Are there any innovation groups to keep an eye on?

No reason not to get involved! From Gerald "Solutionman" Haman via LinkedIn:

  • More than 1100,000 people are members of the Top 20 (LinkedIn) Innovation Groups
  • 1,000 people per week are joining the Top 20 Innovation Groups
  • The Marketing/PR/Sales Innovators Group is the 11th largest LinkedIn Group with over 65,000 member
  • The Twitter Innovators Group is the largest Twitter-focused on LinkedIn with more than 11,600 members who tweet
  • Over 9,700 people belong to the fast-growing Green & Sustainability Innovators Group
  • More than 8,500 people belong to the helpful InnovationPeople Group

  1. Marketing, PR, Sales & Word-of-Mouth Innovators
  2. Green & Sustainability Innovators
  3. InnovationPeople Expert Network
  4. Brand & Branding Innovators
  5. Sales & Selling Innovators
  6. New Product & Service Innovators
  7. HealthCare, Wellness, Medical, Pharma & Biotech Innovators
  8. Learning & Education Innovators
  9. Leadership & Change Management Innovators
  10. Communication Innovators
  11. Meeting & Event Design Innovators
  12. Association, Convention & Conference Innovators
  13. Twitter Innovators
  14. Facebook Innovators
  15. Technology & Mobility Innovators
  16. Government & Political Innovators
  17. Fundraising & Philanthropic Innovators
  18. Innovative Networkers
  19. “GTD: Getting Things Done” Innovators with David Allen
  20. “Experience Economy” Innovators with Pine & Gilmore

Labels: ,

Problem Solving 101: Eveyone needs some inspriation!

Floor scuff cleaner

Problem-solving... This is something we all do every day. Some problems are not earth shattering ("when will I buy groceries?") and others have impacts that can change the way you live ("I lost my job and need to find a new one"). But the act of problem-solving itself is not (usually) something we learn directly as a skill. Yes, we do learn to solve problems, but most of us tend to "discover" problem-solving in the course of solving real problems. This means much of problem-solving learning is ad hoc and we miss out on the discovery of tools that can help us through the problem-solving thinking processes.

Problem-solving 101, by Ken Watanabe, a former McKinsey & Company consultant, is a short book that goes a long way toward helping everyone learn a few basic problem-solving tools and techniques. Ken shares several stories in which problem-solving tools and techniques are introduced. One example problem: the Mushroom Lovers rock band wants to drive up attendance at their shows. Ken lays out how the band seeks to identify the root cause of the low attendance and develop a series of hypothesis and solutions. While sharing the story of the band, Ken introduces techniques and tools like logic trees, action prioritization matrices, and problem-solving design plans.

The the book can be read in about an hour or two. When you are finished, you will have several methods that you can immediately use in any situation. The stories Ken shares are entertaining and you can relate to main characters' real problems. The book's graphic design enhances the stories and makes comprehending the concepts easy.

One final note: This is the type of book you will re-read and be reminded of some of the practices and skills needed to solve problems. I will have this book on my desk next to books I regularly re-read: The Mythical Man Month, Orbiting the Giant Hair Ball, and The Pursuit of Wow!

Labels: , , , , ,

Design patterns

Floor scuff cleaner

Christopher Alexander has a set of books, all of which have super info for innovation, especially about learning design patterns and how to bring design elements together.

These three are a set that were written together: The timeless way of building, easy to get through; The Oregon experiment, also easier to get through; A pattern language: towns, buildings, construction... Thick thick book with the really good stuff. Fortunately all the books are written, on purpose, to be read where you want; Christopher suggests reading the header titles/section tiles straight through then go back to where you want to dig deeper.

Karen McGrane recommended these books during a talk at Do It With Drupal (2008 in New Orleans) as a way to learn about design patterns: Creating Usable Websites: Do It With Drupal!

Labels: , , , ,

SIGGRAPH Exhibit at IUPUI, April 2009

I had a chat with several students about their creative and innovative designs in 2D and 3D graphics. IUPUI's ACM SIGGRAPH Student Chapter put on the exhibition to show case student work and to bring the public, employers, and other IUPUI students together to see and chat about the works.

Below are several interviews plus pics from the event.

RSS feed of this audio is

Flickr pics from this event may also be found at

Invention is the mother of necessity...

Floor scuff cleaner

What is this? Is is a tennis ball at the end of a wooden broom handle that is used to quickly buff out scuffs on the floor of the Indianapolis, Indiana airport. The lady working the floors says this things works very well to remove floor scuffs and that all the cleaning staff have one of these. This is truly the implementation of "necessity is the mother of invention".

This week in the Financial Times there was an interview with Sir. James Black on "An acute talent for innovation". Sir. Black made an interesting statement with respect to pharmaceutical companies; “It’s a kind of obscenity. Very few of the drugs classified as blockbusters retrospectively were designed in that way. The people who know about markets can’t even predict what next year will do.”

Also of interest were his comments about small teams (25 people or less), that creativity is "not a method that can be learnt and taught", and there is no shortage of scientific talent, he says. “But [I am] much less optimistic about the managerial vision [of the pharmaceutical industry] to catalyse these talents to deliver the results we all want.”

The pending merger of Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical group, of Wyeth, highlights the focus of the need for "blockbusters", in the vein that a blockbuster is predictable. And yet the real energy in merging Pfizer and Wyeth will be spent on wringing out costs, making the two groups efficient, and corporate politics. One wonders if the real innovation of the Pfizer and Wyeth mereger will create is not within that combined company but outside, by those that can bring together those people "released" due to the merger, into small groups, and flying low under the radar.

My favorite line from the interview is "Anonymous peer review is the enemy of scientific creativity"... When something that is truly unique and market breaking, can you really have a peer review that is meaningful? Imagine the iPhone being reviewed by Motorola or Nokia before it was released. Peer review is great for that research or product improvement that is well known and incremental movement is being done. But in disruptive work there are few peers (hence the disruption).

“Peer reviewers go for orthodoxy...Many of the great 19th-century discoveries were made by men who had independent wealth – Charles Darwin is the prototype. They trusted themselves.” said Sir. Black

Labels: , , , , , , ,

About InnovationCreation

Flickr pictures
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from jlblue tagged with gnomedex2007. Make your own badge here.
    This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called 2006 Podcast Expo. Make your own badge here.
    This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called Elsie Stix. Make your own badge here.