Why do so many digital transformations fail?

Digital transformations are actually transformations of mindset, business model, culture, and operations. These are people problems, in the main, not technology issues. Unless you have an ambitious...


Innovation in K-12 Education

You can see the rise of whiteboards and bean bags instead of desks, maker spaces, flex areas, collaboration zones, as well as more media-editing suites. Some of these schools look like a Design Studio...


Practicing Innovation: An Inside Job

Innovators need to be driven by purpose, spend some quiet time deeply thinking each day, and be afflicted with an undying curiosity to thrive.


Healthy Dose of Amnesia

As you start a strategic process or an innovation discipline, bring in those who will force you to confront your own blind spots, get off your old soapboxes, and generate some new thinking.


Finding Courage to Do Something Great

For a little more than a year, I’ve been involved with ECHO, an organization that helps people start charitable clinics based on the model of Church Health in Memphis. ECHO has ambitions to make a...


Ethnography in Nonprofit Program Evaluation

Ask a nonprofit professional how her work is going, and you will likely be met with a passionate conversation about the difference she is making in the lives of her clients. Ask her how she is...


Scaling the qual/quant divide

1) Qualitative and quantitative research and data collection are mutually exclusive Tools used in qualitative and quantitative research look very different from one another and, in turn, yield very...


Purpose

Purpose drives everything—employee interactions and authority, competitive differentiation, product development, business strategy, revenue modeling, and culture.


I Have a Question.

As a consultant to more than 150 organizations I see things go awry when curiosity is repressed. If you want to have a successful organization, if you want an amazing career, cultivate curiosity....


Finding Great Interns for Your Business

Internships: a symbiotic relationship helping to launch young adults into successful careers, or an exploitation of free labor? The answer, much to the distress of everyone wanting an answer, probably...


Social Media Experiment

Sadly, everyone is so prewired by their positions that it seems as if we do not have an agreed upon basis of objective fact as a culture. Social media exposes a deep divide where even scientific facts...


Leverage Your Core Strength for Sustainable Growth

Most successful new businesses begin by taking advantage of a new, untapped opportunity developing in the marketplace. These businesses can grow organically for many years by continuing to take...


But what if it’s not statistically significant?

I met with some company stakeholders at a client’s office the other day, explaining our process and how we’d be using interviews and qualitative analysis to do a deep dive into the minds of their...


Growth Insights

Understanding the wants, needs, and journeys of target customers has become a tenant of growth across the business, nonprofit, and government sectors. As various entities scramble to be at the...


Trust me, I’m a Thinker/Analyst

The coolest job title I’ve ever had is Thinker/Analyst. Paraphrased highlights of the associated job description include: a voracious appetite for reading, critical consideration, imagination, and a...


Dos and don’ts of content marketing

Inevitably, when we discuss brand objectives and marketing tactics with our clients, their main goal is to be recognized as “leaders,” “experts,” and “innovators.” How do they hope to...


The Real Value of Strategic Consulting

Is your company or organization slowing down? When growth becomes sluggish, it is important not to panic – know that many companies like yours go through distinct stages of fast, and then slower...


Everything I’ve Learned Doing Sales for a Drink Startup Company

Howdy folks. It’s me again, your friendly neighborhood guy that just wants to tell you about this amazing new probiotic drink called Benefizz and why carrying it in the little cafe you own is your...


The key to true business Innovation

When I tell people I’m an anthropologist, they are more likely to assume I dig up ancient peoples or dinosaurs than to assume I consult businesses to identify and develop transformational growth...


Two perspectives on brand…

The world’s most recognizable brands think about “brand” with a capital “B.” When defined and nurtured properly, brand is a guiding principle for how an organization interacts internally,...


Using Gamification to Motivate and Manage Your Intrapreneur Community

Vodafone uses innovation as a business driver. Our innovation program is largely focused on creating innovations with b-2-b customers. We have four fulltime innovators in the enterprise business and...


Pivoting Your Way to Profitability

There are many unforeseen hazards between concept and launch. Pivoting provides a unique opportunity to learn from experience and to change course at key development stages, making the difference...


Winning the Scale-Up Game: From Early-Stage Bets to Market Value

This news kicks off a litany of questions: The question of strategy becomes paramount. What kind of company can you become? What value do we want to realize? What customers do we want to engage? What...


Git-re Done! The Psychology of Project Completion

Empathy is important with all internal stakeholders. All parties need to support the change and empathize with the process. Conversation is still the best problem-solving tool. You cannot argue with...


A Systems Approach to Creating an Innovation Funding Board

“Engineers don’t know how to size a market opportunity, that’s weird juju to them, so we provide resources to help them,” Wirkus adds. We have also begun a three-day Startup bootcamp that is...


Five Keys to Successful Collaboration

“The key to successful commercialization is successful collaboration,” he claims. “Think of the conflicts, the stress, the negotiations—and imagine if you can streamline that process and make...


Keurig’s Journey into Connected Appliances

A brief history: Keuring was founded in 1990 by three MIT professors who thought there was a better way to make coffee. We miniaturized the process and made it more simple, personalized, and fast....


Role of Corporations Today

In March, we reached the point of no return, the point where most credible international scientists agree that damage will be unprecedented and relentless. As we have surpassed global CO2...


Back to Basics: Elements in the Product Story

Many companies and people confuse what they mean when discussing Value Propositions, Benefits, and Features. Be clear with your product marketing.


Give us Your Lions!

When we are assigned fretful, career-minded people to project teams we know that we must spend half of our time reorienting such people. Otherwise, the innovation project will implode under such fears...