Tag Archives: Tools

3 Steps to Find the Horse’s A** In Your Company (and Create Space for Innovation)

3 Steps to Find the Horse's A** In Your Company (and Create Space for Innovation)

GUEST POST from Robyn Bolton

Innovation thrives within constraints.

Constraints create the need for questions, creative thinking, and experiments.

But as real as constraints are and as helpful as they can be, don’t simply accept them. Instead, question them, push on them, and explore around them.

But first, find the horse’s a**

How Ancient Rome influenced the design of the Space Shuttle

In 1974, Thiokol, an aerospace and chemical manufacturing company, won the contract to build the solid rocket boosters (SRBs) for the Space Shuttle. The SRBs were to be built in a factory in Utah and transported to the launch site via train.

The train route ran through a mountain tunnel that was just barely wider than the tracks.

The standard width of railroad tracks (distance between the rails or the railroad gauge) in the US is 4 feet, 8.5 inches which means that Thiokol’s engineers needed to design SRBs that could fit through a tunnel that was slightly wider than 4 feet 8.5 inches.

4 feet 8.5 inches wide is a constraint. But where did such an oddly specific constraint come from?

The designers and builders of America’s first railroads were the same people and companies that built England’s tramways. Using the existing tramways tools and equipment to build railroads was more efficient and cost-effective, so railroads ended up with the same gauge as tramways – 4 feet 8.5 inches.

The designers and builders of England’s tramways were the same businesses that, for centuries, built wagons. Wanting to use their existing tools and equipment (it was more efficient and cost-effective, after all), the wagon builders built tramways with the exact distance between the rails as wagons had between wheels – 4 feet 8.5 inches.

Wagon wheels were 4 feet 8.5 inches apart to fit into the well-worn grooves in most old European roads. The Romans built those roads, and Roman chariots made those grooves, and a horses pulled those chariots, and the width of a horses was, you guessed it, 4 feet 8.5 inches.

To recap – the width of a horses’ a** (approximately 4 feet 8.5 inches) determined the distance between wheels on the Roman chariots that wore grooves into ancient roads. Those grooves ultimately dictated the width of wagon wheels, tramways, railroad ties, a mountain tunnel, and the Space Shuttle’s SRBs.

How to find the horse’s a**

When you understand the origin of a constraint, aka find the horse’s a**, it’s easier to find ways around it or to accept and work with it. You can also suddenly understand and even anticipate people’s reactions when you challenge the constraints.

Here’s how you do it – when someone offers a constraint:

  1. Thank them for being honest with you and for helping you work more efficiently
  2. Find the horse’s a** by asking questions to understand the constraint – why it exists, what it protects, the risk of ignoring it, who enforces it, and what happened to the last person who challenged it.
  3. Find your degrees of freedom by paying attention to their answers and how they give them. Do they roll their eyes in knowing exasperation? Shrug their shoulders in resignation? Become animated and dogmatic, agitated that someone would question something so obvious?

How to use the horse’s a** to innovate

You must do all three steps because stopping short of step 3 stops creativity in its tracks.

If you stop after Step 1 (which most people do), you only know the constraint, and you’ll probably be tempted to take it as fixed. But maybe it’s not. Perhaps it’s just a habit or heuristic waiting to be challenged.

If you do all three steps, however, you learn tons of information about the constraint, how people feel about it, and the data and evidence that could nudge or even eliminate it.

At the very least, you’ll understand the horse’s a** driving your company’s decisions.

Image credit: Pixabay

Endnotes:

  1. To be very clear, the origin of the constraint is the horse’s a**. The person telling you about the constraint is NOT the horse’s a**.
  2. The truth is never as simple as the story and railroads used to come in different gauges. For a deeper dive into this “more true than not” story (and an alternative theory that it was the North’s triumph in the Civil War that influenced the design of the SRBs, click here

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Shark Tanks are the Pumpkin Spice of Innovation

Shark Tanks are the Pumpkin Spice of Innovation

GUEST POST from Robyn Bolton

On August 27, Pumpkin Spice season began. It was the earliest ever launch of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte and it kicked off a season in which everything from Cheerios to protein powder to dog shampoo promises the nostalgia of Grandma’s pumpkin pie.

