Dare to enter the Museum of failure

For every iPhone and VCR there is a Newton and Betamax (You had to click to be reminded what they are didn’t you – join the club!).

Dr. Samuel West has curated a collection of the most #EpicFails he could lay his hands on. His creation, the Museum of failure, is on currently tour you can find it on Hollywood Boulevard.

Dr. West isn’t a surgeon to the stars, he is however a clinical psychologist and an innovation researcher. His research focuses on innovation and what organisations can do to encourage an atmosphere of exploration and experimentation.

“Anyone hungry for a Soundburger?”


Anyone hungry for a #Soundburger ? 🎵 🍔

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Much like the tech industry, innovation in marketing is paramount. Particularly in B2B marketing. Often more conservative than its glamourous B2C neighbour, differentiation in B2B marketing separates the men from the boys.

No surprise then when B2B Marketing announced that this year’s InTech conference would be titled:

InTech 2018: The power of innovation.

Personally, InTech is my favourite marketing event of the year for the; quality content, opportunity to learn, fit-for-purpose venue and relaxed networking with industry peers. This year B2B Marketing unveiled their shiny new report and the awesome marketing innovation wheel. The innovation wheel is a great visual reminder to refer to frequently to keep you focused on forging a team that is constantly innovating.

Crafted from the all the knowledgeable input into the report from some of the finest B2B marketers, the innovation wheel gives you top level advice on instilling a culture of innovation. Read the report for a more in-depth look at the individual sections.

In true museum style I have curated some of the best soundbites from the day to get your creative juices flowing:

In setting the scene, Mr B2B Marketing – Joel Harrison, touched on the importance of bravery in innovation. It often takes a brave catalyst to ignite the innovation process.

Diversity is key in trying to innovate, don’t be like the cliché all-male-panel. Use what is in front of you. Different generations, genders and backgrounds will each bring a unique perspective. Don’t forget ‘variation’ is another word for innovation.

That slide is from VP of Marketing at Workfront Jada Balster, Jada also referred to the discovery insights wheel (another wheel!) as a good way of building what is basically an “innovation squad” by assembling conflicting personality types who will naturally challenge ideas. Check out her slides and all the others here.

Now for a lady who has innovation in her job title! Malin Lidén, VP for Marketing Innovation @ SAP. Malin implemented social selling at SAP. The adoption of this approach, a cultural shift for SAP, increase pipeline by $1.4bn. Malin delivered my favourite innovation-based quote of the day.

“If you don’t feel stupid from time to time you are being to safe!”

Also, from Malin is some advice on how to create an environment where innovation can thrive.

A top tip on brainstorming. Why not try anonymous brainstorming to remove potential bias from dominant personalities. (More on this later – keep reading!)

Back to where this post started, failure. When asked by B2B marketing “When did you realise you’d achieved an innovative culture?” this response from Malin shows how innovation was truly implemented.

“I knew I’d made it when a team member came to me and asked for a slot on the team meeting. They said, ‘I want to share how I failed and what I learned from it so the team can see that it didn’t cost me my job, it didn’t cost me my career and that I’m still in a really good place’. That, to me, was it. It’s about going out there and celebrating those situations.”

Innovation isn’t something that just happens. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a light bulb moment. But as many of the speakers at InTech alluded to, you need budget and planning for innovation to be adopted and encouraged in an organisation.

Innovation has been re-badged in the tech industry. The term ‘challenger brand’ is basically a brand that is intent on changing an industry (often an old-fashioned industry with dominate established brands). Just look at FinTech, InsurTech and PropTech they are littered with challenger brands. This challenge requires innovation. This mindset was encapsulated by Phil Harvey from Inmarsat, he describes it as- the start-up mindset – as it is often start-ups who dare to challenge the status quo.

One of the common themes and great advice for encouraging innovation was to start small. It is good to dream big and have a big idea that you are constantly working towards. But, small steps will get you there. Dr Christine Bailey had this as one of her key takeaways in her presentation “Break free of your comfort zone”.

Finally, a few books mentioned by the speakers that I have put on my reading list:

Jolt” by Richard Tyler 

“Bold” (How to be Brave in Business and Win) by Shaun Smith and Andy Milligan

To pick up on one of earlier bits of advice on brainstorming. At OG we have a great process that we follow to encourage innovative brainstorms. Try out the 12 steps on our blog and tell us how it worked for you.