When asked to define the legal definition for obscenity, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously quipped “I know it when I see it.” For most of us the same applies to a working definition for innovation. We have a general sense of what it is but we know that under cross examination of the evidence it probably wouldn’t hold up.

Think about what you take to be the most innovative organization in the world and why: Apple, Genentech, any stalwart global brand, obscure NGO or fashionable start-up or will do. Contained in your answer is your belief and confirmation bias that reveals what you really take to be innovation: (more…)

Jeff DeGraff was recently interviewed by Bitrix24 in an article titled “Want Innovation? Embrace Constructive Conflict, Says Innovation And Creativity Guru Jeff DeGraff.” Below is a preview of the interview. Read the full interview here.

There are a lot of different techniques for personal creativity. But how do you create a creative organization?

The keys to producing a creative organization are culture, competency and momentum.

First, culture is by far the most important element and the hardest to develop, establish and maintain. The reason is that culture is not a thing in itself but an attribute of leadership and work practices. This is why the removal of the leadership team of an underperforming firm is the first step in any credible acquisition. Look for where your organization has a successful creative culture and give these leaders a greater voice. (more…)

The headlines about the economic fortunes of the 1% and the associated political maneuvering to influence and manipulate our world view are disturbingly reminiscent of those in the early-twentieth century when mega-corporations called “trusts” ruled the day. This is exactly what French economist Thomas Piketty’s recent wildly best-selling book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, tells us is happening again, but this time on our watch. Piketty narrates the dark story of high-efficiency capitalism and what happens when resources are concentrated and powerful groups take control of the market and the supply chain. It’s an indictment of the state of our world that’s set off both controversy and celebration. Many young and dispossessed people are inspired by Piketty’s neo-Marxian call for equality while those of us who have found our way through the Capitalist jungle are defending the benefits of a laissez-faire economy. (more…)