In the depths of winter, my thoughts often turn to warm visions of summer: barbeques, the beach, and graduations. As we run up to the New Year, I share a little commencement advice to those who hope to graduate or at least advance a grade in the curriculum of life: (more…)

Where you work is how you think. Your immediate surroundings determine your mindset, the way you generate ideas and solve problems. You can’t break institutional barriers within the walls of your everyday workspace. If radical change is what you seek, create your own idea space–a discrete location away from workplace distractions where you can cultivate and share new knowledge. Think of it as a retreat, a refuge, an escape from the constraints of office culture.

An idea space is as much mental as it is physical. Idea spaces spark wild energy as like-minded people come together and brainstorm new initiatives. Dislocating from the typical task-oriented work mode helps us gain the freedom of mind and insight necessary to produce great ideas.

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Innovation is not an event. It’s a long process that depends on incremental changes along the way. These small adjustments may not seem momentous on their own. Yet in their context, they can be game-changing. Figuring out how to cook a pizza thirty seconds faster doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you make seven million pizzas a day, that tiny alteration suddenly has a major effect.

These kinds of modifications to an existing procedure are called process improvement systems. This form of innovation emphasizes the craft of production. Implementing apparently small but ultimately significant enhancements is a reliable and stable way of ensuring sustainable growth. (more…)