Since its introduction in 2003, the Pumpkin Spice Latte has attracted its share of lovers and haters but, because it’s a seasonal offering, the hype fades almost as soon as it appears.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for its counterpart in corporate innovation — The Shark Tank/Hackathon/Lab Week.

It may seem unfair to declare Shark Tanks the Pumpkin Spice of corporate innovation, but consider the following:

  • They are events. There’s nothing wrong with seasonal flavors and events. After all, they create a sense of scarcity that spurs people to action and drives companies’ revenues. However, there IS a great deal wrong with believing that innovation is an event. Real innovation is not an event. It is a way of thinking and problem-solving, a habit of asking questions and seeking to do things better, and of doing the hard and unglamorous work of creating, learning, iterating, and testing required to bring innovation — something different that creates value — to life.
  • They appeal to our sense of nostalgia and connection. The smell and taste of Pumpkin Spice bring us back to simpler times, holidays with family, pie fresh and hot from the oven. Shark Tanks do the same. They remind us of the days when we believed that we could change the world (or at least fix our employers) and when we collaborated instead of competed. We feel warm fuzzies as we consume (or participate in) them, but the feelings are fleeting, and we return quickly to the real world.
  • They pretend to be something they’re not. Starbucks’ original Pumpkin Spice Latte was flavored by cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. There was no pumpkin in the Pumpkin Spice. Similarly, Shark Tanks are innovation theater — events that give people an outlet for their ideas and an opportunity to feel innovation-y for a period of time before returning to their day-to-day work. The value that is created is a temporary blip, not lasting change that delivers real business value.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

If you’re serious about walking the innovation talk, Shark Tanks can be a great way to initiate and accelerate building a culture and practice of innovation. But they must be developed and deployed in a thoughtful way that is consistent with your organization’s strategy and priorities.

  • Make Shark Tanks the START of an innovation effort, not a standalone event. Clearly establish the problems or organizational priorities you want participants to solve and the on-going investment (including dedicated time) that the company will make in the winners. Allocate an Executive Sponsor who meets with the team monthly and distribute quarterly updates to the company to share winners’ progress and learnings
  • Act with courage and commitment. Go beyond the innovation warm fuzzies and encourage people to push the boundaries of “what we usually do.” Reward and highlight participants that make courageous (i.e. risky) recommendations. Pursue ideas that feel a little uncomfortable because the best way to do something new that creates value (i.e. innovate) is to actually DO something NEW.
  • Develop a portfolio of innovation structures: Just as most companies use a portfolio of tools to grow their core businesses, they need a portfolio of tools to create new businesses. Use Shark Tanks to the surface and develop core or adjacent innovation AND establish incubators and accelerators to create and test radical innovations and business models AND fund a corporate VC to scout for new technologies and start-ups that can provide instant access to new markets.

Conclusion

Whether you love or hate Pumpkin Spice Lattes you can’t deny their impact. They are, after all, Starbucks’ highest-selling seasonal offering. But it’s hard to deny that they are increasingly the subject of mocking memes and eye rolls, a sign that their days, and value, maybe limited.

(Most) innovation events, like Pumpkin Spice, have a temporary effect. But not on the bottom-line. During these events, morale, and team energy spike. But, as the excitement fades and people realize that nothing happened once the event was over, innovation becomes a meaningless buzzword, evoking eye rolls and Dilbert cartoons.

Avoid this fate by making Shark Tanks a lasting part of your innovation menu — a portfolio of tools and structures that build and sustain a culture and practice of innovation, one that creates real financial and organizational value.

Image credit: Unsplash

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What’s Next – Through the Looking Glass

What's Next - Through the Looking Glass

by Braden Kelley

Humanity is obsessed with the future, and we always want to know what’s next for us.

Sometimes we want to know the future so badly that we stress ourselves out about imagined futures that won’t ever come to pass instead of dealing with what is right in front of us.

Time is Not Linear

Most people think of time in a linear fashion, but this is the wrong way of thinking about it.

