Category Archives: Top 10

America Drops Out of the Ten Most Innovative Countries

America Drops Out of Top 10 Most Innovative Countries

The latest Bloomberg Innovation Index is out (2021 edition), and South Korea has risen to first place, taking the title back from Germany, while the U.S. fell out of the Top 10 completely.

Seven of the top 10 places went to European countries while the USA and China slipped.

“Intensifying competition between the U.S. and China is reshaping the innovation landscape. For the U.S., fears about losing intellectual property to a geopolitical rival are undermining support for the open innovation system. For China, fear of being cut off from foreign technology is accelerating investment in R&D capacity at home.” — Bloomberg Chief Economist Tom Orlik

The rankings are based on dozens of criteria centered around seven metrics:

  • For patent activity
  • For research personnel concentration
  • For tertiary education
  • For technology company density
  • For productivity
  • For manufacturing value added
  • For research and development expenditures

Bloomberg Innovation Index 2021 Chart Part 1
Bloomberg Innovation Index 2021 Chart Part 2
Bloomberg Innovation Index 2021 Chart Part 3

The Bloomberg Innovation Index tries to measure and rank countries on the ability of their economies to innovate, which will be a key theme at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland taking place Jan. 26-29.

While spending on research and development continues to be important, shifts in productivity and education effectiveness (among other factors) will continue to encourage significant changes in the index from year to year.

“In the year of Covid and facing the urgency of climate change, the importance of innovation fundamentals only increases. Innovation is often measured by new ideas, new products and new services, but its their diffusion and adoption that is the real metric of success.” — Catherine Mann, Global Chief Economist at Citigroup Inc.

What do you think?

Does Bloomberg get it right or are there other innovation rankings or indexes that do a better job?

Which is more important to the relative innovativeness of a country, efforts by the government or by industry?

Which countries do the best job of achieving successful public/private partnerships to encourage innovation?

Click here to see the full 2021 Bloomberg Innovation Index rankings

 
Build a Common Language of Innovation

Image credits: Bloomberg

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Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020After 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 2020:

  1. Janet Sernack
    Janet 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. 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.

  3. Braden Kelley
    Braden KelleyBraden Kelley is a Design Thinking, Innovation and Transformation Consultant, a popular innovation speaker and workshop leader, and helps companies plan organizational changes that are more human and less overwhelming. He is the author of two five-star books, Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire and Charting Change, and the creator of a revolutionary new Change Planning Toolkit™. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter (@innovate).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.


  7. 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.

  8. 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.


  9. 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.


  10. 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.

  11. Build a common language of innovation on your team


  12. 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.

  13. Nicolas Bry
    Nicolas BryNicolas Bry is Orange Startups Studio Founder. He entices Orange employees in engaging as intrapreneurs, bringing their idea to life within Orange business. Nicolas is equally a passionate expert for innovation labs exploring new business. International speaker (TEDx), delivering Masterclasses @Google Academy, and Tech/Business Schools, ISPIM Prize for innovation management, Nicolas is Writer of RapidInnovation.fr, and of The Intrapreneurs’ Factory. Follow him at @nicobry.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. Accelerate your change and transformation success


  23. Francesco Pagano
    Franceso PaganoFrancesco Pagano, Vice President, EMEA Head of Portfolio of Licenses Brands at Fossil Group Europe, is passionate about craft brands, innovation, brand management, brand communication and international business. He is always up for irresistible product concepts, ultimate communication via integrated campaigns and great Italian food.

  24. Dimis Michaelides
    Simis MichaelidesDimis Michaelides is a keynote speaker, author, consultant and trainer in leadership, creativity and innovation. Contact him for a workshop or a presentation at dimis@dimis.org or register for his newsletter at www.dimis.org . You can also connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

  25. Greg Heist
    Greg HeistGreg Heist is the Chief Innovation Officer at Gongos, a decision intelligence company.


  26. 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


  27. 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.


  28. 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

  29. 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.

  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. 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.


  34. 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 www.micksimonelli.com Follow @MickSimonelli


  35. 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.


