telling us that if we want to drive transformation, we should “start with a bang” and create a “sense of urgency” through a big communication campaign. The results have been atrocious. In fact, McKinsey has found that nearly three quarters of organizational transformations do not succeed.

It’s not hard to understand why. If there are people who are determined to see your change fail—and every significant change encounters resistance—than a “rally the troops” type of approach will only serve to alert those who oppose change that they better get started undermining it or it might actually happen.

Fortunately, science points to another way. The truth is that small groups, loosely connected, but united by a shared purpose drive transformational change. So instead of trying to convince everybody at once, identify those who are already enthusiastic about your idea, who want it to work as much as you do. Those are people you can empower to succeed and can help bring in others, who can bring in others still.

Yet identifying advocates is only part of the battle. You also need to find imbue the effort with purpose and give it meaning. Unfortunately, all too often the quest for purpose is treated as a communication exercise. It isn’t. For change to be meaningful it has to actually solve a problem that people care about.

Law #3: Revolutions Begin With a Cause, Not A Slogan

Every change effort starts with a grievance. There’s something that people don’t like and they want it to be different. In a social or political movement that may be a corrupt leader or a glaring injustice. In an organizational context it’s usually something like falling sales, unhappy customers, low employee morale or technological disruption.

Whatever the case may be, the first step toward bringing change about is understanding that getting mired in grievance won’t get you anywhere. You can’t just complain about things you don’t like, but must come up with an affirmative vision for how you would want things to be.

The best place to start is by asking yourself, “if I had the power to change anything, what would it look like?” Martin Luther King Jr.s vision for the civil rights movement was for a Beloved Community. Bill Gates’s vision for Microsoft was for a “computer on every desk and in every home.” A good vision should be aspirational, but not completely out of reach.

One of the things I found in my research is that successful change leaders don’t try to move from grievance to vision in one step, but rather identify a Keystone Change, which focuses on a clear and tangible goal, includes multiple stakeholders and paves the way for future change, to bridge the gap.

For King, the Keystone Change was voting rights. For Gates it was an easy-to-use operating system. For your vision, it will undoubtedly be something different. The salient point here is that every successful transformation I found started out with a Keystone Change, so that’s where you will want to start as well.

Law #4: Design Tactics That Mobilize People to Influence Institutions

Organizational change consultants often recommend that changemakers prepare a stakeholder map. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but it is somewhat inadequate because it fails to distinguish between different kinds of stakeholders. Some stakeholders are targets for mobilization and others are targets for influence.

For example, both parents and school boards are important stakeholders in education, but for very different reasons. School boards wield institutional power that can effect change, parents do not, so we mobilize parents to influence school boards, not the other way around. We need to approach constituencies and institutions in very different ways.

One of the things we’ve consistently found in our work helping organizations to drive transformational change is that leaders construe stakeholders far too narrowly. Fortunately, decades of non-violent activism have given us powerful tools for both: the Spectrum of Allies for constituencies and the Pillars of Support for institutions.

A crucial point to remember is that you can’t dictate change by mandate. You can’t overpower but must instead attract people and empower them so that they can take ownership of the cause and make it their own. You need to accept that people will do things for their own reasons, not for yours.

Most of all, remember that every action has to have a clear purpose and be directed at influencing specific institutions. So before taking any action, ask two questions: Who are we mobilizing and to influence what?

Law #5: Every Revolution Inspires Its Own Counter-Revolution

In the aftermath of the Orange Revolution we thought we had won. After all, we had stood up to the injustice of a falsified election and prevailed. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way. Five years later, Viktor Yanukovych, the same man who we had taken to the streets to prevent from office, rose to power in an election that international observers deemed free and fair. His corrupt and incompetent rule would trigger a second Ukrainian Revolution.

We find a similar pattern with many of the executives we work with. They work for months—and sometimes years—to get a project off the ground. Yet just when they think they’re turning the corner, when they’ve won executive sponsorship, signed up key partners and procured enough financing to have a realistic budget, all the sudden things seem to get mired down.

That’s no accident. Just because you’ve won a few early battles doesn’t mean opposition to your idea has melted away. On the contrary, faced with the fact that change may actually succeed, those who oppose it have probably just begun to redouble their efforts to undermine it. These efforts are often not overt, but they are there and can easily derail an initiative.

That’s why every change effort must learn how to survive victory. The truth is that change is always a journey, never a particular destination, which is why lasting change is always built on common ground. That doesn’t mean that you need to win over your fiercest critics, but it does mean you need to try to empathize with their perspective.

