Wednesday, December 18, 2002

ARTICLE: "Why Innovation happens when happy people fight" Ivey Business Journal - Nov/Dec 2002 - Robert Sutton on how good humor, joking and a fun environment can enable a team to actively challenge the existing status quo and businesss assumptions (thus innovating) , by allowing them to stick to the facts without degenerating into personal conflict.
ARTICLE: Feed Creativity: Michael Weinstein, CEO of Snapple Beverage Group Inc. - Fast Company Magazine - Although an older article, if you haven't read the inspirational story behind Snapple, you're missing out - a true testement to the power of ideas and innovation, Snapple is a serial innovator, getting ideas from everyone in the company - even the vending machine guy - for new drink ideas! Great story!

Monday, December 16, 2002

ARTICLE: Innovation Now! - Fast Company - December 2002 issue - Gary Hamel writes in this month's Fast company about how the way to winning in the current environment is not by going back to basics and cutting costs, but rather by incorporating innovation into the everyday part of your business.

Friday, December 06, 2002

ARTICLE: The CEO Refresher - Bringing Ideas to Life - Rick Maurer looks at "7" (I only counted 6!) main principles which you can use to make an idea into a reality.
1) Recognize Resistance for the idea
2) Consider the Context (Time + Place + Relationships = success or failure of idea)
3) Avoid Knee-Jerk Reactions - sit and think carefully about your responses - especially when facing resistance
4) Pay Attention to every detail and listen to other people's concerns carefully
5) Shut up and listen - If you want to know what other people really think, you'll have to let them do the talking
6) Connect without compromise - make room for others to join you - be willing to make it a group idea rather than just yours
ARTICLE: Creative Brainstorming Techniques , Dec 12 2002 - In this Article, Kim Gordon looks at Brainstorming as a creativity method and outlines ways to come up with "Million Dollar Marketing Ideas". Ground rules include:
1) Suspend Criticism (don't condem or supress "crazy ideas" - brainstorming is as much about quantity as it is about quality)
2) Postpone Evaluation (Don't stop the brainstorming process to evaluate any single idea - keep the flow going)
3) Build on others' ideas - (Try to build on the previous idea)
Common Brainstorming methods include:
1) Pose an initial Question
2) Use Word Association
3) Identify a Challenge

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

ARTICLE: Innovation: Closing the Implementation Gap - This Accenture survey is one of the most recent in a spate of surveys being done by consultancies on innovation. Amongst the many conclusions reached by this study in this PDF are:
- Innovation is considered key to competitive advantage
- Many good ideas are not transformed into business realities
- Many companies (42 percent) measure innovation on the basis of revenue
- Budgeting for innovation looks beyond R&D
- Three-quarters of companies have some sort of formal process for deciding which ideas to implement
- CEOs identified a lack of implementation resources as a key constraint
- Companies view their customers as the most valuable external source of assistance with innovation
- Companies tend to look outside for help with idea generation rather than for idea implementation
- Companies that excel at implementing innovation tend to have a clear
innovation strategy and a culture that encourages innovation. They typically spend more on R&D, have formal processes to evaluate ideas; measure innovation, and use external resources for both idea generation and implementation.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

ARTICLE: Kansas City Star "Creative thinking can pay off if ideas are shared" - Dianne Stafford interviews creativity guru Chrales "Chic" Thompson on the importance of idea creation and sharing
ARTICLE: InformationWeek "A Timely Notion Worth Considering" - a great overview and introduction to the Idea Management field and its main proponents. It seems to be heavily quoted by almost all the vendors in this space now.
WEB SITE: Innovation UK - Although run by a company called "The Marketing Council", this British-based web site is actually a wonderful collection of global innovation resources, including book and web links, a community space, and more. Definitely worth several visits!
ORIGINAL RESEARCH: The Risks of Rewards

Reward programs have been synonymous with suggestion systems since the last 1800s. The first program, at William Denny & Brothers Shipyard in Scotland, offered small financial rewards for implementable business ideas, a useful supplement to the income of ship workers.

In recent years, important research into rewards and behavioral psychology by Archie Kohn has revealed the darker side of incentive programs. His book, "Punished by Rewards", describes vividly the problems of prescribing tangible incentives to motivate good behavior, or to dissuade people from negative behavior.

In the world of Idea Management, common pitfalls include:

Winner Takes All - one single prize is a great incentive, but everyone from second place is a loser

Money Talks - Financial rewards are quite common but you must take care to pay attention to the level of rewards. One client offered US$1000 as the top prize... for their African subsidiary. That was the equivalent of $10,000 in local currency. It is hard to motivate the same group for the second time round - a $50 Amex voucher just does not seem as attractive.

YAP (Yet Another Plaque) - They can be very effective for some people but an insult to others. Use with caution - people can tell when something is run through a laser printer.

Cost Accounting Rules - Many manufacturing firms use percentage of cost savings as the primary reward. This has a number of positive effects, many of which can be overwhelmed by the negatives. You need a lot of accountants to really measure the benefits, you need an appeal process to manage disgruntled employees, and sometimes you end up with the difficult task of explaining why a line worker has just tripled his or her salary from a seemingly obvious idea.

A good reward system can be a powerful motivator. We have done a lot of work to gauge the best way to manage rewards, particular for non-cost saving ideas. This is an area that we will investigate in more depth for sure!

If you have any ideas, feedback, or concepts you would like to share, please contact

If you would like more information on Imaginatik's Rewards Module.

WEB SITE: CreaxNet - A veritable feast of links on everything and anything to do with creativity and innovation. Definitely a great place to browse through when looking for inspiration.
WEB SITE: Optimize Magazine - Although traditionally focused more on technology strategy issues, Optimize has recently been a gold-mine of excellent business innovation related articles too - some of which have already been featured in this newsletter (there's one in this one too!) - and we've just scratched the surface. We'd strongly recommend doing a search on their site for "innovation" to look through some of the other excellent articles we didn't have space to point you to here!
Welcome to the Imaginatik Research "Corporate Innovation Blog". This site is being created after feedback from Imaginatik Research customers and newsletter subscribers asked for even more access to the great minds working at Imaginatik and Imaginatik Research ( This will allow you to see our latest thoughts, insights, and activity in the worlds of Corporate Innovation, Knowledge Management and Idea Management. We will also highlight interesting web sites, and articles - some of which will end up being highlighted in the newsletter - but also others that couldn't make it due to space and time constraints.

The Corporate Innovation Newsletter itself is currently one of the most widespread and highly respected sources of innovation research available, and if you haven't subscribed to it yet, then I strongly encourage you to visit and sign up for it there.

I hope you find this of use, and would welcome any suggestions you may have to improve the content to