October 1, 2013
Issue 37 – October 1, 2013
Impact of a Healthcare Innovator: Interview with Scott Brown............. LeAnna J. Carey
Secret to Innovation Success Revealed …………………….…..………….... Braden Kelley
The Portfolio is the Innovation Dashboard ……….....……………..…… Kevin McFarthing
How Social Networks Drive Innovation……………………………………..…..... Greg Satell
7 Steps for Building a Top 100 Innovation Company .………...……… Stefan Lindegaard
Is iPhone 5S the Fingerprint of mCommerce Success? …………..…..…. Braden Kelley
Are Dumb Rules Killing Innovation in Your Company? ………………..…. Holly G Green
10 Arguments for Entrepreneurs Joining Startup Accelerators ……….. Debra Jennings
The 21st Century Dual-Mindset Leader ………………….……………...….. John Sutherland
UPDATE – mCommerce and Retail Implications of iPhone 5S ………..…. Braden Kelley
Your hosts, Braden Kelley, Julie Anixter and Rowan Gibson, are innovation writers, speakers and strategic advisors to many of the world’s leading companies.
“Our mission is to help you achieve innovation excellence inside your own organization by making innovation resources, answers, and best practices accessible for the greater good.”
Cover Image credit: Doug Listening from Bigstock
The Impact of a Healthcare Innovator: Interview with Scott Brown Posted on September 8, 2013 by LeAnna J. Carey
When John F. Kennedy spoke about the new frontier of the 60’s during the National Democratic Convention, he was referring to the set of challenges, not a set of promises. Fast forward 50 years, and we now have 75 million Baby Boomers – a massive “gray wave” that could soon overtake and overwhelm our healthcare and social security systems. In fact, 10 thousand American citizens will turn 65 today – and tomorrow, and every day for the next 10 years. Most of them will become Medicare beneficiaries, and all of them will need increased healthcare services as they age. I had the privilege of interviewing Scott Brown, the Co-Founder and President of MyDirectives®, who was awarded the 2013 Healthcare Startup of the Year Award by Healthcare Unbound. MyDirectives has also been singled out by the National Coordinator for Health IT, Farzad Mostashari, as one of the first small businesses to become fully compatible with the government’s Blue Button® system, which provides patients with a quick and secure way to access their electronic health records. Brown left his successful law practice, where he was an international lawyer for over 15 years, to develop a service that he and Co-Founder Jeff Zucker believe has the potential to impact millions and save the healthcare system. Why would someone not from the healthcare space make such a bold move? Brown shared extremely keen insights as he questioned healthcare system orthodoxies – I think that you will enjoy reading about his innovation journey. LeAnna Carey: Scott, why would anyone ever leave a lucrative career as a partner in a large, well-established law firm to jump into healthcare during its greatest time of uncertainty?
Scott Brown: That’s an excellent question! Actually, it’s a very personal story. My grandmother spent the last 20 years of her life in a nursing home suffering from multiple strokes, slowly descending into dementia, and being admitted to the ICU repeatedly during the last two years of her life. She had a miserable end-of-life experience, and I saw the stress that experience put on our family all the way up to her death and even afterwards. At the same time, the Terri Schiavo drama was playing out on the public stage in 2005, and the voice that was by far the most important – Terri Schiavo’s – was completely missing from the debate. At some point, it occurred to me that my own mother, who has suffered from Multiple Sclerosis for over 30 years, would eventually end up in a state where she won’t be able to communicate, and I did not want my family to go through this trauma again. When I started looking around for a solution, I realized that there wasn’t a good solution to these problems – the advance directives that have existed for over 40 years are terrible documents! Almost no one has them; if they do have them, they’re not available when they’re needed; and even if they are available, nine times out of ten they’re absolutely useless documents. I thought, “There has to be a better way,” but the more digging and research I did, the more I came to understand that there wasn’t a better way, so I decided to create one. LC: How did you get past the idea stage? SB: We started with research. We conducted almost 6 years of research, development, beta testing, and so on. We had to find out why past efforts at advance care planning and advance directives had failed before we could develop a viable solution to the problem. What was already “out there”? Why hadn’t it worked for my grandmother, why won’t it work for my mom (or me, or my wife, or my children)? We interviewed hundreds of doctors, lawyers, ethicists, thought leaders in the critical care, hospice, palliative care, and end-of-life care space, policymakers – anyone who we thought could give us some insight to what a practical, viable solution to advance care planning would look like. Once we had a better handle on that, we just jumped in and tried to find the best people we could work with to develop MyDirectives and bring it to market. LC: What is the one thing that you have you learned? SB: If I had to choose, I suppose it would be that these end-of-life conversations are happening too late. For 40 years, healthcare “thought leaders” and policymakers have focused advance directives efforts on people who are older, or on people who are already terminally or chronically ill, and the result has been complete and utter failure. That is simply too late to start these conversations – it hasn’t worked; it doesn’t work; and it won’t work. LC: Let’s dig deeper into the business value proposition… SB: MyDirectives is the world’s first all-digital online advance care planning tool. We are free to consumers and will always be. MyDirectives allows consumers to create and update their advance care plan, which is really more than just a medical directive. Documents are then stored in a secure database that’s available to them and their medical providers (emergency first responders, hospital admissions staff, emergency room nurses, and doctors) 24 hours a day, seven days a week, anywhere in the world. It is the only Advanced Care Planning (ACP) tool that: (1) Seamlessly integrates into any EHR, EMR, PHR, HIE* or patient portal. (2) Incorporates extensive security/admin tools to track changes to users’ ACPs and ensure that only the most recent version is used. (3) Combines all of the elements of a living will and a medical power of attorney with patient preferences regarding resuscitation efforts, hospice/palliative care, autopsy, and organ donation, as well as qualitative care preferences in the My Thoughts section. (4) Allows users with a terminal illness to upload and store a POLST/MOLST, a DNR/DNAR* Order, and other similar forms to ensure that they will be available to healthcare providers at critical moments.
