Edison and Innovation Blog

Learning Innovation from Thomas A. Edison
April 7, 2017

The Simplicity of Innovation

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Steve Jobs - Tags:

Innovation does not have to be complicated, it just has to improve and be something new. Often innovative ideas that are heading in a good direction get derailed under the weight of complications.

In the video below, Walter Isaacson, author of the book “Steve Jobs”, provides some insights into how Jobs looked for simplicity in his innovations. Steve Jobs wanted to make the user experience as simple as possible. He looked at the interface, how the device felt, and how he could make it easier to use.

Look at your innovation. Is it too complicated? Can you make it simpler in design and easier for the end user? Follow Steve Jobs example and you may find that simplicity is the answer you need for your innovation.

This blog was originally posted July 10, 2013

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September 28, 2016

The Need of Innovation: Are innovators leaders? Part 3

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

Steve Jobs with ipadIn today’s world we face economic, political and social uncertainty and change. It is imperative that individuals, companies, governments and other organizations find new, creative and innovative solutions to new and difficult problems. This is why innovation is such a critical part of leadership. Steve Jobs stated, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” If leaders are not willing to look for innovative solutions, they may simply be left behind.

Not all leadership situations may require innovation, but leaders must at least be able to decide if innovation is necessary. Timing is an important part of leadership. The leader must assess the needs in a given situation and then act at the appropriate moment. There are several needs that must be met by a leader in regards to innovation.

1. The need for the leader who can innovate and foster innovation. Innovators often become leaders out of necessity. To take an innovation to fruition, the creator must often be the one who coordinates and leads the entire innovation process. Also, many leaders can only succeed if they can create an environment where people will create new and better ways for the company to function and produce better products. To succeed they must adopt the statement by Walt Disney, “I believe in being an innovator.”

2. The need for the organization that leads by innovation. Breaking into a new market requires innovation. Companies that can innovate become the market leaders and often can only stay at the top as long as they continue to innovate. Peter Drucker stated that, “Business has only two basic functions – marketing and innovation.” To be successful you must excel at both.

3. The need for the leader who knows when to innovate and when not to innovate. Not every situation requires a new and exciting solution. The leader must be able to recognize when a tried and true approach is appropriate, and when to introduce a new innovative idea or product.

Learning to lead innovation may be as important as the innovation itself. Without recognizing the need for proper leadership many an idea or product has simply died on the road to success. So, as you look to innovate, look to see who is going to lead the process. Finding the proper leader may just be the key to success in your innovation.

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April 1, 2015

Are You Going to Lead Innovation?

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

Innovators are out in front of everyone else. They can’t help it. By looking toward the future, they lead industries, companies, organizations and teams. I have always liked the phrase, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” This is the way it is in innovation, you must lead, follow an innovative leader, or get run over by someone who will.

Here are some thoughts on leadership and innovation. You may find a thought that, if you take it to heart, will help you lead your innovation to success.

I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been. – Sam Walton

Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations. – Peter Drucker

The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious. – Marcus Aurelius

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

Steve JobsInnovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it. – Steve Jobs

 

This blog was originally posted February 26, 2014.

 

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July 24, 2014

The Simplicity of Innovation

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Steve Jobs - Tags:

Innovation does not have to be complicated, it just has to improve and be something new. Often innovative ideas that are heading in a good direction get derailed under the weight of complications.

In the video below, Walter Isaacson, author of the book “Steve Jobs”, provides some insights into how Jobs looked for simplicity in his innovations. Steve Jobs wanted to make the user experience as simple as possible. He looked at the interface, how the device felt, and how he could make it easier to use.

Look at your innovation. Is it too complicated? Can you make it simpler in design and easier for the end user? Follow Steve Jobs example and you may find that simplicity is the answer you need for your innovation.

