The Next Frontier: Why innovation needs exploration

  In Sapiens, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari argues that it was the exploratory mindset that led to European dominance over the world. Other empires, such as the Chinese and the Ottomans, had far greater military and economic power in the 18th century. Yet, it was the Europeans quest for understanding that made the difference. ...

Four Simple Layers to Frame Government Innovation for the Next Presidential Administration and Beyond

Note:  Co-authored with Troy Barker Today, the concept of government innovation has rapidly moved to the top of the public policy dialogue with the increasing recognition that, like private industry, government should push itself to innovate and transform how it delivers services to its citizens. Over the past 20 years there has been growing interest in government ...

Innovation Sighting: Samsung’s Activewash Keeps It Clean Using Task Unification

Samsung Activewash PicThe washing machine is a vital component to every modern-day household. And top-loaders often get lost in today’s sea of front-loading appliances. Using the Task Unification pattern, Samsung’s Activewash with built-in sink holds its own among newly innovated appliances.

Task Unification is defined as: assigning an additional task to an existing resource. That resource should be in the immediate vicinity of the problem, or what we call The Closed World. In essence, it’s taking something that is already around you and giving it an additional job.

The Samsung Activewash is designed with a two-part lid, the bottom portion serving as a sink. This new sink equipped with jets allows you to pre-soak clothing and then slide it in the wash.

Digital Trends comments:

“According to Samsung’s research, 70 percent of the consumers it surveyed pretreat their laundry on top of their washing machines. To the company, a logical step was to make this process easier by adding a sink, complete with water jet and a surface for scrubbing away stains, right into the top of the machine. Enter the Activewash, a new top-loading washer unveiled at CES 2015 with a sink built into the top.  Instead of having to schlep soiled shirts and unwashed unmentionables from the bathroom to the basement, people can now just dunk their dirty clothes into the washer, let them soak, then drop them into the basin via a slot. The water used in the pretreating step isn’t wasted; it goes into the machine, too.”

To get the most out of the Task Unification technique, you follow five basic steps:

  1. List all of the components, both internal and external, that are part of the Closed World of the product, service, or process.
  2. Select a component from the list. Assign it an additional task, using one of three methods:
  • Choose an external component and use it to perform a task that the product accomplishes already
  • Choose an internal component and make it do something new or extra
  • Choose an internal component and make it perform the function of an external component, effectively “stealing” the external component’s function
  1. Visualize the new (or changed) products or services.
  2. What are the potential benefits, markets, and values? Who would want this, and why would they find it valuable? If you are trying to solve a specific problem, how can it help address that particular challenge?
  3. If you decide the new product or service is valuable, then ask: Is it feasible? Can you actually create these new products? Perform these new services? Why or why not? Is there any way to refine or adapt the idea to make it viable?



 

Innovation Is The Only True Way To Create Value

In The Outsiders, William Thorndike argues that the most essential skill for a manager is capital allocation. To prove his point, he profiles CEOs such as Henry Singleton of Teledyne and John Malone of TCI who, while not household names, achieved outsized returns by wisely deploying their firm’s resources. Thorndike also points out that most CEOs get their ...

How to Sell Without Selling

2149106.jpg A few years ago, my wife and I bought a Turkish rug from Mehmet, Istanbul's Steve Jobs of rug merchants.

If I could run my company as well he could sell, I'd be a very wealthy man.

Technically, speaking, Mehmet didn't really sell us anything. He simply created the conditions that allowed us to buy (which some people, I know, will think is really just a clever form of selling, but it wasn't.)

How did Mehmet work his magic, when all we did was sit down at his cafe to drink some coffee with no conscious desire to buy a rug?

Want To Hire Innovators? Here’s How You’re Dismissing Them

Most organizations are not set up to hire innovators, rather they filter them out. Why? Because they follow the tried and true solid advice for making good hiring decisions: hire for culture-fit. To hire for culture-fit is to hire for comfort, the short-term, sameness; to keep optimizing what is rather than creating what’s next. The ...

Paris Accenture Innovation Center: Creativity on starting-blocks

What is the Paris Accenture Innovation Center ? In a nutshell, a dizzying innovation team, acting in a tremendous place for creativity! Albane Liger Belair, Accenture Paris Innovation Center Director, and her deputy, in charge of the program lead, Mathieu Cambe, kindly walked me through this amazing space. Identity and purpose Paris Accenture Innovation Center ...

Paris Accenture Innovation Center: Creativity on starting-blocks

What is the Paris Accenture Innovation Center ? In a nutshell, a dizzying innovation team, acting in a tremendous place for creativity! Albane Liger Belair, Accenture Paris Innovation Center Director, and her deputy, in charge of the program lead, Mathieu Cambe, kindly walked me through this amazing space. Identity and purpose Paris Accenture Innovation Center ...