(5) Incorporates a unique combination of thought-provoking questions, the ability for the user to choose between “standard” answers and open-ended text boxes, videos, logic-based alerts, definitions, FAQs and other help modules designed to educate and lead the consumer through the process of creating a well-thought-out, high-quality ACP that – in stark contrast with previous generations of state-based advance directives and forms sold to consumers by private companies – will actually provide useful, actionable information and instructions to caregivers and healthcare providers if and when needed. LC: You asked a good friend to come on board, Jeff Zucker, who is now the CEO – conventional wisdom says, that it is not a good idea to work with friends or family. Clearly, you made a great decision – you are now a global company with incredible momentum – I’m guessing that you would do it again… SB: It’s been an amazing experience, and I couldn’t ask for a better business partner. We definitely bring different things to the table. I bring the legal background and tend to be very analytical about certain issues, and I have the experience to help us structure and build relationships with our investors and partners. Jeff brings real world business experience and a different kind of analytical ability, not to mention, a limitless amount of energy and tenacity. Our personal styles and energy are complementary. One of the greatest assets we have, though, is our passion for sharing MyDirectives with the world. We honestly believe we can improve lives and save the healthcare system. What advice would you give to newbie innovators? SB: Ask first, why doesn’t this innovation already exist? We had to find out why past efforts at advance care planning had failed. Also, before you try to develop an innovative product or service, make sure that “if you build it, they will come.” I would also tell them they need to ask themselves whether they are truly passionate about what they consider to be their innovation. Are they realistic about the challenges they’ll face and the potential to create change? One of the challenges we faced was that neither Jeff nor I were from the medical, healthcare sector, so we had a learning curve. We had to learn how the ecosystem works. We’re still pressing through road blocks – from consumers that don’t want to talk about a taboo subject like death; to policymakers that are afraid to talk about advance care planning even though national polls show that 96% of Americans across all demographics say it’s important for these issues to be a priority for the healthcare system; to so-called “thought leaders” on advance care planning that are so afraid of admitting that there might possibly be a “better way” than what they’ve preached for the last 30 years that they do all they can to protect the status quo – the list goes on and on. LC: What is the next step for MyDirectives? SB: We went live quietly over a year ago, and we are already being used in almost all 50 states and several foreign countries. The reaction has been tremendous, and the next stage is for us to go big. We have some very interesting projects going on with our commercial partners. For example, the Baylor Health Care System is working on a wider-scale implementation of MyDirectives throughout their healthcare system. We have projects going on across the United States – we’re turning a corner and seeing a “sea shift.” Things that weren’t possible six or seven years ago when we started are now becoming mainstream conversations. We’re looking at that next stage and at making MyDirectives a household name. LC: Last words? SB: Anyone who thinks that the Baby Boomer generation is going to go quietly into the night is wrong. There are new innovations every day on care delivery, but unfortunately, very little has been done to improve quality of care at that last stage of life. Despite all of the talk by thought leaders and policymakers about “patient engagement,” we’re letting the demographic that accounts for the largest portion of our annual healthcare spend slip through the cracks. Going forward, this is a demographic that will become more important – whenever 75 million Baby Boomers start to talk about something, it becomes culturally significant, and they’re starting to
talk about how they want to spend the end of their lives. We have to educate consumers on the benefits of effective advance care planning, and then ensure that their decisions are documented and honored. Think about it: This is the one area where it truly is a win-win for all of the stakeholders – the patient (and the patient’s loved ones), the doctor, and the payer. We have doctors today that are being forced to do things to patients that they wouldn’t want for themselves, that they wouldn’t do for their loved ones, and that they don’t believe are going to help the patient because they’re guessing in the dark, and all of this is being done at enormous expense to the system. We can fix all of this by simply educating consumers, empowering them to make informed decisions about their healthcare, and then ensuring that those decisions are available if, when, and where needed. We’re always looking for the next great partner to work with to make this happen. image credit: mydirectives.ocm healthcare acronyms: DNR – Do not resuscitate DNAR – Do not attempt to resuscitate POLST – Physicians/Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment EHR – Electronic health record EMR – Electronic medical record PHR – Personal health record HIE – Health information exchange
LeAnna J. Carey is the Chief Digital & Healthcare Officer for Innovation Excellence; the host of Innovation Talk by TheHealthMaven. If you are a contrarian or question orthodoxies, you highly qualify to be a guest on her show. You are invited to follow Lea @TheHealthMaven. Lea is also the cofounder of AuraViva, a mobile healthcare company – and yes, she innovates.
Secret to Innovation Success Revealed! Posted on September 9, 2013 by Braden Kelley
Achieving innovation success is not easy. Sustaining innovation success is even harder. The list of innovative companies that no longer exist is long, and some of the biggest enemies of innovation are ultimately complacency and resistance to change. So what is the secret to innovation success? What lies beneath the artifacts of innovation success that we could point to in individuals or companies that we hold up as innovation heroes? Well, as I tell the audiences of my keynotes, workshops and masterclasses around the world, innovation success rises up from the intersection of invention (which includes creativity), collaboration, and entrepreneurship. This is why you see these topics covered so much here on Innovation Excellence.
