Five ways to create a culture of innovation

Does your business have a culture in which innovation thrives? Do you encourage your team to challenge the status quo? Or do you struggle to find time to listen to and seek out new ideas?

Building a culture of innovation is hard work. However, the scientific research into how to create a culture where innovation thrives is both plentiful and precise. Following are five of the most impactful drivers of an innovation culture.

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About the Author

Amantha ImberDr. Amantha Imber is the Founder of Inventium, a leading innovation consultancy that uses scientifically-proven techniques for boosting innovation performance. Her latest book, The Innovation Formula: The 14 Science-Based Keys for Creating a Culture Where Innovation Thrives, tackles the topic of how organisations can create a culture where innovation thrives. Amantha can be contacted at [email protected].

Scan for the 3 key ingredients of trends to survive in the Expectation Economy

Right now, at this very minute, there are hundreds if not thousands of brands out there heightening your customers’ expectations. Companies like Google are heightening expectations around data-driven personalization. Patagonia is spreading expectations around supply chain transparency. Periscope is creating entirely new expectations around media consumption. Tesla is rewriting expectations around how drivers purchase a vehicle. If you work for a small firm or a giant organization, in fashion or finance, in Texas or Tanzania, you are competing in a ruthless, globe-spanning Expectation Economy.

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About the Author

Maxwell LuthyMaxwell Luthy is the author of the new book Trend-Driven Innovation. Based in New York, Max runs TrendWatching’s North American business, regularly delivering keynotes and workshops for leading brands, from Disney to Samsung. Max has been quoted as a trend expert in the Financial Times, The Next Web, and strategy+business. Max also oversaw the TW:IN trend spotter network until 2013, hosting meetups everywhere from Johannesburg to Manila. A contributor to five of TrendWatching’s most-recent annual Trend Reports, Max now lives in the oft-overlooked trend hotspot of New Jersey.

Strategies for Success in a Dematerialized World

Are you prepared to get vaporized? During the past twenty years I’ve worked with companies all over the world, big and small, helping them to craft a strategy so they can transition from the old world of producing physical products to a new world in which most things tangible – products, devices, stores, and even companies – will simply disappear forever to be replaced by invisible software.  I call this getting vaporized.

My motto is “Whatever can be vaporized will be.” That means any part of your business or product that can be replaced by pure digital information almost certainly will be.

You can’t stop this transformation process because dozens or even hundreds of other companies are already working on it. They are catering to the two billion consumers wielding smartphones who demand instant access to apps and services.

For start-up ventures with no stake in the old physical economy, this poses no particular challenge – just a wealth of opportunities.  But for old-school bureaucracies, it’s a scary new world that requires managers to rethink the basic principles that govern established businesses.

From health care to handbags, no industry is immune. At least some portion of every firm’s activity will be transformed from the old-school physical industrial process into a vaporized state of information available on demand. You won’t be able to stop this process, but if you react soon enough, you will at least have the option to determine how and when you will respond.

The secret to success when technology is driving change rapidly in an established industry is to envision possibilities that many consider unthinkable: to make an effort to envision what a disruptive change might look like, and how it will transform the entire business process. That’s easier said than done. To do so, you have to set aside everything that made your company a big success and focus on the changes that will wipe all of that success away. This is not an easy exercise for anyone.  To get started, ask yourself the following questions:

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About the Author

Robert TercekRobert Tercek invents the digital future. He has launched satellite TV networks, the first video on mobile phones, multimedia games, and live interactive learning programs. He provides strategic insight to Turner Broadcasting, InterPublic Group, PBS, and other firms. He previously served in executive leadership at MTV, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and most recently as President of Digital Media at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. And is the author of VAPORIZED: Solid Strategies for Success in a Dematerialized World, For more information, go to:

Why Your Business Needs To Start Monetizing Its Data

Because of the digital age that we live in, most people know of and even understand what data is. They say that information is power. In the business world, that is quite right! Firms of all shapes and sizes have and deal with a lot of data on a daily basis.

Data examples include contact details and even the way customers pay for their goods and services. It’s a well-known fact that running a business is tougher than ever these days. But, the sad truth is that organizations aren’t using the data they have to make some money!

Data monetization is a lucrative market. The sector is large, but it could be bigger if more firms used the information they hold to increase their revenue.

If you’re still not convinced, keep reading to learn why your business needs to start monetizing its data today!

Why Your Business Needs To Start Monetizing Its DataPhoto courtesy of Sean Ellis

You learn more about your customer spending habits

Let’s face it, we all have uniquely personal spending habits. Some of us lead an extravagant lifestyle and are happy to pay for high-end products. Others prefer to count the pennies and only buy things we need rather than all those things we want.

Customer loyalty cards are one of the best ways of gaining insights into how people spend their money. It’s a classic way of fostering data monetization. Why? Because you can target specific promotions to individual customer groups.

Let’s say that you own a retail store. People will sign up for loyalty cards if they know they can enjoy special offers and deals that are applicable to them. Yes, you can offer targeted promotions to loyalty card holders.

But it’s also a good way of learning which products are best-sellers and which ones are nothing better than loss leaders.

Work with other firms to cross-promote products and services

If you run an ISP business, you could work with retailers that sell computers to offer your services to their customers. Likewise, you could offer discounted rates to people leaving particular competitors.

Sharing data is always a neat idea for two sets of organizations that can complement each other’s wares. There’s no point trying to go solo if there’s an opportunity to work with someone else. At least on an opportunity that is mutually beneficial of course!

Sell anonymous data to relevant organizations

No one likes the idea of companies selling their personal details to other people. But, did you know that you can sell anonymous data to third parties without it being controversial?

For instance, let’s say that you are a commercial property developer. And you own a shopping mall. Market research firms may wish to buy data from you like the following:

  • Number of shoppers per day, week, month or year;
  • Average store occupancy rates;
  • Shopper spending habits (e.g. Do they spend most of their cash on clothing, food, or electronics?).

As you can see from this example, anonymous data can be attractive to third party organizations. And because you aren’t selling any personal details, you won’t fall afoul of the law.

How to Unleash Breakthrough Thinking in Business

In today’s rapidly changing and exceedingly competitive business environment, it is imperative to continually uncover new and innovative ways to stay ahead of the curve and, most importantly, not get left behind. To outperform the competition, breakthrough thinking is mission critical—the kind of out-of-the-box ideation that expands horizons and provokes epiphanies. It is about the kind of thinking that can take a company from good to great, or from failing to wildly successful.

The rewards realized from developing even one breakthrough idea can be immense. Indeed, the most successful company is the one that works smarter, not necessarily harder.

Every single employee at an organization is a potential diamond in the rough – possibly possessing latent ideas and visions that lay dormant, which represents an immense potential opportunity. The key challenge is discerning how to tap into that diamond mine and unearth hidden gems – those game changing ideas that propel companies to reach their highest potential.

But, how exactly does an organization foster breakthrough thinking? The answer is surprisingly simple: Trivia! While most people consider such games to be hobbies or playful ways to pass idle time, trivia is far more than just fun and games. In fact, the use of trivia has been proven to unlock the potential of the human mind, thereby improving mental performance and enhancing creativity. One report cited “the engagement and excitement produced by trivia games is directly related to cognitive and brain development.”

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About the Author

Gene Jones, one of America’s leading authorities on unlocking innovation through transformational play, has realized great success converting unique trivia game show formats into exercises in mindfulness training. His proprietary Triviation® corporate training program is based on the art, science, and educational aspects of transformational play that help individuals and companies unleash and capitalize on their full creative potential. Gene may be reached online at