Wednesday, December 01, 2004

All right, here goes...

After some playing around with templates and formats, it's time to get started.

This is actually my second blog. My first one was just a trial station on Radio Userland - "My Oyster" - that I had great fun with, but it fizzled out do to lack of imput from yours truly. And of course it would start costing me (a very small amount of) money. Two years later and I'm ready to give it a go again.

I'm not really the journalistic type. I prefer conversations. My intention and hope is to keep opening this up wider with new member contributors all the time. So post-away if you feel inspired to comment. And contact me if you'd like to be a contributing member.

I've also been moderating a club over at Ecademy called the Collaboration Café. The conversations have been fantastic although we have lingered a bit in the theoretical instead of getting down to the practical. I invite any café collaborators to join the conversation over here as well.

I pondered starting this blog within the Ecademy framework, but I'm not interested in associating myself so closely with that organisation, and the new membership fees that they are introducing will restrict access and speed up the commercial direction it is developing in. More on that in a latter blog.

The subject matter I would really like to explore with you - broad as it is - is innovation. Theoretical, practical, magical ... any aspect of innovation. The other subjects that really interest me are collaboration (as you will have gathered), conversations, and the power of weak ties.

And naturally I am interested in hearing from you and your interests. This is an open café.


Monday, November 29, 2004

The 'Hands Ready' approach

"A continuous flow of ideas is the lifeblood of any innovative company. It's crucial to have an environment that supports and invests in new thinking.But the act of creation is only the beginning. The shop floors and boardrooms of thousands of companies are littered with good ideas. What counts is making the transition from the mind to the market.To successfully make that transition companies need the processes to control, review and refine an idea. To evaluate it, cost it and assess the market.When it comes to putting their ideas to the test, innovative companies look outside their business. Suppliers, partners, investors, customers and in some cases, competitors, can all provide valuable feedback.But it's management which remains the most important factor. Too hands on and they can kill an idea before it's properly developed. Too hands off and it can wander aimlessly with no direction and no real commercial focus. What's needed is a 'hands ready' approach where managers are ready to step in and provide support and commitment when it's needed." - DTI, Living Innovation

Friday, November 26, 2004

Flashes of Genius

“Flashes of genius, showers of brilliant ideas--it's intriguing to imagine that these are all your company needs to create blockbuster products and services. True, successful innovation does require inspiration. But that's barely half of the equation. It also requires discipline: rigorous, systematic ways to bring good ideas to profitable fruition. But balancing the inspiration/discipline equation isn't easy. And breakthrough products or services aren't the be-all/end-all of innovative thinking. Small, steady improvements to all your business practices can prove equally vital--and profitable.”

- Harvard Business Review: One Part Inspiration, Two Parts Discipline, May 2004