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Innovation

Innovation is at the heart of any great business. But how do you know which ideas are worth pursuing? These articles will show you how to harness creativity in your business and how to keep innovating and trying new things. You'll learn how to stop wasting time and why failure can be positive. 

Dealing with creativity blockages

Creative work can take a long time, observes Jane Porter, writing for Fast Company. Results can be inconsistent, the gestation period can feel unproductive and it’s prone to blockages.

In fact, the challenging nature of creativity and the stagnation involved can tempt you into abandoning projects prematurely.

Using creativity to help your business stand out from the crowd

Creativity can be the key to catching customers, according to Daigo Smith, co-founder of UK online dating website Loveflutter, writing for The Guardian.

Smith summarises the company’s key learnings from the creative process that brought the site to life and “helped generate the industry buzz seen on both sides of the Atlantic”:

How to transform your employees into smart risk takers

Business leaders strive for positive cultural change and innovation, resulting in happy, fulfilled employees creating value throughout the organisation. Writing for Strategy+Business, Lisa Bodell observes that “the journey is just as critical as the destination” when a culture is being reshaped.

Is this the way to stop your organisation’s hierarchy killing innovative ideas?

Does the hierarchy of your organisation stifle innovation? That’s the question posed by David Burkus, writing for management website ChiefExecutive.net.

Why innovation starts with your culture

There’s no doubt that innovation can be the difference between success and failure for a business. Writing for InnovationManagement.se, Simon Mitchell insists that innovation and culture are two sides of the same coin, and the challenge is to foster an environment where people feel empowered to find a better way of doing things.

Want new ideas and solutions? Take an ‘outside-in’ view

You might want your organisation to be thought of as innovative, but simply asking your employees to think outside of the box won’t produce game-changing ideas, notes Lisa Bodell, writing for InnovationManagement.se.

How to use digital technology to improve the value of your business

Most of the talk regarding the potential of digital technology for business has been centred around online sales, social networking and mobile applications.

Could you save time and money by interviewing job candidates on the internet?

Jack Smith, Light and Sound, Flowers Gallery

Webcam job interviews are growing in popularity as companies cut back on recruiting budgets, writes Tara Weiss of Forbes.com.

Even giant companies such as Nike and Cisco have used the internet to handle first and second round interviews.

Does what you produce matter less than the way you produce it?

Michael Kidner, Grey Column, Flowers Gallery

According to an Economist.com 'Management Idea' article, because companies such as Wal-Mart, Dell and Toyota have managed to achieve extraordinary success while doing fairly ordinary things, many managers have realised that what they produce can be less important than the way they prod

Why do some companies innovate more successfully than others?

Michael Kidner, Colour Column, Flowers Gallery

Writing for Bloomberg Businessweek, Christine Crandell discusses why some companies successfully innovate and others don't.

Crandell argues that high rates of failure for new products – "once considered an inevitable cost of doing business" – are unacceptable in the modern business environment.

Motivation: why money might not be as effective as you thought

Trevor Sutton, Window, Flowers Gallery

Money might not be the great motivator it is generally believed to be. That is the shock conclusion of a book by best-selling author Daniel Pink called Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, discussed by Hardy Green on Fortune.

Managing innovation: why should your team follow you?

Terry Frost, Saint Raphael, Flowers Gallery

According to G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Viton on BusinessWeek.com, the first step towards managing innovation is addressing a key question from employees: "Why should I follow you?"

The five skills that set true innovators apart

Terry Frost, Suspended Forms, Flowers Gallery

In Harvard Business Review, Jeffrey H. Dyer, Hal B. Gregersen, and Clayton M. Christensen discuss the five "discovery skills" that make true innovators stand out from the crowd.

Gladwell's Outliers and The Story of Success - Is the self-made man a myth?

Julie Cockburn, Mood Swing 2, Flowers Gallery

In an interview by Jennifer Reingold on CNN Money's Fortune, Malcolm Gladwell expounds on the theory explored in his book, Outliers: The Story of Success - that innate talent is not necessarily what sets legendary CEOs apart from ordinary workers and that the accepted view of the self-made man is a myth.

Can recession inspire innovation?

Eduardo Paolozzi, 9 Designs, Flowers Gallery

Scott Anthony uses Forbes.com to remind us that a surprising number of great companies such as General Electric, IBM, McDonald's and Walt Disney were formed through innovation in times of recession.

Can Western businesses survive the recession with cost-innovation strategies used in emerging markets?

Jack Smith, Zig Zag, Flowers Gallery

According to Peter J. Williamson and Ming Zeng, writing for the Harvard Business Review, Western businesses can cope better in these recessionary times by adopting cost-innovation strategies that have worked for emerging-market companies.

Unlocking value with social technologies

Noel Forster, Untitled, Flowers Gallery

Social technologies are a modern phenomenon. They have found favour with consumers at a faster rate than any previous technologies.

Should leaders create conflict to encourage creativity and innovation?

Tom Lovelace, Flowers Gallery

According to Saj-nicole A. Joni and Damon Beyer, writing for Harvard Business Review, certain types of leaders can create conflict in order to provide a spark for creativity and innovation.

How can entrepreneurs motivate themselves?

Jack Smith, Cascade, Flowers Gallery

Dr Steven Berglas discusses the source of motivation for entrepreneurs on Forbes.com.

The advice Berglass offers to those wishing to tap their inner entrepreneur is: What is it about this world that you want to change?

Wisdom, intelligence and creativity: the recipe for successful leadership

Michael Kidner, Flowers Gallery

In his 'Leading Edge' column on Forbes.com, Sangeeth Varghese discusses the 'WICS' model for creating leaders with its developer, Robert Jeffrey Sternberg.

Innovation advice for CEOs

The CEO's "innovation nightmare" is described by G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Viton on Bloomberg Businessweek, as they impart some advice for chief executives who want to make their companies more innovative.

Harness your employees' creativity through innovation communities

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, JC Spender and Bruce Strong attempt to take the mystery out of innovation and its inspirations, insisting that a company's own employees are the main source of innovative ideas.

Want to innovate? Try doing nothing

According to Karen Duncum, writing for Bloomberg Businessweek, one of the most effective ways to innovate is ignoring the usual routine, putting your feet up and doing nothing.

How to use rivalry and competition to boost innovation in your company

According to Bernard T. Ferrari and Jessica Goethals, writing for McKinsey Quarterly, productive rivalry can spur innovation and help the development of products and services, and they cite such diverse evidence as the director of General Electric's Global Research Group, and the more surprising example of the Renaissance.

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