Explaning Innovation Mindeset From Different Angles

Fundamentals of Innovation Mindset and Behavior

Can We Teach Students to Innovate, Create, and Lead?

15 Things You Need to Know about the Innovative Engineering Concept Database:

- Ikhlaq Sidhu

Starting Anything New :

  • There is a standard model for starting new initiatives: Insight first, then story based on change and team, and then validation/adaptation and ecosystem, and finally operational scale.

  • Work on solving very hard (and large) problems in order to have a monopoly of insight/skills.

  • Business Creation Strategic Framework: (BMoE)

    • Phase 1, learning and discovery of business model at lowest possible cost.

    • Phase 2: Scaling of business with operations and measures.

  • Opportunity Generation Framework: (BMoE)

    • 1) Change + Team leads to opportunity story

    • 2) Transforms: new change intersected with an existing model, market, and geography. (see intersection model)

    • 3) Second order change effects can be validated. (See timing analysis, Greg Gianforte Case, Newton Lecture)

    • 4) Connector models: have one good connector on your team (Bock Case)

    • 5) A tool you need while solving a problem, but can’t find. Make your own tools, e.g. Slack, or Dean Drako Case, Newton Lecture)

    • 6) Watch people who are at the leading edge

  • Execution: Insight, Story, Validation, Ecosystem of Stakeholders, Operational Scaling in this order. Stages are Story, Product, Market, Business Model, Sales Process, Operations (BMoE)

  • The best business is a mailbox that receives checks, add only what you need, Burgstone.

  • Success in a venture will depend on two types of progress: 1) technical and logical progress about the product and 2) social capability required to develop the ecosystem of stakeholders. Technical experts often forget about the second.

  • Imbalance: Force of Will vs Reality: Successful entrepreneurs can balance their attention between execution and observing the environment.

Common Analytical Filters for New Projects

  • Calculating value proposition can be quantitative: Value created = Cost of Next Best Alternative minus Cost to Offer New. Value Captured = Set Price – Cost to Offer. Multiply margin by market size to gauge opportunity size.

  • Market Size: must be large enough for the entrepreneur and/or investor’s objective

  • Team skills must match problem and solution

  • Contextual background, current market conditions, regulation, etc.

  • Deal quality that preserves long term fairness and equity of all stakeholders

  • Fit between team, market, value/product, context, and deal. See Sahlman, HBS

  • Product Competition Maps can be created to show any product is the best. You will require real differentiation.

  • Use primary market research, not secondary. Bottom up financials, not macro financials.

  • Traction is more important than other factors (story, social proof, team, product, PR, market size, and branding) for funding.

Psychological and Behavioral Constructs

for Innovation and Entrepreneurship:

  • In the business model search process, look for facts and truths. It requires self awareness, a focus on effectiveness, and low ego. The smarter you are, the harder this is. (BMoE)

  • Supporting Mindset: Growth vs Fixed capability. (Dweck)

  • Supporting Mindset: Abundance vs Scarcity. “Scarcity” mindset leads to destructive and unnecessary competition, fear, zero-sum negotiation, while “abundance” mindset leads to sharing of profits, recognition and responsibility, win-win negotiation and positive energy. (Covey)

  • Supporting Mindset: Broad thinking vs Narrow Thinking. Narrow is about the event like possibly losing X in a bet, broad thinking is like realizing that the bet will happen many time and statistically you will do better.

  • Supporting Mindset: Entrepreneurs are people who prefer not to live in the safety and security of the castle because the lack of personal freedom and the imposed hierarchy and culture of the castle is too restraining. (Rainforest)

  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation behaviors including broad comfort zones are actually behaviors of people who are continuing to learn throughout their career and journey.

  • Behaviors for insight: Solving Really Hard Problems, Observing the environment.

  • Behaviors for validation: Self-awareness, focus on effectiveness, concept testing at low cost, recruiting, generating trust, diversity, belief of being able to change environment. See others are resources, not competitors.

  • Behaviors for scaling: Measuring and formalizing process. Typically to reduce deviations from a working business model.