Invention and creativity are incredibly important to innovation, but invention is not innovation and creativity is not innovation. Invention and creativity are but one component to creating successful innovation. And so yes, teaching your employees new creativity tools like SCAMPER or SIT, engaging in brainstorming activities after teaching people how to brainstorm properly, or providing your employees the space and time in their work lives to innovate will help you achieve greater innovation success, but they are not the secret. They are but one part. Collaboration
There are a number of people traveling through the world of business and innovation literature spreading the myth that people are either innovative or they or not, that people either possess the innovator’s DNA or they don’t. To that I say “hogwash” (or sometimes something a little bit stronger). Innovation is a team sport and we all have a role to play. It is because of this belief that I created the Nine Innovation Roles and this framework for team-based innovation has resonated well with people all around the world. As a result, the Nine Innovation Roles from my book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire have already been translated into Spanish, French, and Swedish, with Dutch and Chinese translations on the way soon. If you’re not familiar with the Nine Innovation Roles, they are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Revolutionary Artist Connector Magic Maker Customer Champion Judge Troubleshooter Conscript Evangelist
But understanding which of the Nine Innovation Roles you play on effective innovation teams is just the beginning. At the same time, we must begin to train our employees in the basic principles that power collaboration and teach them how to become effective collaborators. But collaboration is also only one component. Entrepreneurship
Other than leadership, no other topic probably occupies a greater percentage of the space for business books in an American book store than entrepreneurship. This topic captivates the minds of people in the United States and in many other countries, and everywhere you go cities, states, countries, universities, and private companies are setting up incubators or startup accelerators to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. This is important, but the importance of entrepreneurship is not limited only to the entrepreneur. At the same time, we must not forget the importance of intrapreneurship to the continuing health of our organizations. In some ways, intrapreneurship is MORE important to the innovation success of a country than entrepreneurship because collaborative, creative intrapreneurship is the flavor of entrepreneurship that keeps a country’s great companies alive (through this innovation intersection of course). Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are both important and we must consciously try to grow both in a successful society, and while intrapreneurs may not have the same tolerance for risk as an entrepreneur, they also need to understand how to make a business case and other core tenets of entrepreneurship.
The Need to Integrate and Educate
I can state in no uncertain terms the importance for companies that are serious about innovation, and yes even countries or states or cities that are serious about innovation, to educate their people in the core knowledge, skills and abilities that relate to invention, collaboration and entrepreneurship. Companies need to educate their employees. Governments AND parents need to collaborate to teach their children. If you do this, your employees or your future citizens will have a much better chance of helping you achieve innovation success for your company or for your society. But even actively encouraging the intersection of invention, collaboration and entrepreneurship knowledge, skills, abilities and practice are not enough. The reason is because the power of this intersection does not represent the secret of innovation success. This intersection is central to sustained innovation success, but the secret lies elsewhere. So what is the secret to innovation success? In one word? The answer is… CURIOSITY
Dictionary.com defines curiosity as “the desire to learn or know about anything; inquisitiveness.” Merriam-Webster defines curiosity as “Desire to know… Inquisitive interest in others’ concerns…Interest leading to inquiry “ The reason that curiosity is the secret to innovation success is that the absence of curiosity leads to acceptance and comfort in the status quo. The absence of curiosity leads to complacency (one of the enemies of innovation) and when organizations (or societies) become complacent or comfortable, they usually get run over from behind. When organizations or societies lack curiosity, they struggle to innovate. Curiosity causes people to ask ‘Why’ questions and ‘What if’ questions. Curiosity leads to inspiration. Inspiration leads to insight. Insights lead to ideas. And in a company or society where invention, collaboration and entrepreneurship knowledge, skills, abilities and practice are encouraged, ideas lead to action. So, if you want to have innovation success in your company or in your society, you must work to create a culture that encourages curiosity instead of crushing it. Unfortunately technology and the educational system in
the United States and the rallying cry of “More STEM!” are having the unintended consequence of crushing creativity and creating a generation of trivia experts and linear thinkers for our society. We as parents and educators and managers must as a result seek to undo some of this damage. If you haven’t already read it, I encourage you to check out my article ‘Stop Praying for Education Reform‘. We must find ways to reawaken the curiosity of our employees, to keep them curious, and to keep the curiosity of our children alive. We must find a way to fight against the tyranny of linear thinking and the ‘right’ answer, and instead inspire our children to continue asking ‘why’ – despite the fact that sometimes it can be annoying. To close I will leave you with a bastardized quote from the most interesting man in the world: “Stay curious my friend.” Braden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B pull marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He is currently advising an early-stage fashion startup making jewelry for your hair and is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.
The Portfolio is the Innovation Dashboard Posted on September 14, 2013 by Kevin McFarthing
As I’ve written before, the portfolio is the pivotal tool for innovation. It provides the link to corporate strategy; ensures the desired balance across different innovation horizons; enables and communicates priorities; and with the appropriate communication it reports progress towards innovation goals. It is this final point that I would now like to explore. In these days of big data, the old aphorism still holds, that what gets measured gets done. Most of the measurements in vertically integrated disciplines such as supply, sales and finance are common, widely understood between companies and often dictated by external standards bodies as in the case of finance. So factory managers are judged on line efficiency, sales people on top line revenue and margin, and finance on parameters such as cash flow. Innovation is different. Very few companies structure innovation vertically; rather it’s a practice and discipline that involves many parts of the enterprise in a coordinated effort to deliver sustainable growth. Consequently there are many options for metrics to measure the impact of innovation. It can become more complicated with various parts of the company interested in different metrics, specific to their own departmental targets. There are some key principles for innovation metrics. One is that leading indicators (what is going to happen) are more useful than lagging ones (what’s already happened), for the simple reason that there is usually time to do something about it. Another is that metrics related to output are more useful than those that report input. For example the future value of the innovation portfolio (leading, output) is a more useful metric than cost to date per project (lagging, input). So how should innovation be measured? And, perhaps more importantly, how should innovation targets and departmental objectives be set? This is where the portfolio comes in, as a good innovation portfolio is a mine of information as well as a tool. The portfolio will tell you how the mix of project types matches the strategic plan. It should have the value of each project and from that a view of the potential sales value by launch year. Using estimates of project attrition, a number can be put on the growth innovation can deliver over the timeframe of the strategic plan. If this doesn’t meet corporate objectives, hopefully time still remains to boost the size of projects in the pipeline. The portfolio communicates progress against plan in terms of milestones and launches. Whilst other metrics specific to corporate needs may be useful for innovation, the core information for the dashboard comes from the portfolio. That’s why a key principle of good portfolio management is to minimise the use of alternative project portfolios. Ideally, every department should use the same one. It’s then easier to adapt the information it contains to populate individual plans. Finally, perhaps the most important use of the dashboard is to ensure any objectives for different parts of the organization relate to the same information, namely the portfolio. There must be alignment and knitting
together of potentially disparate constituencies, and the best way to do this is with shared objectives from the same source of information. So, in summary: - The portfolio is the key dashboard for innovation metrics - The use of “alternative” portfolios should be avoided - Innovation teams should use the same targets and objectives The portfolio is not only the pivotal tool for innovation success; it’s the key informer of progress towards innovation goals and the best way to bond teams together. image credit: flickr creative commons/kasaa
Kevin McFarthing runs the Innovation Fixer consultancy, helping companies to improve the output and efficiency of their innovation, and to implement Open Innovation. He spent 17 years with Reckitt Benckiser in innovation leadership positions, and also has experience in life sciences.