There is a reason why some change leaders succeed while others fail. At some point everybody needs to decide whether they would rather make a point or make a difference and, in the end, those that prevail choose the latter.

— Article courtesy of the Digital Tonto blog
— Image credit: Pexels

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Is Now the Time to Finally End Our Culture of Disposability?

Is Now the Time to Finally End Our Culture of Disposability?Quality used to mean something to companies.

A century ago, when people parted with their hard-earned money to buy something, they expected it to last one or more lifetimes.

Durability was a key design criteria.

But, as the stock market became more central to the American psyche and to executive compensation, the quality of available products and services began to decline in the name of profits above all else.


Ford Quality is job oneThere was a temporary consumer revolt decades ago that resulted in companies pretending that quality was more important than profits, but it didn’t last long. In the end, Americans accepted the decline in quality as outsourcing and globalization led to declining prices (and of course higher profits) and fewer goods carrying the “Made in the USA” label, quickly replaced by Japan, China, Mexico, Vietnam, Bangladesh and the rest.

An Inconvenient TruthAround the turn of the century we had the birth of the Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) movement followed a few years later by Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Perhaps people were beginning to wake up to the fact that our planet’s resources are not infinite and our culture of disposability was catching up to us.

But these movements failed to maintain their momentum and the tidal wave of stores stocking disposable goods continued unabated – dollar stores and party stores spread across the country like a virus. States like New York began shipping their garbage across borders as their landfills reached capacity. Unsold goods began being dumped on the African continent and elsewhere (think about all those t-shirts printed up for the team that didn’t end up winning the Super Bowl).

Is now the time for the winds to shift yet again in favor of quality and sustainability after decades of disposability?

Will more companies better embrace sustainability like Patagonia is attempting to do?

People have been complaining for years about the high cost to repair Apple products and the increasing difficulty of executing these repairs oneself. Recently Apple was FORCED by shareholder activists to allow people to repair their iPhones. Here is their press release that tries to put a positive spin on what they were pressured into doing.

This is the moment for shareholder activists and governments around the world to force companies to design for repairability, reuse and a true accounting of the costs of their products and services inflict upon the populace and the planet. The European Union and Mexico are working together towards this not just because the planet needs this, but because The Circular Economy Creates New Business Opportunities.

Meanwhile, Toyota recently announced that starting this year (2022) in Japan that they will retrofit late-model cars with new technology if the customer desires it. The company aims to let motorists benefit from new technology without having to buy a new car. The LoraxToyota calls this “uppgrading” and defines it as retrofitting safety and convenience functions, like blind spot monitoring, emergency braking assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and the addition of a hands-free tailgate or trunk lid. Remodeling will also be an option and will include replacing worn or damaged parts inside and out, such as the upholstery, the seat cushions, and the steering wheel.

Are these two companies voluntary and involuntary actions the beginning of a trend – finally?

Or will the culture of disposability continue unabated until our natural resources are exhausted?

Do we truly live in the land of the Lorax?

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons, OldHouseOnline

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600 Free Innovation, Transformation and Design Quote Slides

600 Innovation, Transformation and Design Quote Slides on Innovation, Change and Design

Free Downloads for Keynote Speeches, Presentations and Workshops

Looking for a compelling quote for a keynote speech, workshop or presentation on any of these topics?

  • Innovation
  • Digital Transformation
  • Design
  • Change
  • Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Design Thinking

I’m flattered that people have been quoting my keynote speeches and my first two books Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire and Charting Change.

So, I’m making some of my favorite quotes available from myself and other thought leaders in a fun, visual, easily shareable format.

I’ve been publishing them on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

But now you can download twelve (12) volumes of fifty (50) quote posters, for a total of 600, for FREE from my store:

You can add them all to your shopping cart at once and download them for FREE.

Print them, share them on social media, or use them in your presentations, keynote speeches or workshops.

They are all Adobe PDF’s and the best way to add them to your presentation is to:

  1. Put the PDF into FULL SCREEN MODE
  2. Take a screenshot
  3. Paste it into your presentation
  4. Crop it and adjust the size to your liking
  5. Change the background color of the slide to a suitable color (if necessary)

Contact me with your favorite innovation, design thinking, change, transformation, or design quotes and I’ll consider adding them to my library of future downloads.

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The Education Business Model Canvas

Mission Model Canvas

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers

The business model canvas is one of many useful tools to design, evolve and test products and services business models. While the original model was proposed to help founders create a viable and scaleable business model, it has also helped non-profit executives, as the mission driven business model, and those looking to make a career change, using a personal business model as the Business Model You.

