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The Ten Commandments of Good Design. Dieter Rams Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer who has been recognized as one of the most influential industrial designers of the 20th century. He worked for 40 years at the German consumer products company, Braun. Today, he works at Vitsœ, a British furniture company that manufactures and sells products designed by Rams. According to Vitsœ’s website, in the early 1980′s, as he became increasingly aware of his influence in the world, Rams began asking himself a fundamental question: “Is my design good design?” Realizing that it’s not easy to measure design in any definitive way, Rams decided to set out the principles which he attempted to follow in his work. The result is the list below which is frequently referred to as the “Ten Commandments of Good Design”. 1. The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. 2.

A product is bought to be used. 3. 4. It clarifies the product’s structure. 5. Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Like this: Should You Back That Innovation Proposal? - Scott Anthony. By Scott Anthony | 10:00 AM September 25, 2013 Imagine you were choosing between two investment proposals. The first comes from a team of young entrepreneurs hoping to bring word-of-mouth marketing to China. The team’s concept is unproven, and the entrepreneurs admit they have no idea precisely how big their business will be. The second comes from a seasoned team inside a large company that’s looking to tap into a growing segment adjacent to its current business. Seems like an easy decision, right? While that may seem counterintuitive, our experience in the trenches of innovation teaches us to look beyond a plan’s superficial elements to assess the team and how they created the plan.

The word-of-mouth idea was pitched to Innosight’s investment arm by entrepreneur Christoph Zrenner in 2010. The second team was well-intentioned but simply hadn’t done the fieldwork. The first place to look, ironically, is the precision of financial forecasts. 10 Lessons For Design-Driven Success. Imagine that the iPhone does not yet exist.

Mark Zuckerberg is still enrolled at Harvard. Barack Obama is a hopeful state senator in Illinois. The final episode of Friends has just aired, with 52 million people tuning in. Not a single viewer tweets about it. Amid this quaint-sounding environment, Fast Company's editors decide to devote an issue to the intersection of business and design. Readers are introduced to little-known characters such as Jonathan Ive at Apple. When I arrived at Fast Company three years later, I still had an archaic understanding of design. This is our 10th annual issue dedicated to what we call Innovation by Design. Yet much opportunity remains. 1. It can be argued that the best CEOs are effectively designers--grappling with ambiguous challenges, probing for creative solutions--even though few would accept that moniker. 2.

Apple is the touchstone for so many business lessons, and the role of design has been key. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Creative Teams - What 7 elements do they all share? Free Yourself from Conventional Thinking - Brian Klapper. Groundbreaking ideas are no longer a luxury when success is contingent upon an organization’s ability to adapt, innovate, and improve. We need look no further than Kodak, Sears, or Sony for validation that status-quo thinking is the fast-track to failure. How, then, can organizations break free of conventional thinking to spark creativity? The first step is to consider the way you have always done business — and stop. Failing to do so not only prevents truly innovative thinking; it also ensures failure. Consider Blockbuster’s failure to recognize the changing video rental landscape. If they had challenged their long-held beliefs, they might have considered the seemingly unorthodox decision to buy Netflix in the same way that Best Buy bought Geek Squad.

At the time of the Geek Squad acquisition, it was considered foolish by many; a decade later, the $3 million purchase price has been repaid hundreds of times over. Killing the status quo requires that you: Building an Agile Organization – Implications for functional management. As more and more companies adapt lean and agile practices and continue the journey to become more agile, the traditional functional structures become a bottleneck. As the agile spreads across the teams, so does the activities of the team members and their managers requires rethink. The command and control ways of controlling the teams will not work any more as agile needs more work participation from the team. This creates some interesting problems for the traditional functional managers such as development manager or test manager. Many of the traditional responsibilities of these managers are no longer required. In my experience the following activities can help ease the pains of this transition. 1.

