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New & Improved White Paper Archive

Top 10 List: What Really Drives Innovation- Wednesday, February 15, 2017

TOP 10 LIST: What Really drives Innovation The rapid rate of change, and our experience harvesting maple syrup at our Adirondack office, inspires us to boil things down to their essence. What follows is our distillation of what really works to create a sustainable innovation culture.  (full story)


Crazy new ideas driving you crazy? Tweak your think!- Friday, July 3, 2015

CRAZY NEW IDEAS DRIVING  YOU  CRAZY? Our basic brain–wiring inhibits us from reacting the way we should to spark innovation. For most of us, there is a need to re–wire our fear vs. curiosity neural circuitry. Fortunately we can. Let’s look at some of the &ldquo (full story)


Taking Responsibility: The Weakness of WE and the Importance of I in Innovation- Friday, February 13, 2015

Taking Responsibility: The we akness of “we” and the importance of “I” in innovation Bob Eckert and Jonathan Vehar Here are some  extremely dangerous statements: We need to be a great team! There is no I in team! We have to work together (full story)


The Need for Innovation and Lean: Managing the Paradox Between Newness and Quality- Friday, February 13, 2015

The Need for Innovation and Lean: Managing the Paradox Between Newness and Quality A white paper from New & Improved®, LLC   On the importance of Lean and Innovation: “The Japanese lean producers exercise extreme care not to isolate their advanced technologies from (full story)


How To Cook Up Innovation In Your Organization- Thursday, February 12, 2015

How To Cook Up Innovation In Your Organization A white paper from New & Improved®, LLC What’s the culture of innovation in your organization? Does your company obsessively focus on new products that make your old ones obsolete, like Intel? Are your people constantly bein (full story)


What Really Drives Innovation: The Top 10 List- Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Build your innovation skills - attend an Innovation Workshop   What Really Drives Innovation: The Top 10 List Maple Syrup season at our Adirondack office inspires us to boil things down to their essence. What follows is our distillation of what really works to create a sustainable (full story)


Wisdom, Maturity, and the Innovation Imperative- Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wisdom, maturity, and the innovation imperative “There is no such thing as a grown-up. Just grow ing ups, and stuck people. That’s it.” — Bob Eckert Any long–time reader of this newsletter or our blog and books knows that we constantly drive for (full story)


Innovation Leadership’s Unspoken BHAG- Monday, February 9, 2015

Innovation Leadership’s Unspoken BHAG ( Big Hairy Audacious Goal ––– Thank Jim Collins for yet another acronym) “There’s so much more to innovation leadership than innovation!” There is a secret that goes beyond the fact that the financial (full story)


Innovation in a Recession: The False Choice Between Innovation and Productivity Improvement- Sunday, February 8, 2015

Innovation in a recession: The false choice between innovation and productivity improvement “I think it’s more essential to innovate through a recession and certainly what we’re trying to do at P&G is to continue to bring sustaining and even disruptive new brands and (full story)


What mosquitoes can teach us about creative thinking- Saturday, February 7, 2015

What mosquitoes can teach us about creative thinking: A new kind of SWAT Analysis? “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers [ed. note: and problem solvers].” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self–Reliance (full story)


BOILING IT DOWN: The Four Key Principles of Creative Thinking Training- Friday, February 6, 2015

BOILING IT DOWN: The Four Key Principles of Creative Thinking Training “Simplicity is complexity resolved.” — Constantin Brancusi What sticks? If you had only five minutes to teach someone how to be more creative, what would you teach? For trainers, the question (full story)


What to do When Your Meetings Resemble a Dyson™ Vacuum Cleaner- Thursday, February 5, 2015

What to do when your meetings resemble a Dyson™ Vacuum Cleaner Or...How to design meetings that spin out greatness! By Russ Schoen “If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would (full story)


Crazy new ideas driving you crazy? Tweak your think!- Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Crazy new ideas driving you crazy? Tweak your think!   Tail Pipe Cooker? The exhaust never touches your food, but the heat from your car engine grills your food. It’s too new to know how successful it is, (so far as we can find out) but it’s out there. Innova (full story)


A New & Improved Twist on Safety- Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A New & Improved Twist on Safety — For the Body, Heart, and Mind Play safe! Be safe! Safety first! Every time a kid leaves the house they are reminded to be safe. Don’t forget to wear your seatbelt! Your helmet! Your tooth guard! Steel toed shoes! Think about all of the (full story)


How to Encourage Successful Innovation- Sunday, February 1, 2015

How to Encourage Successful Innovation: Hint: Encourage Failure “I’ve got to develop nine prototypes that go nowhere to make one that goes to production for big money. Only the place that tolerates failure gives rise to the thinking that results in success. ” &mdash (full story)


