October 31, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Why Business Leaders Need to Pay More Attention to Storytelling

Here’s why — spoken as clearly as possible in a 60-minute radio interview, hosted by Dr. Wanda Wallace, Founder of the Leadership Forum. In the interview, Wanda and I cover a lot of ground, including how storytelling can change team and corporate cu…

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October 31, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

12 Lessons from Start-ups for Corporate Innovators

New-born enterprises have limited funds and limited time – if the funds run out before the product is proven they die. So the basic philosophy of the start-up entrepreneur is risk mitigation. Here are some other key precepts…

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October 30, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

To Succeed You Must Get Really Good at This First

I’d like to tell you a story about how 13 grams of wood and the tears of a 10-year-old changed the way I look at success. Suspending Disbelief When my daughter was six years old I started coaching her in a program called Destination Imagination. It’s a creative problem-solving program that teaches kids how to …

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October 30, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

The limitations of Lean Startup: when not to use it

Can the Lean Startup be used for operational fixes and improvements and what are the limitations of the methodology?

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October 29, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Snuff out SWOT – Forever

The more strategy development work I do with organizations, the more I’m becoming aware of a prevalent pattern, a pattern which I find counterproductive, even detrimental. It concerns the starting point for their strategy work: in nearly every case, they begin with convergent thinking, the polar opposite of divergent thinking, which I believe is the …

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October 28, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Launching a Powerful Project in the World is a Fascinating Team Sport

For the moment, let’s say you are on the cusp of launching a bold new project in the world — one that not only inspires you, but is the first thing you talk about whenever people ask you what you’re up to these days. You know: Your life’s work. You…

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October 28, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Innovation from the Inside Out

These days, almost all of Idea Champions’ clients are talking about the need to establish a culture of innovation.

Some, I’m happy to report, are actually doing something about it. Hallelujah! They are taking bold steps forward to turn theory into…

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October 28, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

This Is How Your Business Will Be Disrupted

The principles of running a business are fairly straightforward. You create clear objectives, achieve them efficiently and try to get better as you go. Business school professors have fancy names for this stuff, like “strategic DNA,” “core competencies” and “continuous improvement,” but in a nutshell all that stuff means is that you try to do things …

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October 26, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

4 Timeless Books to Help You Put a Dent in the World

These books provide a roadmap and a compass that will forever change the way you look at entrepreneurism, innovation, marketing, and change. Some people learn entrepreneurship from their family business; others learn it by studying entrepreneurship in school. I did neither. Instead, I was enrolled in the “learn while you burn” program of entrepreneurship. When …

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October 25, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

When Should You Pull the Plug on an Innovation Project?

History skews our perception of possibility. It’s easy to forget that man’s great achievements were mere “mights” for those on the other side of the present. Take the Apollo 11 moon landing. Retold today, that “one giant leap for mankind” was but a series of surefooted steps taken by America’s scientists and engineers. Conquering the …

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October 24, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

An Innovation Coaching Methodology

It often puzzles me the lack of investment we make in coaching, mentoring, or even facilitating around innovation, it simply is not enough with the use of an external innovation expert accelerating the process, stimulating the thinking and learning.

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October 24, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

The Innovation Moai Test

From an innovation standpoint, any innovator would be glad to find out that one’s creation continued to amaze future generations for hundreds of years. Yet I was struck by another analogy for innovation and the moai that could be relevant for modern practitioners.

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October 23, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Innovation Sighting: The Subtraction Technique and the No-Huddle Offense

Few activities are more iconic to American football than the huddle. Bill Pennington, in his New York Times article, “Ready, Set, Gone! The N.F.L.’s Disappearing Huddle” thoughtfully fills out the history, the heritage, and the slow disappearance of this classic…

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October 23, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Why Innovation Must be on Your Board’s Agenda

Innovation is so vital for survival that it must be a regular topic item on the agenda of company board meetings. If you have not had a fundamental conversation about innovation with your key corporate stakeholders and senior executives then these are …

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October 22, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Strategy versus Execution – a Meaningless Distinction

Over at HBR blogs, there is a wonderful debate on the subject of strategy between Roger Martin, who authored the post Stop Distinguishing Between Strategy and Execution, and Don Sull, an MIT scholar who believes there’s a meaningful distinction between strategy and execution. Normally, I don’t bother looking at comments to blogs because in today’s …

