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Creating Tomorrow, Geopolitics and Innovation

by Langdon on August 12, 2015

lean innovation toyota assembly line

A couple of quite interesting books to consider for your next visit to the beach …

The Accidental Superpower, by Peter Zeihan

Zeihan is a geopolitical consultant and strategist who brings a considerable depth of research and insight to key questions about the uncertainties of the future we face in the coming ten to twenty years.  Drawing on what appears to be a limitless foundation of research into dozens of important topics, Zeihan offers his views on the future of the economy, society, politics, and international relations.  He offers a compelling look at the key factors that have served to shape today’s world, and some fascinating extrapolations of current trends into the coming years, reaching some conclusions that are surprising, but also well-explained and certainly must be considered reasonable.  If you are interested in an expert’s views on the strategic horizon, this book will serve you well.

Making Innovations Happen, by Ravi Arora of Tata Group.

Arora provides a fine overview of many innovation tools and concepts, and his approach is to weave an exploration of methods into a story that describes two protagonists on the journey to define an innovation system for their company.  The fiction format allows Ravi to address the unknowns and ambiguities that are inherent in the search for innovation, and in the search for the right innovation processes and tools.  At the same time, he provides a quite thorough review of many of the best approaches and recent discoveries in innovation management, so if you’d like to explore a broad review of current thinking, this book may be quite helpful.



Helping UNICEF Create a Polio Free World

by Langdon on July 18, 2015


Innovation is critical not only for the success of a business, but also in addressing broader social needs.

For the last few years, InnovationLabs has been working with UNICEF to support their compelling efforts to rid the world of the polio virus. Through a project called GPEI, or Global Polio Eradication Initiative, UNICEF has been working to vaccinate all of the world’s children, and nearly every country is now polio free. The last remaining reservoirs of the disease are located in some of the world’s strife-torn regions, but even there, such as in remote Pakistan and Afghanistan, government health workers, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF staff go from house to house to provide essential knowledge and vaccines.

While the vaccines are welcomed by the vast majority of families, there remains opposition to vaccination, and there have been assaults and even killings of polio workers. In the face of these dangers, still the workers persist. When we asked why, one health worker told us, “The children depend on us, and we will not let them down.”

InnovationLabs’ role has focused on facilitating multi-stakeholder groups to develop specific implementation plans, helping leaders from a wide variety of public, private, and non-profit organizations identify their shared objectives, and find creative ways to meet them.  We have also conducted extensive ethnographic research in Pakistan to help assess the training and support that polio workers receive, and as a result we’ve helped to create new trainings and training materials that are now being used very widely.

We’re also supporting UNICEF at the national and global levels by developing software and tools that help to coordinate the response when new outbreaks emerge.

We feel that it’s a privilege for us to be able to support this important work, and we are confident that despite the challenges and obstacles they face, these dedicated workers will soon succeed in their quest to rid the world of polio.  When that happens, humanity will have removed both smallpox and polio from the list of health threats we face, and this sets a strong and important precedent as we move towards a world in which every child and adult receives the vaccines, nutrition, and education needed to live a fulfilling life.

Photo: Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
During a vaccination campaign, workers go from house to house even in camps and migrant communities and strive to reach every child.



Two New Books: The Innovation Formula and Soulful Branding

June 13, 2015

InnovationLabs and our partner firm FutureLab have two new books available for you, and we hope that you find them useful and interesting. The first, The Innovation Formula, is available as a free download from our web site  (you may also see the link on the upper right side of this page); the second, Soulful […]

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A Classic Dilemma: Go to the Moon, or Go to the Grocery Store?

February 5, 2015

Here’s an innovation story that follows a very familiar plot line, but the plot is so important that it provides an important reminder. In an interview with a company’s new CEO, a reporter tells us, the company has … “combined breathtaking engineering to create a whole bunch of amazing prototypes.  But they rarely make it […]

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Innova-Con Innovation Conference

January 25, 2015

You’ve undoubtedly noticed that the world is changing, and quickly.  We took this photo in an airport a few years ago, and now here it is 2015 and lo and behold, they were pretty close to right on.  Perhaps this may stimulate you to ask yourself if you’re now prepared for 2020?  Of course this […]

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Innovation Training Around the World … and in Thailand

January 11, 2015

Suppose that you are a leader in your organization, and that you would like to unleash the creative potential of all the people throughout the organization.  Is that not one of your goals?  Almost certainly it is.  One of the most impactful actions that organizational leaders can take to do so is to examine the […]

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