PwC’s strategy+business network just published my most recent article, Two Simple Concepts for Better Leadership – take a look when you have a moment:
Training Magazine (a 50-year-old professional development publication) just released an article that brings techniques for offering innovation inspiration to both large numbers of employees and executive leadership groups.
Since companies can no longer rely on acquisitions for sustained growth, they must instill a renewed spirit of innovation down into their organization.
Take a look at Training Magazine’s article, Innovation Means Never Stop Learning, for a few tips on sustaining innovation—what I like to elevate as “The Learning Organization” in my book, 63 Innovation Nuggets. You can learn more about this book here as well.
“Darden Ideas to Action,” a valuable thought leadership publication featuring University of Virginia Darden School of Business faculty research, analysis and commentary, has included excerpts from 63 Innovation Nuggets in its newest article, Active Innovation Leadership: What if Your Organization Isn’t Loaded With Geniuses Like Steve Jobs?.
Barbee states, “I was inspired to write 63 Innovation Nuggets (for aspiring innovators) because throughout my career I observed many different people who could stretch themselves beyond their self-perceived limitations and attain a far greater level of innovation than they initially thought they could.” So even if you are not Steve Jobs, you can still learn to be more innovative with the right tools. For example, learning how to observe and learning how to transfer what you have observed or learned is key to becoming more innovative—and we can all achieve that with determination and practice.
The full text of both “Observing as an Art” (which is Nugget No. 19) and “Transferring Innovations” (Nugget No. 23) are included in the article. For more innovative nuggets, you can order Barbee’s book on Amazon or read more about it here.
The book, 63 Innovation Nuggets (for aspiring innovators), is off to a great start with early Amazon sales and wide distribution. But perhaps most gratifying is seeing some of the nice and complementary coverage the book is already receiving.
Below is part of an interview from a renowned executive in the publishing field, Skip Prichard. Skip was CEO of Ingram Content Group and Ingram is the world’s largest distributor of books to over 35,000 stores. He is currently President and CEO of OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), a global nonprofit computer library service and research organization.
Skip said, “Congratulations, your book is a significant addition to the work on innovation. It is a book I will read over and over again.”
I’m always studying the world’s greatest innovators. From Apple’s Steve Jobs to Tesla’s Elon Musk, we can admire and emulate some of the practices that inspire creativity. Whether you are looking to boost your own innovative spirit, create an innovative team, or power your creative genius, you may find that regularly reading and studying others sparks new ideas.
One spark may be a new book by George Barbee.
63 Innovation Nuggets (for aspiring innovators) is a practical guide to boosting your innovation. George Barbee developed these nuggets during the span of his 45 year career as an entrepreneur and corporate leader. For the last 15 years, George has taught at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
I recently spoke with George about his many decades of teaching and living the subject of innovation.
Don’t Underestimate Your Ability to Innovate
George, I have heard you say, “Yes, Steve Jobs is a genius, but what about innovating for the rest of us?” What exactly do you mean by that?
Steve was in fact a true genius of “Invention.” He could imagine what people needed and wanted even before they realized it or could verbalize it themselves. He could see around corners into the future.
But I believe most of the rest of us way underestimate our ability to “innovate”—especially with focus on techniques and methods within our control to improve this skill. And yes, it is a skill and an art, not an innate ability or something we are necessarily born with. I’ve witnessed this in my business career and the last 15 years teaching at University of Virginia, and interestingly across 40 countries. It’s a major theme underlying the book.
“Invention” is part of the broader scope of “innovation.” In fact, only a slice.
For example, the rest of us can be gifted and train ourselves to “innovate” in new and different ways. Key to the word “innovation” is doing something in a “meaningfully new and different way.” This takes us well beyond just product invention, but “innovation” now incorporates anything that is new and meaningfully different.
In the book we talk about dozens of “nuggets” or little gems that provide insights as to how to innovate. It is, in fact, remarkably easy to develop these skills. Like exercising a good muscle, the more you use it and focus on it, the better it gets. It’s a form of building innovative confidence through practice.
It’s learnable. It’s teachable.