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Archive for October, 2011

Want to Spark Innovative Thinking? Check Out “Exploiting Chaos” – A Free e-Book on Innovation

Posted by Plish on October 24, 2011

I’ve always been a fan of Trendhunter.com and contribute on occasion when I’m able.  Last week, Trendhunter Founder, Jeremy Gutsche, released his book, “Exploiting Chaos – 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change,” as a video enhanced, e-book.  I read the paperback version as it was coming off the presses and was pleased with this little gem.  While it is an easy read, there’s much in this book to ponder and be inspired by.  Now, with the release of this video enhanced e-book version, you can watch and listen to Jeremy explaining and elaborating upon the topics contained in the pages of the book.  His perspectives add color and further depth to the text without being redundant.

If you haven’t bought the print version, or even if you have, hop on over to Trendhunter.com and check out Exploiting Chaos.  It’s a welcome addition to the library of anyone interested in innovation.

And, best of all?

It’s free.

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Posted in Books, creativity, Creativity Videos, Design, innovation, Innovation Tools, Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

8 Tips on Creating Innovative and Engaging Products/Services

Posted by Plish on October 17, 2011

Was reading this article over at Writer’s Digest about how to start a chapter in an engaging manner.  The similarities between writing a story and designing an engaging product or service were striking.  (Note: When using the word ‘product’ this also includes services) Here are 8 tips for creating products that are innovative and engaging which is always a winning combination.

1. GET STRAIGHT TO THE ACTION. Your product should enable someone to initiate use and interaction with very little to-do.

2. HOOK WITH SURPRISING (INTER)ACTIONS. Make something memorable.  We often equate surprise with volume.  Beauty, intuitiveness, simplicity are often just as, if not more, surprising.

3. BE SURE THAT PRODUCT INTERACTION IS TRUE TO THE PRODUCT’S CHARACTER.

4. ACT FIRST, THINK LATER. A product should be intuitive, one shouldn’t have to think about it.  If a task requires deep thinking, see #5.

5. COMMUNICATE NECESSARY INFORMATION BEFORE INTERACTION KICKS IN. Sometimes instructions need to be provided.  That’s okay.  But, make sure that the instructions are not viewed as optional.  Instructions/directions should invite interaction and understanding.

6. REVEAL THE CHARACTER AND INTENTIONS OF A PRODUCT OFFERING IN WAYS THAT CANNOT BE SHOWN THROUGH INTERACTION.

7. FULLY ENGAGE WITH SPECIFIC VISUAL DETAILS. Emphasis on “FULLY,” but it’s about more than the product visuals. It extends to the packaging and the sales and use environments (to the extent these can be controlled.)

8. REFLECT THE CHARACTER OF THE PRODUCT AND INTENDED FEELINGS THROUGH PACKAGING. Is the packaging consistent with the experience?  How about how it’s presented?  What is the environment that the product will be sold in?  Is it consistent with the overall intended experience?

What would you add?

Posted in Customer Focus, Design, Emotions, Ergonomics, Experience, innovation, The Senses | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Stressed Out at Work? This Might Help You Know Your Limits

Posted by Plish on October 9, 2011

To keep creative productivity at its optimum, it’s important to be able to detect when we’re overstressed so we can decompress and allow the creativity to flow.  However, sometimes people get so caught up in trying to be productive that the ability to detect stress gets dulled.  Here’s an interesting technology that can help people detect when they’re pushing themselves (or being pushed) too hard.

Posted in creativity, Health Concerns, innovation, Medical Devices, Research, The Human Person, Wellness | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

An Innovative Model for Fundraising and Fomenting Change

Posted by Plish on October 5, 2011

This week I’m sharing a guest blog post (with a video showing some of their work) from Jimmy Lee, a co-founder of CreatePossible*.   He’s an inspiring dynamo of a person whose words, vision and innovative perspectives will surely inspire you.  So, without any further ado…

***

It has been almost four years since I left the White House in Washington DC and three years since I decided to run for the United States Congress in the State of Illinois. Since that time I decided I would come alongside strategic leaders in communities around the world to help them fulfill their vision of making a difference in communities they are a part of.

Two years ago my brother and I came together to start a company called CREATE POSSIBLE  to do just that . Together we were able to help numerous organizations/leaders raise $22 million dollars last year through three core values we believe in: relationship building, sustainability, and also partnerships.

As I’m learning from those around me (who are doing this so much better than myself) I thought I would find a way to share those lessons with you.

Each of you have been someone I have worked with in the past and I know your heart is to help the organization you are a part of to be strategic and innovative.

First lesson: What are some questions your organization should be asking in relation to your donors/investors?

1.) How is a donor/investor/corporation growing and reaching their own “personal” goals through their partnership with you?

2.) Is your organization measuring success by the number of givers/investor you attain or by funding amounts? What should success for the work you are doing be measured by?

3.) Do you only communicate with your givers/investors when you need money or when you are fundraising? How else can you be caring for them, communicating with them, and building a relationship with them?

4.) Do you still value your friendship and relationship with potential givers/investors even if they decide not to give to me? Is your relationship with these people based primarily on that?

5.) Do you have opportunities for givers/investors to donate outside of financial means – what does it look like for them to donate their time, their skills, their relationships, their network, etc…

6.) If you wanted a giver/investor to be an advocate for you to their network and their friends- would they be able to do that? What does it mean for someone to be an advocate of the work you are doing? Are we providing opportunities for that and coming alongside so they are successful in being able to share with their friends?

7.) Are you learning to be innovative as an organization in the different areas of development – or are you just copying from other models because it works and you assume it will work for us as well too?

8.) Are you too broad in what you are doing – do you need to be more specific and focused as you are looking to be more strategic in utilizing your resources?

9.) Are you learning to take steps one at a time – valuing the journey you are taking with your giver/investors and helping everyone in your network learn and learn through your partnership together?

10.) And finally, do you have too much staff and not stewarding your resources wisely? Are you raising money for the sake of raising money and quite honestly need to be cutting instead of adding?

What do we believe:

Old Model of Fundraising/Development

Organization —— Network —— Fundraising

In the old model of fundraising an organization accesses their network for the purpose of fundraising.

Success is defined by the number of donors attained and the amount of money that is raised.

New Model of Fundraising/Development

Organization —— Network —— Advocates —— Investor

We believe there is a more strategic model where success is defined by mutually beneficial relationships, partnership, and accountability. Here an organization accesses their network so they can become advocates of the organization and eventually investors to the organization. We look for opportunities where the network is valued for more than just their financial resources but valued for their own personal network, their skills, time, etc….The goal of the model is to create investors who are accountable and deeply involved in helping the organization fulfill the vision it was created for.

 

*- The CreatePossible site is glitchy in IE v9, but runs beautifully in Chrome.

Posted in Entrepreneurship 2.0, Funding Innovation, innovation, Social Innovation, Social Networking, Social Responsibility, Society, Start-Ups, Sustainability | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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