  • The original 10 BMoE behaviors: Pay it forward, story telling, trust generation, accretive negotiation, resilience, diversity in networks, effectiveness over perfection, collaboration for resources, belief in changing the world, leading by example.

  • Comfort Zone Measurement is an effective proxy measure of learning ability, entrepreneurship, innovation skills, and growth mindset.

  • Slow and fast thinking (System I & II): Daniel Kahneman (Nobel Laureate Economics, Berkeley Psychology graduate)

    • System I: Most of mental work is effortless system driven by emotion and pattern recognition. System II is logical and interferes only occasionally like the editor of a newspaper.

    • System I has flaws which are hard to self detect: a) thinking narrow instead of broad, b) 2X bias against loss, c) overconfidence illusion.

    • Organizations can use process to overcome the fast thinking flaws, except when a group has a bias.

  • Confidence is based on the coherence of the story that is generated by your system I thinking and the limited data available. If you have more information, and some is incoherent, you will actually have less confidence. (Daniel Kahneman). From this viewpoint, rationalization using honesty creates confidence.

  • Confidence and Effectiveness matches with Horowitz model, “Don’t lie to yourself or others”, and also seek truth honesty. Focus, purpose, fidelity, accuracy, seek truth, and communicate with accuracy. Also described as “Being a realist”: see it as it is, know yourself including past success, know your weakness also, fill gaps, while you push comfort zone boundaries.

  • Power levels through career: 1) by association as in who knows you, 2) by your achievements, 3) by reflection as in your understanding, 4) by purpose, 5) by wisdom. (Hagberg)

  • Basic trust and likeability can be established in 90 seconds. Start by being open and immediately find common ground. Mimic wavelength and communication characteristics.

  • For boards and social proof: People are more likely to take risk in groups with others they consider peers. The group quality will not exceed the current status level (weakest link) of the group.

  • Learning models: Examine past decisions and observation of current state, and its deviation from the desired objective, to form experiment of what you would like to test in the next step. Can be used for strategy, operations, teamwork, or behavior/mindset.

  • Learning Model: Active experiments to concrete experience to reflection of observation to abstract conceptualization and back to active experiments.

Communication Constructs and Psychology:

  • Anything that is spoken will invite pushback from the listener. That is why a psychologist would normally ask, “What happened, and then, how does that make you feel?”

  • In dialog, the other person will never agree that they are inherently “bad”, or if they do you have a bigger problem.

  • The perception of a teacher influences the child’s actual learning outcomes.

  • Perception can be transferred through non direct cues (like listening to a conversation between two other people).

  • Common ground creates starting points for conversations and relationship, particularly where people will contribute their effort after the conversation.

  • To communicate a story successfully, go back and explain the arc by which you came to your proposed concept. This created opportunity for common ground and invites help, instead of pushback.

  • We are wired to argue or run in stress. It takes training to find creative solutions while staying in conversation.

  • It possible and advisable to be 100% honest and 100% respectful at the same time.

  • For leadership, take topics head on, but respectfully.

  • To be understood, you must first listen to the other person. They cannot hear you unless they think they have been heard.

  • Prior to any meetings, 1) be early, 2) rise to gracious, polite, calm, respectful 3) be genuine

  • Presentation Skills:

    • Goal of presentation to to connect with audience and getting to your next step, it is not show slides or talk at them.

    • Enter, use good posture, think royal, pause

    • Think of something positive, then make eye contact with one person at least, others will feel the connection as well.

    • Speak only 1/2 the time.

    • The real communication happens when you stop talking, and questions start.

    • Answer each questions to show you heard the question and have responded.

    • For multi-part questions, parse the set, answer each respectively. It is OK to say which portions you do not have a comment or answer. Responses can include: a) I’ll get back to you on that, b) interesting point, but I’m not sure how it is relevant.

    • There is no need to try to win an argument, you only want to connect with the audience: winning the argument, making them feel bad, or showing you are smarter than them is not creating a good connection. Think about what you really want.

  • Communication with people not like you: Use your power of empathy to build a mental model of the other person. Don’t talk to people in the manner you like to hear things, but speak and use language, metaphors, and patterns that are common to them.

