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Innovation – so good it hurts! Joe Saxton. Tel: 020 7426 8888 Email: [email protected] Web: How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?.

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Innovation – so good it hurts! Joe Saxton

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Innovation – so good it hurts!Joe Saxton

Tel: 020 7426 8888

Email: [email protected]


How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

The answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Wrong Answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant and close the refrigerator. Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your actions.

3.The Lion King is hosting a strategic away day for the animals. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?

Answer: The Elephant. The Elephant is in the refrigerator, remember. This tests your memory.

4. There is a river you must cross. But it is inhabited by crocodiles. How do you manage it?

Answer: You swim across. Why? All the Crocodiles are attending the away day. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

What is this thing called innovation?

Why you need innovation?

Driving innovation

Some things for you to do at home

What stops innovation?

Five big things to talk about

Creativity is the new ideas

Innovation is the management of putting them into practice

You can have fantastic creativity – but without putting them into practice it is wasted

Innovation or creativity

Text messaging

Post-it notes

Face to face fundraising




Round teabags

Tesco’s loyalty card

Some classic innovations

Great ideas….

Turned into tests and learning….

Turned into commercial reality…..

Railed against by the mainstream….

And then accepted as the norm

But innovation is more than just new ideas

Nobody dares to be different

Or nobody is different

Nobody knows why they do what they do

Its just the way it was when you were a child

All the competitors feel very similar

Margins are slim and volatile

When internally people spend their time saying ‘you don’t understand how things are done’

How you can tell when a market is ready for innovation

Exercise 1: Draw Humpty Dumpty

Did he look a bit like this?

Could be a person

Or a china doll

Or made of cloth / wood / metal etc.

Where in the nursery rhyme does it mention eggs!

If we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always got!

Who Says He Is Egg Shaped?

Exercise 2: What’s In A Name?

  • Get into small groups (A’s & B’s)

  • You have a few minutes to…

  • Invent a new name for this…

Some ideas

  • Capturing

    • Find the right place and time to think

    • Use daydreaming and sleep

    • Carry a notebook

  • Challenging

    • Use open-ended problems for new ideas

    • Really learn from failure

Exercise 3: Hair raising

  • Some volunteers please

  • List as many new hairstyles as you can in 5 minutes

  • For each style, write a name and a brief description or sketch of the style

  • Raise your hand each time you have one

Some ideas

  • Broadening

    • Get training in new fields

    • Read, listen, engage outside what you already know

    • Commit to a day a month in foreign territory

  • Surrounding

    • Relocate

    • Redecorate

    • Use people from outside your team

    • New magazines / newspapers / websites

In small groups make a list of the way you have seen innovation encouraged or how you think it could be encouraged

In small groups make a list of the way you have seen innovation stifled or discouraged.

If you have finished one exercise do the other

Exercise 4 and 5

Lead from the top

Make clear that the status quo isn’t sufficient

Create budgets for innovation

Make sure new ideas happen

Constantly look for new ideas from existing staff and volunteers – and act on them

Praise and reward the innovators

Creating a culture where innovation can thrive

Budgets set 18 months ahead

People blamed for failing after trying

Grassroots ideas ignored

Slow ponderous nitpicky decision making

Culture of conformity

Incremental targets

Get trustees or committees involved

Innovation is stopped very easily:

"Creativity is just having enough dots to connect.”

(Steve Jobs, Apple)

“Just as energy is the basis of life itself, and ideas the source of innovation, so is innovation the vital spark of all human change, improvement and progress.”

(Theodore Levitt)

My slides

Our free report ‘Innovation rules’

Email me on [email protected]

Or go to

If you would like a copy of:

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