Author Archives: Dennis Stauffer

For Innovators, It’s The Un-Serenity Prayer

As we begin this new year, how personally committed to innovation are you? What are you dissatisfied with enough to muster the courage to change it? Which do you value more, serenity or courage?
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What’s Your New Year’s Vision?

I’ve never been big on New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t find them very motivating and apparently I’m not alone, judging by the number of people who crowd into my health club in January who are gone by April. Resolutions just don’t stick with me. So I’ve been musing about finding an innovative way to practice this tradition. The answer I’ve come up with: Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, why not a New Year’s Vision?
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The Universal Challenge of Entrepreneurs and Innovators

Niccolo Machiavelli wrote, “There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new order of things.” He was talking about politics and government but it applies equally well to any new venture. It is the universal experience of everyone who has ever tried: It’s not going to go exactly like you think it will. You will have to make adjustments. Continue reading

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To Innovate, You Have to Believe

“There are no atheists in fox holes,” the old saw goes. It’s an assertion that no doubt offends atheists, who I assume hold their beliefs with the same conviction as anyone else. I have a similar observation to make about innovation (one that I don’t think will offend anyone): There are no unbelievers among innovators. Continue reading

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Creating an Innovation Mindset – It’s All About the Assumptions

We don’t yet understand the inner workings of our brains well enough to guide the prescribe of innovation processes and techniques. But we do understand what attitudes, assumptions and beliefs are productive and counterproductive. And that may be even more useful. Continue reading

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Who is More Valuable, Inventors or Innovators?

We should honor our inventors and perhaps we don’t do that enough, but having an original idea is just one early step toward successful innovation. We rightly and very pragmatically withhold our thanks and praise until we can see a clear benefit… Continue reading

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Innovation Requires Mass Customization – of Ourselves

We hear a lot these days about mass customization as a consumer trend, about how technology now allows us to mass produce products that are customized to the needs and desires of individual consumers. So, why stop with consumer products? To fuel innovation, we need to be talking about mass customization…of people. Continue reading

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For an Innovator, Is Anything Ever Impossible?

What have you concluded is impossible? Are you sure? How do you know? Maybe it’s just something that hasn’t yet been figured out. (And maybe you’re getting close.) Continue reading

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Innovation Essentials: Knowledge as Answers or Possibilities?

What’s your personal theory of knowledge? Is it something that gives you answers or possibilities? Of course, the short answer is, “Yes.” But if you had to choose, if you had to state a preference, I suspect you could, and for many it would be: answers. Not that most of us have given this a great deal of thought. It’s what’s known as an implicit theory, a largely subconscious belief, but one that nonetheless impacts how we think and behave—and how well we innovate. Continue reading

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Teenagers in Our Midst: Why Are World Class Innovators So Surly?

With the passing of Steve Jobs and with it recent reminders of how not only bright and creative, but arrogant and obnoxious he could be, I got to thinking: Why are great innovators at times so insufferable? Continue reading

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