culture

The Innovative Power of a Mantra

Mantras are powerful things.

Guy Kawasaki, serial entrepreneur and former Apple evangelist, says that companies and organizations should dump their mission statements. Instead, he advocates mantras.

Mantras are clear, concise answers to the existential question, “Why are we here?” That answer should be stated in terms of value for the customer, not in terms of products. It should be very short, no longer than three words, or 10 syllables.

For instance, on a recent episode of Shark Tank, Mark Cuban gave one million dollars to Austin-based Beat Box Beverages. Beat Box sells box wine with

How Innovators Think

IBM has a reputation for corporate precision and blue suits. It also has a well-earned reputation for innovation. The reason can be traced to IBM’s single-word mantra, “Think.”

Innovators think. Furthermore, they think about thinking, and they think in certain ways.

In a great article in Fast Company entitled “Lessons in Innovation From Six of the World’s Most Creative Thinkers,” authors Ali Rushdan and Alrick Pagnon describe how some of the world’s best innovators think, including Hayao Miyazaki, Maya Angelou, Jeff Bezos, Ferran Adrià, Bunker Roy, and Sangeeta Bathia.

Here are three

How to Innovate With Your Own Shark Tank

Innovation doesn’t just happen. Sometimes it takes extreme measures. And what’s more extreme than a Shark Tank?

Jeff Haden, in an article for Inc. Magazine, describes how Geneca, the innovative Chicago-based software development firm, decided to stop waiting for innovation to happen ad-hoc and get deadly serious. They launched their own Shark Tank competition.

The benefits of the Shark Tank went beyond the ideas themselves. As a result, Geneca has been able to establish collaborative systems and processes within their organization to promote innovation as an ongoing practice.

It’s important

Two Words For Innovators

Two words that kill innovation, according to the Harvard Business Review, are “Prove It.” 

Management loves to crunch numbers, refine, and optimize the established business. Newborn innovative ventures, however, require a different kind of care and feeding. When they reach maturity, innovative ventures should achieve market leadership and even replace the old business. However, in the early stages, they need a little help.

As Tom Cruise famously said in the movie Jerry Maguire, “Help me help you.” Two words that innovators might say in response to “Prove It” are “Help me:”

  • Help me by keeping

How to Innovate Without Fear

Innovation is challenging. However, for larger, established businesses, innovation is more than challenging. It's scary. Innovation is considered to be risky, and risk is to be reduced at all costs.

Entrepreneur Magazine recently posted a short “Hangout” video entitled "To Manage Innovation, Manage Failure Better," discussing how larger businesses can advance beyond the fear that holds them back and move on to new levels of innovation success.

This quick 5 minute video is packed with strategies for banishing the fear of innovation, including:

  • Culture and mindset
  • Managing the fear of failure

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