Join Me at Innovation Leader’s IMPACT 2019 in San Francisco

Join Braden Kelley at Innovation Leader's IMPACT 2019 in San Francisco

Want to find out how to learn fast instead of failing fast?

Join me in San Francisco, CA next month – October 22-24, 2019 at Innovation Leader’s IMPACT 2019, their annual conference where innovation leaders from organizations around the world will meet to share innovation best practices.

I’ll be doing a keynote and workshop that will give participants hands-on experience with The Experiment Canvas™ from my forthcoming Disruptive Innovation Toolkit™.

The Experiment Canvas by Braden Kelley

The Experiment Canvas™ is one of the many tools that I’ve already created for the Disruptive Innovation Toolkit™, and it is an incredibly valuable tool for use by people following Design Sprint, Design Thinking or other innovation methodologies to craft and execute experiments.

If you’d like to get involved as a patron or premium sponsor to help finish toolkit development and distribution, please contact me.

Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you next month in San Francisco!

Connect with me on Twitter (@innovate) to orchestrate a meetup to learn about my work at Oracle or to sit down with me at the event to explore any of the powerful tools in the Change Planning Toolkit™ or Disruptive Innovation Toolkit™.

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Leading Digital Transformation – The Interview

Braden Kelley interviewed by Rob Llewellyn for the Leading Digital Transformation podcast

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Rob Llewellyn for his Leading Digital Transformation podcast, and discuss how most organizations fail at innovation because they fail at change. They may aspire to innovate but often struggle and continue to lose pace along the fast-moving business landscape. During the discussion I share some ways organizations can get better at innovation, change, and transformation.

Click the play button above to listen to what I have to say about innovation, digital transformation and change in my interview with Rob.

Or choose your favorite listening platform for the interview here

You can listen to the interview on Spotify, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Apple or Google and pick up my two books here:

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The World is About to Get Smaller

The World is About to Get Smaller

As many of you may already know, recently I joined Oracle to help build a new innovation and digital transformation offering that leverages design thinking and other tools to engage prospective North American customers of Oracle in human-centered problem-solving focused on solving their most pressing challenges.

One of the attractions to this particular role was the opportunity to work for the company with the most complete, modern, flexible and secure enterprise cloud. Oracle Cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications provides customers with the speed and innovation of best-of-breed cloud software in a complete, secure, and connected cloud suite. Our startup within the world’s second largest software company can help reimagine your business, processes, and experiences from a distinctly human perspective.

When we’re not working with customers we’ll be constantly scanning the landscape and looking for opportunities to re-imagine different industries. From time to time, we’ll come across interesting things to share, possibly to provoke a conversation.

Real-time translation is one technology getting closer every year to being ready for widespread adoption. One of the more intriguing recent implementations of real-time translation that moves us closer to the Babel fish holy grail is Google’s Pixel Buds from late 2017.

First let’s look at this video that evaluates how well Google Pixel Buds do real-time translation:

And now let’s look at a real world application test video from Air New Zealand that dives into how the airline might use them in practice along with their ability to handle something like 40 languages:

But Google is not standing still as evidenced by this article and the video below that shows the Google Assistant Interpreter Mode launched earlier this year. Now it is only 27 languages not 40, but it’s a start:

Here’s a full list of languages supported:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Slovak
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Vietnamese

The technology is supposed to be integrated into all Google Assistant enabled headphones in the future, but I’m not sure whether that has happened yet or not.

The Interpreter Mode seems to only work on Google Home and some other Google smart devices, but not on phones. You can install the Google Translate application on your Android phone and do some translation, but the experience is not as seamless. You can download Google Translate from the Google Play store.

So, what do you think? Does this technology have value now? How much more time do you think they need to make the technology even better?

Is there a role for technology like this in your business?

Parting Shot

So, if you work for a large company in North America and you’re interested in re-imagining your business, exploring the possibilities of accelerating to the speed of the cloud, or tackling a wicked challenge with our team (on a COMPLIMENTARY basis to select companies), please contact me.

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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.

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

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.

This is where the Change Planning Toolkit™ 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.

There is a simple three step process for people to familiarize themselves with the Change Planning Toolkit™ who aren’t ready to get the jump on their competition today:

  1. 10 free tools available to download now
  2. 26 free tools when you buy the book
  3. 50+ 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.

Get the Change Planning Toolkit from Braden Kelley

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FLASH SALE – 50% off the best book for Digital Transformation and Change – 24 hours only!

Charting Change is Number OneExciting news!

The publisher of my second book – Charting Change – is having a 24-hour FLASH SALE and so you can get the hardcover version or the eBook for 50% off the list price.

I stumbled across this and wanted to share with everyone so if you haven’t already gotten a copy of this book to power your digital transformation or your latest project or change initiative to success, now you have no excuse!

