Having served as Presidential Innovation Fellows, we suppose we’re qualified to say something about “doing innovation”. We’ve noticed that some organizations approach this concept as an afterthought – we call this being asked to “sprinkle some innovation” on a project. This typically means being asked to make a product or service that looks different on a surface level from what’s already on the market.
But let’s be clear: that’s very different from implementing a true innovation – which is a more effective method for delivering outcomes for your target user. The problem is that because “innovation” has become hyped as a sexy idea, genuinely novel and significant improvements often look boring. True innovation comes usually from a good process – talking to customers, looking at data, being very clear about the outcome you are looking for.
Under this theme, our podcast takes us from the still undelivered promise of flying cars to the ubiquity of voice calls to the strategies of smart consultants to failure of most Super Bowl commercials. Enjoy!
Sarah + Jason
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Doberhuahua Commercial – Audi’s attempt to do an “innovative” commercial at the 2014 Super Bowl about how they don’t compromise
What is a theory of change? – “Built around the pathway of change, a Theory of Change describes the types of interventions (a single program or a comprehensive community initiative) that bring about the outcomes depicted in the pathway of a change map. ”
Lean Startup Principles – “Using the Lean Startup approach, companies can create order not chaos by providing tools to test a vision continuously.” — Eric Ries,
Dear Science Fiction Writers: Stop Being So Pessimistic — “After lamenting the slow pace of technological innovation, Stephenson was surprised when his audience leveled blame at sci-fi authors. “You’re the ones who have been slacking off,” said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University and co-founder of the forward-looking think tank the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes.
Snow Crash – a science fiction book by Neal Stephenson
Slow Ideas – New Yorker Article by Atul Gawande on how some new ideas take a long time and require lots of in-person hand holding to implement
Simple Techniques Can Make You A Great Teacher – “Doug Lemov spent years observing highly effective teachers, and has developed a set of simple techniques that he says can make anyone a great teacher.” One technique is simply challenging students to hand in their papers in under 30 seconds!