November 30, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

What Else Can We Teach Through Rhythm?

It’s Time for a Fresh Approach — Rhythm Can Help Rhythm is inextricably tied to language. The human heartbeat shares a time signature with one of the most universal linguistic patterns known to man, the iambic meter (“Shall-I com-PARE thee-TO a-SUM mer’s-DAY?”). Speechwriters frequently use rhythm to their advantage, hoping to stir listeners with a …

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November 30, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Mimic Nature for Innovation

Nature can serve as a powerful source for innovation, as the increasingly prominent study of bio-mimicry in innovation can attest.  The concept of mimicking nature to drive innovation dates as far back as Leonardo da Vinci.  Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Stephen Budiansky, a prominent historian of science, notes that Leonardo “was beguiled by …

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November 29, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

When Good Innovation Breaks Bad

Most innovations are only as good as their weakest link. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 may have been a great phone, full of new innovation, but most of us will never know. Obviously, that is an extreme example, but a great many innovations are let down, al…

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November 28, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Innovation Sighting: Pearl RearVision Backup Camera and Alert System

Backing up your car in those crammed, hard-to-see spaces just got safer and easier, thanks to Pearl Automation’s innovative use of the Task Unification Technique. 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 an additional job.

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November 28, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

The Power of Story

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Institute for Advanced Study, the place where Einstein worked till his death in 1955.  His arrival there was a sort of a tipping point for America—after him the trickle of leading scientists coming from Europe became a flood—and the legend of the place is still very much intertwined with …

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November 27, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Leonard Cohen R.I.P.

A few years back I performed a tribute to Leonard Cohen at The Edinburgh Festival. As a result I became fascinated by the man behind the seemingly sombre songs, although I came to learn of a much lighter and humorous individual behind the poems through…

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November 24, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

An Extraordinary Delivery Service

Most companies trying to get a “competitive advantage” eventually realize that the key is customer service — the ability to differentiate themselves from the competition by delivering their product or service in unforgettable ways. Here’s what I’m t…

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November 24, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

The Happy Virus

In business there is no greater asset than an inspired culture. Such environments create a Happy Virus that leads to optimized bottom lines and thriving top-line growth.

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November 23, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

The Debate Between the US Government and the Tech Industry About Encryption, Explained

In an unusually contentious political season, there seems to be one thing that unites leaders from both parties: the need to thwart terrorists using encrypted messages. Everybody from President Obama and Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump and Jeb Bush are calling on the private sector to facilitate backdoors for security officials. The tech industry, for its …

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November 22, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Time Is an Invented Thing. Invent It!

Reality check time. What do YOU need to make more time for? And WHEN will you make it?

Idea Champions
What’s your story?

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November 22, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Tap into the Power of Reinvention

Insights I learned at BIF2016 Unlike most conferences, the BIF Summit has no theme beyond presenting remarkable stories of transformation. Why? The BIF organizers know that the participants themselves will discover patterns, aha’s, and insights that make sense for them. I’ve been to most of the 12 BIF Summits. I now work for BIF, but like …

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November 22, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

NEAT certified products get sedentary users moving

There are a growing number of products and devices designed to improve the health of those who are sedentary. Those who have desk jobs or have disabilities and must sit for long periods of time can face health risks. A few years ago, the Mayo Clinic began certifying products and services that facilitate, measure or […]

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November 21, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Content and Process

Which is more important to get right, content or process? Is it better to do the right thing or do things right? Well, there are plenty of times where one or the other is most important, but in the vast majority of cases you have to get both right or you will suffer.  This weekend …

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November 21, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

The Tesla of Bikes Got a Brilliant Idea

What do you do when you sell expensive products online, and they arrive at your customers damaged? You have to come up with a brilliant idea. Check it out. Products getting damaged while being shipped, was a real challenge for Dutch bicycle manufacturer VanMoof, ‘the Tesla of Bikes’. They manufacture street bikes that are at the …

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November 21, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Trust What You Know, Then Speak

A 5:28 story of the time I overslept before a big presentation to 200 bankers. I learned something very valuable that day and I am honored to share it with you.

Excerpted from this book
My storytelling workshop
My storytelling blog

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November 21, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

The SIT Patterns in Thanksgiving Cooking Gadgets

For many people this week’s Thanksgiving celebration will mean endless shopping, prepping, and cooking in anticipation of the big feast. The hours of slaving away in the kitchen usually seem worth it all once you sit and savor the joy shared by family and friends. And though every dish sprinkled with a pinch of love is the tastiest, none of us would slight a little help in the kitchen in order to make this one-day-a-year dinner a little less stressful for the chef.