It is more helpful instead to think of time as a wave (or as a pulse) emanating from a central point in an outward direction, representing all of the possible futures. Then as the next point in one of those possible futures becomes fixed, then another wave emanates from this new point representing all of the new possible futures. The math of what the future MIGHT look like gets really big, really fast – as you might imagine.

This is what makes predicting the future so difficult.

The number of inputs influencing the next step in your future journey is massive, and the number of potential next steps that are outputs of your next best action is equally massive.

So, while it is important to plan for the future and to develop a point of view on the future you would like to be the result of your actions, it is still just a guess. Making it more important and impactful to look at the near future more often than not.

Recently I came across a video from CableLabs that looks at one potential near future:

We Are Already Living in a Virtual Reality

The first choice the creators faced was augmented reality versus virtual reality, and you’ll see that they chose to highlight augmented reality instead of virtual reality. I think this is the right choice as many people would say we are living in a virtual reality already.

Our eyes and other sensory organs do their best to provide inputs to our brain about the physical reality we live in, but the information is often inaccurate and incomplete. Our brain tries to fill in the gaps, but there is some much we don’t understand about how the reality we live in operates.

The world we live in is already amazing, and there is more value in augmenting our experience of the reality we live within, than there is escaping into another reality that is more clumsy, awkward and lower fidelity than our experience of the virtual reality we live in now.

Our world is changing so fast that it is important for organizations and individuals to not just plan for the next month or the next quarter, but to plan for what we would like the near future to look like and think about the ways in which we would like to, and realistically can, influence it.

FutureHacking™ is Within Our Grasp

But the concepts of futurology and the role of the futurist seem pretty nebulous at best. It is because of this that I’ve begun creating a collection of FutureHacking™ tools to help you.

These tools will be available to license soon, and I’ll be holding virtual, and possibly in-person, workshops to explain how to use these simple tools to identify a range of potential futures, to select a preferred future, and activities to help influence its realization.

I think you’ll really like them, but in the meantime, I invite you to check out the embedded YouTube video and to share your thoughts on how you look at and plan for the future in the comments below.

Finally, make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter to get our weekly collection of articles, along with updates on the forthcoming FutureHacking™ set of tools.

Keep innovating!

To read more about what scientists say we get wrong about time, check out this BBC article

Image Credit: Pixabay

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TODAY ONLY – Change Planning Toolkit – Fourth of July Special

TODAY ONLY - Change Planning Toolkit - Fourth of July SpecialHappy Fourth of July!

For all of my American friends in celebration of Independence Day, I have a special offer for you.

If you live in the United States of America, TODAY ONLY, if you purchase a copy of:

The Change Planning Toolkit from the Human-Centered Change methodology …

You can get one of the two following deals if you are one of the first ten (10) people to purchase the deal and ENTER A UNITED STATES MAILING ADDRESS:

OPTION ONE: Free copy of Charting Change (a $49.99 value) when you buy a $99.99 one-year Change Planning Toolkit license (a $1,200 value)

OPTION TWO: Save 40% and get a free copy of Charting Change (a $49.99 value) when you buy a $999.99 Change Planning Toolkit lifetime license (a $120,000 value) and use coupon code lifetime4th

Thank you to all of our servicemen and servicewomen for protecting our freedom, and to everyone else please keep your fingers and toes safe with any celebration fireworks, and …

Keep innovating!

Chance to Help Make Futurism and Foresight Accessible

I’ve been hard at work building all kinds of tools to help innovation, change, transformation and design thinking practitioners be more successful in their jobs.

The number of human-centered tools in the Change Planning Toolkit v13 from the initial fifty (50) to more than SEVENTY.

I also introduced lots of inexpensive tools like the:

  1. $9.99 – Problem Finding Canvas
  2. FREE – Innovation Maturity Assessment
  3. FREE – Visual Project Charter™
  4. FREE – Experiment Canvas™
  5. FREE – ACMP Standard for Change Management® Visualization

And the core of the forthcoming Human-Centered Innovation Toolkit is well underway.

But I’ve also been exploring the very obtuse realm of futurism and foresight and pondering how to make it more accessible to us ordinary humans, and I think I’ve done it!