Communication with Customers for Validation:

  • Use alternative futures, instead of “problems”. Michael Baum, “They have to listen to you just in case you might be right”

  • For validation, test the concept, listen 80%, hear the excuse. Then take the excuse away, explain you heard it, and retest the concept.

  • Don’t bias a customer while you try to obtain information, reference Robin Fitzpartick, “Mom Test”, including next items below.

  • False positive information leads to bad decisions and big problems.

  • Bad data includes compliments and fluff (like looks great, keep me in the loop or we often need that..)

  • Avoid fuzzy answers: Instead: “Tell me about the last time this happened?”

  • Avoid fuzzy timing: Instead use: “Why can’t we start right now”

  • Don’t be too formal, pitchy, or show your ego, it makes it harder to get useful information

  • You don’t need: 1. A formal meeting 2. Business cards, 3. An interview script 4. To pay them, 5. An hour or more

  • You do need: What you want to know and To ask about their life.

  • Discussion should be casual, don’t waste any time, just chat.

  • “This is an awesome idea” only exposes your ego, and makes them want to not hurt your feelings.

  • Mentioning your idea exposes your ego.

  • “I don’t think you get it” is like forcing your idea. Convincing is good, forcing your idea is bad.

  • Not “do you think this is good”, instead “do you currently have this problem”?

  • Not “how much would you pay”, instead “how much would that save you”

  • Goals in Customer Development, 1) Is this hypothetical problem a real problem 2) Does this hypothetical solution actually solve the problem”

  • A Product Management Fundamental: Ask customer “if you have $100 to spend between X number of features, how would you divide those $100”

Communication with Investors:

  • Elevator pitch is the 2 min “story” from which you will build the firm and its brand. It is more important than the slide deck. It can be verbal or in email.

  • There are many models: 1) We are like Amazon, but in India. 2) We offer X to Market Y, and unlike Competition, we are able to provide this benefit. 3) Combinations of traction, product, and team.

  • Elevator pitch, 2 min. Captures an investor’s attention, but a great elevator pitch gets a meeting. Venture Hacks.

  • Elevator pitch, Summarizes company on back of business card. Sequoya Capital.

  • Slides: AKA Dirty Dozen Version 1: (most basic)

  • 1-The Problem you are solving

  • 2- The Solution you propose

  • 3- The value proposition for your users and customers

  • 4- The Market size and opportunity

  • 5- A description of actual product—how it works and what it looks like

  • 6- The Sales, Distribution and Revenue Model

  • 7- What’s unique about the technology—often referred to as the unique selling proposition

  • 8- The competitive landscape

  • 9- The team

  • 10- The financial projections, your funding needs and financing strategy

  • 11- Your timeline

  • 12- Your “ask”. The “ask” is an industry term for “what are you asking your audience to do?

  • Slides: Dirty Dozen, Version 2, reproduced directly from David Cowan: (more detailed)

  • 1. The cover slide should offer complete contact info, and a tagline if you’ve got it. One of the benefits of a powerpoint plan is that it forces you to perform the critical exercise of describing the business in very few words.

  • 2. A mission statement is a good idea to present, unless it’s rather obvious from the tagline (as in Education, Guidance, Diamonds and Fine Jewelry). Select a mission statement that is achievable, but not yet achieved. Bad mission statements:”To create the world’s largest software company.” [too broad and unrealistic to practically guide decision-making]”To develop the world’s best technology for defending DNS servers from worm attacks.” [er, you said you’ve already done that, right? Mission accomplished!]A clear mission statement also includes a clear idea of what the startup will NOT do. Here are some nice ones…>”Healthia will operate America’s most widely used comparison shopping portal for consumer driven healthcare, enabling businesses and their employees to choose health plans, ancillary health benefits, and medical services objectively and transparently.”

  • 6. Elaborate on the technology or methodology you have developed to enable your unique approach. If appropriate, mention patent status.

  • 7. Show off early customer or distribution progress: numbers, logos, testimonials.

  • 8. Sales strategy. Show the expected cost of customer acquisition.

