Edison and Innovation Blog

Learning Innovation from Thomas A. Edison
April 24, 2013

The Solution to the Problem that we did not Know Existed

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative - Tags:

The Post–it note is a wonderful innovation. It began as a little idea that spread and eventually became a big idea. I recently saw an article with a video that explained how this innovation was developed and become a sensation. Several points jumped out to me as I reviewed this innovation.

1. The Marketing Department can get in the way of innovation. (The sales people did not know what to do with Post-its, but the end user did.)

2. Individuals can create great innovations in large organizations.

3. You do not have to have a lawyer to protect your innovation. (In this case they just kept how to make Post-its a secret.)

Take a look at the article here and/or view the video. What insight can you find that will help with your innovation?

April 16, 2013

Three Years of Blogging about Edison and Innovation

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison - Tags: , , ,

Three years ago this week Norwell Consulting began blogging with Thomas Edison and Innovation in mind.  In our first post we stated that, “Our articles will contain practical suggestions that are applicable to what our readers do every day.  We hope you find it useful and interesting.”  From our point of view we have been very successful.  The first week the blog was read by only a few clients and family members.  Now, more people read the blog each day than did in the first month, and each post is read by people from all over the world. 

We thought this week we would look back at some of our favorite posts from the last three years.  If you have not read them before, or even if you have, go take a look.  You will be glad that you did.

Edison and other innovators have a lot to teach us.  Here Time Magazine tells us why.

Why Is Edison Relevant Today?

Steve Jobs may be the closest example we have to a modern day Edison.

Steve Jobs:  Looking Into Your Future

Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison–World Class Innovators

Learning about and becoming more innovative can be fun.  Here is an example.

Getting into the Habit of Innovation

April 9, 2013

Pure Imagination

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative - Tags: , ,

My son was recently in the musical production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at his junior high school. I went to one of the evening performances and was very impressed with the production. After I returned home, I realized that I had not only seen a great production (put on by 11 and 12 year olds), but I had also been introduced to a great innovator, Willy Wonka.

As you may remember, the fictional character Wonka was the greatest choclatier in the world. He was not only creative but had built a large successful company. He embodied two of the great aspects of innovation. He created new products, and he was able to take them to market.

One of the songs in the play is entitled “Pure Imagination”. What a wonderful idea. It was Wonka’s ability to spend time in pure imagination that allowed him to innovate. And the time he spent in his imagination fueled his innovation. The crazier and more outlandish the idea, the more time Wonka spent exploring it. After I found the words to the song, I came up what I believe is part of the definition of pure imagination.

Pure Imagination
1. No limits to the possibilities
2. If you want to see paradise simply look around.
3. If you want to change the world, there is nothing to it. Do it!

I have included two versions of the song for you to look at. The first is from the original movie musical. The second is a more modern version with words to follow as you listen. After viewing these, take some time and tap into your underused resource of Pure Imagination.

And if you like your Pure Immagination with a Rock Edge Click here.

This blog was originally posted January 31, 2012

April 2, 2013

Is your Smartphone stopping your innovation?

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative - Tags: ,

The Smartphone is a remarkable tool.  It is a communication device that allows you to make calls, send texts or emails and instantly connect you with people around the world.  Also, much of the world’s knowledge is in the palm of your hand.  But, is this device helping you be more innovative or is it a hindrance to innovation?

Recently, I was in a meeting when an issue came up that a few years ago would have been a difficult question.  The discussion would have been tabled until someone completed the research.  But in this meeting, someone did a quick search on a phone, the question was answered, and the discussion continued.  This rapid access to information can be critical to innovation.

However, our phones and and being plugged into them can become a big distraction.  For example, how many of us are compulsive about checking our phones.  If there is a quiet moment, do we reach down, grab our phone, and check to see if someone has been trying to reach us or if there is a new post we might have missed?  As I work with companies and individuals, there is a very common problem among the people we meet.  Frequently, a person who is trying become more innovative, is struggling with finding the time to be creative.   The conclusion they often reach is that they need to be unplugged more.  Either at home or in the office, they struggle to remove the distractions that would allow them to carve out more quiet time.  They are sure that if they could do this it would help them be more creative.

So, while your phone is a great tool, examine how you use it.  Does it distract you from being creative and innovative?  If it does, turn it off for a while and leave it in another room.  This quiet time alone might be just what you need to create and complete your innovation.  We can consider our phone an important tool without letting it control our priorities.