Igniting Innovation: Tips, Sparks and Ideas for Acting on Innovation

What’s Your Innovation Fear?

Posted by David Lafkas on Aug 9, 2016 10:00:00 AM

We all have fears. 

Some are rational, some are not. 

Some drive us to action, some freeze us into stagnation.

When innovating, one must drive out fear in oneself and one’s team.  It is only through reducing fear that we can drive the action forward and to success.

Which of the following fears is the biggest for you and your team, and what could you do to reduce each to help your innovation?

Atelophobia – fear of not being good enough or imperfection. 

Allow yourself or your team to “fail.”  None of us get it right the first time.  Remember learning to ride a bike?  You fall - a lot.  You get scratched up.  But, you get back up on that bike and start balancing and pedaling again.  Same in innovating.  When you or your team falls short of what you had hoped, share that learning with the team and together pivot and improve so next time is better.  And then celebrate that failure so everyone understands that is OK and something that should happen.

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Topics: innovation, Math, decisions

Why You Should Talk To Strangers

Posted by Greg Lemmon on Jun 14, 2016 12:35:27 PM

Typically talking to strangers is not behavior I recommend. However in the case of leading innovation it is behavior that not only should be encouraged, but should be systematized.

Last week we collected 100 responses to a survey by talking to strangers at a brewery. That research went great and brought an innovation project one step closer to shipping. Here are 3 reasons why you should get out of the office and talk to strangers about your innovations.

  1. Learn more from people. We created the survey to capture all the needed data for our test, but it can't capture everything. From people’s excitement when seeing something new to their faces when they taste something great or not so great. All of these moments and interactions can spark new ideas that are missed when you outsource the research.
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Topics: innovation, Math, Consumer Research

March Madness - 3 Lessons to Apply to Leading Innovation

Posted by Greg Lemmon on Mar 15, 2016 11:35:44 AM

Middle of March is one of my favorite times of year. The weather is warming up here in Cincinnati, we celebrate pi day and then there is a college basketball tournament starting this week.

I know I’m not the only fan of filling out a tournament bracket, in fact I read yesterday that more brackets will be completed than votes for our next president. A somewhat silly statistic, but statistics is what makes this time of year so much fun for me. Which brings me to my first of 3 lessons from March Madness to apply to leading innovation:

  1. Data is helpful, but statistics can not completely eliminate risk.
    Kaggle.com is the world’s largest community of data scientist. The past 2 years they have hosted a data modeling competition to predict the odds of every possible match up in the NCAA tournament. If you visit their website you can download an almost overwhelming amount of data from past seasons and tournaments. The first year I participated I thought that with so much data it had to be possible to predict 90 to 95% of the winners, but I was wrong.
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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, Math, Metrics

Metrics That Matter - 8 Things Leaders Need to Know to Predict Innovation Success.

Posted by Greg Lemmon on Feb 9, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Innovation metrics have been a popular conversation topic for awhile, but before I get into what to measure and why, I want to link back to Jesse’s post from last week. Jesse said that the most important thing to do is start, so if not having metrics is your excuse not to start, please click here and read his post first and get started.

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Topics: innovation, Math, Metrics

3 Things I learned from a 5 Year Innovation Sales Forecast

Posted by Greg Lemmon on Jan 12, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Sales forecasting is an important part of innovation. In fact I believe that every idea in the pipeline should have a value associated with it. Some sort of prediction of how much impact that idea will have if it ships. Having project leaders calculating sales forecast helps innovation leaders, such as yourself, plan for the future.

Recently I’ve been working on forecasting 5 years of sales for innovations. Here are 3 things I’ve learned that I think would be helpful as you think about the ideas in your innovation pipeline.

1. Variance Matters - All the inputs to a forecast have variance. I like to model this variance and report the effect in the sales forecast. It is no surprise that inputs with more uncertainty yield forecast with more uncertainty. What I learned is just how much that uncertainty grows from year to year. Good news is that while year 5 had a lot of variance, there is plenty of time to fine tune the inputs and reduce that variance.

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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, strategy, Math

Innovation Gut Check Or Reality Based?

Posted by David Lafkas on Nov 3, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Quirky was a crowdsourcing company that has been held up in the past as THE invention crowdsourcing model.  The front page of its website is bold: “Our mission is to make invention accessible.  We believe everyone can be an inventor, and invention can happen anywhere.”

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Topics: innovation, Patents, Math

Welcome to the first blog from the Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute team.  Here you will find a diverse group of innovators dedicated to changing the world by transforming innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system that delivers increased innovation speed and decreased risk.


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