  36. 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.


  37. 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 rmukeshgupta.com


  38. Urko Wood
    Urko WoodUrko Wood helps clients of Reveal Growth find and capitalize on the best opportunities for innovation and growth in their markets. He is one of only a handful of people in North America who are expert practitioners in the breakthrough “jobs-to-be-done” (JTBD) innovation approach that has enabled over 400 of the Fortune 1000 to generate billions of dollars in new revenue and achieve new product success rates of over 80%.


  39. Arlen Meyers
    Arlen MyersArlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org

  40. 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.

  41. David Burkus
    David BurkusDavid Burkus is a best-selling author, a sought after speaker, and associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University. His newest book, Friend of a Friend, offers readers a new perspective on how to grow their networks and build key connections—one based on the science of human behavior, not rote networking advice.

  42. Neil Sholay
    Neil SholayNeil Sholay is re-shaping innovation and digital experiences as a Vice President of Digital Innovation for EMEA & JAPAC at Oracle. He leads a curious, multidisciplinary team of thinkers, Ideators, strategists, designers, developers, storytellers, rebels and proud geeks, who are reshaping Innovation and digital experiences. They bring new ideas & business models to life, using co-innovation and rapid prototyping.


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.

Download PDF version of Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020 list here:

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020 PDF

My lists from the eight previous years have been tremendously popular:

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2012
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2013
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2014
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

Happy New Year everyone!

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Voting Closed – Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020

Vote for Top 40 Innovation BloggersFor 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 I am eternally grateful to all of you out there who take the time to create and share great innovation articles, presentations, white papers, and videos and to make a list of the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers available each year.

My lists from the eight previous years have been tremendously popular:

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2012
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2013
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2014
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

Business Strategy Innovation is now looking for the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020.

Do you, or does someone you know, write articles about innovation?

Or 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, marketing, management, collaboration, or social media (as they relate to innovation)?

Well, Business Strategy Innovation is looking to recognize the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers and you helped us find them with your nominations. Now it is time to vote, and help us narrow things down to a list of the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020.

Build a Common Language of Innovation on your team

The deadline for submitting votes is January 7, 2021 at midnight GMT.

The ranking will be done by me with influence from votes and nominations. The quality and quantity of contributions 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 2020 and the contest winners will then be announced here in early January 2021.

Here is who received nominations (in alphabetical order):

Adi Gaskell – @adigaskell
Alex Goryachev
Andy Heikkila – @AndyO_TheHammer
Arlen Meyers
Braden Kelley – @innovate
Chad McAllister – @ChadMcAllister
Chris Beswick
Dan Blacharski – @Dan_Blacharski
Daniel Burrus – @DanielBurrus
Daniel Lock
Dave Wendland
David Burkus
Douglas Ferguson
Drew Boyd – @DrewBoyd
Frank Mattes – @FrankMattes
Gregg Fraley – @greggfraley
Greg Satell – @Digitaltonto
Hugo de Sousa
Ian Ure
Janet Sernack – @JanetSernack
Jay Boolkin
Jeffrey Baumgartner – @creativejeffrey
Jeff Freedman – @SmallArmyAgency
Jeffrey Phillips – @ovoinnovation
Jorge Barba – @JorgeBarba
Julian Birkinshaw – @JBirkinshaw
Julie Anixter – @julieanixter
Kate Hammer – @Kate_Hammer
Kevin McFarthing – @InnovationFixer
Kevin Namaky – @knamaky
Kevin Popovic
Lou Killeffer – @LKilleffer
Mari Anixter- @MariAnixter
Maria Paula Oliveira – @mpaulaoliveira
Marty Zwilling – @StartupPro
Matthew E May – @MatthewEMay
Michael Graber – @SouthernGrowth
Mike Brown – @Brainzooming
Mike Shipulski – @MikeShipulski
Mukesh Gupta
Nick Partridge – @KnewNewNeu
Nicolas Bry – @NicoBry
Pamela Soin
Paul Hobcraft – @Paul4innovating
Paul Sloane – @paulsloane
Pete Foley – @foley_pete
Ralph Christian Ohr – @ralph_ohr
Richard Haasnoot – @Innovate2Grow
Robert B Tucker – @RobertBTucker
Rowan Gibson – @RowanGibson
Saul Kaplan – @skap5
Scott Anthony – @ScottDAnthony
Scott Bowden – @scottbowden51
Shelly Greenway – @ChiefDistiller
Soren Kaplan – @SorenKaplan
Stefan Lindegaard – @Lindegaard
Stephen Shapiro – @stephenshapiro
Steven Forth – @StevenForth
Tamara Kleinberg – @LaunchStreet
Tim Stroh
Tom Koulopoulos – @TKspeaks
Yoram Solomon – @yoram

