Archive for the 'Innovation' Category

Innovation happens at the seams

Innovation happens at the seams where we transform our view of the work we do.

Reframe The Problem: Why I Left The Limo In Copenhagen & The Garden Hose Insight

Enjoy your Transform-to-Lead Strategy podcast message:
To come up with a new solution and create a breakthrough strategy you must first ask a new question.



To join our Transform2Lead circle and receive special insights and strategies not available elsewhere email me with subject line – Transform2Lead.

© Aviv Shahar

Innovation DNA – Shai Agassi

Watch below an inspirational Shai Agassi vision at TED to decipher his innovative DNA code:

1. The question. Ask a new question or reframe the question in a new way: How would you run a whole country without oil?
2. The boundaries. Eliminate the implausible (no ethanol / no hydrogen) and define the boundaries: A total solution (entire country) electrical, more convenient, more affordable.
3. The solution. Redefine the problem to find solutions: separate the car ownership and the battery ownership.
4. The formula. Analyze the solution boundaries to frame a solvable formula: Cars are driven two hours and rest 22 hours. Charge to drive ratio works out to be a minute to a minute.
5. The scale. Develop a complete system solution: The last foot connection and the battery swap system.
6. The incentive. Develop individual and global incentive systems that improve with time: E-miles get better and better in comparison to gas-miles.
7. The business model. Create a business model that supports your solution and redefines the field. Cars 2.0
8. The opportunity. Be opportunistic. Use big names. Identify high visibility opportunity: Israel, Denmark, Australia.
9. The story. Develop a compelling story.
10. TED. Get your story on TED.


© Aviv Shahar

Innovation Leadership At Google

Here are the steps of the innovation process at Google as distilled from this conversation of Marissa Mayer, V.P. of Search Product and User Experience with Charlie Rose.

Innovation steps:
Step One: Idea
Step Two: Prototype
Step Three: Build a team
Step Four: Productize
Step Five: Iterate

Other key aspects of Google’s leadership:
1. Broad mission
2. Hiring great people: Smart x get things done + Determined to make a difference
3. Team empowerment
4. Asking great, new questions
5. Product management mindset – where technology and market need meet

© Aviv Shahar

The Entrepreneur DNA – Reid Hoffman Of Linkedin

What is the DNA of entrepreneurial success?

Here are the five points, the DNA of entrepreneurial success I distilled from Reid Hoffman of Linkedin.com in a conversation with Charlie Rose.

1. Work on a great idea
2. Develop effective execution
3. Commit to change the world
4. Exercise intelligent risk taking
5. Manage your network

Capture Creativity

To generate lots of creative ideas you must develop the practice of capturing your creativity. Change, transformation, innovation begin with capturing the idea and then putting it to work.

1. Listen to your ideas. Develop a practice of paying attention to new thoughts, ideas, questions. New ideas turn up anywhere, any time.  Creative ideas turn up when I run, when I swim, in the shower, just before sleep, on the plane, during phone conversation; when I teach and coach. Ideas turn up all the time. I listen when they show up.

2. Record your ideas in real time. Have with you your preferred 24/7 ubiquitous ideas capturing tool. A small notebook; a mini tape, Iphone. Find out what works best for you. I have pads everywhere, in every room, wherever I go.  I never go without these. I then upload all ideas daily to a special folder on my computer. Right now the folder contains 237 ideas, concepts, starters that I want to develop for new blog posts; KEY newsletters; modules; services; talks, seminars and more.

3. Capture the essence of the idea. You’ve got to capture the creative spark in real time. Your practice is to pay attention to the spark. To breathe oxygen into it. To keep it alive. To grow it. You do this by capturing the tag line; the kernel of the concept/ opportunity / insight. Seize whatever is available of it in real time, as it appears. Do not delay. Mozart heard symphonies, you hear ideas.

Note about the metaphysics of ideas: Ideas are opportunistic. They turn up where they have the best chance to be picked up, nurtured and be developed. If you do not pay attention to ideas when they show up – if you don’t capture, nurture and develop them – they will stop showing up. Ideas will stop knocking on your door when they find that you are not home. Knocking on your next door neighbor’s door may be a better opportunity. When ideas come knocking, you’ve got to be in. You’ve got to respond as if your life depends on it!

4. Develop your ideas daily. Foster and nurture ideas every day. Developing the kernels you capture is an iterative process. You nurture, refine and develop your story / idea / concept / book / service / business / daily or as often as you can. Begin by unwrapping the gift you received in the kernel you captured. Open it up, play with it, and develop its possibilities. Do it on your own. Do it in conversation. Do it in open collaboration; whatever fits your creative need and process.

5. Implement and create value. Innovation and transformation begin with creative ideas. They continue with implementing a development process that creates value. Complete the creative cycle. Follow the path of the idea. Nurture the kernel to flower. Grow the acorn to an oak. Unfold it into a form that contains value. Present it, post it, share it, spread it, transmit it wherever you can, in the best ways available for you. Apply it to create meaningful value for others.