The Myth of Best Practices- Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Myth of Best Practices: Data at Best, Solutions at Worst “Mark Twain used to say that it was possible to learn too much from experience. A cat, he said, that had squatted once on a hot stove lid would never sit down on a hot stove lid again. The trouble was that it would never (full story)


Walking The Forgiveness Path- Friday, January 30, 2015

Walking the Forgiveness Path Last newsletter we talked about the power of apology on the quality of innovation. It seems sensible to share some thinking about forgiveness as well. One of our partners with an engineering background, Mark Roser, has spent some time “reverse engineering (full story)


Mastering the Art Of Apology- Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mastering the Art of Apology “Oops…” —A less than masterful apology from a New & Improved Partner after rototilling his wife’s flowerbed. Since you are a human being, you can count on making misteaks and unintentionally doing things that cause others (full story)


Acting In Integrity With Your Words and Beliefs- Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Acting in integrity with your words and beliefs: An essential value for innovation leadership "To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." —William Shakespeare (Hamlet) The short form: "Wherever you go, there you (full story)


Tenacity: Moving Ideas Forward Despite the Odds- Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tenacity: Moving Ideas Forward Despite the Odds An essential value for Innovation Leadership "I regard it as the foremost task of education to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self den (full story)


Courage in the Face of the Status Quo- Monday, January 26, 2015

Courage in the face of the status quo: An essential value for Innovation Leadership “It takes courage to be creative. Just as soon as you have a new idea, you are a minority of one.” —E. Paul Torrance “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex (full story)


Energizing Curiosity in Your Innovative Brain- Sunday, January 25, 2015

Energizing Curiosity in Your Innovative Brain: A core value of innovation leadership “You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanit (full story)


Humility: The Foundation Value of Innovation Leadership- Saturday, January 24, 2015

Humility: The Foundation Value of Innovation Leadership “If you kNOw, there’s NO curiosity, there’s NO learning, there’s NO listening, there’s NO innovation!” In our white paper, The Way of the Innovation Leader , we laid out a set of values for leaders (full story)


The Way of the Innovation Leader- Friday, January 23, 2015

The Way of the Innovation Leader: Integrity, Tenacity, Curiosity, Courage and Humility as a day-to-day values system “You have no choice about being a role model. You are one…it comes with the job. The only choice you have is which role you’ll model.” — Anon (full story)


Get the POINt?- Thursday, January 22, 2015

Get the POINt? What’s the point of innovative thinking if our ego’s get so wrapped up in the “newness” we’ve created that we can’t handle some constructive criticism? What’s the point in creating the basics of an idea if it dies on the vine because (full story)


Predictive Failure Analysis™- Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Predictive Failure Analysis™ Planning for your worst business nightmare by figuring out what it is!   By guest author: Jack Hipple, Innovation-TRIZ “The only emotion I’ve ever felt with a new car is ‘I just hope it’s quick enough.’ I anticipate (full story)


Making Thinking Visible: The Improved Discovery Session for Fueling Qualitative Research and Client Communication- Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Making Thinking Visible: The Improved Discovery Session for Fueling Qualitative Research and Client Communication   By Linda Yaven All photos by the author “We cannot request creativity to appear upon demand, but we can extend it an invitation.” — David (full story)


Stress and Coping strategies: How the modern innovation leader deals with primitive responses- Monday, January 19, 2015

Stress and coping strategies: How the modern innovation leader deals with primitive responses Stress is not what happens to us. It’s what we think about what happens to us. And we can always change our thinking. This month, by popular demand, we have turned our attention to the (full story)


Ensuring Business Continuity: Applying creative thinking to keep your business flying when nothing else is- Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ensuring Business Continuity: Applying creative thinking to keep your business flying when nothing else is. “The one thing that goes according to plan is that something will happen to change our plan.” — Stephen M. Wolf, Former Chairman, USAirways Attaché Magazine (full story)


Fear: The Great Innovation Killer- Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fear: The Great Innovation Killer The longest running global pandemic Fear. It can keep you alive. And it can kill you. It’s a powerful, unpleasant emotion that causes us to pay attention to our surroundings with great vigilance so that we can react as quickly as possible to any potent (full story)


Learning or Failing? The Value of Making Mistakes- Friday, January 16, 2015

Learning or Failing? The Value of Making Mistakes "Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail." — Charles F. “Boss” Kettering, Hall of Fame Inventor, Founder of Delco, and former VP of General Motors For years now we’ve been harping about the importance (full story)


Humor and Creative Thinking: How to lighten up for enlightenment- Thursday, January 15, 2015

Humor and Creative Thinking: How to lighten up for enlightenment   “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook We’re not kidding: this month’s newsletter is focu (full story)