Build community of practice for the functions (such as programming, QA, business analysis etc.) across multiple agile teams or across lines of businesses if applicable. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Image credit: crateinccom.com Wait! Innovation and Diversity | Integrative Innovation. Tomorrow’s management systems will need to value diversity, dissent and divergence as highly as conformance, consensus and cohesion. A while ago, I came across this tweet by Gary Hamel. It reflects well the fact that businesses range in increasingly dynamic and complex environments, imposing accelerated and mostly unforeseeable change. The most promising way for organizations to face this unprecedented discontinuity is to develop an ability to adapt to changing conditions and emerging opportunities: Adaptability. Following Gary Hamel, he proposes in particular two capabilities in order to build a highly adaptable organization: Intellectual Flexibility, i.e. regarding every belief as a hypothesis forever open to disconfirmationgenerating a variety of perspectives through embracing diversity, divergent thinking and dissent Strategic Variety, i.e. building a portfolio of strategic options and ideasexploring a lot of new options and maximize learning-over-investment ratio through experimentation.

How to Be a Highly Innovative Company. Oh, the joys of screwing up! By Jeff DeGraff (TheMIX) -- Innovation poses two problems for most leaders, given the way they are trained to think. First, its value diminishes over time; it goes sour, like milk. This year's "must-have" gadget will end up in a landfill next Christmas or at least be overwritten by version 2.0. Second, innovation only pays off in a future for which you presently have no data. As Kierkegaard put it "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. " So, you can't answer the two questions that will determine the value of your clever initiative: How much? A leader who is in denial about this uncertainty might collect excessive data, a passive aggressive form of resistance, instead of launching a wide array of experiments that will accelerate the path to failure and provide real information. Leaders ought to focus on the highly ambiguous situations where uncertainty not only elicits new ideas but provokes new ways of thinking.

Vary your days. Learn To Think About Innovation Like A CEO. Innovation has become an evergreen subject simply because it is no longer a luxury. It is now a necessity. Gone are the days of the gold watch at retirement. Today, you must earn your daily bread, well, daily. Shrinking product life cycles, unorthodox competition, and receding barriers to entry across categories have created an unprecedented need to unleash corporate creativity. 1. 2. 3. Many companies fail at getting scale with innovation simply because they work on the supply side of innovation internally--they create the tools, funding mechanisms, and processes--but fail to create the demand within the company for people to step forward with their best ideas.

Beyond infrastructure, you must work on the culture of the company. 4. 5. 6. This “moving forward” is possible because they allow themselves to be vulnerable to possibility. Think of it this way: what we know and love today will not--in fact, cannot--be that which future generations will grow to know and to love. Most Innovative Companies 2013 | Fast Company.

Top Ten Causes of Innovation Failure. So who do you think form the group that are the most likely candidates for innovations consistent failure? It may surprise you to know that most fingers point straight to the top of the organization as the main cause for its enduring failure. In a recent survey I was reading*, it provided a set of results about the common cause of innovation failure. I don’t think this is sour grapes of the people working away on innovation daily, that the ‘finger of failure’ is well and truly pointing upwards. The survey was asking participants to check all that applied and although there were 30-odd possible reasons the top ten that stand out as head and shoulders above all the others are nearly all down to the simple failure of innovation engagement in its leadership. There is more often due to an innovation knowledge gap at board room level.

So the top ten causes of innovation failure The top three failures Each of these is without doubt for me a top management failure. The next three failures Wait! Business Model Innovation Failure. Companies fail at business model innovation because they’re so busy pedalling the bicycle of current business models they leave no time or resource to design new ones. Most companies focus innovation efforts on new products and on driving efficiencies into current models. These are important activities, but not sufficient in the 21st century when business models don’t last as long and face disruption. This means business model innovation is the new strategic imperative. In this post I outline the top 10 reasons why businesses fail to innovate. CEOs don’t really want a new business model The most obvious reason companies fail at business model innovation is because CEOs don’t want to explore new business models.