The secret of becoming a conduit for creativity and innovation is repeating these steps. Listen to your ideas. Record them in real time. Capture the essence. Develop and nurture them daily. Implement and create value.

© Aviv Shahar

The Value Of A Strategy Summit

What Executives say about the experience and value of a Strategy Summit…

Roger Bhalla

Tom Mitchell

Carol Hess-Nickels

David Conrad

Jonathan Kaye

Melissa Bargainer

Matt Wagner

© Aviv Shahar

Innovation – The Third Engine

“Economists and business leaders across the political spectrum are slowly coming to an agreement: Innovation is the best—and maybe the only—way the U.S. can get out of its economic hole.” tells us Business Week In “Can America Invent Its Way Back?” . It then asserts that “innovation has fallen short of its promise in recent years”. We believe we know why. In our work with management teams on cultivating innovation culture we found that:

1. Innovation is a set of disciplines and practices that must be embraced from top to bottom across the organization.
2. Innovation requires a specific mindset and commitment of resources.
3. Innovation is the “Third Propulsion” of a great organization. It must be supported by the “First Propulsion” of the company which works to increase Efficiency, where the discipline is on “Don’t change what works well” and “let’s not reinvent the wheel.” It then must be supported by the “Second Propulsion” which drives Optimized Effectiveness, where the discipline is on “let’s discover the 10 percent improved effectiveness we can unleash and create”.

When these conditions are not present, innovation disappoints. When First and Second Propulsions are not harnessed in support of the Third Propulsion -– Innovation cannot be unleashed at full and falls short of its promise. First and Second Propulsions practices are critical to help us “Re-imagine who we are and what we do” and “develop new opportunities and ways of creating value.” Engaging all Three Propulsions and their enablement is the Template For Greatness and how America can invent its way back.

© Aviv Shahar

Do You See Constellations Where Others See Stars – The Kaleidoscoping Art

Excerpt from the Fourth Emerald Key: Radical growth – the Learn-ability leverage
Kaleidoscoping is the practice and capacity to recognize relationships and patterns. You practice active inquiry that seeks to understand the core principles that are the basis of all systems. Kaleidoscoping is the ability to compare and correlate seemingly unrelated fields and apply concepts from one to the other. For example, using the terminology and anatomy of weather systems in organizational behavior and the season’s cycle in the market place.  You discover that building an investment and building trusting relationships are similar – they follow the same principle, both need ongoing deposits.  You observe the infrastructure and activity of a beehive to learn about promoting a culture of efficiency and excellence in execution. Kaleidoscoping is the practice of increasing your capacity to handle complexity, such as in the now 24/7 interconnectedness of the web 2.0 conversation. You kaleidoscope to discover meaning in new combinations and connections and learn to anticipate what is newly emerging. You connect the dots to see constellations where others see stars.

© Aviv Shahar

Get The Innovation Edge – Lessons From Google’s Problem

Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, admits in his interview with Business Week that Goggle’s obstacle in continuing to innovate is – “that we have people in multiple sites. It’s a problem that everybody faces, but we’re going to face it bad. We have, like, 50 locations.”

Why would multiple locations be a problem? It is more than time zone differences.

Schmidt explains the spirit of innovation: “The story of innovation has not changed. It has always been a small team of people who have a new idea, typically not understood by people around them and their executives.”

What is the blind spot? What is the innovation secret that is hidden in these comments?

The innovation blind spot in a connected world with virtual teams is forgetting what happens when a small group of people get together in the same space. In fact, doing just that, getting the right people together in the same room can be the innovation edge, the competitive advantage that makes the difference.

True, it is not always practical; diverse perspectives and inputs are critical and multinationals are driven to move functions to lower cost regions. Yes, we are quickly becoming a “virtual competent” specie. But there is no innovation generator like getting the right people together in one physical space where they connect and activate in each other the bio-energetic, whole-brain, whole mind synergistic cycle of innovation.

The blind spot is in dismissing the power that gets unleashed when we meet face to face. To solve critical problems and for projects where accelerated ideation and creative intensity is needed,  there is simply no better way than getting people to share face2face presence.

There is an invisible energetic side to the process of excitation where our “collective neural brainpower firing for connection” leads to breakthrough ideas and quantum leaps. Think of an electrical storm where the atmosphere is crackling with potential and lightening that can strike in any direction.  That’s what Schmidt reveals and this is the reason we are able to generate stratospheric value for clients when getting virtual teams together in the same room for intense innovation and business transformation sessions. It’s the counter-trend, the novelty, but nothing activates the innovation DNA and potential like getting the right people, at the right time, inside a shared creative space. Never forget that most big things started when a few brilliant people got together in one room.

© Aviv Shahar

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