Wednesday, July 21, 2004


No that's not a typo. Well, really it is, but this one is intentional. Let me explain.

I don't think I'm dyslexic, but my fingers are. I never learned to type properly, and I've developed my own hybrid system of "touch" and one finger "hunt and peck" typing. It's fast, but inaccurate. Thank goodness for spell check. What I often do is reverse letters or get all the letters in the word but scrambled. I type the word strategy quite often and unless I really slow down and concentrate I will invariably type startegy.

The other day I did it again and I was very frustrated with my inability to correct this often made mistake. I sat there looking at the word and it occurred to me. "Am I sending myself a subliminal message?"

I'm a very intuitive person so strategies, scenarios and systems constantly swirl in my head. In Myers-Briggs parlance that's an "N" type. However, there is my opposite, the "S" type (Sensing). Sensing types don't see the big picture; they see the details. They like lists, to-do-lists and the like.

So maybe the message of startegy is to remember to consider the starting point of a strategy. Like any journey of exploration, as a strategy is, the journey has to begin somewhere.

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" Confucius

So the next time you write a strategy, don't forget to also write a startegy. Where do you put your foot for that first step?

Paul Schumann

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Innovation Strategy

“An innovation strategy is only good for a finite amount of time. One of the worst mistakes an organization can make is to assume that because an innovation strategy has been successful it will always be successful. In reality, the environment shifts – customers’ needs change, competition gets smarter, technologies improve and the organization itself evolves – and over time the strategy becomes obsolete.” writes Donna Prestwood and Paul Schumann in an article in the latest edition of The Innovation Road Map Magazine (Vol. 1 No. 2).

The article goes on to trace the innovation history of the automobile industry to make their point. In doing so, they introduce and describe the concept of the innovation profile to characterize the pattern of innovation within and industry or company. They identify the following time periods of innovation in the industry:

1. Experimenters and hobbyists – the earlier days

2. Search and learn – the development of the model T

3. A car for everyone – exploiting the model T

4. From rural utility vehicle to living room on wheels – GM’s response

5. Synthesizing market demands – development of Toyota

6. Life style on wheels

To read the complete article, visit The Innovation Road Map Magazine and request free access to the magazine.

Paul Schumann

Friday, July 9, 2004

Idea Richness

Mark Turrell writes in Deep Dive: Idea Richness, The Innovation Road Map Magazine (Vol. 1 No. 2), about differentiating a good idea from a bad idea within a business. He describes the concept of “idea richness” to help in the decision making process. “Idea richness is the extent to which an idea is described so that it is understandable to others…” he writes. He identifies five considerations for richness:

1. Understandability

2. Completeness

3. Questioning (How much extra work will be required of the evaluators to determine the potential of the idea.)

4. Longevity

5. Intuitive fit

To read the complete article, visit The Innovation Road Map Magazine and request free access to the magazine.

Paul Schumann

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Raising the Spirit

Anne Durrum Robinson, nonagenarian, and creativity consultant, is a joy to those who know her and have seen her work her magic. Anne has fans all over the world, but this article is not just for her fans. Read Mike Bown, Tom Carroll and Paul Schumann’s article "Raising the Spirit: An Interview with Anne Durrum Robinson" in the current edition of The Innovation Road Map Magazine (Vol. 1, No. 2), and you too may become a fan. At the very least you’ll get a chuckle from her stories and have your spirit raised.

Anne’s goal is to raise the spirit of everyone she interacts with regardless of the situation, even those in a hospital with her. And, as a trainer, she is sensitive to the spirit of the group and when to do something to raise it.

Read the article and learn about the four principles of raising the spirit:

1. Your experience, stories, anecdotes and facts

2. Flow

3. Humor

4. Purpose

To read the complete article, visit The Innovation Road Map Magazine and request free access to the magazine.

Paul Schumann