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


Accelerate your change and transformation success

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Nominations Closed for the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020

Nominations Open for the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020Business Strategy 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 Business Strategy 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 2012
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2013
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2014
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

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?

Business Strategy Innovation is now looking for the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020.

The deadline for submitting nominations is December 31, 2020 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

So, think about who you like to read and let us know by midnight GMT on December 31, 2020.

We will then compile a voting list of all the nominations, and publish it on January 1, 2021.

Voting will then be open from January 1-7, 2021 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 will be a contributing factor.

The official Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020 will then be announced on here in early January 2021.

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


Accelerate your change and transformation success

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

Thinkers50 – Can I Count on You?

2017 Thinkers50 Nominations Now OpenEvery two years Suntop Media ranks the top 50 management thought leaders and bestows the Thinkers50 Global Ranking of Management Thinkers. The ranking relies on nominations and voting from the community, meaning that the public decides who is selected.

NOMINATIONS CLOSE THIS FRIDAY (July 14, 2017)

Click here to nominate me by entering the following information:

Your Name
Your Email
Your Global Ranking Nominee: Braden Kelley
Notes (optional): Braden Kelley is an in-demand workshop leader and keynote speaker on the topics of innovation, digital transformation and organizational change. He is the creator of the revolutionary Change Planning Toolkit™ and the author of two popular books, ‘Charting Change’ from Palgrave Macmillan and ‘Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire’ from John Wiley & Sons. Braden has written hundreds of articles for publications including The Washington Post, Wired, and The Atlantic. And, in his spare time he created the site that became http://innovationexcellence.com – the world’s most popular innovation web site, and tweets from @innovate.

Click here to nominate me by entering the above information.

NOMINATIONS CLOSE THIS FRIDAY (July 14, 2017)


In addition, they are taking nominations for Distinguished Achievement Awards in the following categories:

  • Breakthrough Idea
  • Digital Thinking
  • Ideas Into Practice
  • Future Thinker
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Strategy
  • Talent

The INNOVATION category is where I would greatly appreciate your nomination, but I also firmly believe the Change Planning Toolkit™ qualifies me for the BREAKTHROUGH IDEA and IDEAS INTO PRACTICE categories, but I’ll leave that up to you!

Click here to nominate me for the Distinguished Achievement Award by filling in the following fields with whatever information you would like (I’ve included some thought starters):

Your Name
Your Email
Your Nominee for Breakthrough Idea Award: Braden Kelley
Your Nominee for Ideas Into Practice Award: Braden Kelley
Your Nominee for Innovation Award: Braden Kelley

Notes (optional): Braden Kelley created the revolutionary Change Planning Toolkit™ to help organizations plan their projects and change initiatives in a more visual, collaborative way so that teams stand a better chance of beating the 70% change effort failure rate. He is the author of two popular books, ‘Charting Change’ from Palgrave Macmillan and ‘Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire’ from John Wiley & Sons, and continues to be an insightful innovation voice for publications including InnovationManagement.se, SAP’s Digitalist magazine, ProjectManagement.com, and Innovation Excellence. In his spare time he tweets from @innovate.

Click here to nominate me for the Distinguished Achievement Award by filling in the above fields.

