To be a successful organisation, we need the skills to both find and execute new ideas. These two skill-sets often seem to be opposites. However, it is much more productive to think of them as a polarity – an interdependent set of skills which are both simultaneously necessary for success.
We often look for shortcuts to change, but there are none. The design process used by Charles and Ray Eames gives us insight into how we have to do the hard work if we want to change the world.
If we want to change the world, it’s not enough to have great ideas. We also have to have the managerial skills needed to execute our ideas. The baby incubator from Design that Matters is a great case study showing the obstacles we face.
Our organisations are idea-processing machines. This means that we need to think about how we get work done in new ways. There are some fascinating lessons in how to do this in the world’s first organisation chart, from 1854!
“The Googles, Amazons, Apples, Netflixes, and Capital Ones … don’t insist on performing lots of interesting experiments because they’re rich; they’re rich because they insist on performing lots of interesting experiments.”
Innovation efforts often start by looking for quick wins. The problem is that quick wins don’t solve tough problems, and solving tough problems is what leads to competitive advantage. We’re better off by going after the tough problems first.
How do we build things that move society forward? That is the core question addressed in Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters. I finished the book today, and here are some key quotes (in bold) and my thoughts on them. Of course, it’s easier to copy a model than to make something […]
Which location has a better mobile payment system: Kenya or Silicon Valley? The answer is Kenya, and we can learn a lot about innovating more effectively by looking at why this is the case.
Ideas from Carol Dweck, Hayao Miyazaki and Ira Glass help us figure out how to grow our talent.
Successful innovation requires not just finding great new ideas, but taking advantage of them too. This means that we have to strike a balance between executing older ideas and searching for new ones.
Great new ideas usually need great new business models to work. The Technology Readiness Level and the Investment Readiness Level are two tools that you can use to help you get your great new idea ready for the world.
If we want to be more innovative, learning how to ask better questions is a key skill to develop.