How Social Networks Drive Innovation Posted on September 13, 2013 by Greg Satell
It often seems like we live in a cursed age. All of the major economies have hit hard economic times, atmospheric carbon is the highest in recorded history and the spectre of terrorism looms over everything. Still, even as our problems appear to be unprecedentedly large, we are able to muster the power to solve them. Foreign Policy magazine proclaimed the first 10 years of the 21st century to be the best decade ever. Global incomes are rising, while poverty is falling and has been for decades, emissions in the US are dropping and even violence is on a downward trend. So what gives? In each generation we seem to face almost insurmountable hurdles, but we emerge living longer, richer, healthier lives. The answer, obviously, is that we are able to create solutions faster, through technology and innovation, than problems emerge. The story of how we do that is probably not what you’d think, but it’s inspiring nonetheless. The Moore’s Law of Everything
In 1965, Intel Cofounder Gordon Moore published an article in Electronics Magazine noting that the complexity of integrated circuits was increasing at an astounding rate. At first he predicted that it was doubling every year, but later revised it to two years. A colleague noted that this implied a doubling of processing efficiency every 18 months. It is this last figure that has been most commonly known as Moore’s law. In 2006, researchers at MIT released a paper that made it clear that, in actuality, rate of increase in processing efficiency was not limited to integrated circuits or transistors, but in fact had been a constant trend since the 19th century, long before Moore was even born. By now, it’s been well established that there are a variety of digital laws that promise accelerating returns in everything from storage to bandwidth. What’s more, the effect has become observed in areas as far flung as genomics and energy. It seems that in every field of human endeavor we just continue to get exponentially better all the time. Some observers, most notably Ray Kurzweil, have predicted that these trends will lead to a technological singularity, where advance becomes nearly instantaneous and technology takes over. However, merely charting progress doesn’t explain how it happens. To gain insight into that, we need to go not to Silicon Valley, but halfway around the world. The Curious Case of Tasmania
Tasmania is a small island off the coast of Australia. It used to be connected to the mainland through a land bridge, but about 10,000 years ago it was submerged under the sea, cutting off all access and communication. The people of Tasmania were on their own. As Jared Diamond described in Guns, Germs, and Steel , this not only cut off Tasmania from advancements that Australians came up with after the split, the people there actually regressed, losing much of the technology that they previously knew how to make.
He also observed that the largest and most populous continent, Eurasia, was also the most advanced in every area and that its East-West orientation allowed for easier sharing of new innovations. Each one of these advancements built on that which came before, so an improved plow in France could someday be modified by a Russian peasant 1500 miles away. However, increases in technology have a potentially disastrous side effect: an explosion of population. More people need more food, which can destroy of farmland and lead to famine, war and poverty. The Population Bomb
By the late 18th century, it became clear that population was increasing at an alarming rate and it was then that British economist Thomas Malthus first published his famous Essay on the Principle of Population which predicted that the rate of population growth surpassed society’s ability to support it. Nearly two centuries later, two researchers at Stanford arrived at similar conclusions and their book, The Population Bomb, became a runaway bestseller. Again, they warned that either we find a way to control the population or face a dystopian future of famine, war and poverty. Scary stuff, except that, of course, it never happened. In fact, as I noted above, we are richer, healthier and less violent. How can that be? As Samuel Arbesman argues in, The Half-life of Facts , we continue to progress not in spite of the growing population, but because there are more people to innovate. More people means more scientists and more entrepreneurs, more brains with new ideas who can more easily find other, like-minded people to collaborate with. Research suggests that technological growth is highly correlated with population growth and even that immigrants have a positive effect on the prosperity of the host country. The Strength of Weak Ties
It seems strange to say that population is related to technology. After all, take a look at the teeming slums of Mumbai or the favelas of Brazil and the first thing that comes to your mind probably won’t be high tech. When we think of scientific breakthroughs, we usually imagine small groups of highly educated people, working in isolation from the world. Historically, major advances were attributed to lone geniuses like Einstein, or small teams like Watson and Crick. In fact, recent research suggests that teams who work in close geographical proximity are the most productive, even a flight of stairs can reduce effectiveness, so that itself limits the amount of people involved. However, in 1973 a sociologist named Mark Granovetter published a paper that indicated that there might be more to the story. He found that when people were looking for a job, they most often found it through an acquaintance rather than a close friend. Usually, these seemed to be chance meetings, rather than directed searches. This phenomenon, known as the strength of weak ties, has become well established and the examples of Einstein and Watson and Crick actually bear it out as well. Einstein studied in Germany, the center of physics at the time and Watson and Crick, working at Cambridge, were able to stumble across research that proved pivotal to their discovery. So great advances often combine both elements: Close collaboration and the opportunity to stumble across people who have access to useful knowledge through second and third degree links. Why 140 Characters Are Better Than A Flying Car
It’s interesting to speculate what someone living in 1950 might think of us today. Although we have not colonized distant planets and don’t drive around in flying cars like the Jetsons, we clearly live in a world vastly transformed by technology.
