Free Article 1:

Imagineers at Work by Emily Ross in the Current Issue of the BRW, Australian Business Magazine. This issue itself is dedicated to “The Innovation Issue”. The Table of Contents can be accessed here.

Here is an excerpt:

Most successful people schedule regular time to sit back and think big. But getting good ideas requires some creative thinking.
Think differently:
–Drive home by a different route.
–Have “think weeks” or “think days”. Schedule regular holidays.
–Keep inspired.
–Do something active away from your desk.
–Have a shower: according to Sydney psychotherapist Stephen Carroll, “in the shower, your normal everyday consciousness gets sidelined. When you’re in the shower, you’ve stepped out of the everyday, and it allows your unconscious mind to spontaneously bring things up to the surface.” Michael Morgan, of Herrmann International Asia, says that in the shower the brainwaves slow down, which is more conducive to creative thought. Showerheads are unlikely to appear in boardrooms soon.

Free Article 2:

In A Word by Darryl F. Bubner.

Here is an excerpt:

Innovation is too many things to too many people, and the misunderstanding is costing Australia dearly.

Innovation has become fashionable, and when something is in vogue it tends to be appropriated for all manner of marketing and promotion. But astute executives remain wary of the word, and with good reason, because innovation is difficult to control and risky without a system to measure and manage it. This might seem a little odd considering how many advertisements call for innovative managers, but the truth is that innovation frequently is not what the ads mean.

Innovation in products, processes and business systems and concepts means new and different rather than more and better. As a process, innovation involves finding and applying knowledge and ideas to create value; and an innovation can be either incremental or breakthrough in nature.

Innovation as a concept is complex and can apply to anything, anywhere, at any time and on any scale. It does not have clean edges and it overlaps research and development (R&D), creativity and improvement. It can mean quite various things to people in different roles.

For example, few research leaders appreciate the significance of business-design innovation behind the growth of global groups such as McDonald’s, Ikea, Dell and Benetton, and of Australian companies such as Toll Holdings, Flight Centre and Challenger International.

The term is all too easily debased. For example, in the textile, clothing and footwear sector, government funding for equipment upgrades is dressed up as innovation. Yet worldwide, textile companies are buying the same new equipment, so where is the innovation? Returns on such funding are likely to be dismal, although the taxpayer will probably never know.

Maybe the Innovation 2004 Report will come in handy to sort out the “debasing”! What say Joyce?