Personal Business Model Canvas

The construct is also useful if you are an edupreneur, trying to create and launch new educational products and services, including new courses, certificates, programs or degree offerings.

Edupreneurship rests on several foundational principles:

  1. Having an entrepreneurial mindset
  2. Intra- and entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies
  3. Design thinking focused on creating stakeholder and beneficiary defined outcomes
  4. A systems engineering approach to solving wicked problems, like how to fix outcomes disparities and their social determinants
  5. A different business model
  6. More respect for and attention to edupreneurial champions
  7. Better teacher education and training
  8. An incentive and reward system for not just tweaking a failed system , but rather, making it obsolete given the basic structural changes in the US economy
  9. Eliminating unnecessary and burdensome bureaucracy, credentialing that does not add value and administrivia
  10. Paying more attention to and measuring student defined outcomes
  11. Better public-private integration
  12. K-20 integration and alignment

13. Teaching students what they need to win the 4th industrial revolution

14. Embracing cradle to career integration

15. Creating a competent diverse and equitable talent pipeline

We has seen several recent advances in edupreneurship.

Here is the boomer’s guide to teaching millenials.

The UGME steering committee recognizes that medical education programs are faced with the ubiquitous challenge of repeated calls for innovation and that, frequently, these calls do not adequately address the associated resource demands. As medical educators, we have become highly creative in identifying strategies to do more with less, but as we know, this is not a sustainable model of stewardship. In 2016 and 2017, the UGME section collaborated with the Group on Business Affairs (GBA) to explore evolving models to support and sustain UGME programming. A result of this work is the Business Model Canvas for Medical Educators. The original Business Model Canvas was proposed by Alexander Osterwalder in 2008 and has been modified over time to fit other needs. The Table of Contents will direct you to resources, including the Business Model Canvas for Medical Educators template and two examples submitted by institutions who have successfully used the template to secure funding from within their own institution.

Business Model Canvas for Medical Educators

The edupreneurship business model canvas has a few modifications to the traditional startup one:

Customer segments: The primary customer are students. However, there are many other education stakeholders, including admininstrators, alumni, donors, employers and parents. In addition, for any given subject, potential students will have different backgrounds and experience in the subject, will have different jobs they want done, and, therefore, will have different applications for what they learned, be it finding a job, getting a promotion, or adding value where they presently work.

Value proposition: For each customer segment , you have a specific value proposision. You typically describe it in the course syllabus, telling users about the intended audience, the goals of the course, the learning objectives, and the curriculum. For example, the value proposition for a course I teach to xMBA/HA students is :

This course will introduce graduate level students in healthcare administration and leadership to the principles and practice of healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship defined as the pursuit of opportunity under volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous conditions with the goal of creating stakeholder defined value through the deployment of innovation using a valid, automatic, scaleable and time sensitive (VAST) business model.

Following completion of this course, you should be able to:

1. identify gaps in your health entrepreneurship competencies and develop a personal and professional development plan to address them

2. create an organizational culture of innovation, lead innovators and overcome the barriers to healthcare innovation dissemination and implementation

3. identify the multiple clinical and non-clinical ways to practice healthcare entrepreneurship

4. Create a plan to solve a problem inside or outside of your organization that meets the goals of the quintuple aim (Quality, cost, access, experience, waste/business operations)

5. Identify the startup life cycle and challenges at each stage

Channels: This describes how you will deliver your course. Will it be face to face, online or some hybrid model with elements of both?

Customer relationships: This describes how you will get, keep and grow the numbers of students who will take the course, e.g. promoting in the course catalog, attending a career or course proposal day, creating awareness on social media or using word or mouth dissemination from previous students.

Revenue model: This describes how your employer or you will generate revenue from the products. Traditionally, universisty based courses use a “butts in the seats” model, but COVID and new eductional technologies have radically changes the revenue generating possibilities, inluding advertising, freemium models, subscription models and others.

Key resources: This describes the human, physical, intellectual property and financial resources you will need to build, execute and scale your initiative. For example, do you want to copyright your materials, or , do you want to make them an open educational resource using a Creative Commons license?

Key activities: This what you need to do to perform and deliver on your value proposition, like what you will do using a learning management system, like create videos, run office hours, moderate asynchronous virtual discussions and design and grade exams and quizzes

Key partnerships: This describes who can help you, be they guest faculty, educational technology partners, corporate sponsors, e.g. if you are using project based learning techniques or online tools and resouce producers, e.g cases from the Harvard Business School collection.

