8th Annual Front End of Innovation Conference

28 April 10

Companies of all sizes and from all industries can innovatively define a path for their organization’s future by broadening perspectives and pushing employees to generate forward thinking ideas. Many tactics and techniques can be used to inject forward thinking behavior, such as including inviting thought leaders to speak on a regular basis, establishing article exchanges, and sending teams to gather new information and insights from conferences.

Next week, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovation experts will gather together at the 8th annual Front End of Innovation Conference in Boston. This conference, which has become the number one industry event for provoking change, exchanging best practices, and defining next practices, is a destination for all things innovation. Sessions throughout the three days will cover a range of innovation topics, including user-inspired innovation, service innovation, eco-innovation, collaborative innovation, technology led innovation, inspiring innovation, scenario planning and measurement & metrics. Read the rest of this entry »


Innovator Interview: Tony Tomazic, Humana

29 March 10

futurethink Innovator Interview with Tony Tomazic from Humanafuturethink is launching another round of innovator interviews to share insights and best practices from leading innovation practitioners.  All of these interviews are free to download once you’ve registered on futurethink‘s website.

Our first interview in this series is with Tony Tomazic, Director of Consumer Innovations at Humana.  In his leadership role in the Humana Innovation Center, Mr. Tomazic focuses on developing and implementing programs to engage consumers in their health and promote well-being.

Below is an excerpt from his interview.  The full version can be download here. Read the rest of this entry »

The Future of Work

25 February 10

The world of work is changing – on this point we can all agree. But how, and why, and at what rate are all questions that consistently plague managers, workers, and business thinkers around the world. The nature of work has changed dramatically in the past decade, and will continue transforming in the years ahead as demographic shifts, technology advancements, and new economic realities settle in.

What we know is that, in general, workers today have different expectations and priorities. “The corporate ladder” and the hierarchical world it created are vanishing relics of the 20th Century. Workers today, empowered by technologies that allow them to work any time, from anywhere, are demanding more flexibility from their employers. Employers are discovering that it’s often cheaper and more efficient to have a smaller ‘in-office’ headcount. The economic crisis has forced many to re-evaluate their personal and professional goals. Sustainability and environmental conservation are increasingly driving decision-making. Read the rest of this entry »

LG Mobile Wants You to Design the Future

20 April 09

lg-designthefuture-logoMore and more companies are tapping the ‘wisdom of crowds’ to develop new products. The latest company to capitalize on this trend is LG Electronics.

LG Mobile Phones is challenging consumers to design the next LG mobile phone. The company is partnering with crowdSPRING (an online marketplace for creative services) and Autodesk (a leader in 2D and 3D design and engineering software) to define the future of personal mobile communication. The competition starts today, April 20th, and runs until June 7, 2009.

Visit www.crowdspring.com/LG to learn more and submit your designs.

Target-ting Barneys

2 May 08

futurethink target barneys rogan

To further up its Eco-cred, Target commissioned a 60-piece clothing line from designer Rogan Gregory. Mr. Gregory (who is behind the labels Rogan, Loomstate, Edun, A Litl Betr, and Rogan Objects) is known for using organic, sustainably produced materials in his collections, and most of his labels appear at high-end retailers such as Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, and Barneys New York.

Gregory’s collection for Target is part of Target’s Go International program, which features a line of moderately priced clothing from cutting-edge designers. Each collection in the Go International program appears in stores for about six weeks at a time. From Target:

All cotton used in the Rogan for Target collection is 100% certified organic, highlighting Rogan’s design sensibility of unique construction and a devotion to environmentally sensitive materials. The exclusive women’s fashion collection will launch on Target.com/go and at most Target stores nationwide on May 18, 2008, and will be available through June 28. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

30 April 08

AHRQ Homepage

I don’t say this often and usually look at things with a healthy dose of skepticism. However, this is a such a wonderful idea. It’s called the “HealthCare Innovations Exchange” – a government website that offers visitors a compendium of tried and tested innovations across the healthcare sector. Think of them as case studies in innovation written by the innovators themselves.AHRQ Logo

Complete with a keyword search, and categorized into section like “Stage of Care”, “Setting of Care”, and “Organizational Process”, it’s an easy-to-use site that is filled with real life examples of innovations that have worked.

We’ve always been trained to think that innovation has to be something completely new, but this endeavor is a great reminder that a “fast-follower” strategy can work just as well. So, why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from others? Perhaps this is the beginning of many industry and trade associations to take a leadership role in shaping and mainstreaming how innovation can spread within their sectors. Think about powerful a similar “innovation exchange” can work especially in those industries that are ripe for innovation – airlines, insurance, financial services and more.

Of course, this would mean that contributors have an agenda to push forward a common good, but perhaps associations can play the netural, unbiased role in showcasing innovations that can take an entire industry forward.

Collaboration: The $588 Billion Problem?

8 January 08

Information OverloadCIO Insight recently published an article outlining key findings from a Basex study entitled “Information Overload: We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us.” (You can purchase the study HERE for $199) We won’t get into all the details, but the report basically says that information overload and hyper-communication (blogs, wikis, email, instant messaging) eat up 28% of a knowledge worker’s work day, resulting in 28 billion hours of lost productivity a year, costing the economy a whopping $588 billion assuming a salary of $21 per hour. That’s a scary figure. But – before you go and shut down all the collobaration/communication mechanisms at work in your organization, think of the flip side of the story. Think about why these systems exist in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »