Forward Thinking

The future's already out there...

Don’t Innovate, Imitate!
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We’re re-reading one of our latest favourite business books in order to prepare a speed summary for clients, Obed Shenkar’s; Copycats: How Smart Companies Use Imitation to Gain a Strategic Edge. We’re fans of the book, as you’d guess from an agency that believes the secret to successful innovation is to apply the elegantly simple formula…

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Do Focus Group Kill Innovation?
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It’s the familiar plaintive cry of the innovator. Focus groups kill innovation. Gianfranco Zaccai, designer of the Swiffer mop, and co-founder and president of the global design and innovation consultancy Continuum has attacked the meal ticket of market research agencies. No innovation, in Zaccai’s considerable 40 years experience, has ever come out of a focus…

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Why Brainstorming Sucks [Infographic]
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Here’s a great infographic from Column Five on why group brainstorming is not the way to do innovation. Creativity by committee doesn’t work because it hinders rather than facilitates productive thought and encourages lame groupthink;  group brainstorming leads to; Social Loafing (relying on others for input) Social Matching (conformity) Production Blocking (only one person at…

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Why Innovation Needs Critical Thinking
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The ever-insightful Farnam Street blog has posted a useful article on critical thinking, with interesting implications on why we need it in innovation. Too often, we use so called “insights” to drive innovation, when these “insights” are in reality nothing more than half-baked ideas plucked from focus groups, surveys or the prejudices of researchers.  Critical…

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Innovation is a Remix
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If you haven’t checked out the TED talk Everything is a Remix above, then do yourself a favour and watch the 9 minute show; it’ll change the way you think about brand innovation. Bottom line – successful innovation is about imitation not imagination.   The secret to successful innovation is creative imitation; copy, mutate and remix.…

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