Costs: This describes the tangible and intangible costs to produce your product. In most instances, your time, opportunity costs and effort will overshadow the monetary costs.

COVID has accelerated the pace of change in higher education, forcing them to create entrepreneurial universities. Teaching faculty how to use the education business model canvas should be part of faculty development to mimimize projecdt and product failure.

Here is what I learned, using the business model canvas, teaching sickcare innovation and entrepreneurship to first year medical students at the University of Colorado.

In this post , Steve Blank offers a new definition of why startups exist: a startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.

So is a new course or certificate. Use the education driven business model to make your product desireable, feasible, viable and adaptable and be sure to document your success when it comes time for your evaluation,promotion and tenure review. More likely, though, you will be including it in your failure resume, since, like the vast majority of new products, yours is likely to fail because 1) you offered a product students don’t want to buy or someone does not want to pay for, and 2) you do not have a VAST educational product business model.

Image credits: Strategyzer

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Bureaucracy and Politics versus Innovation

Bureaucracy and Politics versus Innovation

Innovation in military hardware is really hard.

I wanted to call this article “Corruption versus Innovation” but I sailed back from the precipice to a more forgiving title to give the government and military contractors the benefit of the doubt that the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program – aka Little Crappy Ships – was not corporate welfare but merely a poorly executed military contract.

Back in 2004 the Bush administration decided it wanted to increase military spending.

One of the ways they decided to do this was to initiate a new shipbuilding program that benefited Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. The initial phase of the project called for two ships of each design to be built at an estimated cost of $220 million each. The initial phase of this suspect shipbuilding program went so poorly that congress canceled the second ship each company was scheduled to build and re-opened bidding.

The government pushed for fixed price contracting, and despite agreeing to a fixed price of $432-437 million each, the first ship set sail at a price of $637 million and the second at a whopping $704 million. This for a ship that was initially envisioned to only need a crew of forty sailors (eight officers and 32 enlisted) to operate. This was later changed to a crew of 73 sailors and 20 airmen to operate helicopters, UAV’s or other special equipment.

After beginning the LCS program in 2004, it wasn’t until 2013 that the initial LCS achieved its first deployment – to Singapore. That’s nine years from initiation to product launch. Think about how much has changed in the last nine years – we’ll come back to this point later.

The continuing poor performance of both the program (never-ending cost overruns), and the ship itself, forced the US Navy to reduce its orders from 55 of the ships to 32. Despite this reduction in the number of ships, the Navy chose to still take delivery of all 120 of the helicopters designed to pair with the ships, deeming it more expensive to cancel the contract for the excess helicopters than to go ahead and take delivery.

You can probably see now why I was going to call this article “Corruption versus Innovation” as the billions of dollars siphoned from the taxpayers to the military contractors and their shareholders pile up.

What’s worse, not only have the ships proven to be THREE TIMES more expensive to acquire than advertised, but they break down all the time and cost nearly as much to operate annually as an Arleigh-Burke Destroyer AND they have still yet to deploy their mine countermeasure and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

The situation is so bad that the Navy is abandoning the program and looking to replace its little crappy ships (LCS) with a new Frigate program – the FFG (X) to be constructed by an Italian shipbuilding firm.

So, what went wrong?

Through the eyes of both a U.S. Navy Veteran, and as an innovation professional, here are my thoughts about how the U.S. Government can require its contractors to leverage more innovation best practices in their provision of services on behalf of the American people. Here are five places to start:

1. Pick the Right Time Horizon for Your Design Challenge

One of the biggest mistakes that organizations make is not consider how long it takes to develop, launch and market a new product or service without considering how an identified customer insight might change over that timeframe. For example, if it takes you two years to launch a new product and you’re developing that product based on a customer insight identified today, there is a chance that two years from now the customer may no longer value the key elements of the solution you’re designing. So, you must make sure that you’re designing against a customer insight that will still be relevant at the end of your product development and launch timeline.

Innovating for the Future Present

For more, see my article Are You Innovating for the Past or the Future?

2. Make Sure You’re Solving a Problem Worth Solving

It is really easy to latch on to a single problem and decide to solve it. But is it the right problem to solve?

Smart organizations don’t jump to problem solving too soon, but instead start with problem finding in a divergent manner before converging via problem prioritization, then diverge again in a problem deep dive and finally converge into a problem summary and a research brief focused on a carefully chosen problem worth solving.

