The Killer Innovations Show with Phil McKinney

The Killer Innovations Show with Phil McKinney

An award-winning podcast that looks at the innovations that are changing our lives and how their innovators used creativity and design to take their raw idea and create game-changing products or services. Phil McKinney, retired CTO of HP and the creator, and host of Killer Innovations has been credited with forming and leading multiple teams that FastCompany and BusinessWeek list as one of the “50 Most Innovative”. His recognition includes Vanity Fair naming him the “The Innovation Guru”, MSNBC and Fox Business calling him "The Gadget Guy" and the San Jose Mercury News dubbing him the "chief seer".

Episodes

September 21, 2021 37 min

When studying different companies and their cultures, you will notice different team structures. The question of which structure is the best may eventually cross your mind. Some companies have large teams, while others operate with small, close-knit groups. I believe there is an optimal innovation team size that leads to killer ideas when it comes to innovation.

Studies on Team Size

The question of the day is this: Does team size g...

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AI has become very popular in the world today. With its transition from a dream to reality, one must wonder what future outcomes will come of it. Is human creativity at the core of AI? Some may wonder whether AI can possess the same creative abilities.

Human Creativity and AI

Learning and experiences lead to innovation and creation. With every new creation comes inspiration from something else. When it comes to AI, there is a diff...

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September 7, 2021 28 min

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Being creative is hard. Suppose a crisis within your organization happens, and you need to come up with ideas on demand. How do you respond? While this situation sounds scary, there are steps you can take to respond successfully.

3 Steps to Brainstorming Ideas on Demand

I use three steps to brainstorm ideas on demand. The first step is to create a problem statement. Define the problem before you st...

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In life, it is essential to be content when it comes to certain things. However, when dealing with innovation, that is far from the case. When an innovator decides they are satisfied with their product or idea, they will be in for an unpleasant surprise. This contentment can be the ultimate enemy of innovation.

Virtue or Enemy of Innovation?

The state of contentment is a state of peace, satisfaction, and acceptance of a situation, ...

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August 24, 2021 32 min

A vital function of an innovation leader is to motivate, support, and point their team to good habits. Doing this should be a daily activity. Modeling leadership habits and exhibiting leadership skills inspires employees to become leaders. With this inspiration, employees will become more efficient and innovative. This effect can be created through a list of questions to ask your employees.

Top Questions to Ask Your Employees

The...

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Let’s say your organization tasks your team to generate a new product or service idea. You gather your team together and get ready to brainstorm, thinking you can’t go wrong. Contrary to common thought, when brainstorming problem statements, things can go wrong. Often, teams will jump into brainstorming sessions, forgetting a vital step of the process. This step is known as the area of focus.

When it comes to assembling your team ...

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August 10, 2021 24 min

Many people spend years of their lives searching for the secrets of success. Most people believe success comes from doing what successful people do. 1986, “In Search of Excellence” came out, which sought to identify shared practices of 10 successful companies and publish them. This book was the first one in its genre. Did these companies become successful out of luck?

Let’s try this strategy by taking fifty firms featured in three ...

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A challenger is someone who ignores old thought patterns, doesn't let others hold them back, and confronts the dominant player. In the story of David and Goliath, David defeated the giant because he approached him differently. As an organization, you need to think differently to challenge a well-accepted market leader. Challengers fight smarter, with focus and a clear purpose. Being a challenger is a mindset as much as anything...

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Innovating in the face of the unexpected can stretch the most decisive innovation leader. COVID taught us that flexibility and adaptability is the name of the game. This is especially true within an organization’s innovation efforts. A new capability is needed to respond to these disruptive shock situations effectively. I call this capability “elastic innovation,” or the ability to innovate in the short-term while still managing in...

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In past episodes, I’ve discussed science fiction stories as tools to predict the future. H.G Wells wrote about atomic bombs and the fallout - thirty years before Nagasaki and Hiroshima. In 1968, John Brunner predicted the European Union, China’s rise to power, and Detroit’s economic downfall.   You can probably take any existing technology and find a book or article that predicted something like it in the past. If you want to spar...

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To me, pivoting is making a significant change in direction. Many people are not aware that some of the products they use today are the result of a pivot. Today we’ll look at seven companies that made meaningful significant changes resulting in ultimate success. 

Achieving Success by Pivoting Your Innovation

PayPal started as a digital “I owe you” platform. Today, it is a major payment transaction platform that gave birth to the “P...

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Let's talk about some non-obvious sources of my innovation inspiration. Recently, we spoke about seeing with fresh eyes and how important that practice is. Fresh eyes need innovation inspiration to guide them towards that next game-changing innovation.

The Power of Unexpected Conversations

The first source of my innovation inspiration is unexpected conversations. I like to talk with interesting people who have different backgr...

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June 29, 2021 30 min

Regret is one of those emotions that can derail your future success. As innovators, regrets can be things like someone else launching an idea you had before you were able to execute it. Today, I am going to share three of my innovation regrets, and how to move past them to continue achieving success.

My First Innovation Regret

During the early days of computer viruses, I was Director of Product Development for ThumbScan. We offere...

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Previously we talked about innovation adoption and the importance of getting across the innovation adoption curve. Let’s shift our conversation to innovation adoption as a competitive advantage. There is a new category of innovation adoption that is on the rise. This category is known as the hyper-adoption of innovation. The category describes the propensity to adopt and adapt to innovation at a speed and skill unmatched. Adopters...

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Once you've developed an excellent breakthrough innovation, the next step is figuring out how to get it adopted. Innovators have created numerous helpful models over the years, but most use the innovation adoption model.

The Innovation Adoption Curve

The innovation adoption model is the framework that lays out the audience, such as the late adopters or early adopters. This framework assumes that you are the innovator trying to ...

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It's hard to believe that I've been in the innovation game as long as I have. I've been creating ideas, inventing, launching services, and teaching others to do the same for many years. While this experience is good, it can sometimes be hurtful. Finding yourself doing the same thing over and over again can be tedious.

We all fall into this type of rut. People often do this with morning routines. The good part is you kno...

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June 1, 2021 30 min

Last week, I wrapped up a workshop I was teaching to innovation leaders on the 7 laws of innovation. At the end of every workshop or session I teach, I conduct an “AMA” or ask me anything time. There seems to be a recurring question I get from leaders who have taken the Innovation Bootcamp and the 7 laws workshop. The question is, “how do I find the time to innovate?”  

Creating time for Innovation as an Organization

Now I will sha...

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May 25, 2021 32 min

What is Groupthink?

In this show, we will discuss how groupthink kills innovation. Groupthink is thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility. The problem with groupthink is that it can create blind spots that are the result of not listening to dissenting opinions. Groupthink tends to end in unintended negative consequences because everyone thinks alike and agrees with ea...

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Like I’ve discussed in a previous show, innovation mentoring and coaching are two different things. Coaching is when working on a project, while mentoring is more long-term and focuses on one person. When directing teams on innovation efforts, the secret to success is a well-thought-out innovation or creative brief.

The Creative or Innovation Brief

I’ve done a lot of coaching and mentoring over the years. In one example, I helped...

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Innovation isn’t just about creating new products or services. While this is critical to an organization, it is also essential to look at other areas such as business model innovation, process innovation, and marketing innovation.

The Framework for New Products

We use the FIRE framework, which we have discussed many times on the show. The primary goal of this framework is to think about innovation with a full 360 view. The framewo...

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