Thoughts from Maureen


Why it can be hard to do things differently


In Chapter 9 of Coaching for Innovation we encourage you to try doing things differently. Doing simple, everyday tasks in a different way or varying your normal routine is an excellent way to train the brain to be more creative as it  builds new neurological connections and pathways.   I just came across this really interesting and well-produced video which demonstrates why it can sometimes be so difficult to challenge ourselves in this way. Take a look – and perhaps like the man in the video who unlearns how to ride a bike in order to ride it differently, you will see that perseverance is sometimes...

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Foster a culture of innovation


We like to be creative about how we communicate with you  – take a few moments to watch our slide show with some food for thought about how you can foster a culture of innovation. If you behave like an innovator, you WILL become a catalyst for bigger thinking in yourself and others.   https://www.coachingforinnovation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Coaching-for-Innovation-SD-480p.m4v You will also find this slideshow on YouTube If you want to find out how good your current innovator behaviors are, then Check your Innovator Behaviors with our quick and easy test....

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Food for thought


A casual Sunday morning read of Vanity Fair has lead me to discover that a new book “The Innovators” has just been published by Walter Isaacson, who previously wrote a biography of Steve Jobs. Reading the early reviews, it could well be that this book will become an indispensable guide to the digital revolution and the dawn of the age of computing. The article in Vanity Fair makes some great points that support very nicely all of the conclusions that Cristina and I came to when writing “Coaching for Innovation”: Innovative thinkers cross thinking boundaries. Isaacson says that it is where disciplines such as art and science cross over that the imagination is stimulated. Creativity is a collaborative process – innovation is more like a team sport than a lonely marathon. There is nothing better for the creative  process than people actually coming together in person in a space that promotes real conversation and idea sharing. Ideas have to be followed up and executed – Isaacson says that “vision without execution is hallucination.” For those of you interested in finding out more about how to make innovation happen, it should be an interesting read. It’s also just been added to my list of books to buy!...

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TEDx at CERN: innovation in action


There was a superb TEDx event this week at CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva. Attendance was free – thanks to excellent support from Rolex. The topic was “Forward : charting the future with science” and the big questions being asked were around “What are the big ideas in science that will help us address tomorrow’s major global challenges?”. Now, I am not a scientist but I do enjoy learning. There was a lot of that – mostly delivered in an interesting and easy to understand way. There was inspiration from young entrepreneurs who are making contributions to global health, saving the rainforest and finding new ways to deal with the looming problem of providing enough energy to power our needs; I was asked to consider how genetically modified crops will play a major role in feeding a planet with 10 billion people and to ponder the secrets of the universe; there was innovative music and story-telling with tap-dancing; and I am starting grasp just a little bit the implications of  nanotechnology and the exciting innovations that are in the pipeline. It was also wonderful to hear that many of themes we address in “Coaching for Innovation” are not just abstract ideas but real drivers for making a difference – doing things differently (Chapter 9), thinking big (Chapter 8) asking powerful questions (Chapter 4) and perhaps just simply having the right attitude and being determined to make innovation happen (Innovator Behaviours discussed in Chapter 1). Videos from this event are not yet available but when they are, I will post a link so that you can enjoy them for yourselves. Meantime, check out some great animated films at TEDEd, some of which shown at the Tedx at CERN- if you though science was beyond you, then think again! LATEST NEWS: videos now available           ...

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Metaphorically speaking…


“When is a metaphor more than a metaphor?” Perhaps you can help us to decide when you have finished reading this post. The reason this question is there in the first place  is because one of our Coaching for Innovation Test Pilots, who has a strong professional interest in the sustainable use of our global resources, recently visited this website for the first time and took a closer look at the images we use.  Whilst she appreciated the content of the site, her attention was drawn to the use of incandescent light bulbs, clearly visible not just on the book cover but also used in the background imagery of the website (the field of light bulbs with the dragonfly). Now as we all know, incandescent light bulbs are technologically outdated, having been superseded by new innovations. They are gradually being phased out and replaced with more energy-efficient types; halogen bulbs, which are 30% more energy-efficient, and the CFL long-life bulbs, which are 80% more energy-efficient. So here we have a dilemma. Both the publishers and the authors were driven by the imagery of the designs, looking for something attractive with eye-appeal as well as capitalising on what the light bulb represents in the context of innovation. For some, the type of light bulb used in the imagery can be interpreted as sending out a very wrong and indeed environmentally unfriendly message, especially when the word “innovation” is floating around. Changes at this current time to the book cover will certainly not be possible but if and when we reach paperback or reprint (fingers crossed), we will be very happy to raise the matter with Palgrave Macmillan and look for a solution. However, now that we are aware of the issue, we wanted to bring it to the attention of our readers as well so that you will appreciate that we have not been driven by a need to ignore the innovations around lighting but have – without thinking in depth – allowed ourselves to be inspired just by the metaphors. The feedback from our Test Pilot demonstrates that no matter how well you think you have thought things through, there are always new and different perspectives that we can learn from. What do you think? By the way, if you would like more information about energy-efficient lighting then try this link .  If you haven’t already switched, then it is definitely time to do so! And speaking of energy and innovation, one of the greatest books our energy-conscious Test Pilot has ever read on the subject is “My Inventions”  by Nikola Tesla. She says it is an inspirational read...

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Why is a box of books like a new baby?


When we received  our authors’ copies of Coaching for Innovation earlier this week , shortly after publication on 2nd May, 2104, it was an occasion for celebration. After two years of hard but enjoyable work, our “baby” had finally arrived. All we could think of was the achievement. We savoured the moment and we are now looking forward to bringing up the baby with your support and encouragement. We are grateful to all those who have helped us so far in making this birth...

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