  • 9. Competitive landscape. Be sure to anticipate competitive responses (before the VC does), and never deny that you have competitors, no matter how unique you think you are. Really, it’s okay to compete. Even against Microsoft (as Flock will prove).

  • This is also a good slide on which to show market size estimates.

  • 10. Earnings Statement, historical and forecast. For each time period, add headcount and cash balance. It should be clear how you expect the company to perform top line and bottom line three years out, and how much capital will be required now and later. Prepare lots of backup slides to illustrate the assumptions behind these financials.

  • Pitch Deck Examples, see Forbes, Forbes Investor Pitch Deck, and downloads

Leadership Constructs including those related to Psychology and Neuroscience:

  • Leadership depends on the scope of your decisions, your background and experiences.

  • Leadership is not position or power.

  • Over time, each generation of leader has had less power over their reports.

  • Communications from the heart are necessary.

  • Keep micromanagers and insecure managers shielded from mainstream organization. They will drive away talented people because they crave credit that others deserve.

  • Good teams have good relationships, mutual likeability and empathy with each other. Respect each other’s emotions and expect all to contribute equally (See Google’s Aristotle Project, Agrees with Covey, relationships take time.)

  • Communication with people takes time, but if you invest it, then everything goes faster after that.

  • Trust and relationships are built on emotional deposits. Covey.

  • Leaders envision the process and put it in place, but don’t manage it directly. The set the rules of the culture.

  • We Believe the Baggage We Carry from Our Past Experiences. Follow passion instead of past advice given by others. Bennett and Millam. What myths or misguided beliefs are you ready to leave behind?

  • What new beliefs will be your anchors as you prepare for your future?

  • Neuro Effects: Right brain is driver of creativity and emotional power, left brain drives logical direction.

  • Neuro: In career: technical skills provide power (technical, critical thinking, quantitative), leadership provides direction (communication, leadership, initiative, creativity). Use bicycle analogy, Bennett and Millam.

  • Neuro: Exercise: Meditate: What does success feel like. If you can have anything, what would it be? What do you want? Why (what would that bring you), then why, they why… until the answer is the same. Consider: what you will need to acquire (skills, people, support team, etc) and what you must keep and let go (baggage). Bennett and Millam.

  • Emotional control of self and of a group, behaviors for team: An effective leader can control the emotion of the group/organization. Even groups have an emotional state. The leader must have control over their own emotions before they can control the emotion of the others.

  • A leader can use a power model to climb the emotional path for confidence as a leader: Hagberg models: 1) by association, 2) by achievements, 3) by reflection, 4) by purpose, 5) by wisdom to assess strengths, know self, and fix gaps.

  • Traditional power model in corporate setting: Being a respected conduit of information between executive (above), customers (side), peers (side), and employees (below).

  • For innovation, lead from the side, not from above.

  • Innovation Leadership Metrics: Comfort Zone, Broad thinking versus narrow, big head/small head, Say Do Ratio, communication capability and style. Must match in hiring process to the organization’s objective.

  • For hiring, candidates desire some level of impact and some level of security. Depending on the organization’s culture, the candidate will find a balance between these two objectives. The organization will match its culture to the purpose and then attract the intended employee type that is desired.

Psychology, Productivity, and Excellence:

  • Expanding comfort zones: Know yourself (a version that is the base of how you always act) while mimicking/acting out behaviors that are needed or helpful.

  • Overcoming Fear 1: Slowly, pushing comfort zone, but not entering panic zones.

  • Overcoming fear 2: Refocus on the desire vs the fear. Making friends with fear since it helps you avoid problems. But, for fear, there is a corollary desire, ie running out of money vs what you want to do with the money. (Goodstartup)

  • Focus 1: Create time by finding out where you are brilliant. Reduce the activities via delegation or other ways for the things that you are not as good, spend more time where you are the most effective. (Goodstartup)

  • Self Leadership, Decisions: Only worry about or focus on what you can affect. Your circle of influence increases when you create value at your points of influence

  • Self Leadership, Stress Management: Focus on important and present vs distant storms.

Marketing and Sales:

  • Best utilization of marketing dollars is to make current customers very happy. Word of mouth effect and referral effect can be amplified. It is stronger than your own advertisement. See Zappos Case.

