Idea Garage Sale: Inbetweenity Edition 1

Several years ago, I used to publish a series of semi-regular Idea Garage Sale posts where I’d share the miscellaneous stuff I’d collected that didn’t seem to merit a full blog post.

Today, Twitter and Tumblr are my outlet for the interesting links, ideas and random thoughts I find everyday.  However, every once in a while, I’ve got some stuff that fits somewhere in between Twitter’s 140 Characters and a full post on this blog.

Here’s some of that “in-between” stuff:

To Increase Innovation, Take the Sting Out of Failure:

Start by defining a smart failure. Everyone in your organization knows what success is. It’s the things you put on a resume: increased revenues, decreased costs, delivered a product etc. Far fewer know what a smart failure is — i.e. the type of failures that should be congratulated. These are the thoughtful and well planned projects that for some reason didn’t work. Define them so people know the acceptable boundaries within which to fail. If you don’t define them, all failure looks risky and it will kill creativity and innovation.

 How to Generate Good Ideas (Video):

What one book could give you a new, useful superpower?

Big Customers, Who Need ‘Em?

[C]omplexity is like a leak in your roof. It starts small. But over time, it does real damage. And once that damage has begun, it’s hard to stop. Best not to let it in in the first place.

On Valve’s Design Process and Advocating for “Great” Ideas:

Not all ideas are good. These include yours. If you have a “great idea” that everyone thinks is stupid, don’t push it. The others will also have stupid ideas. If you’re pushy about yours, they’ll be pushy about theirs and you’re just going to get into an impasse. If the idea is really good, maybe it’s just in the wrong place. Bring it up later…. Maybe they’ll like it next month.

Tips on Getting “Engaged” to Clients:

Don’t simply pursue what you think you deserve. Earn your projects. Earn your clients, and let them earn your expertise in the engagement period.

Advertising guru David Ogilvy’s tips for writing:

7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.

8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.

9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.

10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.

Placeit is a pretty cool way to make it look like your website is on a mobile device.  Great for presentations.

If you’re tired of all-male panels at conferences, do something:

Have you noticed that a lot of the time it just seems like, gosh, there are a lot of dudes speaking at this conference? Perhaps you’ve been on a panel and you’ve looked around and seen man after man after man. Maybe you’ve thought, it’s too bad the organizers didn’t think to balance this out a bit more and ask some women to speak too.

I love that this has bothered you. And I am happy to tell you about a simple step you can take to help change this: Refuse to speak on all male-panels. Just say no.

Improve collaboration at work by banning lunching alone (.pdf).

Some great Creative Thinking Ideas rounded up from Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business:

If you’re facing creative detractors, how can you create creative baby steps they’ll find more acceptable for getting started?  – Maelle Gavet – CEO, Ozon Holdings (#10)

Apply design and pleasing aesthetic principles to the most necessary, thankless, and joyless tasks humans have to do to raise the creative energy from them.  – Jessica Alba – Cofounder, The Honest Company (#17)

Innovate with only things that already exist in your business. Put together new combinations from pre-existing elements.  – Adam Brotman – Chief Digital Officer, Starbucks (#3)

What would an experience look like that is destined to “disturb the universe”?  – Ross Martin – Executive VP, MTV Scratch (#46)

How can you use your creativity to add more serenity to your customers’ lives?  – Leah Busque – Founder, TaskRabbit (#42)

What happens when machines can do 80% of the things lawyers do (like they can for doctors)?

Over time, doctors will increase their reliance on technology for triage, diagnosis, and decision-making. Eventually, we’ll need fewer doctors, and every patient will receive the best care. Diagnosis and treatment planning will be done by a computer, used in concert with empathetic support from medical personnel selected more for their caring personalities than for their diagnostic abilities. No brilliant diagnostician with bad manners, a la “Dr. House,” will be needed in direct patient contact. Instead, we’ll use “Dr. Algorithm” to provide the diagnosis, while the most humane humans provide the care.

Where will all this innovation come from? Some believe we have to work within the constraints of the medical establishment. I disagree.

Innovation seldom happens from the inside because existing incentives are usually set up to discourage disruption.

Well, that’s all for now.  Look for some more items in the Garage Sale next week.  Thanks for shopping!

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