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Ask The Innovation Guru.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on July 23, 2008

We’re trying something new. I’m buying a Flip camcorder and will video myself (I know this sounds weird) answering questions you throw at me about innovation, design thinking, business model innovation, service innovation, the nano, beehive, the iPhone, innovation economics, companies, consultancies, China, India, London, Berlin, a national innovation policy—anything that is serious. We’ll post the videos on a new page on the Innovation & Design channel built around the Innovation Index starting in mid-August.

I will also be doing interviews with top managers from innovation-driven companies, innovation consultants and academics who do research in creativity, design strategy, innovation economics, etc.

The questions you ask will most often be more important than the answers I give so please start sending them in—right now. The fact is that we live in an era of continuous and constant change and asking the right questions frames the path to finding the right answers. I don’t pretend to know even a fraction of the answers but I do have a talent for recognizing the right questions. So ask away.

Our crack design team led by David Sleight is creating the new Innovation Index page as we speak. The latest iteration has a list of winners & lossers among the 25 global corporations that make up the Innovation Index. It has a News & Highlights section that aggregates stories about the 25 companies and other innovation issues from around the world (maybe in other languages) and links you there. And lots of other links to videos on innovation as well. This may change as we iterate our way toward mid-August.

So ask the Innovation Guru. Ask the tough questions about failure, about ignorance, about fear, about just how hard it is to change cultures. Ask away.

Reader Comments

Dan Lewis

July 24, 2008 1:46 AM

Wow now you're a guru. OK, first question -- how does one become an innovation guru? Please answer with a straight face.

Bernt Stenberg

July 24, 2008 4:36 AM

Here's my question:

Which do you think is more ripe for innovation in architecture and the built environment: going 'green' and sustainable through new forms, technologies, and materials, or creating new ways of connecting with people who need building and urban design (and new ways of getting compensated as a result)? For professionals working in/on the built environment, which do you think is more germane? What about for clients?

Jaewoo Joo

July 24, 2008 7:57 PM

I am more curious about how designers/marketers/innovators collect and analyze customer/consumer data. I believe this is very important practical as well as academic question because everyone says it is important to deeply understand customers/consumers, no one says how to do so.

For instance, when a new transportation is needed, what data market researchers collect and how they analyze them? Who do they meet, what questions do they ask, which responses are more weighted than others, etc.

Lorraine Justice

July 25, 2008 3:30 PM

Bruce, this is a great idea!

Question: I often introduce innovation as apart of the design process, but sometimes design is introduced as a part of the innovation process. Would you discuss your views on this as it is becoming a "turf" question?

Dan Robles

July 28, 2008 6:35 AM

Hi Bruce;

In one study of Innovation Economics, Innovation is defined as the rate of change of knowledge with respect to time. Knowledge is defined as the rate of change of information with respect to time. Information is defined as facts and data.

Surely the three are related. Do you agree?

Michael Poidexter

August 1, 2008 3:45 PM

On the radio this morning, GM stated it was “caught off guard” in regards to the oil prices, also not having a fuel efficient model in its line of automobiles! They make cars, that’s all they do and they didn’t have a backup. The exploding oil economy has been talked about for years.

Why are companies such as GM not innovative? Talking not incremental but about paradigm innovation!
How long are stock holders going to blindly trust overpaid CEO’s?

Tim Leberecht

August 4, 2008 5:02 PM

Hi Bruce,

Do you expect more innovations to take place in hardware or in software? Or, in more provocative terms: With the proliferation of software as the core value of products (see the iPhone), is product design dead? Will the future know “things” at all? Or is the opposite true: Will "cloud computing" and ubiquitous data access etc. lead to a need for more devices?

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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