Hands assembling jigsaw puzzle pieces. Teamwork connection, idea connect, solve and success, vector illustration

A genius is only as great as his brain trust: the circle of mentors and consultants who nurture and enhance his ideas. That all great innovators have great collaborators is no new insight. In 1937, when Napoleon Hill interviewed the richest, most successful men in the world for his wildly popular book, Think and Grow Rich, the one thing they all had in common was their dependence on alliances. These pioneering leaders all relied on a board of advisors.

Nearly eighty years later, we can still learn a lot from this model of advisory innovation. Assemble a group of bright, energetic thinkers you can trust. Use them to brainstorm and bounce off ideas. Make these co-creators your confidants–advisors who you can go to before you go to the other people in your organization. (more…)

Businessman with illuminated light bulb concept for idea, innovation and inspiration

Innovation is about bringing together individuals with diverse strengths who can push against each other and build something collaboratively that they never would’ve come up with on their own. Innovation happens when there is constructive conflict, or positive tension, within an organization-not total agreement.

In my own work strategizing innovation practices for some of the worlds biggest and best companies, I use the Innovation Genome to find this place of positive tension. The Innovation Genome is a creative map of organizational dynamics that tells us how competing talents and seemingly opposing worldviews can come together to promote growth. While innovation is often thought of as the domain of exceptional individuals only The Innovation Genome shows how anyone can engineer innovation. (more…)


What happens when the comfort of the old is preferable to the risk of the new? This is the situation all innovators face when presenting their ideas or inventions to a hesitant public: we’re dissatisfied with the way things are now, but we’re not yet willing to embrace the future.

Everywhere you look, you’ll see this wildly contradictory set of desires and feelings toward change. We hate traffic jams, but we refuse to try self-driving cars. We dream of improving the quality and length of our lives, but we’re reluctant to tamper with the genetic triggers of a disease. We want to eliminate global hunger, but we have a bias against genetically modified drought-resistant food. (more…)

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