Chance to Help Make Futurism Accessible

I’ve created a set of TWENTY (20) simple but powerful foresight and futurism tools to power my FutureHacking™ methodology.

To spread them farther and faster I’m looking to partner with a forward-thinking organization to bring them to market.

  • Does your organization view itself as leading its customers into the future?
  • Are you looking for an amazing marketing opportunity?
  • One that would empower thousands of innovation and strategy professionals to do their own foresight and futurism work?

If so, then contact me here and we’ll build a launch plan together that connects your brand to a powerful new FutureHacking™ movement!

FutureHacking Tools Collection

Benefits to you will include, but will not be limited to:

  1. Joint promotion of your brand via my site, social media, email newsletters, etc.
  2. Presence of your logo as a sponsor on the tools and educational assets
  3. Access to the tools for your employees
  4. Other ideas you suggest!

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Free Human-Centered Innovation Tools

Free Human-Centered Innovation Tools

Innovation is all about change, and change only succeeds when people are put at the center. Therefore, people are also the heart of innovation.

It is because of this fact that I continue to build out my Human-Centered Innovation methodology and toolkit.

Keeping with the spirit of placing people at the center of innovation and change I have not only resurrected Blogging Innovation as Human-Centered Change & Innovation (follow us on LinkedIn) – complete with a weekly newsletter – but am also creating this curated collection of human-centered innovation tools.

I will give this page a start with some of my free tools from my Human-Centered Innovation Toolkit along with other well-know people-centric innovation tools.

BUT, this page will always be under construction, so please contact me with your suggestions of free tools to add.

Free Human-Centered Innovation Tools

Assessments

1. Innovation Maturity Assessment

Free Innovation AuditTo help people evaluate their level of innovation maturity against the above graphic, I am sharing the 50 question innovation maturity assessment I use with clients. The assessment is most powerful when answers are gathered at multiple levels of the organization across several groups and several sites, but you can also fill it out yourself and get instant feedback – for FREE.

Click here to visit the Free Innovation Maturity Assessment page

Strategy Tools

1. Play-to-Win Strategy Canvas

Play-to-Win Strategy CanvasMatthew E. May designed and developed a wall canvas to be used when facilitating strategic choice-making with small teams. Over time, the canvas has evolved as he learned more and more about the art and discipline of strategy facilitation… what people struggle with most, where the resource of time is best spent, etc.

He introduced v3.0 of the canvas a few years ago in a short post, but here’s a little content to both explain what’s different (and why) and a few tips.

The first thing you’ll notice is that strategy-making is in three big steps:

1. Choose (strategic choices using the Play-to-Win framework)
2. Reverse Engineer (what must true for the choices to be good ones)
3. Test (validating what must be true is in fact true, or true enough)

Click here to download the free Play-to-Win wall size canvas

Click here to download the free Play-to-Win 11×17 canvas (aka A3)

Planning Tools

1. Visual Project Charter™

Visual Project Charter™The Visual Project Charter™ helps organizations:

  • Move beyond the Microsoft Word document
  • Make the creation of Project Charters more fun!
  • Kickoff projects in a more collaborative, more visual way
  • Structure dialogue to capture the project overview, project scope, project conditions and project approach

This download includes a premium 35″ x 56″ scalable PDF that I am making available to project managers for use in planning their projects in a more visual and collaborative way for greater alignment, accountability, and more successful outcomes.

The download will also include a JPEG version for use with online whiteboarding tools like Miro, Mural, Lucidspark and Microsoft Whiteboard for when your sticky notes need to be virtual.

Click here to get the Visual Project Charter™ for free

2. Business Model Canvas

Business Model CanvasThe Business Model Canvas is a popular tool from Strategyzer than can be used collaboratively to sketch out and iterate on potential business models for a new business or innovation opportunity. Why use the Business Model Canvas?

  • Map Existing Business Models – Visualize and communicate a simple story of your business model.
  • Design New Business Models – Use the canvas to explore new business models whether you are a start-up or an existing business.
  • Manage a Portfolio of Business Models – Use the canvas to easily juggle between “Explore” and “Exploit” business models.

