You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Innovation’ tag.

I caught the end of a report recently which was talking about the difference between top-down organizational initiatives, and bottom-up. This is something that I’ve thought about for many years.

Back when I was in the corporate world, it bugged me that people would declare that the first step in doing something significant was to get an “executive sponsor.”

I understand the logic, but it’s also an excuse to blame inaction on someone else. You’ve disempowered yourself.

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We’re always focused on limits. They provide comfort and security, in a way, because they clearly identify how much achievement is enough.

When somebody says, “give it 110%!”, it’s really just a gentle nudging outside the comfort zone. But that’s not where true breakthroughs come from!

Breakthroughs are 200%. Or 1000%. Or entirely changing the rules of the game.

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We tend to focus an awful lot on innovation for technology and products. Which are fine, but there’s a different kind of improvement we need even more.

Redesigning our society.

This comes to mind because of recent protests of social injustice, yes. But I also look at what other places in our culture which are also broken:

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I’ve noticed there are industries with “innovation fatigue.” Social media has been this way, with the rate of change going faster than people can absorb. 

It wears people out.

The interesting part is that this rate of fatigue is different for each person and situation. I’ve been a tech geek for over five decades, so I tend to enjoy these innovations more than most people do.

But even I stopped looking for the ultimate word processor 25 years ago. I stopped investing in the latest and greatest laptops a bit later.

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I’ve written profiles for about 80 values-driven businesses, and one of them shut down last week. As I think about it, there are probably 7 or 8 which have failed in the last five years.

That’s better than average, actually, as the SBA estimated that 95% of startups don’t survive their first five years. But it’s not a comforting thought.

As someone who is trying to do something special, even world-changing, in your business, why don’t statistics like this cause you to just give up?

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One of the biggest challenge that we have in directing business is to know when to hold the course steady, versus changing things up. In fact, you’re probably doing both simultaneously in different aspects.

As you know, I’m a fan of cycles, seasons, holidays, and the general rhythm of life.  Not because I’m easily bored, but because it helps to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul.

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THIS WEEK was an exciting time in the city: FCSWFort Collins Startup Week.  There were a tremendous number of activities, presentations, competitions – and face-to-face connections.  I was honored to be a startup mentor, meeting with people who are launching their creative ventures.

It’s awe-inspiring what some of these folks are coming up with.

But there’s a general perception that this is a young person’s game.  Older folks don’t have the energy and inspiration to go out there and so something that’s risky and edgy.  Right?

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LEE Lee PorterPORTER is one of three founders of InnovatioNews, a news organization that targets entrepreneurship and innovation in Colorado USA.

It’s an all-electronic publication, not printed on paper.  The focus is on high quality news and other digital content which is on the IN website, distributed via email, pushed through social media and placed strategically on other websites. InnovatioNews is jumping on the age of new media with full enthusiasm – which is a pretty great fit, given their subject.

This company is jumping on the age of new media with full enthusiasm – which is a pretty great fit, given their subject.

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THIS WEEK Quid Novi Spring JamI had a chance to hang out with a bunch of inventors, writers and artists at the Quid Novi Spring of Innovation.  What a cool idea!  We had a chance to talk about what’s currently happening with innovation in northern Colorado and the rest of the world.

It’s clear to me that innovation has a slightly different twist in values-based businesses than it might in others.

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TAMARA KLEINBERG heads up a fascinating company named the Shuuk – THE testing ground for the world’s coolest, newest ideasTheShuukJust so you aren’t confused, the Hebrew word shuuk describes a community marketplace, with all the vitality and energy that you’d expect.

Tamara is helping inventors and innovators by giving them a marketplace for their new products.

It’s kind of a proving ground, a test market, for all those new products which have no good way to get to a broad market.  And that’s a valued assistance for someone who has a great idea, but struggles to develop a distribution channel and marketing strategy.

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