Paul Sloane Innovation Guru

Paul is a professional keynote conference speaker and expert facilitator on innovation and lateral thinking. He helps companies improve idea generation and creative leadership. His workshops transform innovation leadership skills and generate great ideas for business issues. His recent clients include Airbus, Microsoft, Unilever, Nike, Novartis and Swarovski. He has published 30 books on lateral thinking puzzles, innovation, leadership and problem solving (with over 2 million copies sold). He also acts as link presenter at conferences and facilitator at high level meetings such as a corporate advisory board. He has acted as host or MC at Awards Dinners. Previously, he was CEO of Monactive, VP International of MathSoft and UK MD of Ashton-Tate. He recently launched a series of podcast interviews entitled Insights from Successful People.

 

Great Leaders Throw Down Mighty Challenges

In a legendary speech on May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced to a joint session of Congress the remarkable and ambitious goal of sending a man to the moon.

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A Lateral Idea in Retail - Turn the Shop Around

Consider the shopping experience for a housewife in the 1920s. She would go from one small store to another – meat from the butcher’s, bread from the bakery, fish from the fish monger, cans and vegetables from the grocer’s, household items from the hardware store and so on. At each shop she would have to queue behind other customers as the shopkeeper fetched each item the customer wanted from the shelves behind the counter. It was a long and costly experience.

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Don't Program Artificial Intelligence, Let it Self-Play

In 1997 an IBM computer called Deep Blue famously defeated the world chess champion, Russian Gary Kasparov. It was seen as a seminal victory for a machine over the human brain. Deep Blue had been programmed by chess experts who gave it all the tactics and strategies known in chess.

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Should You Base Your Innovation on Technology or Customer Need?

Should you base your new product or service development on your technical expertise, the things that you are good at, or on the needs of your customer, even if those needs are in areas where you have little or no strength?

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The Desire for Certainty and Fit Kills Innovation

In the 1990s a group of developers at Microsoft came up with an innovative device for reading electronic books. At that time no such product existed as a commercial entity. The team was excited at the possibilities for this innovation and they sent the working prototype to Bill Gates. He rapidly rejected the idea. It did not fit in with the Microsoft business strategy and the product did not have the Windows look or feel. Microsoft missed the opportunity.  Amazon went on to develop a huge business based on e-books and the Kindle.

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