Edison and Innovation Blog

Learning Innovation from Thomas A. Edison
January 28, 2015

Busy versus Innovation

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

Almost everyone you meet says they are busy. Have you ever been in a meeting and heard someone say, “I am not very busy. I could take another assignment.” If you have, they probably only said it once. In today’s world being busy has become a way of life, a badge of honor, and unfortunately, a roadblock to innovation.

Being busy and getting things done can give you a rush as you complete your tasks and quickly move to the next one. There are two things that you must make time for to succeed at innovation. You may not feel busy while doing them, but they may be the best use of your time in your quest for innovation.

1. Take time to create. When we work with people, we help them evaluate what they lack to become more innovative. Taking time to be creative is one of the most important things they are missing. We suggest that you take time to become involved in creative activities and take time to be creative with your innovation.

2. Take time to fail. Edison and other great innovators had more failures than successes. What made the difference was they knew that the road to success is paved with the bricks of failure. Make sure to take the time to make mistakes. Learn from them and keep moving forward.

So, fight the need to be busy and find the time to be what is really important. It may be just what you need to find success with your innovation.

This blog was originally posted January 10, 2014.

January 21, 2015

Three Titans of Innovation

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative, Henry Ford, Innovation Quotes, Thomas Edison - Tags: , , ,

Have you ever wondered what advice Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone would give to people today that want to be innovative and make a difference? Today, we are going to watch and listen to their advice to us. Are you willing to do what they suggest? It might make all the difference in your innovation.


January 15, 2015

A Little Innovation Every Day

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

Innovation is like taking a BathRecently I came across a quote that applies to some of the problems organizations have with trying to stay innovative. Zig Ziglar stated that, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” In working with companies that are trying to be more innovative, we see the same problem. There will be a big push to be innovative, but as time goes on people go back to their old ways, practices and habits.

It is not that individuals and groups don’t want to be innovative, but we are all really busy with the daily grind. There is work to be done, deadlines to be met and, while innovation will help us reach our long term goals, it can get in the way of what we feel is needed today.

This is one of the reasons we started blogging about innovation. We don’t just want to give people a shot in the arm about innovation, we want to help people make innovation part of their culture.  People need to be continually reminded about what they have learned and focus on applying it.  There are a number of things we can do regularly that can help us become more innovative. Here are three to think about and apply:

  1. Regularly spend time being creative. If not every day, then often. This is one you can work on individually. Disconnect from what you have to do and spend time doing what you need to do. Read, paint, play an instrument, sing, create, dream, write, go for a walk–what ever you need to do so you will have a more creative mindset.
  2. Make innovation part of the conversation. A good motivational innovation speech, class or presentation is  just where you get started. Learn the language of innovation and then use it your discussions. Reward those on your team who are creative, even if you don’t use their idea. The next creative idea might be right around the corner and you want to make sure they are willing to share.
  3. Don’t just talk about being innovative, be innovative. This is where is gets harder, but where you can make a difference. The change has to begin with you. Demonstrate what want done by being creative and innovative. Don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk. As you do this, you will be surprised how much this will change your group for the better.

So spend time every day taking a bath in creativity and innovation. This habit may not make you clean, but it will help you be refreshed and with a little luck find the innovation success you are looking for.

January 8, 2015

The Future of Innovation is Now

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

If you have spent much time on this blog you will remember a number of entries that revolve around 3-D Printing.  This innovation is the trunk of a tree of innovation that is leading to a number of different innovations. Today I want to introduce you to two branches of innovation that come from being able to print solid objects.

First is an article about how education is being changed by 3-D scanning. How your children and grandchildren learn will be greatly enhanced by this innovation (Click Here).

3D EngineSecond is a video about how new jet engines are built with metal parts that are printed. These parts would be very difficult if not impossible to create any other way than printing them (Click Here). This video also has a hidden reference to Thomas Edison.  See if you can find it.

So ask yourself these questions: “Is the solution to my innovation out there in another innovation?” and “Can my innovation be enhanced by looking at it in 3-D?” The future of your innovation may be out there right now, all you have to do is find it.