Three simple tips for innovation

Three simple tips for innovationThere are many methods and frameworks for innovation, but those are not the subject of this post. Rather, I want to take a look at three easy little things you can do to help you innovate better. Things that are not a system or a method, but three simple habits that you can incorporate into whatever general framework you use.

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What makes for an interesting story?

what-makes-for-an-interesting-story

Language gives us seemingly endless possibilities to create stories. However, the stories that actually resonate share a common, much more limited structure. The structure of a character, a problem, and an attempted resolution repeats over and over again when it comes to good stories.

Random streams of consciousness do not make for compelling stories. Neither do dream scenarios where everything goes well all the time. Such stories leave us feeling dissatisfied and bored, there is just something not quite right about them. Our mind craves for challenges, for problems and hardships, and for the struggle to eventually resolve them and triumph.

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Don’t just tell stories – create meanings and purpose

dont-just-tell-stories-create-meanings-and-purpose

Human beings are creatures of tales and stories. Indeed, one of the most important measures of any leader or salesperson nowadays is storytelling ability. Stories motivate us and change us, their effect on our behavior and judgment far surpasses that of non-fiction: when we encounter a story, we let our guard down and become immersed in its world, allowing it to shape ours.

However, not all stories are equal. Some affect us for a short while, some end up doing more harm than good, while some bring about lasting change and purpose. When you tell a story, you are wielding a powerful tool, so wield it responsibly.

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Is technology a foundation for strategic HR?

Is technology a foundation for strategic HR?Technology is often seen as the answer to improve operations and processes. This viewpoint also applies in HR, where there is even a blooming series of conferences built around telling people how technology is the answer to better HR.

In a blog post titled Technology is the Foundation for Strategic HR, Marc Coleman refers to the September 2015 Cranet report on HR as a confirmation that the use of technology is a foundation for increased strategic HR leadership.

Now, with a claim as tangible and strong as that one, it warrants a bit deeper look. Is technology a foundation for strategic HR?

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Has the ebook disruption been cancelled?

Has the ebook disruption been cancelled?The New York Times published an interesting article yesterday titled The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead. In the article, the author Alexandra Alter paints a picture of a publishing world where an ebook apocalypse had been coming for years, but now the fear has subsided and print is gaining a stronger position again.

However, not all the claims made in the article are ready to stand up to scrutiny. Let’s take a closer look at the market situation and the strategic choices made by major publishing houses.

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Crowdsourcing in the toy industry: LEGO Ideas

Crowdsourcing in the toy industry - LEGO IdeasCrowdsourcing has long held quite a bit of promise: who would not want to have customers participate in funding, marketing, or developing products for themselves and thus relieving the company from some of these tasks.

In the toy industry, crowdsourcing has recently made an appearance, so it is interesting to take a look at what has happened there and to consider what could happen in the future. The main focus of this post is LEGO Ideas, as it is by far the most visible example of crowdsourcing in the toy industry.

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Marketing to girls: My Little Pony and LEGO Friends and Elves

Marketing to girls - My Little Pony and LEGO Friends and ElvesDespite the advances achieved in the past 100 years, we are still on the journey towards gender equality as a society and the road ahead remains long and winding. However, I think there have been a number of beacons of hope within the past five years when it comes to the “girls” toy market, and this movement is not going to stop.

In this post, I will examine a number of toys directed at girls and the way they have been marketed, and sketch out what the future could hold for toy manufacturers adventurous enough to fully venture into the still relatively unexplored realm of educational and empowering stories and toys.

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Can LEGO live up to its mission in the digital space?

Can LEGO live up to its mission in the digital spaceLEGO is famous for its mission, “To inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.” However, when it comes to the digital space, especially video games, LEGO has had a hard time finding ways to actually turn this mission to reality.

In this post, I examine what LEGO has been doing in the digital space, where LEGO could shine, how competitors have already arrived there, and what LEGO could do to live up to its mission in the digital.

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LEGO as a platform and as service

LEGO as a platform and as servicePlatforms are all the hype nowadays. Whether it’s iOS, Android, Uber, or Airbnb, it seems that platforms are set to inherit the Earth.

I have examined the platform hype and the deeper meanings derived from reinterpreting platforms through a lens of service-dominant logic before, and in this post I want to turn the focus to LEGO.

What? LEGO is not a software company that provides a platform for other companies to sell their wares, what has it got to do with platforms? While it is different, I claim that LEGO is, indeed, a platform, and I’ll show you why and why it matters – and how to go beyond that to LEGO as service.

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A lesson from privately-owned companies: long-term thinking

A lesson from privately-owned companies - long-term thinkingThe stereotypical privately-owned company is slow whereas a stereotypical public company is twitchy and run on a quarterly basis. Although these may be stereotypes, they do contain a grain of truth as well. For a company to be great, it needs to learn something from both perspectives.

The lesson to be learned from many privately-owned companies is long-term thinking.

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