innovation excellence weekly - issue 8

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We are proud to announce our eighth Innovation Excellence Weekly for Slideshare. Inside you'll find ten of the best innovation-related articles from the past week on Innovation Excellence - the world's most popular innovation web site and home to nearly 5,000 innovation-related articles.


  • 1.November 23, 2012

2. Issue 8 November 23, 20121. Future Federal Government ......... David Paschane2. 7 Ways to Outsmart Your Brain and Be More Innovative .... Steve Shapiro3. Will Your Strategy Kill Your Company? ...... Rowan Gibson4. Asking the Right (innovation) Questions .............................. Michel van Hove5. Hostess Twinkie Defense is a Failure ...... Adam Hartung6. USAA a study in pervasive innovation .. Bryan Mahoney7. The Best Innovation Strategy is Searching for Needs .............. Gijs van Wulfen8. What Innovators Can Learn From Gatorade ........ Scott Anthony9. Actually, People Love Change .... Tim Kastelle10.Collaborative Innovation Replaces Brainstorming .. Juergen H StaeudtnerYour hosts, Braden Kelley, Julie Anixter and Rowan Gibson, are innovation writers, speakers andstrategic advisors to many of the worlds leading companies.Our mission is to help you achieve innovation excellence inside your own organization by makinginnovation resources, answers, and best practices accessible for the greater good.Cover Image credit: environmental energy concept from Bigstock 3. Future Federal GovernmentPosted on November 18, 2012 by David PaschaneI guarantee that the U.S. Federal Government will be different in the future. Besides the fight for ideological direction and political power, thereare six trends that will change this landscape. They are systemic challenges that at 8,000 Federal Executives will respond to in the near futureand their response will change the Government.1. Budget Reduction. Regardless of the policies or methods employed to downsize the budget, all programs are on notice to reduce spending.Budgets will be smaller, and offices will have to perform their mission at the levels expected of them by their stakeholders. Leaders will have tobe prudent about how they use contractors, consultants, equipment, and training.2. Performance Accountability. Since the passing of the Government Performance and Reporting Act of 1993, agencies have soughtstreamlined ways to plan, organize, execute, and report performance within and across programs. Now, with the 2010 Modernization Act toGPRA, 152 changes are in the pipeline and it will affect the information tied to performance analysis and public awareness.3. Workforce Development. A third of the Federal workforce is eligible to retire. Talent, information, and know-how can walk out the door, andthe existing workforce is in desperate need of a reemergence of performance leadership, where every individual is aware and motivated toenhance the organizations performancenot more bureaucracy by the numbers.4. Cost Controls. The many costs of doing business are not visible, and yet the total cost of running government offices is driving up the totaloperational expenses. Offices need routine ways of examining the policies and behaviors that affect costs in energy, property, transportation,and outsourcingas the budgets shrink, the pressure to account for every penny rises. 4. 5. Mobile Productivity. Telework is encouraged in the laws and agency policies, and many government functions require mobility; however,nobody knows how to keep productivity in workers who are out of sight. The pressure is on to find technological means of increasingproductivity, regardless of where the worker is located, including means of concentration, engagement, computing convenience, and rapidcommunications.6. Localized Innovation. The Federal government is a very large enterprise, with desperate expertise; and yet, we have few means ofnormalizing conditions for innovation. The entire workforce is held back by the difficulties of sharing insights, testing enhancements, andlearning from each other and how we redesign our work structures. A discipline for innovation is necessaryvery necessary.The future of the Federal Government is in the hands of a few leaders. As they respond to these systemic challenges, we will see the trajectoryof the bureaucracywill it become a heavy or light structurea growth or stagnation of performance capability?image credit: wittassociates.comDont miss an article (4,900+) Subscribe to our RSS feed and join our Innovation Excellence group! David Paschane, Ph.D. is the Government Editor of Innovation Excellence. He is an Organizational Architect from the Washington D.C area. He is an Associate Research Professor at UMBC; a Founder and Volunteer at Military Alumni Transition Career Headquarters (MATCH) and the Director of Strategic Initiatives at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 5. 