5 New Year Resolutions To Be More Innovative


In this post on Fast Company, the author Kaihan Krippendorff suggests the 5 new year resolutions that could make you more innovative.

  1. To be more innovative, you need more diverse sources of information and inspiration. Resolve to read magazines you’ve never considered, watch movies you think you’d hate, and attend lectures of topics apparently unrelated to what you do.
  2. Innovators are “intense observers” and so are able to spot customer needs and emerging “weak signals.” This year put up your antenna. Pretend you are the producer of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show and need to know which issues and topics people care about this week and this month.
  3. Innovators try things just to see if they work while others want to know if they will work before they try them. Decide that this year you will start taking small risks. Force yourself to conduct, say, five low-risk experiments in your business this year.
  4. Innovators are curious, and they ask questions not just because they are after something but because they enjoy the journey of discovery. This year find yourself continually asking “why?” and “how?” Read the newspaper, not just to absorb the decisions CEOs and other leaders make, but to challenge them. Ask “Why should CTS focus on growth & not margins?” and come up with three reasons why they should.
  5. Innovators are great networkers and they network without a precise goal in mind. This year thrust yourself into new networks. Join a club, pick up a hobby, and plan lunches that will put you face-to-face with people who have no obvious networking value for you. You will be surprised by serendipitous opportunities they open up.

Read the full post here.

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Intrapreneurs – Engaged Employees

Over the last few months, Google’s attrition problems is making it to the news columns frequently. A problem highlighted by many is that the company has become too big (5k to 25k employees) to keep the entrepreneurial juices flowing within. While the analysis of Google’s issues continues, it is as good a time as ever to understand the organizational benefits of intrapreneurial  culture. 


“An employee who is given freedom and financial support to create new products, services and systems, who does not have to follow the company’s usual routines or protocol.”
– Richard Branson

“A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation”
– Wikipedia

While business growth & innovation are two oft documented benefits of an intrepreneurship, creating engaged employees is not spoken of enough. A culture of enabling intrepreneurs engages employees in any of the following ways …

  • creates ownership of projects / initiatives amongst employees driving them
  • channelizes employee’s passions towards organizational well being
  • provides a platform for people to exercise their entrepreneurial urges
  • helps balance the “love to do” with the “have to do” activities
  • provides an entrepreneurial playground for the “conservative risk-takers”

Google is contemplating launching an in-house incubator.

An incubator is “20 percent time” on steroids. The thinking seems to be that giving your in-house entrepreneurs all the space in the world to work on their passions will keep them loyal to Mother Google.

The big question is – how are you enabling intrepreneurship within your organizations?

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~ Why Google’s “20 Percent Time” Isn’t Stemming Its Brain Drain
~ Intrapreneurs – for building the future

Quotes To Live By – Life Lessons from Richard Branson

richardbranson(Picture courtesy David Shankbone)


“I enjoy every single minute of my life.”

“Right now I’m just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath.”

“I made and learned from lots of mistakes.”

“If you can indulge in your passion, life will be far more interesting than if you’re just working.”

“And obviously, from our own personal point of view, the principal challenge is a personal challenge.”

“But the majority of things that one could get stressed about, they’re not worth getting stressed about.”

“I cannot remember a moment in my life when I have not felt the love of my family. We were a family that would have killed for each other – and we still are.”


“You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.”

“I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off doing nothing.”

“We, we – as I say, we go in and shake up other industries and I think, you know, we do it differently and I think that industries are not quite the same as a result of Virgin attacking the market.”

“A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”

“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”

“I never get the accountants in before I start up a business. It’s done on gut feeling, especially if I can see that they are taking the mickey out of the consumer.”

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It’s Knowing When to Think Little and When to Think Big

Big guys think like big guys when they do things — even when they try to out think the little guys. For the big guy to understand the little guy’s position is a good idea in any business. But it’s a discipline and it takes remembering. Big guys often forget that little guys can do things that big guys can’t.

For the little guy to understand the big guy’s position is self-preservation. The big guy owns the market and makes the rules. The little guy has to watch, learn from, and live with the big guys decisions. What the little guy has to do is find the advantages of being little.

To every disadvantage there is a corresponding advantage.
– W. Clement Stone

How can you turn a usual “disadvantage” to an unexpected and winning advantage? Look at one thing you see as a barrier. How can you change the game so that it works for you?

Read the full article here.