In fact, as I’ve argued before, what we have today is better than flying cars. While earlier technologies helped us overcome physical constraints, digital technology is transforming our mental faculties. In fact, it is enhancing many of the conditions that created an accelerating technological environment in the first place. When I first moved overseas in the late 90’s, I was cut off from America. Communicating with friends and family back home was expensive and cumbersome. Now that I’m back, technologies such as e-mail, Skype and Twitter make it as easy to keep in touch with friends and business associates overseas as I do with people across town. I am also meeting and collaborating with people online that I would have never had a chance to know before. I can even gain access to knowledge in other languages through online translation. In other words, I am to stumble over people and knowledge to a degree that wouldn’t have been possible even a relatively short time ago. And that’s why we can expect life to continue to get better. While earlier technologies allowed us to master energy and matter, newer advances are giving us something far more valuable: They are unleashing the power of human potential. image credit: careerealism.com Greg Satell is an internationally recognized authority on Digital Strategy and Innovation. He consults and speaks in the areas of digital innovation, innovation management, digital marketing and publishing, as well as offshore web and app development. His blog is Digital Tonto and you can follow him on Twitter.
7 Steps for Building a Top 100 Innovation Company Posted on September 7, 2013 by Stefan Lindegaard
I was recently asked these two questions on innovation culture: What would be your approach/steps to create an entrepreneurial and innovational culture? What are the elements, processes and tools that a large organization can typically do to become a top 100 innovative company? It is of course not possible to give a complete off-the-shelf answer to these questions as every company has their own issues, challenges, strengths and weaknesses, but I still think it is possible to outline a set of thoughts and ideas for becoming a top innovative company. Here are my suggestions: 1. Start with a strong vision. You need to get the entire organization – as well as external partners – onboard a journey that will take several years and you can only do this if you have a vision that goes beyond the innovation scope of the business. I like how Arla – a Nordic dairy company – has developed a corporate vision that could help fuel their innovation efforts and inspiration. It is: Creating the future of dairy to bring health and inspiration to the world, naturally. You can read more about the Arla vision here. 2. Secure executive commitment. This is a no-brainer. If the top guys are not onboard for this journey, you will go nowhere. You need a clear majority of the executives led by the CEO to commit to making innovation a key element of the daily business. 3. Create momentum and instill a sense of urgency. This journey is very much about change management and for this you need to get the momentum going and once you got this, you should keep up the speed of change. 4. Go for a full innovation upgrade. A large majority of companies have cut their investments in innovation during the financial crisis where we at the same time have seen a strong innovation paradigm shift in which open innovation and business model innovation have become more important than the more traditionally focused internal, R&D focused efforts. Now, companies need to upgrade their innovation mindset and skills across the board – executives, managers, employees and external partners. This little story speaks in volumes about how companies will tackle the builtup deficit in innovation training and development in different ways. A CFO is wary about investing in the training and education of the employees. He asks the CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave the company?” The CEO is a bright person and replies: “What happens if we don’t and they stay?” Nicely put! We are definitely going to see some winners and losers in the coming years based on how they put their innovation training programs together. You can get some inspiration for this here: Innovation Training Programs – More Important than Ever!
5. People first, processes next, then ideas. Companies need to find a way to combine strong portfolio selection and management processes for their projects while also developing the people pool. Too often, corporate innovation teams focus too much on ideas and projects downplaying the role of identifying and developing the right people for the right projects at the right time. You need to strike a proper balance here and while working on this balance, I suggest they should put people first. I find intrapreneurship and corporate business plan competitions to be an interesting – and underrated tool – for this. 6. Communication is key. Creating a strong innovation culture is very much about perception. If your employees – and external partners – believe that your company is innovative they will build further on this. You need to find the pockets of strong innovation efforts within the organization, share this with everyone, continue to build an even stronger foundation based on these pockets while continuously creating strong stories to further develop the perception that you are a top innovative company. The worst you can do is to leave the impression that “our organization is not really that innovative, but this is something we are aware and now we want to change this”. If you create this perception, then you have an uphill battle to fight. It is better to build on something positive. 7. Open up, experiment and learn from your failures. I strongly believe the future of innovation is open and global. If companies share this belief, they must be prepared to experiment and change how they innovate. With this come failures. They need to lower the tolerance for failures and make sure they learn from these failures so that they do not continue to repeat them. And if you really want to create a learning culture that becomes more innovative, perhaps you should start to reward behaviors as much as outcomes… image credit: business people image from bigstock
Stefan Lindegaard is an author, speaker and strategic advisor who focus on the topics of open innovation, social media and intrapreneurship.