NOMINATIONS CLOSE THIS FRIDAY (July 14, 2017)


There is also a short form at http://www.thinkers50.com/scanning/identify-new-thinkers/ that you can use for identifying new thinkers (and all of the above info works). 😉


I am deeply grateful for your continuing support.

Sincerely,

Braden

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Voting Open for Thinkers50 Top Management Thinkers for 2015

Thinkers50 - Nominations and Votes NeededThank you everyone for your nominations for the Innovation category of the Thinkers50 Distinguished 2015 Distinguished Achievement Awards. The short lists for the eight categories will be announced in early September.

September 1st is the last day to cast your votes for the Thinkers50 Top Management Thinkers for 2015.

Click here to vote for me for the Thinkers50 Top Management Thinkers for 2015 by filling in the following:

Your Name
Your Email
Person who gets your vote: Braden Kelley
That person’s title: Founder
That person’s organization: Innovation Change Leadership
That person’s email address: thinkers50@bradenkelley.com

Click here to vote for me for the Thinkers50 Top Management Thinkers for 2015

Thank you in advance!

I am deeply grateful for your continuing support.

Sincerely,

Braden

Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/436145545136453823/


Accelerate your change and transformation success

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No Innovation Beyond This Point

No Innovation Beyond This Point

Don’t have time to read this right now? Why not listen instead?

(sorry umano seems to have gone out of business)

This isn’t the Top 10 Excuses for Not Investing in Innovation

I’ve been meaning to write this article for more than a year, after a dialog with the CEO of a leading online travel site where he said that the company wasn’t focused on innovation, that it wasn’t the right time to focus on innovation. This is despite the fact that the organization lists innovation as one of the company’s core values on its posters for employees pinned up around the corporate headquarters (and even painted on the walls).

As a champion of innovation this of course gave me pause.

After all, I travel the world delivering innovation keynotes and teaching innovation masterclasses to hundreds of people at a time, espousing that in today’s environment of rapid change that establishing a sustainable innovation capability is the only way to maintain your competitive advantage and ultimately the health of your business.

His comment, and the absolute certainty with which he delivered it, made me wonder if there might be times when INNOVATION IS A DUMB IDEA.

The CEO’s rationale was that his predecessor had spent freely chasing bright shiny technology objects to the detriment of the business’ core technology infrastructure. And instead of social media or these other bright shiny technology objects delivering new competitive advantage, they actually left the business with a core infrastructure that daily was becoming less capable than the competition at delivering the core elements of value that customers expect from an online travel site.

So, he felt that innovation would be a distraction to the business. Instead he wanted every single resource of the organization marshaled to modernize and stabilize the core technology of their online business to deliver great core value for customers, or there would be gradually fewer customers to deliver value to.

This reminded me of the Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule) because in some ways not only does the core business fund your innovation investments, but it is through continued excellence in delivery of the core value that prevents your organization from quickly going out of business (or losing market share). Meanwhile, through innovation excellence in the other 20% you either prevent the organization from slowly going out of business (or losing market share) or grow your business or market share.

So let’s be clear, you WILL still go out of business if you don’t at some point innovate and reinvigorate your products and services, but I will cede that failure to maintain operational excellence is a faster path to failure than falling short of innovation excellence.

And obviously, the healthier the firm is, the more money it can afford to allocate to innovation. Less obvious is that the best time to invest in innovation is when you feel like you don’t need it, because:

A. Innovation takes time and so you need to invest in advance of inevitable slowing sales

B. You can also invest in innovations that deepen your operational excellence

If you wait too long to invest in innovation, or if you invest in chasing bright, shiny technologies instead of focusing on solving pre-existing customer problems, you end up in a situation like this online travel company. Customers ultimately drive innovation, not technology.

There are of course other times where instead of ceding your innovation investments to focus on the core business, you actually decide to take money away from the core business and in a sense consciously cede it to the competition. The goal here is to increase your investments into innovations that will help your organization jump back into a stronger competitive position on the next curve. But few companies are able to make this work.

