Is “Functional Dysfunction” Hindering Your Ability To Innovate?

Posted by Jon Hall on Mar 17, 2014

The rallying cry and sincere push for innovation is evident at so many companies these days as they look for ways to create competitive advantage. However, when we talk with leaders in these organizations it quickly becomes evident that many of them are suffering the effects of “functional dysfunction” without being aware of it, or of its limitations. That is, having rigidly defined functional domains that limit the kind of collaborative thinking that leads to true innovation.

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Topics: innovation, culture of innovation, product development process

Defy Your Intuition: Use Structure to Unlock Creativity and Imagination

Posted by Jon Hall on Mar 6, 2014

Intuition might tell us that creativity flourishes when structure and process are minimized, because freedom equals creativity, right? In fact the opposite has been proven true, that effective innovation strategies need to include formal, repeatable structures and processes that foster – not limit – imaginative thinking, and also provide clear focus by articulating for your team clear steps toward the goal ahead of them.

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Topics: innovation, culture of innovation, disciplined creativity

Is Your Creativity Disciplined? Activities & Approaches To Formalize For More Effective Innovation

Posted by Jon Hall on Feb 17, 2014
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Topics: innovation, culture of innovation, disciplined creativity

4 Things All Great Cultures of Innovation Have In Common

Posted by Jon Hall on Feb 10, 2014

In part one of our four-part blog series on innovation we wrote about the 8 traits of high performing innovation cultures. Now it’s time to shift the focus from “What drives innovation?” to discussing how to apply the principles and practices to your organization.

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Topics: innovation, culture of innovation, innovation management, insights

Turn Your Innovation Strategies into Career Accelerators

Posted by Jon Hall on Jun 20, 2013

We consider ourselves very fortunate to work in the business we’re in. We regularly engage in innovation partnerships with some of the smartest people in marketing, consumer insights, and R&D. We get to work with some of the best companies and brands in the world, and we constantly challenge ourselves to come up with new ways to tap into consumers’ deepest insights. We’ve been party to some incredible new directions and inventions, and we’ve helped new product champions articulate and validate bold new concepts.

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Topics: innovation, innovation management

When It Comes To Innovation, Beware the Dangers of Inertia

Posted by Jon Hall on May 30, 2013

The paradox: Teams are charged with innovation, but rely on established processes and research partners to help them in their mission.

These teams know what they’ll get, because they’ve worked together time and again. And, since they’re charting unknown territory, to them it makes sense to have familiar partners to work with. And that’s the rub – it can be very difficult to find breakthroughs when you go about things the same way as always.

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Topics: innovation, product innovation, innovation management, new product ideas

How Do You Create a Culture of Innovation Within Your Organization?

Posted by Jon Hall on May 14, 2013

In order for innovation to be effective, it must be a culture within your business, rather than a task. Some companies set aside time during the quarter for innovation or set a goal of focusing on innovation for a month, and then when that time is done, they walk away from it. But in fact, innovation needs to be ongoing, woven into the fabric of the business, rather than a task or a short-term goal.

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Topics: innovation, product innovation, innovation management, product development

How Effective is Crowd-Sourcing for Product Innovation and Are There Other Alternatives?

Posted by Jon Hall on Apr 30, 2013

Opening up a challenge or problem to a wide range of participants, or crowd-sourcing, is a popular way to generate new product ideas, the thinking being that the more minds working on the problem, the better.

However, we’ve found that while crowd-sourcing produces a vast mix of perspectives, the quantity of ideas doesn’t always equal quality.  Brainstorming in a controlled, collaborative environment is a more effective approach to getting well-thought-out ideas versus open innovation crowd-sourcing which generates a mass of individual input which you then have to spend time sifting through for the actual useful, pertinent and inspiring ideas.

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Topics: innovation, product innovation, developing successful products, crowd-sourcing

What Are the Best Ways Companies Can Find Inspiration for New Products and Brand Concepts?

Posted by Pam Branam on Apr 16, 2013

Cross functional brand teams can offer a real advantage by providing a depth of understanding for how your product works, what your customers want and the scope of your company’s capabilities. However, there is also a danger that this expertise becomes self-limiting.  Conventional wisdom or functional silos creep in and cloud your view of new opportunities and ideas.

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Topics: innovation, innovative products, breakthrough products, innovation management

Category Insights versus Truisms: How Are They Uncovered and Discovered?

Posted by Julie Hauck on Apr 11, 2013

One of the big challenges we see when it comes to writing compelling concepts is that many companies don’t understand the difference between an insight versus a truism or category fact.

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Topics: innovation, product development process, insights