Click to visit Strategyzer’s Business Model Canvas download page

People & Culture

1. Nine Innovation Roles Card Deck

Nine Innovation RolesI’m of the opinion that all people are creative, in their own way. That is not to say that all people are creative in the sense that every single person is good at creating lots of really great ideas, nor do they have to be. I believe instead that everyone has a dominant innovation role at which they excel, and that when properly identified and channeled, the organization stands to maximize its innovation capacity. I believe that all people excel at one of nine innovation roles, and that when organizations put the right people in the right innovation roles, that your innovation speed and capacity will increase.

Click here to visit the Nine Innovation Roles free gifts page
(multiple languages available)

Frameworks

1. Eight I’s of Infinite Innovation

Eight I's of Infinite InnovationThe Eight I’s of Infinite Innovation framework is designed to be a continuous learning process, one without end as the outputs of one round become inputs for the next round. It’s also a relatively new guiding framework for organizations to use, so if you have thoughts on how to make it even better, please let me know in the comments. The framework is also ideally suited to power a wave of new organizational transformations that are coming as an increasing number of organizations (including Hallmark) begin to move from a product-centered organizational structure to a customer needs-centered organizational structure. The power of this new approach is that it focuses the organization on delivering the solutions that customers need as their needs continue to change, instead of focusing only on how to make a particular product (or set of products) better.

Click here to download the Eight I’s of Infinite Innovation PDF from LinkedIn
(go into fullscreen mode to download)

2. Building a Global Sensing Network

Building a Global Sensing NetworkThe purpose of a global sensing network is to allow an organization to collect and connect the partial insights and ideas that will form the basis of the organization’s next generation of customer solutions. This involves collecting and connecting:

  1. Customer Insights
  2. Core Technology Trends
  3. Adjacent Technology Trends
  4. Distant technology trends
  5. Local social mutations
  6. Expert Communities

Click to read more about Building a Global Sensing Network

Click to access this framework as a scalable 11″x17″ PDF download

Prototyping & Testing Tools

1. The Experiment Canvas™

The Experiment CanvasThe Experiment Canvas™ is designed to help people instrument for learning fast in iterative new product development (NPD) or service development activities. The canvas will help you create new innovation possibilities in a more visual and collaborative way for greater alignment, accountability, and more successful outcomes.

Click to read more about The Experiment Canvas™

Click to download the Experiment Canvas™ as a 35″ x 56″ scalable FREE PDF poster

Add to this list of Free Human-Centered Innovation Tools

This page will always be under construction, so please contact me with your suggestions of free tools to add.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Start 2021 with a Free Innovation Audit

Free Innovation AuditNow in Portuguese or English

Are you struggling to identify why your innovation efforts are failing to achieve their desired results?

Identify your areas of opportunity with my FREE 50 question audit in one of two ways:

1. Get immediate feedback with the online version

2. Download the Microsoft Excel worksheet (in English or Portuguese)

  • have people across your organization fill it out and collate your results
  • OR purchase the Innovation Diagnostic Service for my help setting up a study and analyzing results

The innovation audit is most powerful when answers are gathered at multiple levels of the organization across several groups and several sites.

I created my FREE Innovation Audit for buyers of my first book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire, but it’s now available for global use.

NOTE: If you’d like to translate the audit into another language, please contact me.

In addition to helping you identify areas of potential improvement and the strengths/weaknesses of your innovation culture, it will also help you see your level of innovation maturity.

Innovation Maturity Model

Image adapted from the book Innovation Tournaments by Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich

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Time Travel Innovation

Time Travel Innovation

Is it really possible to travel back in time? What about traveling into the future, have we finally figured out how to do that? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out…

But before we explore whether someone has finally figured out how to successfully time travel and recruit you to join me in investing in their pre-IPO startup, I’d like to introduce one of the most important visualizations from the world of innovation that many of your have probably never seen – Neri Oxman’s Krebs Cycle of Creativity from January 2016.