So, now you’ll fully understand the reasons behind #1 on my list of the Top 10 Reasons Not to Innovate:

1. Your main business is broken

We took a detailed look at this topic above.

2. Lack of commitment to innovation

If your organization isn’t committed to innovation for the long-term, don’t bother. Innovation isn’t free, it doesn’t happen overnight, and many ideas may become interesting inventions, but don’t end up being valuable innovations in the marketplace. Plus, employees can see right through executive teams that aren’t truly committed to innovation.

3. No common language of innovation

The term “innovation” means different things to different people. Ask 100 people, you’ll get 100 different definitions. So, after getting commitment to innovation, define what innovation means for the organization, and as I speak about in my five-star book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire, you must also create an innovation vision, strategy, and goals that ideally are formed with the organization’s vision, strategy, and goals in mind.

4. Lack of trust in the organization

Trust is fundamental to the success of any formal approach to innovation. If trust is currently broken in your organization, you must begin repairing that first. Then, and only then, can you start soliciting innovation ideas from your employees. In order to maintain trust (which is very fragile), you must also have all of the pieces in place to show people that ideas are being seriously considered and that that there is a process for choosing, funding, and developing them.

5. Don’t know how to innovate (or don’t know where to start)

Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire was designed to help organizations identify and remove barriers to innovation, but it also serves as a great innovation primer. Download it onto your Kindle, get it at your library, or get a hardcover from your favorite book seller. In addition, there are over 7,000 articles here on Innovation Excellence from over 400 contributing authors that can help you understand where to begin, and our directory of consultants provides some individuals and companies that can help. Finally, if you are a new innovation leader you should join our Linkedin group and reach out to some of your innovation management peers and ask them how they got started.

6. Innovation readiness down through the organization is lacking

It’s great when executives get religion and not only commit to innovation, but also make it a priority. But your employees must also be ready to innovate, and this requires education (see #5) and communications (see #3 and #4) around not just what innovation is, but why it is important. If your employees don’t understand what innovation is and why it is important to the continued success of the organization, you may be surprised to find that they sit on the sidelines. You wouldn’t expect the organization to go from 0 to 60 mph on its ability to utilize the principles of Lean, Agile, or Six Sigma. Innovation requires an investment in organizational capability and readiness too.

7. Lack of a unique, valuable customer insight

Brainstorming doesn’t drive innovation. Ideas don’t lead to innovation success. Innovation success is determined by customers voting with their feet and their wallets, and the only way that you get them to move either is by developing a new solution to a problem that delivers more value than every existing alternative. Innovation comes from connecting with customers in meaningful ways, and this requires that you develop a unique, valuable customer insight before you even begin generating ideas (possibly even co-creating with customers). Opening up and providing access to ethnographic research, behavioral data, and other sources of inspiration is a good place to start.

8. Can’t cope with the changes required

Committing to building an innovation capability often requires changes to organizational structure, rewards and recognition, budgeting, executive compensation, business unit goals, and other structural elements that the organization may not be ready for. Additionally, sometimes the organization isn’t capable of moving fast enough to realize the market potential of the innovations they are likely to create. In fast moving consumer goods this is can be a real problem, and so companies often must simultaneously accelerate the pace of change in their organization, identify structural impediments, find new ways to design and implement experiments to quickly prove or disprove assumptions or keys to success. I’m currently refining a change planning toolkit for public release and introduction in my new book on organizational change for Palgrave Macmillan. You can get involved with this project here.

9. ROI higher on improvements than innovation

Not all innovations are equal and your innovation pipeline may not always be full of potential innovations likely to scale to a level outpacing the ROI achievable on improvements ideas focused on your current slate of products and services. This reason is often used as an excuse, by executives not committed to innovation, for not funding potential innovations. This makes including it here hard for me to do. But, the fact is that there are times when this is a valid reason not to innovate. Sometimes innovation pipelines go dry for a little while, and usually this means that you haven’t been spending as much time with customers or scanning the landscape as you should have. You must restart these efforts immediately.

