A list of innovation lists
One of the widely Tweeted blog posts to come out of the 2010 World Innovation Forum (WIF) was Boris Pluskowski's take on the "Four People to Avoid at Your Next Innovation Conference," in which Boris introduces us to "Sammy Satisfied," "Tommy the ToolMan" and others you're likely to encounter at such forums as the WIF.
"...If I’ve learnt anything from nearly a decade of going to innovation conferences, it’s that you can learn just as much from the people attending a conference as you can from the speaking panel. Yet, in the same way that a speaker can turn out to be a bad penny at a conference, so can your interactions with fellow attendees."
Many fellow bloggers were talking about the post, and as it showed in my Google Reader feed that day I stumbled across an interesting phenomenon among my peers at the conference: Innovation bloggers like lists. A lot.
So in no particular order, I present a list of must-read innovation lists published over the past few weeks. (And yes, we've done it too.)
1. Boris Pluskowski: "Four People to Avoid at Your Next Innovation Conference" - Beware of the "Corporate James Bond" and other likely faces at your next innovation forum - Boris deftly skewers the usual suspects' personalities and motivations while simultaneously offering insight into your next event.
2. Scott Anthony: "Four Ps of Innovation" - The best innovation lists come in fours. Harvard Business School writer Scott Anthony uses the Four Ps of Marketing to describe how a similar model can increase buy-in from executives when pitching them your next great idea. (Those Innovation Ps are population, penetration, price, and purchase frequency. Yes, the last P is cheating but his argument's still sound.)
3. Jim Estill: "8 Ways to Deliberately Innovate" - At Blogging Innovation, consultant Jim Estill shares some tricks to improve your creativity. They range from the usual - "Use brainstorming tools" - to the somewhat unusual - "Walk, cycle, or exercise."
4. Jeffrey Phillips: "Why Firms Don't Innovate: An Alliterative List" - Broken down into "terms a fifth-grader could understand" is this commentary from OVO consultant Jeffrey Phillips. The reasons your firm can't or won't innovate can be broken down to "The Tyranny of Today," "The Safety of Sameness," "Inevitable Inertia," "Creatures of the Culture," "Fear of Failure," "Containing the Creativity," and "Cannibalization Concerns and Turf Toughness."
5. Paddy Miller and Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg: "Six Ways to Fail at Innovation" - In offering their six-part list, these authors say you don't need a seven-step program to become a more innovative company - you just need to foster a community of "Innovation Architects": "...The path to a more creative culture is a treacherous one, and many attempts at making innovation happen fail spectacularly, leaving a wake of wasted efforts and frustrated employees. In the following, we have outlined the six major mistakes that Innovation Architects can make in the pursuit of a more creative culture."
6. Mitch Ditkoff: "56 Reasons Why Most Corporate Innovation Initiatives Fail" - The longest list on our list comes from The Heart of Innovation blog, where these bullet points explore why innovation programs often fail to take root in the corporate family tree. Some examples:
- Senior Team not walking the walk
- Middle managers not on board
- No intrinsic motivation to innovate
- Voo doo evaluation of ideas
7. Stephen Abraham: "Why Do Innovation Initiatives Fail?" - In perhaps the most interesting list thus far, a self-described library visitor makes his own list off Mitch Ditkoff's list mentioned above.
Which is exactly what I just did. This innovation list phenomenon is a vicious circle indeed ...