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This blog posts to the IAOIP membership and visitors to keep members up-to-date on happenings at the IAOIP and throughout the innovation community. We will invite guest bloggers regularly. If you would like to contribute, send your contribution and preferred blog date to brett@iaoip.org.

 

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Lifelong Learning and the IAOIP Academy

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 8, 2017
Despite Hurricane Harvey in Houston and Irma in Florida (where the CEO and COO live respectively), we will be launching the IAOIP Academy on September 15th. We have worked long and hard at this because its what our members have been requesting. The project came about because many of our members have told us that they do not have a corporate budget for professional memberships, but plenty for training. We hope you like what you see and come back repeatedly to take classes. We have also set the system to allow you to take the same classes over and over if you like. Undertaking a project of this magnitude is never taken lightly and we have put in hundreds of hours building this. The content may or may not be everything you are asking for, but we are anxious to hear form you about what you would like to see in the future. If you have suggestions for what we should build, please feel free to reach out to Brett at brett@iaoip.org.

Tags:  Academy  Courses  Learning  LMS 

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Why am I a board member of IAOIP?

Posted By Evan Shellshear, Monday, June 19, 2017
Updated: Friday, June 9, 2017
How do Innovation and Accounting come together? In more ways than you think. I am not only the Treasurer for IAOIP but also a CFO of an international company. In both of these roles, I am required to follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as set forth by Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in the US and be aware of Accounting Principles set forth by the International Financial Reporting Standards developed by the International Accounting Standards Board. What a mouthful! But what does that mean? It means that I provide insight and guidance to these organizations on how stay profitable and grow in a competitive environment all while following accounting rules. Being innovative is key to doing my job and helps me add value to the organizations I support. Today’s finance people need to be innovative; we have the opportunity to creatively solve problems, influence processes and meet the financial needs of our organizations. As Steve Jobs said “Innovation distinguishes between leaders and followers”. Given the opportunity, finance people can be innovative leaders. I have learned over the years that innovation in accounting starts with communication. We should engage and interact with business leaders not just sit in cubicles or offices. Listening and bouncing ideas off co-workers allows you to learn about the organization you support. If we understand the struggles of the organization, we are able to provide guidance on how to reduce cost structures, increase margins and/or become more price competitive rather than just being a group of individuals that produce monthly financials. As a finance professional, we can and should add value. When attending the Board meetings of IAOIP, I am definitely an outsider. I am not an educator or consultant but I am an innovator who can add value to IAOIP from a finance perspective. IAOIP is a great organization for everyone who wants to grow and add value; your industry background does not matter. The IAOIP Innova Con meeting in Washington, DC had numerous panels and roundtables with professionals and educators from all industries. It was a great event to learn and network. I hope those that attended enjoyed the sessions and for those that were unable to attend … there is always next year. Lauren Huff

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Meet Board Member Lauren Huff

Posted By Administration, Monday, June 19, 2017
Updated: Friday, June 9, 2017
Lauren Huff has over 25 years of Finance and Accounting experience both with for-profit and not-for profit organizations. She is currently the CFO of RAE Energy, an international pipeline specialist services provider, located in Houston, TX. She received her undergraduate degree from George Mason University in Virginia and holds a Certificate of Accountancy with a focus in the Oil and Gas Industry from the Bauer School of Business at the University of Houston. Lauren has extensive experience in accounting system conversations and implementations. Along with holding the position of Treasurer at IAOIP she also serves as Treasurer for the Boy Scouts of America Troop 731.

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Blue hair and rainbows; zombies and smart companies

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Updated: Thursday, May 4, 2017

A friend of mine, Kate Boyd, wrote a recent LinkedIn post about her five-year-old daughter saying “blue hair is just pretty cool.” She went on to talk about that her daughter, and son (blue cupcakes), have both proposed blue-related activities: “Why? Because it was cool. Neither are blue fans. These were not costumes or themes. There was no deep commentary on their personal perspectives on life. There was no ROI on the blueness.”


Why? Because it was cool. Neither are blue fans. These were not costumes or themes. There was no deep commentary on their personal perspectives on life. There was no ROI on the blueness.


When I look at zombie organizations I don’t see much blue hair and cupcake thinking. The reasons for that are pretty clear to me:

  • Our schools kill any “out of the box” thinking - see this wonderful TED talk by Sir Robinson (https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity )

  • Our organizations are set up to keep everyone in their “box” - so we have zombie organizations shambling forward in a straight-line


The result is disengaged employees (almost 70% according to Gallup). And that contributes to the inability of companies to adapt quickly enough to the changing, digital, world around them.


I say we need more blue hair and cupcakes. In fact, I think we need more colour on (and in) everything! But to do that we need smarter schools and to build smarter organizations where a rainbow of thinking is not just accepted but treasured.

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Meet Gordon Vala-Webb

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Updated: Thursday, May 4, 2017
Gordon Vala-Webb is author of Building Smarter Organizations (available through Elevate Publishing or Amazon) and is an innovation professional, organization transformer, and an award-winning knowledge management practitioner and thought leader. Previous roles he has held include National Director of Innovation and Information at McMillan LLP, National Director of Knowledge Management for PwC Canada, and Cabinet Office Policy Advisor (Ontario). Gordon is a member of the Board of Directors of the IAOIP; he holds a Master’s degree in the Management of Technology. Gordon lives in Toronto, Canada.