Preparing to Solve the Right Problem

For more, see my article Picking a Problem Worth Solving From a Sea of Problems

3. Identify Potential Fatal Flaws

No idea is perfect, and so when you can identify the potential fatal flaws or the high hurdles that have to be overcome, you can challenge them, you can solve for them, you can unleash the passion of your team on trying to find a way around them.

The fatal flaws are always there, and the wise innovator doesn’t ignore them or assume that they will overcome them at some point in the future, but instead invests energy upfront into both trying to identify the fatal flaws of their idea and into identifying whether they can isolate the solutions before moving the idea forward.

For more, see my article Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fatal Flaws

4. Create an Experimentation Strategy and a Plan for Learning Fast

When it comes to innovation, it is not as important whether you fail fast or fail slow or whether you fail at all, but how fast you learn. And make no mistake, you don’t have to fail to innovate (although there are always some obstacles along the way). With the right approach to innovation you can learn quickly from failures AND successes.

The key is to pursue your innovation efforts as a discrete set of experiments designed to learn certain things and instrumenting each project phase in such a way that the desired learning is achieved.

The central question should always be:

“What do we hope to learn from this effort?”

The Experiment Canvas

My Experiment Canvas is a great free tool you can download from this web site to help you design and execute a series of carefully selected experiments to help you get the right learning and to help identify early on whether or not you can realistically solve for the potential fatal flaws – as early as possible – while investments are low.

For more, see my article Don’t Fail Fast – Learn Fast and download your free Experiment Canvas poster to print or to use as a background to lock down and put virtual sticky notes on top of in online whiteboarding tools like Miro, Mural, LucidSpark or Microsoft Whiteboard.

5. Design for Modularity to Reduce Obsolescence

The LCS was promised to be a modular warship capable of performing multiple missions, but the contractors have failed to deliver on this promise.

It takes a really long time to put a new ship design to sea and into service. So, if you get it wrong, like with the LCS program, it will be many more years before you can replace a faulty design with a new design.

We rarely successfully predict the future, so it is important to design in the capability to adapt solutions as they are developed to match emerging realities. Otherwise, you can end up designing a solution for a problem that goes away.

To reduce the chances of designing a new ship for a mission that may no longer be needed by the time it is put to sea, it is imperative that each ship is designed to be intentionally modular. It is imperative that each ship is designed as a platform of platforms.

The automobile industry has gotten really good at designing in this way. Different trim levels have different stereo options, for example, or a dealer can install a spoiler or a luggage rack pretty easily if a customer desires it.

Designing with modularity and upgradeability in mind to change out key components to different mission needs that may emerge over time or new technologies that may create new or enhanced capabilities, is an incredibly powerful way to extend the usefulness and lifespan of each new maritime defense hull.


The U.S. Navy is in a quandary about what to do with the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) it already has.

So much so that it has reached out to fleet commanders to inquire what missions the ships should be deployed against – according to Naval Surface Forces Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener.

The Navy should consider opening up their queries for help even wider, perhaps to the global innovation community.

But, with that said, as a U.S. Navy veteran I think the perception of the success or failure of this program would be seen much differently if they had successfully deployed the Anti-Mine Countermeasure and Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilities BEFORE the Surface Warfare capabilities.

Frigates and Destroyers are much more capable surface warfare platforms, and in hindsight the billions of dollars wasted on this program could have been much better spent for the benefit of the American people.

So, I hope that military contractors and the U.S. Government will improve their ability to deliver increased value at a decreased price as they pursue future shipbuilding programs and leverage some of the innovation best practices above.

Grabbing a copy of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire would also be a great place to start.

Go Navy!

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons (ship photo)
All other images: Braden Kelley (All Rights Reserved)

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Top 100 Innovation and Transformation Articles of 2021

Top 100 Innovation and Transformation Articles of 2021

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 and being ultimately sold to

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 15,000 newsletter subscribers.

To celebrate we’ve pulled together the Top 100 Innovation and Transformation Articles of 2021 from our archive of over 700 articles on these topics.

We do some other rankings too.

We just published the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2021 and as the volume of this blog grows we may bring back a monthly ranking to complement this annual one.

But enough delay, here are the 100 most popular innovation and transformation posts of 2021.

Did your favorite make the cut?

1. All Leadership is Change Leadership – by Randy Pennington

2. Next Generation Loyalty – Part One – by Braden Kelley

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

4. Where Do Innovation Strategies Usually Go Wrong? – by Jesse Nieminen

5. Black Friday Shows No Loyalty – by Braden Kelley

6. The Fail Fast Fallacy – by Rachel Audige

7. Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020 – by Braden Kelley

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

9. 10 Clever Ways to Stop Ideation Bullies from Hogging Your Brainstorming Sessions – by Howard Tiersky

10. 50 Cognitive Biases Reference – Free Download – by Braden Kelley

11. Free Customer Experience Maturity Assessment – by Braden Kelley

12. The Human-Centered Change Methodology – by Braden Kelley

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

14. America Drops Out of the Ten Most Innovative Countries – by Braden Kelley

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

16. Nine Innovation Roles – by Braden Kelley

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

18. Free Innovation Maturity Assessment – by Braden Kelley

19. Myths About Physician Entrepreneurs – by Arlen Meyers

20. Human-Centered Change – Free Tools – by Braden Kelley

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

22. Discipline Has a Role in Innovation – by Jesse Nieminen

23. Advances in the Management of Worthless Meeting Syndrome – by Arlen Meyers

24. 550 Quote Posters – by Braden Kelley

25. The Jobs-to-be-Done Playbook – by Braden Kelley

26. We Need a More Biological View of Technology – by Greg Satell

27. Free Human-Centered Change Tools – by Braden Kelley

28. Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire – by Braden Kelley

29. The Pyramid of Results, Motivation and Ability – by Braden Kelley

30. Experience Thinking – The Next Evolution for Design Thinking – by Anthony Mills

Build a common language of innovation on your team

31. Scaling Innovation – The What, Why, and How – by Jesse Nieminen

32. Charting Change – by Braden Kelley

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

34. To Change the World You Must First Learn Something About It – by Greg Satell

35. Digital Transformation Virtual Office Hours – Session One – by Braden Kelley

36. Lead Innovation, Don’t Manage It – by Arlen Meyers

37. Are doctors wasting their time on entrepreneurship? – by Arlen Meyers

38. What is design thinking? – EPISODE FIVE – Ask the Consultant – by Braden Kelley

39. Zoom Tutorial – Amazing New PowerPoint Background Feature – by Braden Kelley

40. COVID-19 Presents an Opportunity to Create an Innovation Culture – by Pete Foley

41. Increasing Organizational Agility – by Braden Kelley

42. Innovation Requires Going Fast, Slow and Meta – by Greg Satell

43. Remote Project Management – The Visual Project Charter™ – by Braden Kelley

44. Is innovation everyone’s job? – by Braden Kelley

45. What is your level of Innovation Maturity? – by Braden Kelley

46. Flaws in the Crawl Walk Run Methodology – by Braden Kelley

47. Innovation Teams Do Not Innovate – by Janet Sernack

48. We’re Disrupting People Instead of Industries Now – by Greg Satell

49. Don’t Forget to Innovate the Customer Experience – by Braden Kelley

50. Change Management Needs to Change – by Greg Satell

Accelerate your change and transformation success

51. Everyone hates to fail, why do you? – by Janet Sernack

52. Going with the Flow – by John Bessant

53. Can You Be TOO Strategic? – by Howard Tiersky

54. Competing in a New Era of Innovation – by Greg Satell

55. Fast Company is Wrong – by Braden Kelley

56. A New Age Of Innovation and Our Next Steps – by Greg Satell

57. Avoid the Addition Bias – by Paul Sloane

58. Visualizing Project Planning Success – by Braden Kelley

59. Innovation Ecosystems and Information Rheology – by Arlen Meyers

60. Rise of the Evangelist – by Braden Kelley

61. Creating 21st Century Transformational Learning – by Janet Sernack

62. Re-Skilling and Upskilling People & Teams – by Janet Sernack

63. Creating a Movement that Drives Transformational Change – by Braden Kelley

64. How to Scale Your Culture – by Arlen Meyers

65. A Trigger Strategy for Driving Radical, Transformational Change – by Greg Satell

66. Human-Centered Innovation Toolkit – by Braden Kelley

67. You Must Play and Experiment to Create and Innovate – by Janet Sernack

68. Managing Both the Present and the Future – by Janet Sernack

69. Why Change Failure Occurs – by Greg Satell

70. Developing a Future-Fitness Focus – by Janet Sernack

71. Using Intuition to Drive Innovation Success – by Braden Kelley

72. The Academic Intrapreneur Dossier – by Arlen Meyers

73. The Rise of Employee Relationship Management (ERM) – by Braden Kelley

74. An Example of Successful Alchemy – by John Bessant

75. The Dreaded Perfect Entrepreneur – by Arlen Meyers

76. Should intrapreneurs really ask for forgiveness and not permission? – by Arlen Meyers

77. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow – by Robert B. Tucker

78. Importance of Long-Term Innovation – by Greg Satell

