The Power of Pause

Posted by Jon Hall on May 31, 2017

Has this happened to you: you’re out with a group of friends, and one makes a good-natured wisecrack about you. You try to come back with some snappy repartee but caught by surprise, your response isn’t quite as clever as you hoped. Hours later, you think of the perfect comeback. If only you could go back in time!

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Topics: culture of innovation

Don't Let Process Engineering Preempt Creativity

Posted by Jon Hall on Mar 23, 2017

 With all the recent emphasis around process engineering, it’s easy for companies to fall in the trap of streamlining development efforts without having a compelling idea to rally around. While the focus on process optimization is appropriate, no development effort succeeds if the ideas being developed aren’t compelling to begin with. As Peter Drucker noted, “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”

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Topics: culture of innovation

If Brainstorming is Dumb, What’s the Smart Alternative?

Posted by Jon Hall on Oct 13, 2016

Recently, Fast Company published “Brainstorming is Dumb,” asserting that brainwriting – an alternate method to brainstorming that encourages broader collaboration within a group – is a more productive approach to ideation. In fact, the article introduces how psychologists undertook studies of the approaches and their empirical results came down in favor of brainwriting.

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When Time Really is Money, How Do You Get Business Professionals to Truly Engage?

Posted by Carole Walters on Jul 13, 2016

Many financial services companies have to rely on business professionals to be the gatekeepers for their brands, with the power to determine if consumers even have access to their products/services. Finding a way to really understand what's important to them and how to break through their inertia is a huge challenge we see with many of our financial clients and other business professionals. Their time is what they sell, for the most part, and getting two hours of that for a focus group is extremely difficult. Even when they agree to participate, they can easily be sidetracked by their own clients' demands, which will always take priority.

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Cultivating a Culture of Curiosity

Posted by Jon Hall on May 26, 2016

In the previous blogs in this series, we defined creativity and also defined people within the context of creativity. What we haven’t considered, however, is how the term “creativity” plays in the business world.

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Topics: Transforum, Creativity

It’s Not Just Genetics: Why Everyone Is Capable of Being Creative

Posted by Jon Hall on Apr 14, 2016

In our last blog, “Where Does Creativity Come From,” we examined how creative people were able to come up with new ideas, as well as the different factors that influence their idea generation. In a study to see how the brain functions when trying to think of new ideas, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitor the brain activity of freestyle rappers when trying to think of new lyrics on the spot. What they discovered was their brains’ ability to “deactivate” normally busy areas of the brain when trying to think of new lyrics, and instead focus its energy on other areas that assist with idea generation and creativity.

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Where Does Creativity Come From?

Posted by Wasyl Terlecky on Mar 22, 2016

For most people, creative thinking is a process, and one that is best manifested when it isn’t forced. If you’ve ever been in a brainstorming session, you know how hard it is to come up with new ideas on the spot, but given the rapid introduction of new products, services, and apps today, companies must constantly be looking for ways to push the envelope and improve—or risk getting surpassed by their competitors. More and more companies are trying to develop and hone their creative processes and environments in order to facilitate creative thinking, which begs the question: where exactly does creativity come from?

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Topics: Transforum, Creativity

Ahead of the Curve or Way Off Track?

Posted by Wasyl Terlecky on Feb 15, 2016

With trends coming at us faster than ever before, how do you get ahead of what consumers will want in the next few years? If you work for a large company with multiple initiative gates to pass and several levels of management that need to sign-off on any new product, it can seem especially tough to prove out a concept that is just on the cusp of consumers’ consciousness.

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Message from Our Founders

Posted by Wasyl Terlecky on Feb 12, 2016

SpencerHall is celebrating our 20-year anniversary this year, and we wanted to say thanks to all our excellent clients and team for making that possible.  

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Maximizing Your Innovation Efforts With Shrinking Resources

Posted by Jon Hall on Jul 13, 2015

With today’s marketers setting aside an average 9% of their total marketing budgets for innovation, it’s clear that innovation plays an important part of brands’ marketing and research strategies. That being said, however, with many businesses tightening and cutting back on their marketing and research budgets following the Great Recession, that 9% has become less and less valuable over the past few years. As brands continue to get used to the “new normal” of today’s recovering economy, they need to be cautious with limited resources while they work to remain relevant. Tighter budgets and fewer employees are forcing innovators to think smarter and make resource-conscious changes that will allow them to accomplish more with less. In today’s ultra competitive environment, failing to move forward with disruptive innovation strategies can be a killer blow to your brand’s long-term success, but thankfully there are some cost-effective solutions to help any brand looking to innovate on a budget.

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Topics: innovation, sounding boards, innovation management