Innovation - so good it hurts!
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Innovation - so good it hurts!



How to make your organisation more innovative - the 10 minute primer

How to make your organisation more innovative - the 10 minute primer



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  • Don’t show Humpty Dumpty until everyone has finished drawing.
  • One group (A’s) not allowed to write anything down. Other group (B’s) can list their ideas on paper. Every group nominates a spokesperson. Ask them to come up with as many names as they can in 5 minutes - it is quantity not quality at this stage. After 5 minutes stop them and get a spokesperson from an A group to list their ideas on a flipchart. Then get another A group to do the same. Compare with number of ideas from B groups. Typically B groups who captured ideas will have between 3 and 10 times more names captured.
  • Put one or two volunteers facing the wall on their own. Compare the lists after 5 or 10 mins - volunteers should have a lot less than the others due to a lack of visual stimulation
  • Oxford Dictionary definition of ‘innovate’: ‘to introduce a new process or new way of doing things’ Having the ability or power to create: Human beings are creative animal

Innovation - so good it hurts! Innovation - so good it hurts! Presentation Transcript

  • Innovation – so good it hurts! Joe Saxton
    • Tel: 020 7426 8888
    • Email:
    • Web:
  • How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
  • The answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.
  • 2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?
  • Wrong Answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant and close the refrigerator. Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your actions.
  • 3.The Lion King is hosting a strategic away day for the animals. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?
  • Answer: The Elephant. The Elephant is in the refrigerator, remember. This tests your memory.
  • 4. There is a river you must cross. But it is inhabited by crocodiles. How do you manage it?
  • Answer: You swim across. Why? All the Crocodiles are attending the away day. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.
  • Five big things to talk about
    • What is this thing called innovation?
    • Why you need innovation?
    • Driving innovation
    • Some things for you to do at home
    • What stops innovation?
  • Innovation or creativity
    • Creativity is the new ideas
    • Innovation is the management of putting them into practice
    • You can have fantastic creativity – but without putting them into practice it is wasted
  • Some classic innovations
    • Text messaging
    • Post-it notes
    • Face to face fundraising
    • EBay
    • Amazon
    • Starbucks
    • Round teabags
    • Tesco’s loyalty card
  • But innovation is more than just new ideas
    • Great ideas….
    • Turned into tests and learning….
    • Turned into commercial reality…..
    • Railed against by the mainstream….
    • And then accepted as the norm
  • How you can tell when a market is ready for innovation
    • Nobody dares to be different
    • Or nobody is different
    • Nobody knows why they do what they do
    • Its just the way it was when you were a child
    • All the competitors feel very similar
    • Margins are slim and volatile
    • When internally people spend their time saying ‘you don’t understand how things are done’
  • Exercise 1: Draw Humpty Dumpty
    • Did he look a bit like this?
  • Who Says He Is Egg Shaped?
    • Could be a person
    • Or a china doll
    • Or made of cloth / wood / metal etc.
    • Where in the nursery rhyme does it mention eggs!
    • If we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always got!
  • Exercise 2: What’s In A Name?
    • Get into small groups (A’s & B’s)
    • You have a few minutes to…
    • Invent a new name for this…
  • Some ideas
    • Capturing
      • Find the right place and time to think
      • Use daydreaming and sleep
      • Carry a notebook
    • Challenging
      • Use open-ended problems for new ideas
      • Really learn from failure
  • Exercise 3: Hair raising
    • Some volunteers please
    • List as many new hairstyles as you can in 5 minutes
    • For each style, write a name and a brief description or sketch of the style
    • Raise your hand each time you have one
  • Some ideas
    • Broadening
      • Get training in new fields
      • Read, listen, engage outside what you already know
      • Commit to a day a month in foreign territory
    • Surrounding
      • Relocate
      • Redecorate
      • Use people from outside your team
      • New magazines / newspapers / websites
  • Exercise 4 and 5
    • In small groups make a list of the way you have seen innovation encouraged or how you think it could be encouraged
    • In small groups make a list of the way you have seen innovation stifled or discouraged.
    • If you have finished one exercise do the other
  • Creating a culture where innovation can thrive
    • Lead from the top
    • Make clear that the status quo isn’t sufficient
    • Create budgets for innovation
    • Make sure new ideas happen
    • Constantly look for new ideas from existing staff and volunteers – and act on them
    • Praise and reward the innovators
  • Innovation is stopped very easily:
    • Budgets set 18 months ahead
    • People blamed for failing after trying
    • Grassroots ideas ignored
    • Slow ponderous nitpicky decision making
    • Culture of conformity
    • Incremental targets
    • Get trustees or committees involved
    • "Creativity is just having enough dots to connect.”
    • (Steve Jobs, Apple)
    • “ J ust as energy is the basis of life itself, and ideas the source of innovation, so is innovation the vital spark of all human change, improvement and progress.”
    • (Theodore Levitt)
  • If you would like a copy of:
    • My slides
    • Our free report ‘Innovation rules’
    • Email me on [email_address]
    • Or go to