79. Co-creating Future-fit Organizations – by Janet Sernack

80. What you should learn from the Google Health failure – by Arlen Meyers

Get the Change Planning Toolkit

81. Teaching to Win the 4th Industrial Revolution – by Arlen Meyers

82. Catalysing Change Through Innovation Teams – by Janet Sernack

83. Innovation and the Scientific Method – by Jesse Nieminen

84. Being Too Focused on the Test is Dangerous – by Arlen Meyers

85. Architecting the Organization for Change – by Braden Kelley

86. Healthcare Jugaad Innovation of a 17-Year-Old – by Braden Kelley

87. New Capability Mapping Tools for Business Architects – by Braden Kelley

88. How can I create continuous innovation in my organization? – EPISODE TWO – Ask the Consultant – by Braden Kelley

89. Thank You for Your Thinkers50 Nominations – by Braden Kelley

90. Preparing for Organizational Transformation in a Post-COVID World – by Greg Satell

91. Why Change is Hard – by Braden Kelley

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

93. What is digital transformation? – EPISODE THREE – Ask the Consultant – by Braden Kelley

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

95. Borrow an Idea from a Different Field – by Paul Sloane

96. How to Go From Nail It to Scale It – by Arlen Meyers

97. Innovation in the time of Covid – Satisfycing Organizations – by Pete Foley

98. Sickcare Culture of Conformity versus a Culture of Creativity – by Arlen Meyers

99. Start 2021 with a Free Innovation Audit (Now in Portuguese or English) – by Braden Kelley

100. Outsmarting Those Who Want to Kill Change – by Greg Satell

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

101. Why so much medical technoskepticism? – by Arlen Meyers

These are the Top 100 innovation and transformation articles of 2021 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 2021.

If you’re not familiar with Human-Centered Change & Innovation, we publish 1-5 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 2021

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2021After 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 2021:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.”

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Nicolas Bry
    Nicolas BryNicolas is an International Innovation Executive, expert in corporate innovation programs, and innovation labs, designing place where good innovation thrives! He currently helps the 20 innovation managers of Orange Africa to develop their projects locally. In 2019 he wrote The Intrapreneurs’ Factory, a practical guide to leverage intrapreneurship for your company, and is the writer of the innovation blog

  11. Build a common language of innovation on your team

  12. Arlen Meyers
    Arlen MyersArlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at

  13. Linda Naiman
    Linda NaimanLinda Naiman helps executives and their teams develop creativity, innovation, and leadership capabilities, through coaching, training and consulting. She brings a multi-disciplinary approach to learning and development by leveraging arts-based practices to foster creativity at work, and design thinking as a strategy for innovation.

  14. Anthony Mills
    Anthony MillsAnthony Mills is the Founder & CEO of Legacy Innovation Group (, 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 (, 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 Anthony can be reached directly at

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Gijs van Wulfen
    Gijs van WulfenGijs van Wulfen helps organizations to structure the chaotic start of innovation as author, speaker and facilitator. He is the founder of the FORTH innovation method and author of the innovation bestseller The Innovation Expedition. He was chosen by LinkedIn as one of their first 150 Influencers. Follow Gijs @gijsvanwulfen

  21. Kate Hammer
    Kate HammerKate Hammer is a joint founder of KILN, working with large-scale companies in the USA and Australia to transform their internal innovation processes. Kate works as a business storyteller. In 2012, she created StoryFORMs to help others articulate their commercial & organisational stories. Kate offers workshops & 1:1 coaching.

  22. Accelerate your change and transformation success

  23. Phil Buckley
    Phil BuckleyPhil Buckley is an award-winning author and change management strategist with over 32 large-scale change initiatives, including co-leading global change management for the $19.6 billion Kraft Foods acquisition of Cadbury. He is the author of two books: Change on the Run and Change with Confidence. You can find Phil’s podcast and monthly newsletter at

  24. Tamara Ghandour
    Tamara GhandourTamara Ghandour of GoToLaunchStreet is a TED speaker and entrepreneur. From building and running multimillion dollar businesses, advising Fortune 500 like Disney, Procter and Gamble and RICOH on fostering innovative ideas and people. Tamara’s life is about breaking through the status quo for game-changing results, and that’s what her keynotes, online programs and assessments can do for you.

