Actionable Innovation

We address these 9 points and more with insightful activities in our new Actionable Innovation workbook.


Know the barriers


To survive in business you must consistently create original value. This could mean transforming your organization, expanding your selection, or taking a new product to market. In the end, though, these changes need to translate into something your customers care about. There are a lot of variables involved, and it isn’t easy to solve the equation.

That’s especially true when you aspire to disruptive innovation—that out-of-left-field change that shakes up a market. With a blank piece of paper in front of you, where do you begin? Our experience with innovation has taught us there are three specific risks to avoid:

1. Ideas without users

2. Solving non-existent problems

3. Solving problems that don’t matter

Notice a pattern? The key to successful innovation is defining a problem.

It isn’t magic


Hard work is at the heart of innovation—generating as many ideas as possible is essential. Sometimes the process of generating ideas only to chop them down can be painful, but going through that process is crucial if you’re going to find an end point you’ll be happy with. When devising a solution, always be on the lookout for the following pitfalls:

4. Settling for obvious solutions

5. Designing incomplete solutions

6. Beginning too big

Consistently breaking down these barriers separates a ho-hum solution from an extraordinary one.

Work toward continuous improvement

Continuous Improvement

Innovation isn’t all about great ideas. It’s about making things happen. It’s about seeing things through to the end. No matter how good a solution is, it needs to be viable when taken out of the incubator and made to stand on its own. To that end, your innovation process must avoid:

7. Starting too slow

8. Failing to learn

9. Failing to scale

If you move too slow, you may miss your chance to collect crucial feedback. Innovation is a learning process and you must push yourself to constantly improve your ideas based on results. 

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Disruptive Thinking, Visual Results

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