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Jeff Degraff

Innovating Innovation Strategy: Part 3

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 11.23.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

These three innovation strategies might seem improvisational, risky, and erratic. But that's what innovation asks us to do: to make things up as we go along. Forget what you've heard about coming up with a plan and sticking with it.

Innovating Innovation Strategy: Part 2

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 11.02.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

[In last week's part-one installment of this three-part article, I highlighted all the things that make innovation so radically different from all ...

Innovating Innovation Strategy: Part 1

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 10.19.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Innovation calls us to do the impossible: to build for a future we can't yet see. The very notion of innovation is riddled with paradoxes. It asks us...

The Greatest Innovations Are the Ones You Don't See

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 09.28.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Think about blackouts and food recalls and natural disasters. It is at these moments of crisis when we realize how valuable these technologies are. So instead of waiting for them to fail, embrace the gifts of these hidden wonders by discovering them now.

The Question Is the Answer

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 09.21.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

If you're looking for answers, then you're missing out on unexpected opportunities. The people who think they've found the final answer or the right solution are the ones who are too late for the next case, the new challenge that's already here.

Culture Creates the Economics of Innovation

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 09.14.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Independent thinkers have a way of upsetting people. Economics Nobel Laureate Edmund Phelps is a good example. Progressives take issue with his scrup...

A Map for Engineering Your Next Innovation [Infographic]

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 08.24.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Innovation is about bringing together individuals with diverse strengths who can push against each other and build something collaboratively that they...

When Nobody Wants Your Innovation

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 08.17.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

We dream of improving the quality and length of our lives, but we're reluctant to tamper with the genetic triggers of a disease. We want to eliminate global hunger, but we have a bias against genetically modified drought-resistant food.

The Three Realities of Innovators

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 08.11.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

If Einstein needed help, so will you. Visionaries don't have to make everything work themselves. Some innovators see the vision and pass it on to the next thinkers, while others build on the work of people who have come before them.

Before There Were TED Talks, There Were Chautauquas

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 08.03.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Innovators can learn a lot from the turn-of-the-century Chautauqua movement. These getaways allowed people to take a break from their normal routines and experiment with new ideas. In our own moment, we desperately need this free time--this space to reflect and create.

The Unlikely Source of Your Next Big Breakthrough

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 07.27.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

How can you bring the back-office insights of supply chains to the front of your organization? Here are three plans of action that will help you use suppliers for your innovation advantage.

The Wisdom of the Rule of Three

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 07.20.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Innovation requires us to have deep and wide field of vision and an open mind to see the reality of the situation. The challenge is to overcome our own limited perspective.

What Will You Give Up to Make Room For Innovation?

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 07.13.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

At the heart of every great innovation is a great compromise: in order to start something new, we have to stop something old.

Picture This: Using Visual Aids to Inspire Creativity

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 06.29.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Picture it: this is a phrase that so many creative thinkers use when they're introducing their new project. The best ideas begin with a compelling image.

3 Unexpected Ways to Get More Innovative

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 06.15.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

If radical change is what you seek, then what you need is a stable foundation on which to build that innovation. Think of it this way: the infrastructures that support our modern world have done the heavy lighting for you. Now, it's up to you to build on that groundwork. What new layer will you add to old stone?

From Brand to Brand New: How to Re-Create Your Brand

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 06.08.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Strong brands require more than the conventional us versus them -- good guys versus bad guys twaddle. You need a bigger and better narrative: one that encompasses the amazing diversity of your organization and helps all of your people understand and appreciate how they are interconnected.

How to Free Up Your Ability to Think Creatively

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 06.01.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

The biggest obstacle you face on the path to creativity is yourself. It's the internal barrier that limits the way all of us think and see the world: our dominant logic. Everyone has a set of tenets or beliefs that determines what we value and what we don't value.

The Good, the Bad, and the Future of Creative Collaboration

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 05.13.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Innovators know that sharing isn't just caring--it's the only way to get by. Collaboration has recently emerged as the defining characteristic of creativity and growth in nearly all sectors and industries.

How Rules and Bureaucracy Breed Innovation

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 05.04.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Innovation happens in whitespaces, at the edge of disciplines. In these places, creative thinkers, leaders, and experimenters don't encounter the expected resistance to new ideas.

The Secret to Teaching Creativity at Business School

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 06.27.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

The secret to teaching creativity is that you really can't teach it. Rather it is something integral to our experiences that is either assimilated or accommodated. You never master creativity. Instead, you have to let creativity master you.

Using the Right Innovation Tool for the Right Innovation Job

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 06.20.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

An all-purpose solution is never the answer to your innovation challenge. Creativity initiatives come in all different sizes--and so should the tools ...

The Myth of Creativity On-Demand

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 06.13.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Even the most brilliant artists and writers don't decide when they are at their most creative. Rather, they understand the internal and external dynamics that shape their productivity and adjust their processes accordingly.

The Best Way to Look for the Next Big Thing

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 06.06.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Pay attention. Look up, look down, look all around yourself. Look for the things that other people don't see. Chances are if you see an obvious occasion to innovate, other people see it, too. So look for subtle patterns, small holes, tiny inconsistencies, minor inefficiencies.

Positive Thinking: A Brief User's Guide

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 05.30.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Positivity has its limits. And, taken in excess, optimism can become dangerous: for too much positivity begins to replace actual creative action and takes over as a self-deceptive force.

The Future Has Come and Gone: You Just Missed It

Jeff DeGraff | Posted 05.22.2015 | Business
Jeff DeGraff

Technology marches ever onward, aggression and avarice are sadly still part of the human condition and our relationship with our environment remains fragile and precarious as it has for millennia. Yes, everything changes: that's what doesn't change.