Click here to get your copy of Charting Change for 50% off

Of course you can get 10 free tools here from the book, but if you buy the book and contact me I will send you 26 free tools from the 50+ tools in the Change Planning Toolkit™ – including the Change Planning Canvas™!

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China Plans to Trump Innovation from Outer Space

China Plans to Trump Innovation from Outer Space

First, let me say that this is not a political article, but instead an article about a potential innovation crisis looming just over the horizon thanks to brinkmanship between China and the United States.

Second, let me say this article is not about killer satellites being launched into orbit by the Trump administration or the People’s Republic of China.

Instead this article is about the psychology of a country being backed into a corner, the measures China is likely to take to fight back when they can’t match the United States dollar for dollar in a tariff fight, the current state of the rare earth metals market and its impact on the future of innovation.

Now, some of you might be asking yourself – What the heck are rare earth metals?

Well, as the name might suggest they are metals that are not often found in dense quantities on earth. Some hypothesize that some of the best rare earth metal finds have an extraterrestrial origin. So, some might say that rare earth metals are literally alien, brought to our planet not by little green men (and women) but by blazing hot meteors smashing into the earth. Rare earth metals are so valuable to collectors and to high tech manufacturers that there are groups of modern day Indiana Jones clones out there racing around the world to be the first to claim the next meteor strike before someone else does (see article) and the Chinese government made a conscious choice to invest in trying to corner the market.


Because rare earth metals are CRUCIAL to all of the technology that empowers the innovation economy.

Here is a 60 Minutes segment from three years ago that CBS recently refreshed and re-aired now that it is again timely given the United States vs. China trade war. It provides a great introduction to rare earth metals and the role they play in the innovation economy:

(updated 60 minutes video available here)

About the only substantial change in the video is that China’s dominance has dropped from 90% of global production to 80% of global production.

Here is a chart showing the production of rare earths in 2018 in the world (data source):

Rare Earth Data

As the chart shows, China has about 40% of the world’s rare earth metals, but is responsible for 75% of the world’s production of rare earth metals. The military machine of the United States relies on rare earth metals to operate, along with green energy, high technology, electric cars, you name it – nearly every innovation direction we’re trying to go in – relies on rare earth metals.

China has cut off countries from rare earth metals before, most notably Japan, and now they are threatening to do it again to the United States (one article highlighting the threat not just to the United States, but to Europe as well). China is also threatening to begin blacklisting individual technology companies not sympathetic to its cause in the battle of egos and stare down between these two economic superpowers. You have to imagine this would include being cut off from rare earth metals.

So, is the innovation train, this pace of unrelenting technological advance and change, about to come a grinding halt?

I guess we’re all about to find out…

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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

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Innovation, Change and Transformation in London – Part One

Innovation, Change and Transformation in London - Part One

I’m off to London tomorrow for my London Business School class reunion. And, while I’m looking forward to reuniting with my LBS classmates, I’m also looking forward to connecting in person with some of the smartest innovation, change and transformation professionals, academics and entrepreneurs on the planet.

But I need your help…

I’m trying to organize a meetup of London innovation, change, and transformation professionals on Friday afternoon, 3 May 2019 in central London, but I’m still looking for someone to provide a space to facilitate this cross-pollination of ideas.

If you would like to host me and a dozen or so amazing innovation, change and transformation professionals, academics and entrepreneurs to empower some great conversations and information sharing, please contact me.

I will be returning to London in June/July, but more about that later. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: I was able to secure a room at the Oracle office in Central London near Moorgate for Friday afternoon from 1pm-4pm. Please contact me if you’re interested in attending as I’m finalizing the attendee list and I have a maximum capacity for 25 people. I’ll send final details by email once the attendee list is finalized.

UPDATE: We had a great turnout at this innovation, change and transformation meetup at the Oracle office in Central London. It was a great opportunity to meet some great Innovation Excellence contributors in person, to make a lot of great connections between people and to share information and inspiration. For those of you unable to make it, sorry, but you really missed out! Maybe next time…

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Are You Prepared to Run a Digital Business for the Digital Age?

Are You Prepared to Run a Digital Business for the Digital Age?

In our digital age, all companies must change how they think, how they interact with customers, partners, and suppliers, and how their business works on the inside. Customer, partner, and supplier expectations have changed, and a gap is opening between what they expect from their interaction with companies and what those companies are currently able to deliver. Companies must immediately work to close this expectation gap, or their entire business is at risk.

If digital natives attack, they will do it with a collection of digital strategies that utilize the power of the digital mindset to more efficiently and effectively utilize the available people, tools, and technology, and to design better, more seamlessly interconnected, and automated processes that can operate with only occasional human intervention.

