Mindset is the title of a book by Carol S. Dweck, PhD. It describes ways to go about being smart, learning, failure and praise. Not surprising, because mindset is about learning, it has founds its main application in education. However, the framework is also very relevant for innovation.

Why Nations Fail—and Organizations Too

The book Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor? Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson show that man-made political and economic institutions underlie economic success (or the lack of it). To what extent does this also explain the success and failure of organizations?


Imagineering is the design and development arm of the Walt Disney Company. It is the methodology used to create the magic in each Disney theme park and kingdom worldwide. Although few professionals will consider their job entertaining, there are a few lessons to be learned from the Imagineering concept.

Professional Service Firms: Innovate Inside

In 2004, Suzanne Lowe, wrote in bloomberg business week a blog about innovation in professional service firms. In the blog, she outlines why it is important, and how to incentivize innovation. Now, 10 years later, her call seems even more relevant, with opportunities such as social media (LinkedIn), big data and an abundance of information. Can professional service organizations afford to wait another 10 years with innovating?

Great Lessons from Y-Combinator, or Not?

The 2014 start-up school from Y-Combinator covers valuable tips from extremely successful entrepreneurs. Very inspiring to read. At the same time, also perhaps a bit discouraging for professionals who want to innovate. Moving to San Francisco for 3 months is often not an option, and giving up your well paying job, for which you have trained for years, is not an attractive either. To what extent these entrepreneurial lessons apply?

Need a Personal Coach or Personal Data?

Who needs a personal coach? Every top athlete has a coach. However, most world class musicians don’t. While every clinician should, according to Atul Gawande. What can a personal coach teach you, that you cannot learn yourself?

Value-Based Innovation in Health Care

Value-based medical care is a hot topic in the US health system. Determining value is not easy, but whatever the definition, it implies balancing quality and cost. What is the role of innovation in this new paradigm? This blog explores the concept of value-based innovation in the medical domain. This domain is chosen as example, as the issue is most pressing there; too few research ideas make it to medical practice, the development of new drugs and devices is too expensive and time consuming, making health care unaffordable in the future.

Idea Contests

The Food and Drug Administration offers $500,000 for the best breakthrough idea it receives for detecting salmonella on fresh produce. Including coaching for the five finalists. The Washington Post called it “The Voice, but then for science geeks”. Are Idea Contests indeed tapping into the wisdom of crowds, or is this another fad of groupthink?

Is Top Talent Your Scarcest Resource?

Top talent has traditionally been the scarcest resource in the professional service industry. However, top talent seems currently abundantly available. First due to increased mobility, top talent can be recruited from the market as long as you are willing to pay a premium price. Second more professionals are being educated than are needed, leading to an oversupply of for example lawyers and some types of clinical specialists. How is your organization adjusting to this new reality?

“How Google Works”

I would not read it for its management advice, but more as an entertaining and interesting history of Google. My take away from the event and the book is that if you try to copy Google to become a Google, you are totally on the wrong track.

Organizing for Innovation

In this Organizing4Innovation Webinar, Floortje Blindenbach-Driessen, PhD, explains in 30 minutes what it takes to manage innovation in professional service organizations. She points out why organizing for innovation is important, what it entails and how it can be achieved.

Keeping Track

Most organizations face a gap in where they are, and where they want to be. How many change, lean, six-sigma, new service and other improvement programs and projects are currently ongoing in your organization to close this gap? If your answer is many, you likely have a problem.