  • “Marketing” is to understand the actual problem and then solve it.

  • A two sided funnel includes Marketing, Direct sales, existing customers, and upsell opportunities for increased wallet share.

  • A questionable financial model can be validated by estimating Customer Life Time Value.

  • There is significantly more value to a marketing platform that creates an environment for inbound interest, versus outbound requests.

  • A sales process is a set of events (dance) between both the buyer and seller. The sales process can be learned, cycle time and sales cost can be calculated.

  • Understand the DMU (all influencers and buyers, not just one customer)

  • Emotion drives logic. In advertising, it is more important to create the feeling required. The logic to buy it will come afterwards. See “Art and Copy” a full length documentary that makes this case using examples of association and imagery.

Strategic Constructs:

  • Diversification depends on support core competencies (10X scale and non-ability to copy)

  • Disruption of organization: Consider timing, cognitive inertia, strategic choices, culture of organization, alignment of leadership with employees, change management. Consider external plans which disrupt self, choose defensive measures.

  • Disruption of others: Not helpful in lab. The entire value chain disrupts another. Keep your disruptive organization separated from mainstream forces, but appreciative, and allow them to take risk as well.

  • Choices for strategy: 1st mover, low cost, niche, and investment timed. Landscape allows option for dual advantage with brand and cost.

  • Landscape analysis allows for most strategy choices.

  • Stages of a growing business change from mindshare, market share, to wallet share. (HBS)

  • Earnst & Young Strategy Model: Winning Aspiration->How will you win?-> What capabilities are needed?->What systems are required?

Operational Constructs:

  • Platforms and products are separated by where the fully allocated cost is best shared across all products.

  • Metrics typically include customer happiness, market share (or subscribers), quality, and cost.

  • Shape of the innovation funnel should be short. Technical risk should be outside of funnel.

  • Train schedules create urgency, discipline, avoid follower issues, and allow creativity.

  • Use not only cross-functional teams, but cross-level teams. Execs get information and offer support, lower level people get training and support.

Applied Research:

  • Use inspired research is a refocus from discipline to problem. Use of Pasteur’s Quadrant.

  • Innovation collider: a) very current problems, b) diverse people on demand c) agile research process with 2 month pivots to match industry timelines. Covers technical engineering plus social engineering of ecosystem. Process may include workshop/roundtable, projects, launch events, and in-situ journey analysis.

Public Policy for Economic Development:

  • New firms are typically not the direct product of technology from universities, but instead from a culture and set of laws that allow people to leave their existing firms.

  • Role of Government: 1) allow competition and protect disruptors, 2) keep business friction low (including taxes), 3) educate talent with basic research

  • Direct support by government has not been effective. Research support has been.

  • Organic story development with current business leaders typically includes strategic role of region and game changing infrastructure. Don’t neglect non-high tech.

  • Even Silicon Valley had government funding in the early development.

  • "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." - Peter Drucker.

  • "You have to work at being honest with yourself and others" -Horowitz

  • "Don’t easily accept “no or it can’t be done”" -Marissa Mayer

  • "“Do you have a culture of No?” If so you are just not trying be creative as an organization." -Steve Blank

  • "For change in a firm, start by letting employees know that “where we are” is not a good place to be" -Vineet Nayar

  • "Sometimes the problem is not big enough, sometimes the organization can not support the innovative team." -Mehdi Maghsoodnia

  • "Every New Venture (initiative) is an act of rebellion" -Ken Singer

  • "Everyone is a fake at some level. We only see their best face and best results; they don’t talk about their weaknesses."

  • "You can do anything you want, but you cannot do everything. You must decide" -Gigi Wang

  • "If it’s sounds weird, it’s probably innovative, aka groundbreaking ideas will always be met by friction." -Horowitz

  • "Don’t try to change customer’s behaviors." -Vivian Ming

  • "Since you can be an expert in 7 years, you have 11 chances to be great at things." -Vivian Ming

Quotes for Insight

My Life Rules for Success:

  • Truth and accuracy: Know your self and your environment.