Is iPhone 5S the Fingerprint of mCommerce Success? Posted on September 10, 2013 by Braden Kelley
Last August I wrote about Apple’s pending acquisition of Authentec, a biometric authentication company (which has since closed). At the time Apple was in a real hurry to complete the acquisition and it made me wonder whether Authentec’s fingerprint authentication technology would make it into the home button of the iPhone 5 and eventually into the iPad and the iPad Mini. It didn’t. But today, as part of the new iPhone 5S, Apple has finally integrated this biometric technology into their flagship mobile phone. Why does this tiny little sensor represent such a potential sea change for the mobile industry? Let’s look at all of the ways that this technology addition makes the iPhone more valuable than other phones. 1. Security and Personalization
By integrating the Authentec technology into the iPhone 5S home button, and eventually the iPad and the iPad Mini, Apple can not only create a handy way (no pun intended) to eliminate the need for remembering passwords, but also enable people to make their devices easily personalized for MULTIPLE users of the same device. But if Apple takes advantage of all the purported abilities of the Authentec technology, the new iPhone 5S may also have the ability to recognize multiple fingers from a single individual, allowing for the home button to potentially achieve multiple functions – like the multiple button mouse. In practical terms, this means for example that if your five-year-old gets a hold of your iPhone 5S, or you let them have it to keep them occupied in a restaurant, the iPhone 5S could potentially keep them from making phone calls, opening your work emails, etc. or just limit them just to accessing the Apps you grant them access to. But there is also no reason why apps like Netflix could also become personalized based on whose finger was used. And maybe finally Apple will finally introduce some parental controls on the iPad. It’s maddening as a parent that my only choice on our iPad is to either give my daughter full access to Safari, or no access to Safari and that I have to go in and re-enable Safari when I want to use it. What decade is this? Hopefully iOS 7 will fix this. 2. iTunes and App Store Authentication
For Apple, there are also legal and financial benefits from adding fingerprint authentication, as it will help to prevent (or at least reduce) unauthorized iTunes purchases made by account hackers or children playing with their parent’s iPhone 5S (or upcoming iPad 5). Fingerprint authentication in iPhone 5S and iPad 5 may also encourage people to begin utilizing Apple’s Passport.
3. Universal mCommerce Authentication v1.0
It is embarrassing that the United States is so far behind the rest of the world when it comes to mCommerce. Mostly this has been because the financial services companies (Citibank, Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Verisign, etc.) and mobile phone carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, TMobile, etc.) have been fighting to control mCommerce in the United States to the detriment of United States citizens and consumers and mobile innovation. Shame on you! The new iPhone 5S might help to reignite mobile innovation and mCommerce activity in the United Sates. And given that Apple makes most of their money selling hardware and are facing a market share challenge from Android and Windows 8 devices, it is in Apple’s best interest to open up a fingerprint sensor API in iOS 7 for third party app developers to utilize. This would maximize the potential differentiation and hardware sales, and the incremental device lock-in offered by this new capability. But there are also increased revenue opportunities for Apple, as integrated fingerprint authentication is likely to lead to an increase in impulse iTunes and App Store purchases. Why will a fingerprint sensor likely lead to an increase in music and app purchases for Apple? Simple, it will make it easier and faster for people to buy things from iTunes or the App Store, and give consumers less time to change their mind after they get the urge to buy something. One thing I didn’t see mentioned in Apple’s iPhone 5S announcement was the inclusion of any kind of Near Field Communication (NFC) capability in this latest flagship model. So v1.0 of Apple’s universal mCommerce authentication capabilities may only include authentication of eCommerce purchases made via mobile web sites or mobile apps. Without NFC I’m not sure exactly how authenticated purchases in the physical world would be made, short of a scanner reading a post-authentication-generated QR Code or something like that. Of course there is a way (or several) and mobile innovators surely will find them until NFC is incorporated into future iPhones and iPads. 4. Universal mCommerce Authentication v2.0
Once NFC capabilities are added to the iPhone, then people like Square, but also traditional banks, and even Google could add iPhone 5S fingerprint authentication to apps for mCommerce for users to download and install on their phone. This represents a HUGE opportunity for Square and a challenge obviously for the established players. It will be interesting to see whether Apple will be the first to integrate fingerprint authentication together with NFC or whether Samsung or someone else will beat them to it, or even whether it might be able to be added via a 3rd party case or backing for the phone. What do you think?
The initial iPhone turned your finger into a more useful tool for the digital world. The new iPhone 5S turns your finger into a key, and how many locks it will help you open remains to be seen. Let’s hope that in the same way that the iPhone broke the stranglehold that the mobile carriers had on application innovation on the handset, the new iPhone 5S will create a new wave of mobile innovation in the mCommerce space. Let’s hope that Apple’s new iPhone 5S gives new meaning to the phrase ‘Digital Innovation’. Okay this time the pun is intended, and hopefully it will help some of you think of new possibilities for digitdriven computing. Keep innovating! UPDATE – iPhone 5S mCommerce and Retail Implications
Braden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B pull marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He is currently advising an early-stage fashion startup making jewelry for your hair and is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.
Are Dumb Rules Killing Innovation in Your Company? Posted on September 3, 2013 by Holly G Green
Innovation is the process of coming up with new ideas and/or putting together existing ideas, products or services in new and different ways to achieve value. In order to do that, we sometimes have to first get rid of the obstacles that are getting in the way. One quick and simple method for eliminating barriers to innovation is to kill a stupid rule. I would love to take credit for this idea. But in the interest of full disclosure, it belongs to Futurethink, an innovation consulting and training firm that helps organizations think differently, drive change and achieve success. (Go here for short video on “Kill A Stupid Rule,”. ) A great idea is a great idea no matter who comes up with it, and this one deserves passing on. Implementing “kill a stupid rule” is simple. At your next team meeting, ask, “If you could get rid of any rule in this company – either kill it or change it – what would you do and why?” Don’t worry about if the boss won’t like it or whether it might cost too much. Just what would you kill or change, and why? Then sit back and let people throw out ideas for 10 minutes. Next, choosing from all the ideas presented, have everyone write down on a sticky note the one rule they would most like to kill or change first. Group the sticky notes together on a white board, depending on whether they would be hard or easy to implement and would have a low or high impact on the organization. Sort out the rule changes that would be easy to implement and have a high impact on the organization. Then ask the team: what do we need to do to make this happen? Interestingly, you may find that many of the “rules” people want to kill aren’t actually rules. Instead, they often turn out to be assumptions, thought bubbles, or internal messages that people tell themselves about the way things are supposed to be. And that’s where the notion of “kill a stupid rule” aligns with what I am constantly helping clients with. So much of what goes on in organizations is a result of thought bubbles and assumptions. These unspoken thoughts and beliefs perpetuate themselves because we’re all running so fast that we don’t take the time to question whether our assumptions are still valid in today’s world. Over time, they become internal “rules” and limiting constraints that guide decisions and actions on an individual and organizational level. Unfortunately, most of these rules center around what we can’t or shouldn’t do rather than what we could or should. As a result, they act as constraints on our thinking. They shut down the creative thinking process and close our minds to new ideas and possibilities. My approach is to encourage people to pause on a regular basis and take a measured look at their thought bubbles and assumptions. Killing one stupid rule is one technique for doing that. Here are a few more from my new book Using Your Brain to Win. To shift your brain out of “stuck” mode and get it used to considering new possibilities: • Ask “What if…?” questions. For example, what if our “right” answer is wrong? What if this “rule” no longer applied to our business or industry? What if we could change this rule; what would we do differently?
