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Innovation Prep

1. Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from

People often credit their ideas to individual “Eureka!” moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the “liquid networks” of London’s coffee houses to Charles Darwin’s long, slow hunch to today’s high-velocity web.

2. Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from

A shorter, totally different visual approach to the questions:
– What sparks the flash of brilliance?
– How does groundbreaking innovation happen?

Think about it
Steven Johnson illustrates how ideas are cobbled together – how they fade into reality over a long period of time.
How can you generate an idea that pushes your career, your life, your organization and your society forward?
What idea do you have that has been incubating for some time?

3. Tina Seelig – A crash course in innovation

In her Stanford University course on creativity and innovation, Professor Seelig requires students to write failure resumes so that they remold their attitudes and realize that failure is a natural part of the learning process. That is “the spark that jump-starts your creativity,” she writes. It is one of the six factors in her model of an Innovation Engine that can unleash creativity.

Essentially, creativity is an endless resource, initiated by your drive to tackle challenges and to seize opportunities. Anything and everything can spark your Innovation Engine —every word, every object, every decision, and every action. Creativity can be enhanced by honing your ability to observe and learn, by connecting and combining ideas, by reframing problems, and by moving beyond the first right answers.

Seelig believes creativity can be taught, that we are all naturally creative, and that we just have to unlock our personal Innovation Engines.

Think about it
1- How can you activate your innovation engine and leverage your ideas at work?
2- How can you introduce and leverage a new idea at work with limited resources?
3- If one of your ideas is implemented, how will this benefit you and your organization?

4. Phil Hansen: Embrace the shake

In art school, Phil Hansen developed an unruly tremor in his hand that kept him from creating the pointillist drawings he loved. Hansen was devastated, floating without a sense of purpose. Until a neurologist made a simple suggestion: embrace this limitation … and transcend it.

“And what if I didn’t embrace the shake? Because embracing the shake for me wasn’t just about art and having art skills. It turned out to be about life, and having life skills. Because ultimately, most of what we do takes place here, inside the box, with limited resources. Learning to be creative within the confines of our limitations is the best hope we have to transform ourselves and, collectively, transform our world.”

Think about it
1- What aspects of Phil’s message can you apply in your situation?
2- What limitations do you have at work?
3- How can you overcome these to trigger innovation?

5. Curiosity – Why our future depends on it

In this one-minute animation, the narrator likens curiosity to a muscle – either we use it or lose it.

Think about it
1- What is the benefit of asking good questions?
2- Technology is replacing . . . ?
3- Curiosity is the well-spring of . . . ?
4- How can your curiosity lead to making connections that lead to creative and innovative outcomes?

6. What is innovation?

Watch this short two-minute animation by David Brier and consider what you can do to nurture innovation at work.

Think about it
1- What is the status quo in your place of work?
2- How can you interrupt the status quo at work?
3- What are the sources of these new dots?
4- What is innovation?
5- What is important about the dots you see [and others don’t]

7. The Power to Create

The 21st century presents us with huge challenges. How can we empower people to be active participants in creating a world we want to live in? In this extract from his annual RSA Chief Executive’s Lecture, Matthew Taylor offers a vision for the future – a world where every individual has the freedom and opportunity to develop their unique capabilities to the full.

Think about it
1- What is Taylor’s definition of creativity?
2- We are all born with the (???) for creativity?
3- How can you turn your creativity into action in your organization?


8. Let’s see what curiosity can do

Honda Motor Company is a Japanese public multinational corporation founded in 1948.
Honda is primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles and power equipment.
Watch this short two-minute animation by Honda and consider how you can build on your own and others’ ideas.

Think about it
Honda evolves by building on existing products and creating new ones.
1- What ideas do you have that, if developed, can make a big difference?
2- What ideas do the people who report to you have?
3- How can you nurture and promote those ideas?

9. How to find a wonderful idea

Where does OK Go come up with ideas like dancing on treadmills, flying in zero gravity or constructing a warehouse-sized Rube Goldberg machine for their music videos? In between live performances of “This Too Shall Pass” and “The One Moment,” lead singer and guitarist Damian Kulash takes us inside the band’s creative process, showing us how to look for wonder and surprise.

Think about it
1- What ideas do you have that, if developed, can make a big difference?
2- What ideas do the people who report to you have?
3- How can you nurture and promote those ideas?

The Innovator at Work Quiz

Once you have watched the videos and completed the reading that was sent to you, please do the
Innovator at Work Quiz

I look forward to meeting you on the program.
~Dene Rossouw

The Pulse

Education events and interviews The Pulse

The Art of Mentoring

Exploring possibility in relationship

Mentoring is a commitment to bring out the best in the other person. It calls forth new possibilities through the flow of meaning in relationship based on mutual respect and trust.

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