10. Too Early (customers not ready, technology not ready to scale) or Tipping Point Not Identified

It is possible to come up with a great potential innovation, but be too early. Compaq developed a hard disk based mp3 player years before Apple launched the iPod, but smartly chose not to launch it. Without the elegant navigation and music organization capabilities it would have certainly failed. The iPod itself didn’t take off until THREE YEARS after its launch (coinciding with the launch of the Windows version of iTunes). Online car services floated around for years, but customers weren’t ready to try them at scale until Uber added a little map showing nearby available cars and started to generate positive word of mouth. Airbnb didn’t invent the vacation rental by owner market but they came out of nowhere against established players and grew the market by asking people to question their lodging assumptions and offering people the ability to rent a spot on someone’s couch. One final example. The Apple TV launched in 2007 (EIGHT YEARS AGO) as a hobby, and while the Apple TV is shipping larger volumes today than eight years ago, it has failed to move the ecosystem as fast as they were able to in the mobile carrier/handset space. Whether HBO Now exclusively is the tipping point for a power shift in the television industry from cable/satellite providers (think mobile service providers) to the television stations (think mobile app makers), remains to be seen.

Conclusion

So there you have it, the Top 10 Reasons Not to Innovate. I’ll now turn around and expose my back so my fellow innovation authors, bloggers, and consultants can notch and loose their arrows in opposition to this heretical idea.

Or, a less painful way to voice your opinion (at least for me), would be for you to utilize the comments section to state your opinions in support or opposition to the idea that innovation is not always a smart idea.

Are there other valid reasons why a company should choose not to innovate?

Not excuses to use to oppose innovation, but real situations where innovation is actually a dumb idea?


SPECIAL BONUS: You can now access my latest webinar ‘Innovation is All About Change’ compliments of CoDev with passcode 1515 here:

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Top 10 Innovation Videos of 2011

Top 10 Innovation Videos of 2011Do you have a favorite innovation video?

We asked you the global innovation community, to suggest videos for the Top 10 Innovation Videos of 2011.

Many people did, and they had the chance to win some of the $3,650 worth of prizes up for grabs.

Here are the Top 10 Innovation Videos of 2011 based on the submissions:

  1. Where Good Ideas Come From

  2. Innovation Acceleration

  3. Do Schools Kill Creativity?

  4. ABC Niteline – IDEO Shopping Cart

  5. Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy – First Followers

  6. Interview with Dean Kamen

  7. Reinventing the Technology of Human Accomplishment

  8. The Myths of Innovation

  9. Two Similar Visions of the Future
  10. Here are two very similar visions of the future, the first is Microsoft’s vision for the year 2020:


    The second is Corning’s vision of the future dominated by specialty glass:

  11. The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Happy innovating!

Before you go…

What are your favorite innovation videos?
(make your suggestions in the comments)

Special Bonus

Download 'Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire' sample chapterIf you’ve read all the way to the bottom, then you deserve a free sample chapter from my new book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire. I hope you enjoy the sample chapter and consider purchasing the book as a way of supporting the future growth of this community.

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Global Innovation Index 2011 – Country Rankings

Global Innovation Index 2011 - Country RankingsThis article will be the first of a series of articles digging into the recently released Global Innovation Index 2011. In this issue we will give you just the country rankings. In the coming days I will dig through the Global Innovation Index 2011 report and see what interesting insights I can uncover about innovation in different regions, and report back here on Human-Centered Change & Innovation.

The Global Innovation Index 2011 was put together by Insead along with knowledge partners Alcatel-Lucent, Booz & Co., the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

So without further ado, here is the Global Innovation Index 2011 rankings of the world’s most innovative countries (based on inputs and outputs):

Global Innovation Index 2011 Country Rankings

Check back in the coming days for additional articles highlighting whatever insights I can extract from the Global Innovation Index 2011 report. In the meantime, feel free to sound off in the comments about whether you believe your country’s position is justified or off base.

In the meantime, consider following the Human-Centered Change & Innovation page on LinkedIn.

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