• Change your perspective by putting on different stakeholder hats. Do customers agree with your unspoken thoughts and assumptions? Your employees? Your vendors? Would someone outside your industry see your rule as necessary or as an obstacle to progress? • Solicit alternative viewpoints. Too often, teams rush to consensus rather than considering all the options. When that happens, make a deliberate effort to get opposing ideas and opinions out on the table. For example, “It seems like we’re all in agreement here. Are there any other perspectives we might be missing?” • Have people come up with the worst possible solution to a problem. Then turn it around and see if any of those ideas apply. Trade problems. If marketing is struggling to resolve an issue, let purchasing take a stab at solving it. Regardless of the technique, the underlying principle is to stop taking your rules for granted just because they’ve been around a while. Whether you kill a stupid rule or merely prod, poke, annoy, pester or harass it, pausing to challenge your assumptions will help you see things differently and give new life to your innovation efforts. Call to action: Identify one rule you will kill in your organization and why.
Holly is the CEO of THE HUMAN FACTOR, Inc. (www.TheHumanFactor.biz) and is a highly sought after and acclaimed speaker, business consultant, and author. Her unique approach to creating strategic agility, helping others go slow to go fast, will change your thinking.
10 Arguments for Entrepreneurs Joining Startup Accelerators Posted on September 22, 2013 by Debra Jennings
You may think that entrepreneurs participate in startup accelerators to receive seed money, or to have a place to do their work. Although these are popular reasons, they are not the only ones (nor are they the most compelling). Below are 10 arguments for entrepreneurs joining accelerators, such as i360accelerator, which opened in Dubai last year. 1. Future Capital One of the most important reasons entrepreneurs join accelerators is to make connections with potential investors who can provide capital to operate the new business after the accelerator program ends. Many accelerators work closely with sponsors and private investors, and some even provide a valuation of the new business that helps investors see its potential. 2. Mentorship Many people who participate in accelerators are starting their first company and, if theyâ€™re smart, will want to avoid the mistakes that new companies often make. Accelerators offer an opportunity to learn from experienced entrepreneurs, such as the founders, guest speakers, and mentors that offer their guidance and support. 3. Camaraderie Starting a business is hard work, and itâ€™s easy to get discouraged if youâ€™re all alone. Accelerators enable entrepreneurs to support and encourage each other. Plus, a recent study showed that people are generally more creative when they are in an environment with a moderate noise level. 4. Product Feedback When an entrepreneur enters an accelerator, usually their idea is still a work in progress. This is the time to gather feedback on their product or service to improve it and make it innovative. Accelerators assist with this through mentorship, market research and even feedback from the other startups in residence. 5. Business Education Every new business faces common issues as the company grows. Many accelerators arrange guest speakers to help participants anticipate and overcome the challenges associated with hiring, additional funding, go-tomarket strategy and more. 6. Teambuilding Once a business is launched, processes and people need to be in place to ensure things run smoothly (you never get a second chance to make a first impression). Accelerators offer entrepreneurs a chance to find and get to know their team, to ensure the right people are on board before the big day. 7. Financial Support
Even if a startup team is willing to work for free, every new business needs money for operating expenses, not to mention marketing and distribution or support costs. Accelerators typically offer a small amount of capital to the entrepreneur, in exchange for a share of equity in the resulting business. 8. Workspace Entrepreneurs and their teams need a place to work, brainstorm and meet potential team members or investors. Accelerators offer a professional environment (as opposed to someone’s house or a coffee shop) in which to do this, as well as computers, printers, copiers and other office equipment that entrepreneurs may not be able to afford to buy on their own. 9. Company Registration Paperwork is a necessary part of starting a business, but it can be a time-consuming and confusing task (especially in the UAE). Many accelerators retain legal staff to help entrepreneurs complete the documents required to register their new business, apply for patents and copyrights, review property leases, etc. 10. Reputation For participants who are accepted to well-known accelerators, simply graduating from the program adds authenticity and relevance to their new business. (Of course, this is a two-way street – successful entrepreneurs enhance the reputation of the accelerator, as well!) Our Goal At i360accelerator, which is organized and managed by the Innovation 360 team, our goal is to meet every one of the above criteria by offering innovative entrepreneurs access to the best Innovation Accelerator in the Middle East. We link entrepreneurs to investors for seed funding and future capital, and provide a creative and inspirational place to refine startup ideas and build strong teams. We recruit regional mentors and business people to educate and guide our participants, and provide training on innovation to give our graduates the extra insight they need to succeed. Our hope is that every i360accelerator graduate will become the next Middle East entrepreneurial success story! Why would you join an accelerator? Leave a comment and let us know.
Debra Jennings is Director of Storytelling for Innovation 360. She is an innovation tools expert and a contributing author to “The Innovator’s Toolkit: 50+ Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Growth.”