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October 22, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

7 Lessons on Life and Business Learned from Peter Drucker

For 10 years, Peter Drucker was a mentor and friend. Here’s what I learned from him… I’ll share a personality flaw with you; I’m not much of a follower, which is likely why I’m an entrepreneur. Yet, some people cast a light so bright that you can’t help but follow the path they illuminate into the …

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October 21, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Telling Compelling Stories

This is another excerpt from 2016’s FEI conference in Boston, MA.  This one comes from William Greenwald, Founder and Chief Neuroleaderologist at Windsor Leadership Group. He began with a story. This one was about air travel. Something happens. The plane makes an odd noise, then nose dives. “What am I’m going to do?” echoed in …

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October 20, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Rituals – The Secret to Instant Innovation

Why does knocking on the table before eating a baby carrot make it taste better? It may sound like a bad cracker joke, but researchers at the University of Minnesota and Harvard Business School have shown it to be true: Performing a ritual before eatin…

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October 19, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Do You Know Your Distinct Innovation Capabilities?

Achieving this fitness accelerates your opportunities into final tangible outcomes. The more ‘rugged’ the landscape, the tougher the innovation challenge, can also determines the greater fitness for the rate of innovation needed.

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October 18, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

How Technology is Shaping Marketing in the Next Decade

At the recent Consumer Electronic Show, Amazon’s Alexa wowed the crowds like no other product. The device, which like Apple’s Siri is wholly voice activated, goes a step further by adding skills, which work like apps on a smartphone. Google’s competing product, Google Home, has a similar function it calls “actions.”

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October 18, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

What is Your Career Strategy?

I’ve taken up a new habit of asking successful people I know: What is your career strategy? I ask it casually, and in person, because I want to see their body language and get a sense of just how front-of-mind their answer might be. My discovery: when it comes to careers, most folks don’t have …

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October 18, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Bad Innovation Systems Beat Good Innovators Every Time

W. Edwards Deming once famously stated: A bad system will beat a good person every time.  What was Deming trying to convey with this quote? It wasn’t an attempt to get people to give up trying because failure was certain. It was an attempt to get people to understand the importance of the system and …

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October 17, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Bottom Up Innovation!

If you are working with a team of any kind and are hoping for more innovation, know this: it’s a function of “intrinsic motivation”, not pep talks, carrots, sticks, or “new initiatives.” Find out what people REALLY want to do and, assuming it is alig…

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October 17, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Innovation Should Not Ignore Privacy or Security Risks

Will new laws ignore privacy dangers inherent in self-driving cars? Even as the country still reels from revelations that almost 2.5 million more people were affected by the recent Equifax than previously thought (bringing the current total up to 145.5…

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October 17, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

10 Ways to Create an Amazing Business

No list can guarantee the success of your business, but this one guarantees it will be amazing. We love lists. I’m convinced that etched on some ancient cave wall there exits a bulleted list of the Ten Things Every Cro-Magnon Must Do To Succeed; okay, it may be just three things, but none-the-less our love …

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October 16, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

9 Stages for Building Innovation Fitness

Achieving innovation fitness is a journey- to get there we often have to manage the switchbacks as we build our capabilities and capacities to innovate.

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October 15, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

What Some Consultants See That Leads to Them Getting Fired Or Never Hired in the First Place

“They are playing a game.
They are playing
at not playing a game.
If I show them
I see they are,
I shall break the rules
and they will punish me.
I must play their game,
of not seeing I see the game.”

— R.D. Laing

Idea Champions
Bridgin…

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October 15, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Innovation or Not – Progressive Protein – Powder be Gone

As an athlete and a basketball coach I’m always on the lookout for interesting things that fit into a regular workout, enhancing the experience and the outcomes, without detracting. So, no gimmicks, awkward gadgets, or things that require me to adapt to them. They have to fit into my workout and the workouts I direct …

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October 14, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Innovation or Not – The Shoe That Grows

I love elegant design solutions for problems that are more important than some of the silly things that we think of as problems in the first world. Their mission is simple, make shoes that will last longer for the kids that need them most and then work…

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October 13, 2017 | by Chris Kalaboukis

Innovation Sighting: Task Unification and GladWare Containers

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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