  25. Tom Koulopoulos
    Thomas KoulopoulosTom Koulopoulos is the author of 10 books and founder of the Delphi Group, a 25-year-old Boston-based think tank and a past Inc. 500 company that focuses on innovation and the future of business. He tweets from @tkspeaks.

  26. Michael Graber
    Michael GraberMichael Graber is the cofounder and managing partner at Southern Growth Studio, a Memphis-based firm that specializes in growth strategy and innovation. A published poet and musician, Graber is the creative force that complements the analytical side of the house. He speaks and publishes frequently on best practices in design thinking, business strategy, and innovation and earned an MFA from the University of Memphis.

  27. Yoram Solomon
    Four Rules to Snap Judge a New VentureDr. Yoram Solomon is the author of The Book of Trust and 12 more books, a TEDx and keynote speaker, the founder of the Innovation Culture Institute, and an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship. You can follow him everywhere on @yoramsolomon.

  28. 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.

  29. Shawn Nason
    Shawn NasonShawn Nason, founder and CEO of MOFI, lives his life with a commitment to make everyone he meets a part of his family. Armed with the gift of discernment, he has the uncanny ability to walk alongside people as they struggle to connect with their deepest passions and engage their most debilitating demons. He challenges the world around him to be fully present, get real, and knock down the barrier that separates the various compartments in their lives.

  30. John Carter
    John CarterJohn Carter has been a widely respected adviser to technology firms over his career. John is the author of Innovate Products Faster: Graphical Tools for Accelerating Product Development. As Founder and Principal of TCGen Inc., he has advised some of the most revered technology firms in the world.

  31. Jeff Rubingh
    Jeff RubinghJeff Rubingh is a technology innovation expert, consultant and analyst. Focused on the intersection between technology and business, Jeff helps clients identify ground-breaking solutions that maximize ROI across existing and emerging technology disciplines.

  32. Ludwig Melik
    Ludwig MelikLudwig Melik is CEO of Planbox, whose mission is to help organizations thrive by transforming the culture of agile work, continuous innovation, and creativity across the entire organization… Connect with him on LinkedIn or join the conversation by following Planbox on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

    Get the Change Planning Toolkit

  33. 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.

  34. Shelly Greenway
    Shelly GreenwayShelly Greenway is a front-end innovation strategist and partner at The Strategy Distillery – a brand innovation consultancy that specialises in opportunity hunting and proposition development. Their success rates are driven by their proprietary consumer co-creation IP. Follow @ChiefDistiller

  35. Eric Eskey
    Eric EskeyEric Eskey is a Managing Director at Strategyn, an innovation consultancy. Eric is in the business of creating the future. I aim to use the resources he has – his work, investments, voice, and imagination – to encourage innovation and defeat the hidden forces that resist it.

  36. Mick Simonelli
    Mick SimonelliMick Simonelli is an innovator with 20+ years of implementing change and positive disruption at USAA. As a military veteran, he held transformation roles in numerous military organizations; and as a business executive, he purposely hired vets to help launch numerous innovations as the Chief Innovation Officer for a Fortune 500 company. Mick currently serves as an innovation consultant and can be found at Follow @MickSimonelli

  37. Mitch Ditkoff
    Mitch Ditkoff is the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the author of “Awake at the Wheel”, as well as the very popular Heart of Innovation blog.

  38. Peter Cook
    Peter CookPeter Cook leads Human Dynamics and The Academy of Rock, providing Keynotes, Organisational Development and Coaching. He is the author of seven books on business leadership. His three passions are science, business and music, having led innovation teams for 18 years to develop life-saving drugs including the first treatments for AIDS and the development of Human Insulin. Peter is Music and Business editor at Innovation Excellence. You can follow him on twitter @Academyofrock.

  39. Mukesh Gupta
    Mukesh GuptaMukesh Gupta is Director of Customer Advocacy, SAP India Private Limited. He also served as Executive Liaison for the SAP User group in India, and as a Global Lead in Sales & Business Development. He blogs, and shares podcasts and videos, on his site

  40. 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

  41. 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.

  42. Randy Pennington
    Randy PenningtonRandy Pennington is an award-winning author, speaker, and leading authority for helping leaders deliver positive results in a world of uncertainty and change. To learn more or to engage Randy for your organization, visit, email, or call 972-980-9857 (U.S.).

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

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

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

Happy New Year everyone!

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