If you’re not familiar with this incredibly important visual artifact from the work of Neri Oxman from MIT’s Media Lab, you should be because it does an amazing job of capturing the interplay between Art, Science, Engineering and Design in the creation of innovation. It builds on John Maeda’s Bermuda Quadrilateral from 2006:

John Maeda Bermuda Quadrilateral

And Rich Gold’s Matrix, also from 2006:

Rich Gold Matrix

While Rich Gold’s visualization builds on the logical bones of John Maeda’s Bermuda Quadrilateral and introduces the concepts of speculative design, speculative engineering, and the contrast between moving minds & moving molecules, it lacks the depth of Neri Oxman’s Krebs Cycle of Creativity visualization. But the Krebs Cycle of Creativity does lose Maeda’s expression of the linkages between science & exploration, engineering & invention, design & communication, and art & expression. But even without these assertions of Maeda, the Krebs Cycle of Creativity still captures a number of other powerful tensions and assertions that can benefit us in our pursuit of innovation.

Time Marches On

The Krebs Cycle of Creativity can be viewed from a number of different perspectives and utilized in a number of different ways. But, one way to look at it is as if it were a watch face. In this context as time moves forward you’re following the typical path, a technology-led innovation approach.

Using the Krebs Cycle of Creativity Canvas in a clockwise direction will help us explore:

  • What information do we have about what might be possible?
  • What knowledge needs to be obtained?
  • What utility does the invention create?
  • What behavior do we need to modify to encourage adoption?

It begins with the invention of a new piece of technology created by the usage of existing information and a new perception of what might be possible within the constraints of our understanding of the natural world, or even by expanding our understanding and knowledge of the natural world using the scientific method.

Neri Oxman Krebs Cycle of Creativity

You’ll see at 3 o’clock in the image above that it at this point in time that most organizations then hand off this new knowledge to their engineers to look at this new understanding of nature through the production lens in order to convert this new knowledge into new utility.

Engineers in most organizations are adept at finding a useful application for a new scientific discovery, and in many organizations this work is done before designers get a peek and begin to imagine how they can present this utility to users in a way that drives behaviors of adoption in a way that the behaviors of using the product or consuming the service feel as natural as possible and as frictionless as possible.

And unfortunately the artists in any organization (or outside via agency relationships) are called in at the eleventh hour to help shape perceptions and to communicate the philosophy behind the solution and the to make the case for it to occupy space in our collective culture.

Pausing at the Innovation Intersection

The way that innovation occurs in many organizations is that Science and Engineering collaborate to investigate and confirm feasibility, then Engineering and Design collaborate to inject viability into the equation, and then Design and Art (with elements of marketing and advertising) collaborate to create Desirability at the end. This may be how it works in many organizations, yet it doesn’t mean that it is the best way…

Feasibility Viability Desirability for Innovation

Traveling Back in Time

But as we all know, water can run uphill, the moon can eclipse the sun, and yes time can run in reverse. Viewing the Krebs Cycle of Creativity in a counter clockwise direction and pushing the hands of the watch backwards will have you following a user-led innovation approach instead.

Using the Krebs Cycle of Creativity Canvas in a counter clockwise direction will help us explore:

  • What information do we have about what is needed?
  • What behavior should we observe?
  • What would create utility for customers?
  • What knowledge must we obtain to realize our solution vision?

It begins with the identification of a new insight uncovered by the investigation of existing information and a new perception of what might be needed within the constraints of our understanding of our customers, or even by expanding our understanding and knowledge of our customers by using ethnography, observation, behavioral science and other tools to enter the mind of your customers, employees or partners.

You’ll see at 9 o’clock in the image above that it at this point in time that user-driven organizations after having their business artists use their perception skills to investigate the culture and philosophy underpinning this new understanding of behavior and pass it off for their designers to look at through the production lens in order to convert it into new utility.

Designers in many organizations are adept at finding a useful application for a new behavioral understanding, and in user-driven organizations this work is done before engineers get a peek and begin to imagine how they can build this utility for users in a way that creates new knowledge in a way that will differentiate the products or services of their organization from those of the competition.

And in user-driven organizations scientists are called in as needed to help overcome any barriers engineers encounter in realizing the solution that best satisfies the users’ identified needs, while leveraging new scientific perceptions that help shape our understanding of nature and empower new philosophical beliefs about what’s possible.

