Innovation Insight Contest Winner

Congratulations to Evelyn Hannon!

Evelyn has won the Innovation Insight Contest and a copy of “Rethink” by Ric Merrifield.

Thank you to everyone who submitted their favorite innovation insight or quote, and to all of you that voted. I hope that you had fun with the process. If you have any suggestions for future contests, please add them as a comment to this blog post or send an @reply on Twitter to @innovate.

Here is the winning entry from @Journeywoman (Evelyn Hannon):

“Question all rules. 1900 Olympics only 15 women took part. It was feared if she ran too fast her uterus would fall out.”

While all of the entries were great, there were a couple of things that struck me when I read Evelyn’s entry that aren’t explicity in the text:

  1. Smart organizations don’t see innovation as an effort, but as a movement. Too often we let the “rules” limit us, instead of seeing the rules as something to test against in stages over time.
    • Why have things always been done a certain way? Why is it a rule?
    • What prohibits us from doing them differently?
    • What changes would have to occur for a particular challenge to become easier?
    • What changes would have to occur for a constraint to no longer exist?
    • What insights can we uncover from apparent contradictions?
    • What is our plan for achieving the collective incremental changes that will result in an overall rule change?

  2. Too often the “rules” are determined by the companies building the industry over time.Disruptive innovations often occur when a new entrant seeks to understand what customers think the “rules” should be.
    • Industry “rules” are usually built around operational efficiency goals
    • Existing airlines believed the “rules” were focused on hub-spoke efficiency and network size
    • Southwest Airlines recognized that customers believed the rules of the industry should be based on price, customer service, and convenience (point to point travel)

Are you questioning the rules?

Here is a bit more information about the winner:

In 1982 when few women were doing it, Evelyn Hannon put a backpack on and went out into the world to travel solo. An early adaptor on the web, in 1997 she began telling her travel stories online at which today is the largest online travel resource for women. Her mandate remains to inspire women of all ages and at all stages of their lives to travel safety and well, and to connect female travelers around the world. Now approaching 70, Evelyn continues her travel writing and is considered the guru of ‘how to’ in women’s travel. Each morning Evelyn sends out one JW Tip of the day to over 2000 Twitter followers. TIME Magazine named her ‘one of the 100 innovative thinkers of this new century’ for the work she does on behalf of ‘women travelers.’

If you’re passionate about innovation, join the lively innovation discussion on the Continuous Innovation group on LinkedIn:

Braden Kelley (@innovate on Twitter)

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Ric Merrifield




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