Pitching Ideas: How to Sell Solutions Through the Bureaucracy- Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pitching Ideas: How to sell solutions through the bureaucracy How many times have you seen this in your organization: a team of empowered people spends hundreds of person-hours working on solutions to a significant organizational challenge? They carefully examine all the data, work through (full story)


Being Resolute in your Resolutions: How to Succeed in Creating Change- Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Being Resolute in your Resolutions: How to succeed in creating change “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” — Helen Keller It is the time of pas (full story)


Diving Deeper Into Innovation- Monday, January 12, 2015

Diving Deeper Into Innovation “If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.”  — Abraham Maslow We just finished two back-to-back, week-long programs, training people in the skills to facilitate creative thinking sessions and to be innovation (full story)


Features Aren’t Value- Sunday, January 11, 2015

Features Aren’t Value Why selling your idea/product/service requires more than a spec sheet Once again, we were frustrated. Frustrated at a client’s inability to see the importance of letting people know in simple terms the value that his new service provides to the organizatio (full story)


Compensating Trail-Blazing Innovation- Saturday, January 10, 2015

Compensating Trail-Blazing innovation   Question:  Which is most important: the spark, the fuel, or the flame? Faux Fact (one that we can accept even when we can’t prove it): All innovations (great and small) carry only a faint resemblance to the original idea that (full story)


Letting People Know the Value You Provide: Creating The Elevator Speech- Friday, January 9, 2015

Letting people know the value you provide: Creating the Elevator Speech  You’ve probably heard the phrase “elevator speech” bandied about. If you’re new to the term, it is not a presentation with a lot of ups and downs in it. Rather, an “elevator speech&rdq (full story)


Agreements to Manage Disagreements- Thursday, January 8, 2015

Agreements to Manage Disagreements: The four agreements and conflict management “I wasn’t very receptive to doing things differently…when I reprimanded my buddy. I was too constrained. [Yet] once you are not constrained, the ideas flow in.” — David Gordon (full story)


Business and Culture: The Inside v. Outside Perspective- Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Business and Culture: The Inside v. Outside Perspective By Margaret J. King, Ph.D. and Bret H. Rigby, Center for Cultural Studies and Analysis The Inside Perspective: The Business System When leading executives are asked to define the purpose of their business, many say (full story)


Innovation Team Preferences: People Prefer to Do Things Differently- Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Innovation Team Preferences: People Prefer to Do Things Differently (Yes, Duh!) “People can do jointly what they cannot do singly; and the union of minds and hands, the concentration of their power, becomes almost omnipotent.” —Daniel Webster Once upon a time the (full story)


Managing Emotions to Foster Innovation- Monday, January 5, 2015

Managing emotions to foster innovation Feelings are wonderful things. We’re glad we have them — can you imagine a world where feelings didn’t exist? It would be pretty bland. There are, however, feelings that we enjoy more, feelings that we enjoy less, and feelings that (full story)


Getting to “YES:” How to Initiate Innovation at your Organization- Sunday, January 4, 2015

Getting to “YES:” How to Initiate Innovation at your Organization by Robert Tucker In the field of organizational innovation, we have a number of professional associations, one of which is the Innovation Network. The Network puts on their annual Convergence conference (prod (full story)


The Trojan Horse Approach to Innovation- Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Trojan Horse Approach to Innovation by Paul Hoffman and Margaret J. King. Idea generation is the key to any problem-solving task, and essential for non-routine problems requiring creativity. When the usual skills and judgment that come from solving the customary problem are not (full story)


Shouting Good News From the Mountain Top- Friday, January 2, 2015

Shouting good news from the mountain top: How to sustain team-building efforts    "Take Babe Ruth, one of the greatest players to ever play the game. For a long time, he held the record for the highest number of career home runs, before Hank Aaron broke it. He, as it happens (full story)


Tools Alone Do Not Cause Innovation- Thursday, January 1, 2015

Tools alone do not cause innovation: How to build innovation in your organization “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead Not long ago, a prospective client (full story)


Catalyzing Innovation: 188 Strategies- Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Catalyzing Innovation: 188 strategies to powerfully bring innovation to the organization NOW! During a recent strategic planning session for a client, we began working on creating “Catalytic Mechanisms” for letting the organization know that we are serious about innovation sta (full story)


How Your Stories Can Change The World- Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How Your Stories Can Change the World A Case for Radical Responsibility:  “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, but to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Pop Quiz: Please think about (full story)


Innovation and Gender Differences- Monday, December 29, 2014

Innovation and Gender Differences To leverage diversity for innovation, we have to understand it! Men and women are the same. Their unique biologies have no effect on them whatsoever, beyond the specific dynamics of reproduction. It’s possible to raise boys and girls in ways that elimi (full story)