Conclusion

While we haven’t torn any worm holes through the fabric of the space-time continuum with this article, hopefully we have expanded your repertoire with some new tools to facilitate conscious choices around whether you are going to pursue technology-led innovation (clockwise) or user-led innovation (counter clockwise).

Hopefully we have also shown you a better way of visualizing where you are in your innovation journey and where the turning points in your innovation pursuits lie as you seek to take a quantum leap and transform your past into a bright, shiny future.

So now it is time to answer the question you had at the beginning of this article… Is time travel possible?

Well, nearly a decade ago NASA ran an experiment that proved elements of Einstein’s theory of relativity, specifically that the fabric of space-time warps around the earth in response to gravity. Read about it here

And yes, time travel is theoretically possible, or at least time is not theoretically constant as described in this NASA article.

Neither of these indicate that it is possible to travel backwards in time (despite what Superman physics says), only to affect how time advances, but if anyone wants to invest a million dollars in my time travel startup, I’ll cash your check. Because who knows, maybe your check is what will finally make time travel possible!

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

 

Image credits: Neri Oxman, MIT Media Lab; Rich Gold; John Maeda; Pixabay

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Going Beyond the Business Model Canvas

Going Beyond the Business Model Canvas

For decades when business people and aspiring entrepreneurs came up with an idea and became serious about commercializing it, they would, by default, create a business plan. Anyone who has ever created a business plan knows they are a LOT of work. And as any innovator knows, most ideas turn out to be garbage. As a result, the creation of most business plans ends up being a waste of time.

All of this wasted time and money in the universes of both corporate innovation and startups was definitely an area of opportunity.

This pain has been solved in part by the Business Model Canvas created by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, the Lean Canvas created by Ash Maurya, and by minor variations created by others.

Purpose of the Business Model Canvas

The purpose of both at their core is the same. The Business Model Canvas and the Lean Canvas seek to help entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and innovators quickly explore the desirability, feasibility and viability of their ideas in a more visual and collaborative way, while also supporting much quicker iterations and revisions to both the value proposition and its path to market.

Where a business plan may take weeks to create, a Business Model Canvas or Lean Canvas can be created in an afternoon.

Where a business plan is often created by one person and revised by others in a serial manner, a Business Model Canvas or Lean Canvas is a group activity, informed by a collection of diverse perspectives and experiences, and challenged, evolved and revised in a real-time, parallel manner.

What excites me most as someone who conducts workshops all around the world and teaches people how to use the Business Model Canvas and other innovation & change tools, is that the Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas have helped to accelerate a transformation in not only how people are taught, but also how they are permitted to conduct business.

Creating a Business Model Canvas as a Team

The Visual and Collaborative Workplace Transformation

This transformation is a game changer because it represents a growing integration of methods into workshops and meetings that enable facilitators to engage not only auditory learners, but visual, kinesthetic and social learners as well.

This more human approach to prototyping a business helps to add a bit more structure around an idea, in a collaborative way that will more quickly surface gaps and flaws while also testing assumptions, collecting idea fragments into a more holistic value proposition and creating a vision for how to make it real.

But, as we all know, any new business or any potential innovation will create an abundance of required and necessary changes. Unfortunately, whether you are using the Business Model Canvas or the Lean Canvas, the truth and the limitation is that they are but a single tool and can’t help you walk the rest of the path to reality. To create the changes necessary to realize your vision, you will need many more tools.

“When what people do aligns with what they think and feel, then and only then, will you achieve the outcomes you’re looking for.”

The good news is that this more visual and collaborative way of working helps with two of the most important keys to success – buy-in and alignment – and also helps to align mind, body, and spirit to harness the whole brain and its three constructs:

  1. Cognitive (thinking)
  2. Conative (doing)
  3. Affective (feeling)

Outcome-Driven Change Framework by Braden Kelley

Beyond the Business Model Canvas and the Lean Canvas

Visual, collaborative tools like the Business Model Canvas, Lean Canvas, Empathy Map, Value Proposition Canvas, Experience Maps, Service Design, and even Customer Journey Maps have laid the groundwork for a more modern, more powerful way of working that leverages the whole brain of the individual, and all three learning styles of the collective.