To defend your company’s very existence, you must start thinking like a technology company or go out of business. Part of that thinking is to fundamentally re-imagine how you structure and operate your business. You must look at your business and your industry in the same way that a digital native startup will if they seek to attack you and steal your market. To make this easier, ask yourself these five foundational questions:

  1. If I were to build this business today, given everything that I know about the industry and its customers and the advances in people, process, technology and tools, how would I design it?
  2. From the customers’ perspective, where does the value come from?
  3. What structure and systems would deliver the maximum value with the minimum waste?
  4. What are the barriers to adoption and the obstacles to delight for my product(s) and/or service(s) and how will my design help potential customers overcome them?
  5. Where is the friction in my business that the latest usage methods of people, process, technology, and tools can help eliminate?

There are, of course, other questions you may want to ask, but these five should get you most of the way to where you need to go in your initial strategic planning sessions. What questions do you think are key for enterprises to ask themselves if they are to survive and thrive in the digital age?

Digital Strategy vs. Digital Transformation

How much appetite for digital change do you have?

Understanding how your management and your enterprise is likely to answer this question will help you identify whether your business should pursue a digital strategy or a digital transformation. The two terms are often misused, in part by being used interchangeably when they are in fact two very different things.

A digital strategy is a strategy focused on utilizing digital technologies to better serve one group of people (customers, employees, partners, suppliers, etc.) or to serve the needs of one business group (HR, finance, marketing, operations, etc.). The scope of a digital strategy can be quite narrow, such as using digital channels to market to consumers in a B2C company; or broader, such as re-imagining how marketing could be made more efficient using digital tools like CRM, marketing automation, social media monitoring, etc. and hopefully become more effective at the same time.

Meanwhile, digital transformation is an intensive process that begins by effectively building an entirely new organization from scratch, utilizing:

  • The latest best practices and emerging next practices in process (continuous improvement, business architecture, lean startup, business process management, or BPM, crowd computing, and continuous innovation using a tool like The Eight I’s of Infinite Innovation™)
  • The latest tools (robotics, sensors, etc.)
  • All the latest digital technologies (artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, BPM, etc.)
  • The optimal use of the other three to liberate the people who work for you to spend less time on bureaucratic work and more time creating the changes necessary to overcome barriers to adoption and obstacles to delight through better leadership methods, reward/recognition systems, physical spaces, collaboration, and knowledge management systems, etc.

It ends with a plan of how to transform from the old way of running the business to the new way.

The planning of the digital transformation is all done collaboratively on paper, whiteboards, and asynchronous electronic communication (definitely not email) powered by a collection of tools like the Change Planning Toolkit™.

The goal is to think like a digital native, to think like a startup, to approach the idea of designing a company by utilizing all the advances in people, process, technology, and tools to kill off the existing incarnation of your company. Because if you don’t re-invent your company now and set yourself up with a new set of capabilities that enable you to continuously reinvent yourself as a company, then a venture capitalist is going to see an opportunity, find the right team of digital natives, and give them the funding necessary to enter your market and reinvent your entire industry for you.

What do you want to re-invent?

Our team at Oracle was created to use design thinking, innovation and transformation tools and methods to help Oracle customers tackle their greatest business challenges, to re-imagine themselves for the digital age, and to discover and pursue their greatest innovation, transformation and growth opportunities.

We call this human-centric problem-solving and together we create plans to make our customers’ solution vision real in just weeks. And along the way, this new Oracle approach helps increase collaboration across business functions and accelerate future decision-making.

Find out more about how to protect your business from digital disruption, building upon these five foundational questions with additional questions and frameworks contained in my latest success guide Riding the Data Wave to Digital Disruption.

This article originally appeared on Innovation Excellence


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Innovating at Cloud Speed

Innovating at Cloud Speed

Innovation in the software industry continues unabated. No longer do we have to program computers directly in ones and zeroes, with cumbersome paper punch cards, or even to craft every line of code by hand. We have entered a new era of technology capability with modular software, code libraries, autonomous databases that maintain themselves, finance applications with artificial intelligence and machine learning that enhance experiences and outcomes, and even software that can write other software.

But it is not just technology that is advancing. At the same time, we have created advances in process optimization and how we manage people, while also creating new tools that help us be more efficient and effective in our work. This intersection of improvements in people, process, technology and tools, has allowed us to create a steady stream of innovation and make it possible for the nimblest organizations to continue to meet or exceed ever changing customer expectations.

A new research report, Agile Finance Unleashed: The Key Traits of Digital Finance Leaders, finds that the most advanced finance teams are moving toward a more agile operating model, powered by software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and emerging technologies. AI, machine learning, digital assistants and chatbots, predictive analytics, and other innovations are automating routine tasks, freeing up finance talent to analyze new business opportunities and change course quickly.

“CFOs are driving cloud migration because it just makes sense,” said Oracle CEO Mark Hurd to an audience of finance executives during a 2018 event. “It reduces expenses, increases efficiency and creates more opportunity to truly innovate.”

Click here to continue reading on the Oracle Blog

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