How To Increase Profits By Increasing Health- Sunday, December 28, 2014

How To Increase Profits By Increasing Health “Keep changing. When you’re through changing, you’re through.” — Bruce Barton You may need to sit down before you read this. And you may need a drink after you read this, but you won’t want one. Regardless (full story)


How to Generate Better Ideas- Saturday, December 27, 2014

How to Generate Better Ideas “Daring new ideas are like chessmen moved forward: they may be beaten, but they start a winning game.” — Author unknown How many times have you heard this: “we’ve got to be more creative around here,” or “we need some (full story)


A Test Of Your Ability To Think Creatively- Friday, December 26, 2014

Boost your creativity skills - attend an Innovation Workshop   A Test Of Your Ability To Think Creatively   We’d like to credit this test, however it was e-mailed to us without an attribution in the way that wonderful things go all around the world electronically before (full story)


Innovation Space Exploration: Designing Your Optimal Creative Environment- Thursday, December 25, 2014

Innovation Space Exploration: Designing Your Optimal Creative Environment “[Edison] would go out to the end of his dock and sit and fish — but he’d fish without any bait on his line. Down there in snook country, when a man was fishing, you didn't bother him… Edison (full story)


Why Team Building Programs Rarely Work- Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Why Team Building Programs Rarely Work Eight years ago, in his book “Powershift,” trusted futurist Alvin Toffler predicted that the next source of power in the world economy would be the ability to manage, control and use knowledge. We are in that time. Like never before, the abili (full story)


To Properly Solve The Problem, Ask The Right Question- Tuesday, December 23, 2014

To Properly Solve The Problem, Ask The Right Question “A problem well-defined is half solved.” — John Dewey, educational pioneer “Please phrase your answer in the form of a question.” — Alex Trebek, Jeopardy Game Show Pioneer We&rsquo (full story)


Creativity: Turning Off Judgement To Turn On New Ideas!- Monday, December 22, 2014

Creativity: Turning Off Judgement To Turn On New Ideas! “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.” — A Yale university management professor, responding to Fred Smith's paper proposing relia (full story)


Seeking Answers With Creative Questions!- Sunday, December 21, 2014

Seeking Answers With Creative Questions! “Skillful managers of creativity know how to pose questions that stand problems ‘on their head." — John Kao, Harvard Business School, Author of Jamming. Need some creative answers? Well like most things in life, if you need (full story)


How To Avoid Prematurely Killing The Next Big Idea- Saturday, December 20, 2014

How To Avoid Prematurely Killing The Next Big Idea “Get that toy out of my office!” —  An irate banker telling Thomas Edison to take his invention, the phonograph, someplace else. “Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.” — Thomas (full story)


Building Innovative Teams- Friday, December 19, 2014

Building Innovative Teams Introduction: Prelude to Greatness Congratulations! You’ve just been appointed to the team to carry out your dream project: the one project that means more to you than anything in the world. The passion you have for seeing the project through to its successful (full story)


But Seriously, Nobody’s Perfect…- Thursday, December 18, 2014

But Seriously, Nobody’s Perfect …or Surrender to Your Humanity You are a human being. Nothing more, nothing less. Ergo, you can never be perfect even though you can do some pretty amazing things. So, stop wasting time and energy being ashamed when you mess up. Quit pretending (full story)


How To Build A Better Idea Trap- Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How To Build A Better Idea Trap Excerpted from, “More Lightning, Less Thunder: Energizing Innovative Teams,” by Eckert and Vehar You sit down at your desk, turn on your computer, open the word processing software, and wait for the ideas to come to you. And then… nothing. (full story)


Scar Tissue: Celebrating Failure- Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Scar Tissue: Celebrating Failure We’ll show you our scars if you’ll show us yours… We all bare the scars of failure. Life breaks everyone. However, some people end up stronger in the broken places. This is true of teams, too. Do you recognize a broken team? Have you been (full story)


Brain Tuning- Monday, December 15, 2014

Brain Tuning Get this: we create our personal reality. Now hang on… we’re not saying that when a comet falls on your head, you caused that to happen. (We were watching, we saw it, and yup, a comet landed on your cranium and you did nothing to cause that.) But you… you have (full story)


The Humble Team- Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Humble Team A New & Improved Innovation Team Approach Like never before, the ability to share and leverage the knowledge of others is separating successful organizations from those that flounder… the strong from the weak… the moneymakers from the fakers… Eve (full story)


The Story of Conflict- Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Story of Conflict   Conflict at work (or anywhere for that matter) well… frankly… it sucks. Sucks away our energy. Sucks away our creativity. Sucks away our health, joy and profit. It’s just no fun. We can prevail over conflict. Yet it’s not easy. Confl (full story)

 
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