    • External: See the world the way it really is. Adjust for your bias and projection. A past environment may be effecting your perception.

    • Internal: Be genuinely who you are. Know yourself, including weaknesses, then compensate. You can act other parts when necessary

  • Purpose: Have one. Know how you want to contribute to the world.

  • Motivation: Must be intrinsic. .. just because its cool or great. Pay the tax of adversity.

  • Courage: What is “Right” is Right. Rebel if needed. Everything else is noise, you don’t have to care.

  • No slacking: Be the best you can be, best in the world in a narrower sense. Compete only against yourself, to stay happy. Do not to compete against others, or for more things, or aggrandizement.

  • Precision and over-preparation: This has worked for me.

  • Comfort Zone: Keep pushing the boundary of what you can do.

  • More Tips: Create your own destiny. Say Yes. Use intuition. Use and allow humor.

Other Innovation and Education-Related Quotes:

  • When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion. – CP Snow

  • It is almost a miracle that modern teaching methods have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for what this delicate little plant needs more than anything, besides stimulation, is freedom – Albert Einstein

  • “All experts are experts for things that did happen. There are no experts for things that may happen.” – David Ben-Gurion

  • It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. – H. L. Mencken

  • I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. – Pablo Picasso

  • To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle. – George Orwell

  • The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane. – Nikola Tesla

  • Furious activity is no substitute for understanding. – H. H. Williams

  • Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. – Sir Arthur Eddington

  • The important thing is not to stop questioning. – Albert Einstein

  • Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege. – Unknown

  • We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. – Anais Nin

  • Charm is the quality in others that makes us more satisfied with ourselves. – Henri-Frédéric Amiel

  • In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is. – Chuck Reid

  • Bureaucracy is terrified by speed and hates simplicity. – Jack Welch

  • A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices. – William James

  • Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority. – Thomas H. Huxley

  • There art two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. – Franz Kafka

  • In heaven all the interesting people are missing. – Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast. – Oscar Wilde

  • The great tragedy of Science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. – Thomas H. Huxley

  • Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. – Nikola Tesla

  • We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. – John W. Gardner

  • The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. – James Branch Cabell

  • Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. – Plato

  • University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small. – Henry Kissinger

  • Innovation is not the product of logical thought, even though the final product is tied to a logical structure. – Albert Einstein

  • Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone. – Gertrude Stein

  • I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. – Poul Anderson

  • If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut. – Albert Einstein

  • The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we have of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us. – Quentin Crisp

  • A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. – Sir Winston Churchill

  • He who builds a better mousetrap these days runs into material shortages, patent-infringement suits, work stoppages, collusive bidding, discount discrimination–and taxes.” – H. E. Martz

  • The first question I ask myself when something doesn’t seem to be beautiful is why do I think it’s not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason. – John Cage

  • In the matter of physics, the first lessons should contain nothing but what is experimental and interesting to see. A pretty experiment is in itself often more valuable than twenty formulae extracted from our minds. – Albert Einstein

  • We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. – Plato

  • Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. – Peter Drucker

  • We are born charming, fresh and spontaneous and must be civilized before we are fit to participate in society. – Judith Martin

  • If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing. – Anatole France

  • I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him. – Galileo Galilei


Games for Innovative Behaviors:

  • Learn names of each person in a group of approx.. 10. Repeat manes in sequence. Ice breaking and also helps I understanding sales process fundamentals.

  • Name Badge: Draw yourself on a name badge. Use for team formation. Discuss how every detail communicates, ie. Work ethic, desire to participate, sloppy, creativity, …

  • Teamwork: Form and grade assigned is that of the lowest score on team.

  • Drawing Communication

  • Lego Instructions from architect

  • Rejection therapy.

  • Video tape a rejection, acceptance, and/or most that can be asked with an acceptance.

  • Trading game: Get an item from instructor. Each team of 3-4 can trade for more value in as many times as possible in 3-4 hours typically.