And where these tools all represent the beginning of a visual, collaborative endeavor to create change, they are missing the tools to help plan for and execute the changes that are being proposed.

Making the Shift to Human-Centered Change

This is where the Change Planning Toolkit™ powering the Human-Centered Change methodology comes in. It has been designed with the Change Planning Canvas™ at its core to feel familiar to those already using the aforementioned tools and empower teams to take the next steps on their journey to be successful:

  1. Innovation and Intrapreneurship
  2. Startup Creation
  3. Digital Transformation
  4. Design Thinking
  5. New Product Development (NPD)
  6. Service Design
  7. Experience Design
  8. Customer Experience (CX) Improvement Efforts
  9. Projects (make sure you also get the Visual Project Charter™)
  10. Change Initiatives

Charting Change is Number OneSo, if you’re already familiar with the Business Model Canvas, Lean Canvas, Empathy Map, Value Proposition Canvas, Experience Maps, Service Design, or Customer Journey Maps then you should get a copy of my latest book Charting Change and it will show you the thinking behind the Change Planning Toolkit™, how to use it to maintain the momentum of your team and the energy behind your idea, and how to leverage both to push it forward towards reality.

The Change Planning Toolkit™ will help you beat the 70% change failure rate, create more efficient and effective change initiatives (and even projects), and accelerate your pace of successful change in order to keep up with the accelerating pace of change all around us and to be more nimble, agile, and responsive than your competition.

Three Steps to Human-Centered Change Success

There is a simple three step process for people who want to start saving time and get the jump on their competition today by familiarizing themselves with the Human-Centered Change methodology:

  1. 10 free tools available to download now
  2. 26 free tools when you buy the book
  3. 70+ tools when you license the toolkit

I’ve invested more than $1 million into the Change Planning Toolkit™ so you don’t have to, and so you can leverage this investment to gain all of the benefits above while also saving yourself thousands or millions of dollars in consulting fees – every year.

And for a limited time, there are some exciting FREE training opportunities available to a handful of organizations who contact me.


Accelerate your change and transformation success

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Top 10 Benefits of the Change Planning Toolkit™

Top 10 Benefits of the Change Planning Toolkit™

Some of the smartest people and organizations in the world are learning how to use the Change Planning Toolkit™ to change how they plan and execute change and to undertake the transformation work necessary to thrive in the experience economy. Who wouldn’t want to beat the 70% change failure rate?

It’s super easy to get started with the Change Planning Toolkit™.

But, before I tell you WHERE to start, let’s start with WHY…

Top 10 Benefits of the Change Planning Toolkit™

  1. Transparency
  2. Alignment
  3. Engagement
  4. Collaboration
  5. Accountability
  6. Speed
  7. Agility
  8. Adoption
  9. On-Time Delivery
  10. On-Budget Delivery

There are lots of great ways to get started with the Change Planning Toolkit™. Personally I would start by getting a copy of my latest book Charting Change because it was written the toolkit in mind AND because book buyers can get access to 26 of the 50+ tools in the toolkit when they contact me. This includes the powerful Change Planning Canvas™, the keystone designed to sit at the center of all of the other tools and keep everything on track.

Not ready to commit to reading the book?

Then, go ahead and get comfortable for free with some of the frameworks, tools and this more visual, collaborative and kinesthetic way of working by downloading the 10 free change tools, which include a combination of frameworks from the book and powerful tools like:

  1. The Visual Project Charter
  2. The Eleven Change Roles™
  3. A visualization of the ACMP Standard for Change Management®

I’ve invested decades and millions of dollars worth of time into putting this toolkit together for you (this is my 10,000 hour project for those Gladwell fans out there). The crazy part is that your annual investment in the Change Planning Toolkit™ will be less than the cost of hiring a change consultant for even 30 minutes.

You can learn more about the Change Planning Toolkit™ by checking out this short 25-minute introductory webinar.

I hope you’ll consider thinking differently about change, and I encourage you to consider about joining the change revolution at whatever starting point above that feels comfortable for you.

Get started with the Change Planning Toolkit™ here


Accelerate your change and transformation success

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