This blog was originally posted July 10, 2013

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June 6, 2014

You got to love it

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

Steve Jobs knew what it took to be successful at innovation. Over the years, he had major successes and large failures. What kept him going? Why was he successful when others were not? In our study of innovators we have discovered a number of attributes and skills that are always present in innovation. Jobs listed what he believed are the two most important:

1. You have to love it – Passion and Perseverance
2. Be a really good talent scout.

Both of these are key elements to success. Innovation can be hard, discouraging and take a long time. Without the love and the passion for what you are doing, you will not have the ability to keep going when times get really tough.

While many people look to great innovators as if they did the work themselves, innovation is really a team sport. You have to be able to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses and then go find others who can help you be successful.

So, take a look at yourself and ask if you love what you are doing and if you have the right people working around you.  This might be all the difference it takes to find your success in innovation.

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February 26, 2014

Are You Going to Lead Innovation?

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Steve Jobs - Tags: ,

Innovators are out in front of everyone else.  They can’t help it.  By looking toward the future, they lead industries, companies, organizations and teams.  I have always liked the phrase, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”  This is the way it is in innovation, you must lead, follow an innovative leader, or get run over by someone who will.

Here are some thoughts on leadership and innovation.   You may find a thought that, if you take it to heart, will help you lead your innovation to success.

I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been.  – Sam Walton

Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations. – Peter Drucker

The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious. – Marcus Aurelius

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

Steve JobsInnovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it. – Steve Jobs

 

 

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July 10, 2013

The Simplicity of Innovation

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Steve Jobs

Innovation does not have to be complicated, it just has to improve and be something new. Often innovative ideas that are heading in a good direction get derailed under the weight of complications.

In the video below, Walter Isaacson, author of the book “Steve Jobs”, provides some insights into how Jobs looked for simplicity in his innovations.  Steve Jobs wanted to make the user experience as simple as possible. He looked at the interface, how the device felt, and how he could make it easier to use.

Look at your innovation. Is it too complicated?  Can you make it simpler in design and easier for the end user? Follow Steve Jobs example and you may find that simplicity is the answer you need for your innovation.

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June 18, 2013

Innovation, Leadership and your Career

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Innovators, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison - Tags: , ,

In this blog and in our innovation programs we don’t emphasize leadership. But leadership and innovation are tied closely together. Steve Jobs stated that “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” In fact, all successful innovators are leaders. In addition, innovation is a key for a company to be a leader in the marketplace.

That innovation leads to market leadership is easy to see. The iPad is the best current example of how innovation can create a market leader. The iPad was able to get into the tablet market first and everyone else is still trying to catch up.

Innovation creates leaders. For the most part, the study of innovators is the study of leaders. To take your invention to market you will almost always need a team, and teams need leaders. Edison is thought of as an innovator, rather than a leader. But, he led everything from small research teams to multinational corporations.

So as you take time to improve your ability to innovate, look at yourself, your company or your team. Are you prepared to lead innovation? Improving your leadership may be the part of innovation that you are missing and the key to your success.

This blog was originally published March 19, 2012

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May 21, 2013

Innovation and Expectations

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison

Innovators have high expectations.  They expect to succeed and have high expectations of themselves and others.  Their employees and others they work with may find them difficult at times because of these high expectations.  Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs had employees who said they were extrenely demanding , but as innovators they were driven and successful.  This drive for success and demand for perfection made many around them uncomfortable, but you cannot argue with their results.  Both were world class innovators.

Vince Lombardi stated, “Perfection isn’t attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”  This statement exemplifies what successful innovators do.  Though they may never achieve it, they chase perfection.  While they don’t catch perfection, they are involved with creation.  They create something new, exciting and beneficial.

Here are several areas where innovators have high expectations.

1- Innovators expect to have a successful innovation. – They are driven toward and believe that their idea or invention will become a great innovation.  This drive kept them going when they hit obstacles and difficulties.

2- Innovators have high expectations of themselves. – Edison, like most successful innovators, worked non-stop for his innovations.  Such successful innovators would put in the necessary hours, regardless of the time demanded.  They expected to find solutions to problems they encountered.

3- Innovators have high expectations of others. – They led by example and expected others on their team to contribute to the success of the innovation.

 

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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

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