7 Ways to Outsmart Your Brain And Be More InnovativePosted on November 17, 2012 by Stephen ShapiroYou are alive today. You were alive yesterday. You were alive the day before that.This is good news from a survival perspective. Unfortunately it is bad news from aninnovation perspective.Your brain is wired to keep you alive.Your brain makes the assumption that because you were alive yesterday, whatyou did previously is safe. Therefore repeating the past is good for survival. As aresult, doing things differently, even if it seems like an improvement, is risky.Perpetuating past behaviors, from the brains reptilian perspective, is the safestway.This is why innovation is difficult for most individuals and organizations.Innovation is about change. It is about doing something different than you did previously. It is about trying something that you have not donebefore, and therefore may feel is a danger to your survival.How does the brains survival instinct prevent innovationand what can you do about it?Here are seven ways to outsmart your brain:Challenge No. 1: The brain wants pains solved first. The brain is wired to minimize loss. We want to keep what we already have. Equally, weare not interested in something new, until we address our pains. The brain seeks preservation over pleasure.Solution: Recognize that people want their pains solved more than anything else. Be the aspirin. Innovation is not just about creatingsomething new and different. It should solve a problem that people have. Infomercials are especially effective at demonstrating this.Challenge No. 2: Expertise is the enemy of innovation. We build neural pathways to known solutions. What we know best (or in some caseshave heard most recently) becomes our default answer. Unfortunately, once we find an answer to a problem, we stop looking for other possiblesolutions. As a result, the tried and true wins out and we get more of the same.Solution: Keep looking. Although this sounds simple, dont stop with the obvious answers. Keep pushing until you are out of ideas and then stillpush forward. Ask who else has solved a problem like this? A whitening toothpaste was developed by studying how laundry detergent whitensclothes. A medical device manufacturer learned how angioplasty balloons expand and contract by studying car airbag deployment. 6. Challenge No. 3: The brain wants solutions, not problems. In the world of business, we hear the expression, Dont bring me problems, bringme solutions. From a survival perspective this makes sense. When faced with the possibility of being eaten by a lion, we dont want to studyour navel. Action is critical. However, in the world of innovation, the problem is actually more important.Solution: Ask better questions. Einstein reputedly said, If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem andone minute finding solutions. Instead of asking for broad ideas such as how to increase revenues, first identify the specific growthopportunities, untapped markets, emerging trends and current roadblocks. Then find solutions to those more focused challenges.Challenge No. 4: The brain craves commonality. Contrary to conventional wisdom, opposites do not attract. It is safer to be in a tribe of peoplewho think the same way. Things get done quickly. It feels effortless. But the downside is that it thwarts innovation.Solution: Work with people who are not like you. Find people with different backgrounds, personality styles, and interests. Appreciate theircontribution to you and your professional efforts. For example, I am someone who is disorganized and despises plans or planning. As a result,the first person I bring on to my team is a detail-oriented project manager who can make sure ensure that I get everything done.Challenge No. 5: The brain sees what it believes. The brain uses a pattern matchingtechnique called confirmation bias. In a nutshell, it rejects anything that is inconsistent withyour belief structure. This is why two people can listen to the same political candidate andhear completely different things. From an innovation perspective, this may have us getattached to certain ideas, despite evidence proving that they are probably duds.Solution: Avoid getting wed to your ideas by getting someone to play devils advocate. Anytime you think to yourself, Wow, this is a great idea, get someone to poke holes in your logic.Dont go to the same people for input. Seek out people who you suspect would reject the idea.Learn from them. Refine your solution based on numerous perspectives, not just your ownbiases.Challenge No. 6: Your brain only sees a fraction of reality. What you focus on expands, to the exclusion of everything else. The brainsreticular activating system is designed to filter out 99.99 percent of the stimuli out there. This prevents the brain from being overwhelmed byinformation. Unfortunately, as a result, you miss out on opportunities because you cannot even see they are there. When you are a technologyexpert, the solution to every problem involves software/hardware. Opportunities are limited to your frame of reference.Solution: Sometimes you need to purposefully retrain the brain. Attend conferences unrelated to your work. Read magazines from differentindustries. This is why I dont read books on innovation, but instead read about neuroscience, psychology, and sports performance. This helpsme see more of the world and find opport