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A Classic Dilemma: Go to the Moon, or Go to the Grocery Store?

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Here’s an innovation story that follows a very familiar plot line, but the plot is so important that it provides an important reminder.

In an interview with a company’s new CEO, a reporter tells us, the company has … “combined breathtaking engineering to create a whole bunch of amazing prototypes.  But they rarely make it to market.  That’s because, over the last two decades, its culture has grown so competitive and insular, more consumed with getting and protecting an edge than pushing into riskier new businesses.”

Does this sound familiar?  It’s the story of almost every successful business, where the balance between protecting the established core markets, and pioneering new ones, becomes a high stakes poker game played inside the company, with various camps competing for innovation, development, and marketing resources, and the established units almost always win.

The article goes on to say … “People were motivated to produce things they knew their managers would like, rather than take risks on new ideas that might fail.  The company’s money-minting core offerings sucked up talent and attention while newer ideas got overlooked.”

But what we all know is that the established units win for a while, until major shifts in the market leave them flat-footed.  In fact, this situation is so common, the reporter goes on to note that “It has become accepted wisdom in Silicon Valley that large, successful tech companies can’t reinvent themselves.  Many have attempted to engineer comebacks, and the industry is teeming with failed empires that have evolved into middling businesses on the decline.”

Is this a story about HP?  Or Blackberry?  Or Yahoo?  It could be any of those.

Actually, though, this article is about Microsoft.  It’s a great piece in the latest Wired, a profile on the new CEO Satya Nadella.  The article is quite sympathetic to Nadella’s task, and frames him as a smart and sensitive executive who could well succeed in the monumental task that he is confronted with.

Nadella himself describes three layers of critical organizational performance, Concepts, Capabilities, and Culture, and notes that while Microsoft is awash in great concepts, “You need a culture that is fundamentally not opposed to new concepts and new capabilities.”

While “Not fundamentally opposed” puts the bar pretty low, he has a good point, and it certainly frames the work that he wil need to be doing in the coming weeks and months.

The next article that I’d like to read is about the how.  That is, How does Nardella expect to achieve this in the Redmond behemoth?  The Wired article unfortunately doesn’t say much about that.  But we do.  This is squarely in the InnovationLabs competence area, and we’ve written about it extensively, including in the two books mentioned to the right, Agile Innovation and The Innovation Master Plan.

Among the case studies we cover in Agile are Wells Fargo, Nike, and NASA’s Apollo Program, each tackling a different variation on the same situation, and each providing new insights.

At Wells Fargo, it’s about how to take risks in a highly regulated and controlled banking environment that is nevertheless subject to monumental forces of change; Steve Ellis gives us the metaphor of snowboarding to explain how he makes the organziation move faster.

At Nike, it’s about pushing a massive volume of new products out into the market, and then listening carefully to find out where there is resonance, and shifting even the brand identity when the company and the market become out of sync.

And for Apollo, it’s about how thousands of engineers and scientists created something of monumental scale, something that had absolutely never been done before – the moon landings – while balancing innovativeness and control.

Nadella is facing a task that has elements of all of these stories, and we will be fascinated to witness the new chapters as time, history, and the market write them.

PHOTO:  Buzz Aldrin on the moon.  Photo by Neil Armstrong.  Courtesy of NASA.

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Meet Langdon Morris

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Langdon Morris is one of IAOIP's board members as well as being a co-founder and Senior Partner at InnovationLabs LLC, and leads the firm's global innovation consulting practice for a wide variety of clients in business, government, and the non-profit sector. His work focuses on developing and applying advanced methods in innovation and strategy to solve complex problems with very high levels of creativity. He is also a founding partner of FutureLab Consulting, a strategy and technology firm that offers advanced solutions for global enterprises. He is recognized as one the world’s leading thinkers and consultants on innovation, and his original and ground-breaking work has been adopted by corporations and universities on every continent to help them improve their innovation processes and the results they achieve. His breakthrough white paper, Business Model Warfare is a landmark in the field, and is used as a standard reference at universities and corporations worldwide. His book Fourth Generation R&D, coauthored with William L. Miller, is considered a classic in the field of R&D management, and his more recent books The Innovation Master Plan and Permanent Innovation are recognized among the leading innovation books of the last 5 years. He is formerly Senior Practice Scholar at the Ackoff Center of the University of Pennsylvania. He has also taught MBA courses in innovation and strategy at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris and Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, and has lectured at universities on 4 continents, including Rochester Institute of Technology, Chaoyang University of Technology (Taiwan), Conservatoire Nationale des Arts et Métiers (Paris), University of Colorado, University of North Carolina, and Shanghai Jao Tong University (China). Langdon is the author, co-author, or editor of ten acclaimed books on Strategy and Innovation, with editions in Chinese (traditional and simplified), Japanese, Korean, and French.

