innovation Category

Acting on Failure or Failure to Act?

Who would have thought that failure would be held up as something to be desired just a few years ago? Yet, it is one thing to extol the virtues of failure in words, it is quite another to create systems that support failure in action and if the latter doesn’t follow the former, failure will […]

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Isolation: The New Innovator’s Dilemma

 Innovators transform the world around them in big and small ways and while a successful effort can be lauded by pundits, politicians and the public there is a long road to making change happen. That road is also a lonely one and doing things different means more than just innovating and experiencing what it means to be […]

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Creativity and Craft, Myth and Muscle

Creativity is a word shrouded in myth that has been held up as this elusive, seductive object that will reveal the true secrets of innovation if ever reached. Creativity is something we all have, but not all of us are craftspeople and knowing where these two are separate and meet is the difference between myth […]

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Do you value (social) innovation?

The term evaluation has at its root the term value and to evaluate innovation means to assess the value that it brings in its product or process of development. It’s remarkable how much discourse there is on the topic of innovation that is devoid of discussion of evaluation, which begs the question: Do we value […]

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Social Innovation Laboratories

Zaid Hassan’s new book The Social Labs Revolution provides a look at the messy world of social change making. While far from being a how-to guide, the book provides a rare glimpse at the thinking behind the lab concept and some stories that illustrate how challenging, complex, and contradictory social change can be in its […]

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What’s the big idea and how are you going to make it real?

Concepts like design thinking and developmental evaluation are best used when they help ask big questions before seeking answers. How we frame the problem is much more important than the solution we generate, but that way of thinking means going into an area that is much talked about and rarely delivered on: strategy. Many companies […]

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Developmental Evaluation and Complexity

Developmental evaluation is an approach (much like design thinking) to program assessment and valuation in domains of high complexity, change, and innovation. These three terms are used often, but poorly understood in real terms for evaluators to make much use of. This first in a series looks at the term complexity and what it means […]

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Reading Innovation and the New Economy

Economic changes are transforming business and work itself in ways that are having consequences well beyond supply chains and jobs, but the way employment spurs learning. A look at a recent change at a Toronto bookstore hints at a future that suggests we may want to think about what kind of economy we want not […]

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Grounding Your (Mindful) Organization

Building a mindful organization requires a sense of understanding where you are, where you came from and where you’re going. The first step is grounding your organization and learning about — and (re)creating your point of origin. In 1806, what became the city of Detroit, Michigan was first designed and conceived. Unlike other cities, Detroit […]

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The Organizational Zombie Resistance Kit

Zombies — unaware, semi-conscious, distracted individuals — are all around us and running many of the organizations we work in or with. And just like combatting real zombies there is a need to target the head. There is much musing about what a zombie apocalypse might look like, but anyone paying attention to what is […]

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