Top 20 Innovation Articles of August 2015

Top 20 Innovation Articles of June 2015Drum roll please... At the beginning of each month we will profile the twenty posts from the previous month that generated the most traffic to Innovation Excellence. We also publish a weekly Top 10 as part of our free Innovation Excellence Weekly magazine and email newsletter. Did your favorite make the cut? Continue reading

The Creativity Nuclear Reactor: Must Everyone in the Company Be Creative?

Maybe as companies grow, and especially when they become public, they simply cannot be creative anymore? The regulatory requirements associated with being a public company, and the liability considerations of having “deep pockets” alone might prevent the company from creating an environment supporting creativity. Continue reading

Culture Knocks Out Strategy

culture knocks out strategyMany companies have a huge gap between their culture and strategy — a problem that only gets bigger in larger companies, especially when they are in transition. Management at all of these companies have a common reflex: Scream louder about goals and policies as the gap between culture and strategy widens. Continue reading

Is Gamification Right for Your Company?

If you’ve ever received a lollipop after an unpleasant visit to the doctor, or received a gold star in Kindergarten for good behavior, then you’re already familiar with the concept of gamification. On its face, it can be considered complex and unapproachable, but in fact, its basic premise has been around longer than we think. Now, gamification can be found in many different capacities, from game-based simulations for environmental science to monitoring and tracking employee wellness across various industries. Gamification has the ability to inspire excellence and promote internal transparency, but it can also create an unhealthy level of internal competition. Depending upon how it is integrated and supervised, gamification can either become a burden or be just the right motivator to push your company to the next level. Could gamification work in your industry? Here’s a few examples of companies who have successfully pulled it off. DevHub Launched in … Continue reading

Innovators: Beware the Hindsight Bias

HindsightImagine you’re testing a new innovation to see if it can work for your business. You’ve been told by experts that there’s only a 20% chance that it’ll work in your situation. But, something inside tells you it might work. You say, hey, it’s worth a try. Let’s go ahead.

Sure enough, it works! You’re thrilled, and you so say “I knew it all along!” This is good news, and you know that your boss is going to love it, too. So you rush in and sell the idea to the boss and the rest of the team.

Everyone’s excited about the roll out of the new concept. You’ve spent a lot of time and money, and today is the big day. Then, the unthinkable happens. It doesn’t work. How could that be. You try it again, no good. You keep trying it over and over. It works a few times, but for the most part, nothing.

When you look back at all your attempts to use the concept, you realize that it worked…only 20% of the time, exactly what the experts told you.

So what happened here? You were guilty of a bias that we all have called The Hindsight Bias. Hindsight bias, also known as the “knew-it-all-along effect”, is the inclination to see events that have already occurred as being more predictable than they were before they took place. Hindsight bias causes you to view events as more predictable than they really are. After an event, people often believe that they knew the outcome of the event before it actually happened.

Hindsight bias can cause memory distortion. Because the event happened like you thought it would, you go back and revise your memory of what you were thinking right before the event. You re-write history, so to speak, and revise the probability in hindsight. Going forward, you use that new, higher probability to make future decisions. When in fact, the probabilities haven’t changed at all. That leads to poor judgement.

Hindsight bias can make you overconfident. Because you think you predicted past events, you’re inclined to think you can see future events coming. You bet too much on the outcome being higher and you make decisions, often poor ones, based on this faulty level of confidence.

To avoid hindsight bias, keep these pointers in mind:

  • First, the future is not predictable. When you start to think you can predict it, remember, everyone else thinks they can too. Someone is always wrong.
  • Make decisions based on what the data says is likely to happen, not based on what you think is going to happen.
  • If you make a prediction, and that prediction comes true, don’t revise the odds because of the outcome. The probabilities haven’t changed.
  • Finally, always lay out a plan of action before you start any initiative. Include in that plan any data or expert advice about possible outcomes for the initiative. That’ll help keep you honest at those times when you think you have a magic crystal ball.

Older consumers are generally more brand loyal while millennials seek innovation

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 5.32.20 PMTargeting innovation-hungry millennials?  We ought not forget our more established customers, who tend to purchase their tried and true products. Here is an interesting article I found by Andrew McDougal on Cosmetics Design- Europe.

He writes that while there is a big focus on attracting millennials who seek innovation right now, older consumers’ preferences become more established as they age suggesting that as they age, they become more brand loyal.

Check out the article here:

Six Essentials to Cultivating an Innovation Culture

Six Essentials to Cultivating an Innovation CultureA decade ago, I was invited to coach a group of Nokia’s fast-rising superstars. Thirty-five “high potential” managers flew in to Palo Alto, California to network, sample local wines, and focus on innovation. At the time, Nokia seemed unstoppable. Growth was in the double digits. “The company sells five phones every second,” gushed Fast Company in a profile. Continue reading

by hellofuture llc