The Thinker How can you think of things that no-one else thinks of? The answer is by deliberately taking a different approach to the issue from everyone else. There are dominant ideas in every field. The brilliant thinker purposefully challenges those dominant ideas in order to think innovatively. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, who discovered Vitamin C, said, ‘Genius is seeing what everyone else sees and thinking what no-one else has thought.’ If you can identify the standard viewpoint then survey the situation from a different viewpoint you have an excellent chance of gaining a new insight. When Jonas Salk was asked how he invented the vaccine for polio he replied, ‘I imagined myself as a cancer cell and tried to sense what it would be like.’ Ford Motor Corporation asked Edward de Bono, who originated the concept of lateral thinking for some advice on how they could clearly differentiate themselves from their many competitors in car manufacturing. De Bono gave them a very innovative idea. Ford had approached the problem of competing from the point of view of a car manufacturer and asked the question, “How can we make our cars more attractive to consumers?” De Bono approached the problem from another direction and asked the question, “How can we make the whole driving experience better for Ford customers?” His advice was that Ford should buy up car parks in all the major city centers and make them available for Ford cars only. His remarkable idea was too radical for Ford who saw themselves as an automobile manufacturer with no interest in the car parks business.
Making Innovation Happen
A Global Aggregation of Leading Edge Articles on Management Innovation, Creative Leadership, Creativity and Innovation.
This is the official blog of Ralph Kerle, Chairman, the Creative Leadership Forum. The views expressed are his own and do not represent the views of the International or National Advisory Board members. Tweet ______________________________________________________________________________________
Entries in Success (28)
The power of thousands of individuals acting en masse has become a weapon of war. While politicians, revolutionaries, and totalitarian governments have long known how to send crowds of protesters to the streets to parade in front of the television cameras, the new trend is to mobilize forces over the Internet to engage in the equivalent of mass online protests. In some case the results can be humorous. In others, not. Remember Mr. Splashy Pants? In an attempt to garner sympathy for its cause Green Peace posted a poll to choose a name for a whale. A call to the members of Reddit , the hugely popular social bookmarking site, was put out. It read: Greenpeace are having a vote to name a whale they have ‘adopted’. All the options are the names of ancient gods of the sea. And then there’s ‘Mister Splashy Pants’. Please vote ‘Mister Splashy Pants’.
If a successful analyst is hired by another organization, chances are both his work performance and the market value of his new company will not reap the expected benefits; they might even lose altitude. So discovered HBS professor Boris Groysberg and colleagues Ashish Nanda and Nitin Nohria, who detailed their results four years ago in the Harvard Business Review article, "The Risky Business of Hiring Stars." Since launching his research into the war for talent, however, Groysberg has started to notice something quite different about the career paths of successful analysts who were female. Star women, he found, maintained their shine even after switching companies. Unlike their male peers, they thrived in new work environments. Why the difference?
To what extent does a leader's inner life affect his or her behavior and actions toward other people? HBS professor emeritus Abraham Zaleznik, skilled in the practice of psychoanalysis and an admirer of the insights of Sigmund Freud, is well positioned to study the question. Zaleznik has authored or coauthored 15 books as well as the now-classic 1977 Harvard Business Review article "Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?" His latest book, Hedgehogs and Foxes: Character, Leadership, and Command in Organizations, explores motivation, decision making, and leadership skills as they progress in life and in business.
When driving these days, do you look at the prices every time you pass a gas station? Do you notice yourself paying more attention to the prices of everything you buy? You are not alone. Consumers everywhere are more price aware. People who've been indifferent to price increases for years are suddenly amazed at what things now cost. How can marketers cope not just with inflation but with consumer sticker shock?