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The latest from the president

Posted By Evan Shellshear, Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Updated: Friday, April 14, 2017

Dear Member, It would be an understatement to say that it has been an exciting month for the Association. We held our annual conference in Washington, DC at the incredible Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center (Thank you Booz Allen Hamilton!), and saw the single most impressive member gain in the history of the Association as well as the addition of a new special interests group, Anti Human Trafficking. Also a big congratulations of our winner of the $100 gift card, Amy Arden, for answering our survey on what her experience of Innova Con was like!

New Members

In March, we added 117 new members and we are now just a few members short of 1,000 in 54 countries. Notable new corporate members include By Light Professional IT Services and Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport. To contact either of these new corporate members, check the directory in the website.

Innova Con Road Show

After the phenomenal success of Innova Con, IAOIP is now considering to do a roadshow to offer in person preparation and certification for the exams in the form of a conference tailored to your company. This would be a unique opportunity to bring the innovation conference in house and run the event with your employees and other members of the IAOIP community. We have limited availability to do this and a lot of interest, so if you and your company are interested, then please register your interest as soon as possible by answering what business and city it would happen at and how many people would come along here: http://www.iaoip.org/surveys/default.asp?id=IAOIP_Roadshow.

Your Webinars

For the next several months, watch for several new webinars to be announced. This coming month we'll be answering the question, do you have a zombie organisation? Don't know? Well find out in Gordon Vala Webb's webinar why many organizations are like zombies - just stumbling along and all going in the same direction. You'll learn 7 practical things you can do to accelerate the flow you need so your organization doesn't remain 1 of the undead. It promises to be great! Sign up here: http://www.iaoip.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=954710&group=. As usual, they are free for professional members and inexpensive for associate members. To register, go to the IAOIP website, check the calendar, and sign in. Also, please remember that all webinars are archived. If you would like to listen to an archived webinar, log into the store and see what’s available. The inventory will be growing significantly this year, so check back often. Also, as usual, if there is a topic you would like us to explore, please let me know.

The Easy Way To Certification

Due to the demand from members, we will begin sending out sections of the certification material to help everyone with learning to become a certified innovation professional. We have broken up the content of the body of knowledge and will be sending out a section once a month to everyone to help with learning as well as some practice questions. Happy learning!

Call For Papers

For anyone with a paper ready on the topic of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education Sector, then I highly recommend you submit it to the International Journal of Innovation Science here: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijins. If you don’t have an account you can create on after clicking on the link. We are running a special issue on the topic and the deadline is the 18th of May, 2017.

Best, Brett Trusko, President IAOIP and Evan Shellshear, Author of Innovation Tools

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Focusing your energy where it counts

Posted By Evan Shellshear, Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Updated: Thursday, March 2, 2017

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” — John F. Kennedy  

The Rule of Innovation Number One: 85% of your focus should be on the solution and 15% on the problem. The goal of this rule is to make sure that you are heading toward what you truly want, not away from what you don't want. I think it is an important principle but it seems other deep thinkers such as Albert Einstein would claim the opposite when they said "If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem, and only five minutes finding the solution."

So why the discrepancy between my “Rule of Innovation Number One” and Albert Einstein’s 91% on the problem and 9% on the solution? Maybe I could have better stated that 85% of your focus should be on the creation and 15% on the current reality. It seems to be something which people find difficult to grasp. So, let me reverse Dr. Einstein’s quote to my way of thinking (I know very arrogant, but it worked for Niels Bohr), “If I only had one hour to create a world that didn’t need saving I would focus 10 minutes on my creation and 50 minutes defining what would help or hinder me from bring my creation into reality while I’m executing the plan.” 

According to Robert Fritz this is a simple Tension-Resolution system that gives rise to an impetuous for action. Instead of moving away from what I don’t want I’m moving toward what I do want. There is far more energy in really wanting a new creation to come into being than “reducing the pain of what you do not want.”  Once the pain is reduced enough then you quit working it, only for it to rear its ugly little head again later.

This is an important principle that appears again and again. In brainstorming, in design-led innovation and many more places. The general lesson is to focus your energy where it counts and it counts most doing what you want and making it have an impact. The hard thing which design-led innovation and other best practices teach us is to find the thing which will have the greatest impact!

John Wolverton

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Meet John Wolverton

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Updated: Thursday, March 2, 2017
Meet a member of the board, John Wolverton: John Wolverton is a cynic (defined as a frustrated idealist): Eagle Scout, Retired GS-15, Retired Full Bird Air Force Colonel and believes in doing the right thing to better the quality of life for those around him. Innovating/creating is one path to achieving that goal. Started out in Research & Development, moved into manufacturing and then putting that technology to bed to make room for the next generation technology. During my 37 years of innovation and creativity I discovered there are no “eureka moments” where everything becomes clear by a random event. I’m an avid reader that has read hundreds of books across multiple topics, everyone was about “Innovation” and a majority of those books didn’t have innovation in the title. So I can create solutions to almost every challenge, the question is “do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far is as needed” to bring that creation into really?

Tags:  Wolverton 

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