Posts filed as “Innovation”

The Cost of Conformity

Imagine you are in a room with seven other people, and the person running the meeting presents everyone with two cards. On the left-hand card is a line. On the right-hand card are three lines of differing lengths. You are asked to pick which line on the right card matches the length of the line…

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Three Tricks to Seeing The Bigger Picture

“I can’t recall a period of time that was as volatile, complex, ambiguous and tumultuous. As one successful executive put it, ‘If you’re not confused, you don’t know what’s going on’.” – Warren Bennis In 1961, Edward Lorenz was a junior professor at MIT working on meteorology. He used a rudimentary computer called the Royal…

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You don’t have to choose between creative and valuable

Andy Cohen was a marketing ad agency guy back in the day when Direct Response TV ads were considered tawdry, cheap ways of marketing. The kind of TV advertising that kept asking you to CALL NOW! It was the domain of late night used car and vacuum salesmen. Brand businesses wouldn’t touch it. Andy helped…

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The Innovative Leader: Finding + Seeing + Leading

A short excerpt from Out•Think – enjoy! Innovation doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes it’s as simple as designing the shampoo bottle so it rests upside down. Sometimes it’s as novel as a vending machine that mixes your drink on the fly. Today’s leader is an expert on figuring out how to stitch together varying…

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Hacking the Super You

Over the years, my friend Erich and I have probably logged thousands of miles cycling together. In all conditions – cold, wet, early, or in the fading warm July sunlight – we have ridden these Maine roads together. And when you train with someone for long enough you recognize their strengths (he climbs like a…

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Jumping the Shark and the beginning of the end

Colgate once introduced a line of dinner entrees. Harley-Davidson rolled out their own perfume. The Fonz jumped his Shark. And you may remember the tragic 77 days of mourning when New Coke was on the market. But Coca-Cola marketing executive Sergio Zyman couldn’t bear just one product disaster, so he then championed the release of…

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The Power of Shared Truth

A small excerpt from OutThink. Enjoy! Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. I was sixteen years old at the moment the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded high above NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida, killing seven astronauts including New Hampshire schoolteacher…

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It’s not about who, but how you do it

I don’t believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.” – Oprah Winfrey Drummer Hoff was one of my favorite childhood books. It’s a story about people who, in turn, provide pieces of a cannon (“Sergeant Chowder brought the powder, Corporal Farrell brought the barrel…”), and then finally it’s Drummer Hoff…

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Endings are just new beginnings

“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. Thats the essence of it.” ― Vince Lombardi Jr. “You guys were just great! Well done. You all played really well.” No one said anything. Our ten-year old soccer team had just lost. We got crushed. Badly. I was…

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There it is again. Weird works.

In 1968 Dick Fosbury astonished the world at the Mexico City Olympic Games by clearing 7′ 4″ 1/4 inches in the high jump. His efforts before 80,000 people were an aberration – an anomaly in track and field events. Dick was a gangly 6’3″ athlete who hadn’t excelled at any event in track and field…

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