The 21st Century Dual-Mindset Leader Posted on September 8, 2013 by John Sutherland
Thriving in the age of exponential growth Business leaders of 40 years and over grew up in a linear world where progress, improvements, technologies all increased in small increments. Take cars for example, a 20th century dominating technology. The land speed record was first established in 1898 at 39 mph and increased an average of 7 mph per year until in 1997 when it topped out of 760 mph. That’s an increase of 19 times in 100 years. That was true for all technologies, trains, manufacturing, planes, medical etc. During this time we learned to succeed by focusing on improvement, ensuring control, avoiding uncertainty, managing by hierarchy, to name but a few. That linear experience shaped our beliefs about how to be successful. It dictated our approach to growth. It shaped the management systems we put into place to lead and mange the business. It influenced how we structured our organizations. Ultimately, linear thinking became our mindset, our hidden attitudes and inclinations upon which we depend when making decisions. Except, the linear age is rapidly transitioning to the exponential age. Whereas early-to-mid 20th century technological improvements grew linearly, today’s technologies grow exponentially. Just compare the 19 times improvement of the speed of cars to computing speed. In the last 30 years PC clock speed has increased 1,500 times. The same is happening in other technologies such as 3D printing, digital imaging, wireless sensing, artificial intelligence, advanced materials, advanced robotics, genomics, and energy storage amongst others. That kind of exponential technological growth quickly turns into exponential business growth. When we first became leaders 20% growth was considered phenomenal, and the path to a $1 billion company was counted in generations. In the exponential world 100x growth and $1 billion happens in a few short years. Just look at Apple’s experience with iTunes store. They launched it in April 2003. Within five days they had sold 5 million songs. By 2006 they had sold a billion songs, by 2010 – 10 billion. From nothing they created a $1b business in 3 years and a $10b in 7 years. That was an example from the past. Here’s one from the future. By the end of 2015 Qualcomm expects to announce the winner of its $10mil Tricorder X prize. The specifications; built a handheld device that can diagnose 15 diseases with the same, or better accuracy than a board certified physician. A combination of exponential growth in: computing power, artificial technology, cloud computing, bandwidth and lab-on-a-chip technologies will combine together to turn Star Trek’s 1960’s medical tricorder into a reality. Now, think of how fast that will sweep through the medical field. Think of the disruption to family practitioners and hospitals. Think of how that device will transform medicine in third world countries. How long will it take before you can diagnose your disease and send the readout to the pharmacy to get your prescription? The growth curve for this device and its successors will be exponential. A whole new industry will grow from its launch.
It’s the exponential age – are you prepared?
Thriving in the 21st century takes a different mindset – a mindset that sets goals and manages activities and expectations based on exponential growth rather than linear growth. Successful leaders have realized this shifting is taking place. So they learned a new set of attitudes and processes; they’ve learned to think exponentially. What’s emerging is a dual mindset: retaining the linear mindset to capture available profits in the existing businesses, and adding an exponential mindset to lead teams in developing new exponential-growth businesses.
Here are 10 examples of the differences in the two mindsets. Linear Attitudes (Capture the present business)
Exponential Attitudes (Secure the future business)
1) Stay within the norms of the market/industry. Be better. 2) Set growth goals based on historical data. 3) Develop detailed growth plans, then execute to the plan. 4) Reject growth proposals with high degrees of uncertainty. 5) Acquire companies to gain market share and presence. 6) Fund individual projects based on well-defined ROI requirements. 7) Control employees. 8) Form long-term stable partnerships. 9) Market offerings to customers. 10) Tweak pricing for revenue growth.
1) Disrupt the market/industry by creating new value platforms and business models. Be different. 2) Set 10-100x growth goals. Little data exists. 3) Develop visionary growth plans, then learn your way to success or quick failure. 4) Embrace proposals with high degrees of uncertainty when two conditions are met: - Rapid learning approach - Potential for market disruption 5) Acquire companies to gain access to market disrupting technologies or capabilities. 6) Fund teams to manage portfolio of growth projects. 7) Unleash employees. 8) Form transient-partnerships. 9) Create such compelling offerings to customers that they “want to buy.” 10) Partner with inventors to gain intellectual property.
Now what? What’s should be most obvious in the list is how opposite these attitudes are. That takes unique leadership. Teams that can hold two opposite belief systems in their minds and flip from one to the other depending upon circumstances. So, as leaders we have a stark choice to make. We can continue to believe that the single linear
mindset that made us successful will long endure. Or, we can recognize the shifting ground under our feet for what it is, a fundamental alteration of the mindset we need to be successful in the exponential age we call the 21st century. In subsequent blogs I will lay out strategies for leaders who wish to undertake the journey of learning the attitudes, capabilities and structures required to thrive in this new millennium. image credit: starwars.wiki.com
You can learn more about John Sutherland at ennova inc and/or join his book crowdsourcing site at www.johnsutherlandbooks.com
UPDATE – mCommerce and Retail Implications of iPhone 5S Posted on September 15, 2013 by Braden Kelley
In my previous article on some of the potential implications of the iPhone 5S launch, I talked about how one of the things that wasn’t included in the iPhone 5S that I thought would be, was NFC technology (Near Field Communications). Or at least I thought that Apple left it out… That was until I came across this GigaOm article and this FastCoLabs article.
But it turns out that while they left out NFC, they didn’t leave out near field communications technology. They have just implemented in a slightly different way – using iBeacons – Apple’s flavor of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) that actually achieves the same basic job as NFC, but in a much more elegant and capable way. To give you a better idea of what this technology is capable of (in addition to mobile payments), I encourage you to check out this video about Estimote Smart Beacons. I truly believe that the kinds of things that will come out of the BLE technology built into the new iPhone 5S in combination with the new fingerprint authentication will represent a quantum leap in the value we extract from our smartphones in much the same way that the AppStore that came along a year after the launch of the original iPhone.
It will be interesting to see what develops around the iPhone 5S (and the Android and Windows 8 devices to respond) over the next twelve months. Keep innovating! Image credits: GigaOM
Braden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B pull marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He is currently advising an early-stage fashion startup making jewelry for your hair and is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.
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