New ways to think about innovation, ideation, and idea generation?

Does brainstorming really work? Brainstorming solo might, but with a group the jury is still out.

Here are some recent thoughts on this question.

I hate brainstorming


Why do we need to talk in the first place?

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Thoughts on innovation

Symantec fired their CEO, in part because he was not making progress on innovation/new product development (see previous blog post). This change seems like more evidence that people use the word innovation as a buzzword and don’t really understand what it means. It also brings up a topic for a future blog post, can large companies truly innovate?

In Symantec’s case, the CEO was charged with redefining the company – a move from an antivirus to a “security” firm. Can we really call failure to make that transformation lack of innovation?

Back in December, the Wall Street Journal had an almost comical article about the use and abuse of the word innovation. See Is a Peanut Butter Pop-Tart an Innovation (

Following that, Bill Taylor posted Stop Me Before I “Innovate” Again! to the Harvard Business Review Blog ( and challenged everyone to ban the use of the word in 2014.

Since we can’t seem to stop ourselves from talking about innovation, here’s another take from Ron Ashkenas ( Ashkenas’s post is great in that it walks people through the process of innovation. I agree that simple is better or, said another way, complicate only as necessary. I don’t think we are applying innovation concepts consistently or that it is appropriate to call certain things innovation at all until we do, it will remain a buzzword without much meaning.

Perhaps we need to standardize some “buckets” around innovation, adjacency, new market expansion, packaging, and plain old “hail mary passes” that are all occasionally confused for new ideas that are truly innovative.

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Symantec Fires Chief Seen as Too Slow on

Symantec Fires Chief Seen as Too Slow on Innovation

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Stumbled across this recently

Stumbled across this recently – some interesting ideas for business leveraging LinkedIn:

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Study: Attractive men fare best

Study: Attractive men fare best in gaining venture capital – MIT News Office

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