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November 20, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Click Through to Kindness

HERE’S AN INTERESTING STATISTIC: The “click through” rate on negative headlines is 65% higher than positive headlines. People are far more curious about the negative than the positive. Parents, by the way, respond to their children with 10 times more…

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November 19, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

The Only Difference: Mindset

The same truths not brought into action present themselves as lessons, on-going themes. This one rings with more truth every time I encounter it. Mindset is the real pivot point, the only true sustainable, competitive advantage (other than exclusivity,…

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November 19, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Disruption: It’s Not the Tech, It’s the Timing

Why do some new technologies quickly replace their predecessors, while others do so more gradually?  Harvard Business Review says we need to think about things through the innovation ecosystem, and I agree!.   We ought to look not just at the technology itself but also at the broader ecosystem that supports it. Not only that, […]

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November 18, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Friday fun: Shoes that transform from flats to heels

These are made by a German company called Mime et moi. Its website says: The heels can be exchanged in height, shape and color, and can be easily stored in any handbag. Depending on your mood, the look, comfort and style can be changed. They aren’t available in the United States yet, but the company […]

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November 18, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

It Takes More than a Big Idea to Change the World

In 1882, just three years after he had almost literally shocked the world with his revolutionary lighting system, Thomas Edison opened his Pearl Street Station, the first commercial electrical distribution plant in the United States. By 1884 it was already servicing over 500 homes. Up till that point, electric light was mostly a curiosity. While a few …

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November 17, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Creating Product Roadmaps

Not knowing which road to take may be enjoyable for a spirited spontaneous road trip with friends, motoring to unexpected destinations. While this may be the makings of an exciting weekend, it is an unsettling notion when applied to innovation, product…

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November 17, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Three Steps to Keep from Drowning in Big Data

“We have so much data, but no answers.” This phrase echoes down the halls of all of the larger clients with whom we meet.

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November 17, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Making innovation a habit – the birth of the creative leader

“The traditional way we’ve thought about leadership—which I would describe as leading from the front, this idea that someone is at the top making all of the decisions—is not the most effective way of unlocking the creativity of an organization, whether it’s a traditional design organization, like an Ideo, or a company that’s trying to …

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November 16, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Why Social Skills Are Trumping Cognitive Skills

From roughly the time of Jesus to Napoleon, life changed little. Then the industrial revolution replaced muscle power with steam power and human existence was transformed. Incomes, life expectancy and population, which had long been locked in Malthusian conflict, began to reinforce each other and rise in tandem. It’s hard to overestimate how profound that change was. …

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November 15, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

War games and the forgetting challenge

One of the hardest challenges facing any organization that aspires to innovate is overcoming the existing orthodoxy.  This is especially so when that orthodoxy has become a successful and well celebrated part of your company’s past, and has led to the successful rise through the ranks of many of your senior executives. It’s a topic …

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November 15, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

How WOW Air Disrupted The Airline Industry

A remote, often misunderstood country, Iceland  has become one of the hottest tourist destinations. So, how did one airline company disrupt the airline industry through a low-budget carrier? The Rise of Icelandic Travel in the United States: Iceland is anticipated to have more tourists than their entire population this year according to Vox.  This is quite alarming …

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November 15, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

New Gluten tester can improve quality of life

Eating gluten free is certainly a trend, but for many people, it’s a crucial necessity. Those with Celiac disease become very sick when ingesting even the slightest amount of gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.  Celiac is a serious genetic autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the […]

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November 15, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

1 Way We Innovate: Kill The Drag

People Hate Drag – How Do You Eliminate it? Just got back from a quick trip to LA and I could not believe how bad the traffic is there. Whenever I needed to get somewhere quickly, people just seemed to be driving like complete imbeciles – straddling lanes, going slowly in the fast lane, dawdling…

November 14, 2016 | by Chris Kalaboukis

The Wisdom Circles of San Miguel

Every human being, no matter what path they walk, skip, hop, or jump is a fountainhead of wisdom — a deep well of insights, brilliance, and lessons learned. This wisdom, however, is often buried beneath the flora and fauna of our daily lives and, …

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