  • The Take away game: This planning game only requires 15 coins of any kind. To play, the instructor can create multiple teams of two or have on group play another, with one representative from each team participating in each game until everyone has had a turn. The set up is simple: a coin is tossed to decide who goes first. Each side may remove two coins every time they call the it (heads or tails) correctly. The winner is the person/team removing that removes the last coin. The game can be made more complex by upping the number of coins a team can take when it’s their turn or by allowing coins to be put back. With increased complexity, the activity allows the teams a strategic planning stage. The goal is to have the players realize that simpler versions of the game can easily be planned and controlled by the team/person playing first.

  • Eye Contact: Pair people, have them stare into each other’s eyes for 60 seconds.

  • Classification Game Time Required: 10-15 minutes The classification game can be a quick icebreaker or a more complex activity. For the purposes of this example, we will treat this activity as a quick icebreaker. Before splitting the room into teams of four, explain the concept of “pigeon-holing someone,” which means classifying someone as something or stereotyping someone. It should be made clear that this type of classification is subjective and unhelpfully judgmental. Instruct the participants to introduce themselves to those in their team and quickly discuss some of their likes, dislikes, etc. After the introductions, reveal to the teams that it will be their job to discover how they should classify themselves- as a team- into two or three subgroups by using criteria that contains no negative, prejudicial, or discriminatory judgments. Examples of these subgroups can include night owls and morning people, pineapple pizza lovers and sushi lovers, etc. This activity encourages coworkers to get to know each other better and enables them to collectively consider the nature of all individuals within the team.

  • Picture Pieces Game Time Required: 30 minutes This problem solving activity requires that the leader choose a well known picture or cartoon that is full of detail. The picture needs to be cut into as many equal squares as there are participants in the activity. Each participant should be given a piece of the “puzzle” and instructed to create an exact copy of their piece of the puzzle five times bigger than its original size. They are posed with the problem of not knowing why or how their own work affects the larger picture. The leader can pass out pencils, markers, paper, and rulers in order to make the process simpler and run more smoothly. When all the participants have completed their enlargements, ask them to assemble their pieces into a giant copy of the original picture on a table. This problem solving activity will teach participants how to work in a team and it demonstrates divisionalized ‘departmental’ working, which is the understanding that each person working on their own part contributes to an overall group result.



Innovation Economy Cases:

  • Netflix Case Study, UC Berkeley, Revision Date Summer/2013 2013_Netflix_II-1

  • Google’s Acquisition of Motorola Mobility, UC Berkeley, Revision Date April 2012, link

  • Solyndra Case Study, UC Berkeley, Revision Date January 2012, link


  • Crossing the Chasm (Paperback) by Geoffrey A. Moore, Collins Edition 2006

  • Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen

  • 7 Habbits of Highly Effective People, Covey

  • Four Steps to Epiphany, Steve Blank

  • Lean Startup, Eric Ries

  • Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki

  • Breakthrough Entrepreneurship, Jon Burgstone

  • Wall Street MBA, Advani, McGraw Hill 2006

  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler (Jun 18, 2002)

  • How to Measure Anything, Hubbard.

  • Magic of The Magic of Mindset: Liberating the Leader Within, Ronald Bennett, PhD Elaine Millam, EdD

  • Business Model Generation, Alexandar Ostwerwalder

Articles and Essays:

  • Why be Honest if Honesty Does Not Pay, Bhide

  • The New New Economy, Wired Magazine

  • Driven, Wired Magazine

  • Googlenomics. Wired Magazine

  • Attracting Stakeholders,” Amar Bhide and Howard H. Stevenson, pp. 211 – 222, in the Entrepreneurial Venture

  • “Discovery Driven Planning”, also available in Chapter 28 in the Entrepreneurial Venture

  • “The Challenge of Growth” also available in the Entrepreneurial Venture or at HBS.

  • Storytelling Tips from Salesforce’s Marc Benioff,” BusinessWeek, 11-03-09; Sarvary, M Story-telling-Benioff-Salesforce

  • Harnessing the Science of Persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini

  • The Core Competence of the Corporation by C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel

  • From Competitive Advantage to Corporate Strategy by Michael E. Porter

  • Integrated Marketing Communications, HBS, 9-599-087

  • Market Segmentation, Target Market Selection, and Product Positioning, Sarvary

Interesting articles and resources: