Running a Permanent Campaign for Innovation

I feel very honored to have one of my heroes guest blog today.  Julie Anixter has reinvented herself several times and has the rare gift of strong right and left brain thinking.  To say I admire her is an understatement.  Her recent gig has been taking what is commonly regarded as The go to site for the practice of innovation, Innovation Excellence, to the next level.  May I just say, yes, women Rock! Thank you Julie.  


What I do:

As the executive editor and one of the co-founders (along with Braden Kelley, Zulma Acevedo and Dean DeBiase) and executive editor of Innovation Excellence, I have the privilege and thrill of leading a tribe of really smart committed editors, reporters, researchers, analysts, and social media wizards who are bound together by a common passion - to make innovation an accessible discipline.  One that can be taught.  One that can be used to improve life.   We have somehow created a bigger tribe – about 10,000 people from 175 countries a day come to read and discuss and listen and access the wisdom of the crowd of innovation practitioners who hang out with us.  We’re running a content-driven permanent campaign for innovation.

I’m quite clear its my life’s calling – to wake people up to what’s possible and within reach.  Innovation isn’t a buzzword.  It’s a human birthright.  Men and women can, kids can, and yes, even organizations can innovate.

What I’m Working on Now:

Our Books as Tools Campaign.   At Innovation Excellence we love authors, bloggers, writers and people who use words to create change. We actually believe that some Books aren’t books.  They’re incendiary tools for personal revolution and organizational change.  I know that my friend Deborah, a blogger, teacher, author and change agent of the highest order knows this very well. 

We’re committed to showcasing and celebrating authors’ work in the context of creating action.   

Books provide the courage and stimulus to move people’s molecules around, and when they’re consumed by teams in a deliberate way, the can cause team’s to align to create change – a prerequisite to making innovation happen.

This Spring 2013 we’ve begun by focusing on how books that can be used as tools to inspire and motivate people to act, to change, and to drive innovation where they are.  We started with How Stella Saved the Farm by Chris Trimble and VG Govindarajan – a post Animal-Farm parable about barnyard business mates with a deadly serious intent – that can get 10 people in an organization talking about how they can innovate right where they are.

You can join me, and Chris Trimble, on April 2nd and May 14th as we hold two more online discussions about the real issues teams face when trying to save the proverbial farm.  Or come hang with us on Twitter via #StellaFarm! 

What I dream about:

Actually it’s a waking dream.  And it goes like this.  Did you hear about Congress?  They reached agreement.  Yep.  Reversed those automatic cuts, that sinking sense of failure, and proved that in the end, they could do the deed and collaborate across the aisle.  They’re now focused exclusively on the economy and creating jobs through basic research, infrastructure and oh yes, innovating health care and entitlements.  And what about that Kim Kardashian!  She's donating all the profits from her cover stories and television trials to the Girl Scouts because she wants to help them make their goal of 1 Billion dollars pouring into scholarships to help girls lead and shift the leadership balance.  What did Arianna Huffington say?  If it had been Lehman Brothers AND Sisters it might still be here.  And veterans unemployment?  It's over.  Companies across the land have recognized our sons and daughters and their spouses and kids have made the ultimate sacrifice, and refuse to hire anyone else until every veteran who served America is gainfully employed or engaged and appreciated.  And can you top this...the “food insecurity” nightmare that has little kids dreaming about apples and bananas instead of paying attention in class. We have to take the word out of the dictionary!  It's over too because all the fast food companies are planting organic gardens in their own backyards and everywhere, and distributing it – like my hero Will Allen does at Grow Power in Milwaukee, and the health insurers were so successful in teaching well being as the THE health competency that the Wicked Witch of the West just dissolved, along with all the eany meany bad bosses, and Waste, and Poverty, financial and otherwise, and the general undervaluing of human capital.  It’s over!

And now. We're in the spacious creative Golden Era now.  The renaissance just got rebooted.  We are country that innovates together.  It's just a fancy way of saying...that like the Beatles or Boyz2Men, we're an ensemble, sum bigger than the parts, listening so closely to each other that we can actually make the harmony work.  We solve those pernicious wicked systemic snakey problems with joy and ease.  EVEN CONGRESS!  We make it – life- better. We are the country that innovates together.