Edison and Innovation Blog

Learning Innovation from Thomas A. Edison
March 26, 2015

Can a Taco be Innovative?

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

What is innovation? What is creativity? What is just a new idea? In our blog and our other activities we do not define these terms as much as explore them.  But words do have meanings and innovation is used a lot, especially in commercials. It has become a synonym for new and exciting. While innovations are often new and exciting, redoing old things in a new package is not innovation. Sometimes it is not even very creative.

Taco Bell and InnovationRecently, I ran across an article that caused me to think about the word innovation.   It contained an entire section on food innovation. It was titled, Taco Bell to Add Breakfast Biscuits in Bid for Morning Sales. As I first read this, I thought this is not a proper use of the word innovation. But then I reconsidered.  Some of the ideas in the article were very creative and  did result in new products. While they may not be revolutionary, they were creative and possibly innovations. But the real question in this area may not be are they innovative, but rather, “How do they taste?” If they are delicious then they may have success, if they are not they will probably be failures. They do not have to be innovative to be successful.

So as you work toward innovation, be creative, be new and be resourceful. Keep an eye out for new ideas and innovations that inspire you. Who knows you may even find one at lunch.

March 20, 2015

Can Innovation Save the Family Farm?

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

Innovation and the Family FarmOften when we talk about innovation we are looking for something flashy.  This could be the latest gadget like the new Apple watch, or cars that drive themselves. Below are links to a video and an article. They show that innovation can occur in different areas and change for the better the way things have been done for hundreds of years.  Take a look to see if they can inspire innovation in your projects.

The video is about innovating the family farm. With these innovations the small, rural family farm might be able to continue.  Without innovations these farms could become relics of the past.  To view the video Click Here.

We recently blogged about the need for innovation that would make travel easier (See Look For the Little Innovation). Take a look at this New York Time article “Smart Luggage for the Connected Age,” and see how luggage can be smarter and more innovative.

March 10, 2015

Disruptive Innovation

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

Language is important. Knowing how to convey new ideas is critical in innovation. Concepts of how to take an idea and transform it into a product or process must be communicated and understood. Today we are going to talk a little about part of the language of innovation and the term Disruptive Innovation. This is a concept that if you and your team understand you can greatly increase your probability of success.

What is Disruptive Innovation? It is a term that is often used, but often not understood. We know what the individual words mean, but do we understand the concept. The following video explains the basic idea and can get you on your way to your own disruptive innovation.

This Blog was originally posted February 5, 2014

March 5, 2015

Look for the little innovation

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

When we work with people to help them become more innovative, most of the examples we use focus on the large, dynamic innovation. For example, the light bulb, the telephone, the computer, or the airplane are all large innovations that changed the world we live in. While all of these are incredible advances, many smaller inventions make our lives much better.

In the video below a Sr. Vice President at General Electric talks about what she would do to innovate travel. GE works on the big parts of air travel, the engines, but her focus would be in a less dramatic area. Take a look, then think about the possibility that the solution to your innovation may not be in thinking big, but rather in thinking small and simple.