Innovation Mindset

3rd Dec 2013

Sometime ago I got a call from a guy, I’ll call him Will, who was struggling with an innovation project. Will worked for a large pharmaceutical company. His major focus was on marketing, he was a relative newcomer to innovation.

I met up with Will and he explained that the project had got off to a good start but now they were having trouble getting the project through the next stage. There was a ‘gate meeting’ already scheduled, but there was just far too much to be done by then...

5th Sep 2013

At Anatellô we use the word ‘mindstate’ to describe the wide range of personality traits, processes and emotional states that influence our performance. If you cannot access the resourceful ‘mindstates’ of innovation then you are unlikely to realize the full creative and revenue potential, of your ideas and insights.

9th May 2013


Picture a baby reaching out to the colourful mobile bobbing above its crib. Or a six-month old crawling around the living room, picking up toys, the waste paper basket or the family cat; feeling them, shaking them, sucking them.

Or recall the pre-schooler who tests her parents’ patience by asking “why?” more than a hundred times a day.

Curiosity is a drive to explore your environment. In children, it’s a powerful urge, but research has shown that that urge to explore diminishes over time.

Curiosity is an important mindstate for innovation. So the less curiosity we have, the harder it will be to innovate.

15th Feb 2013

At Anatellô, we sometimes think of being ready to innovate as being ‘innovation fit’. It's a metaphor that seems to work well. 

As is often the case with metaphor, it can reveal much about the attitudes, beliefs and values underlying a topic.

12th Nov 2012

We need more creative ideas! Yes that sometimes how it seems. New ideas for new products or process improvements or cost savings.

Think again. Do you need more creative ideas or do you need to hear the ones you’re given?

3rd Feb 2012

As Kodak files for Chapter 11 Protection so that it can avoid bankruptcy while it restructures, the accusations fly.

“Too slow to change!”

Of course they were.  Kodak is a company, companies are made up of people… and most people don’t like change – especially far-reaching change.

15th May 2011

What are the important personal qualities and character traits that an innovation manager should have?

The list is potentially a long one - future orientation, interest in novelty, leadership, resilience and so on. However, if I were pushed to determine the single most important quality, I would say open-mindedness.

18th Mar 2011

Many markets appear saturated these days. Analysis may reveal that established players dominate and that the required marketing spend to compete presents a high barrier to entry. It’s enough to put off many potential entrants.

But look again and you may be able to see such markets with ‘fresh eyes’. You might be able to spot the traditional business model, predictable marketing strategy and well worn distribution strategy...and find scope to innovate.

12th Nov 2010

This year’s winners of the Nobel Prize for Physics made their breakthrough discovery of super thin flakes of carbon while ‘mucking about’ in their lab. This continues a long list of discoveries, insights and inventions from over the years that have been attributed to ‘organisational slack’, or employees having the time and space to pursue their own areas of interest creatively. Have you got enough ‘slack’ in your organisation to innovate? Or is it something else that’s stopping you from innovating?

13th Sep 2010

Most of us at some stage have been encouraged to ‘reframe’ failure as learning or feedback. But to what extent do individuals, teams and organisations actually do this?

Now, new research from the University of Colorado Denver Business School confirms that we can grow our ability to innovate through learning from our failures.