Business model innovation will be the next CEO’s problem Let the next guy or gal handle it. Product is king. The lines are blurring between product and service business models. Information technology is only about keeping the trains moving and lowering costs Wait! Your business model is obsolete. By Geoff Colvin, senior editor-at-large FORTUNE -- When Carlos Ghosn announced last year that Nissan, which he runs, will start making ultracheap cars for emerging markets under the revived Datsun brand -- and will make a profit on them -- the mainstream response was contemptuous. "A big mistake," a Toyota (TM) executive told the Wall Street Journal; "another blunder," said a Japanese professor. Make a profit on a $3,000 vehicle? Everyone knows the profits are in pickup trucks and luxury cars. No one can predict if Ghosn's new vision will work. MORE: Trailblazers - 11 people changing business "Innovation" is the hottest word in business, but most of the discussion centers on products and services.

You will face this challenge. Several forces are combining to shred business models economywide. MORE: 40 Under 40 Result: Not since the Industrial Revolution have we seen a longer or broader list of companies whose business models are suddenly obsolete. It's the same in most companies. Surfacing Hidden Barriers to Innovation. To surface hidden barriers that might be blocking innovation does needs a conscious effort, a consistent questioning, validating and exploring to “peel away” and get at the root of the problem. Often it is simply the fear of moving from the current established practices into new ways and that stepping over is very hard and often very personal.Often in innovation adoption there are so many hidden barriers that need drawing out and resolving.

It becomes even harder when it comes to getting an executive team to recognize this. Achieving identification within a collective team, drawn from different disciplines, to surface their fears and address the numerous hidden barriers that can be holding innovation back is extremely hard. It needs a lot of debate, facts and recognition and precious time. Innovation requires concerted, dedicated efforts to take hold, to become fully embedded and run through the veins of the organization as the new blood type. Stimulating the innovation carriers Wait!

Asking the Right Questions. Albert Einstein is often quoted (perhaps apocryphally) as saying, “If I had 20 days to solve a problem, I would spend 19 days to define it.” Innovation is a particularly sticky problem because it so often remains undefined. We treat it as a monolith, as if every innovation is the same, which is why so many expensive programs end up going nowhere.

So how should we go about it? Should we hand it over to the guys with white lab coats, an external partner, a specialist in the field, crowdsource it, or what? Defining a managerial approach to innovation starts with developing a better understanding of the problem we need to solve. How well is the problem defined? Who is best-placed to solve it? Once we’ve asked the framing questions, we can determine which approach to innovation makes the most sense: Basic Research: When your aim is to discover something truly new, neither the problem nor the domain is well defined. Sustaining Innovation: Every technology needs to get better. Innovation Velocity. Yesterday I wrote an introductory blog post about the importance of VELOCITY as an innovation outcome. Today I want to drill a little deeper, to examine why velocity is so important to many businesses, and why innovation should be the technique that many turn to to accelerate velocity.

Few people would quibble with the argument that the pace of change is accelerating, and continues to accelerate. If, for example, you could teleport yourself to the Roman empire and examine the living conditions of the average family, you'd find that conditions weren't overly improved for hundreds of years. New technologies were infrequent and scientific discovery was slow. Fast forward to the early Middle ages, as learning and communication improved, and we see an increasing pace of change. Factors Driving Pace of Change What factors drive the increasing pace of change? These are factors that I think are driving the increasing pace of change.

The ability to bring products to market very quickly. Why Design Thinking Will Fail. Where there is a rise of a dynasty, there will be a fall of a dynasty. Similar concept applies to the most-hyped innovation process; Design Thinking. If a process meets the current needs of the market, it escalates with monumental success. Not living up to the hype will be the cause of failure of Design Thinking as the sought-after innovation process.

However there are good reasons why Design Thinking has been prominent in the recent years. Design Thinking is a creative problem-solving approach with specific tools, methods and mindset designers are adept in. If doing the same thing over and over again brings the same results, doing things differently to bring pleasantly surprising results require creativity. Imagination is thus the root of creativity, as for which the semantic reasoning you may find here. This creativity is one of the key essences of innovation. With a variety of processes from different organization, a typical process in Design Thinking are involved several key steps: 1.