Paul Sloane is the author of many books on leadership, innovation and lateral thinking puzzles. He is a prolific blogger and has over 40,000 followers on Twitter. He was rated by Klout as one of the internet's leading experts on lateral thinking and innovation. He speaks and gives master classes on creativity and innovation.
Millions of plastic bottles are thrown away every year. Many end up polluting the ocean or buried under the earth. With concern about plastics growing it is time to think seriously about innovating with packaging
The new Apple iPhone X uses facial-recognition software (FRS) to unlock the device rather than a pin or fingerprint. Apple's adoption of FRS underlines the importance of this burgeoning technology. We will likely see a massive spread in the use of FRS which will bring many benefits but some serious risks which we need to start addressing now.
Improving productivity in the UK is not a matter of getting people to work harder. It involves training, investment, innovation and finding smarter ways to do things. Above all we need to improve the quality of management and leadership across the board.
Where does that leave the displaced humans? The standard answer is education. Policy makers advise that people should retrain into higher skilled professions. The problem is most training simply provides more knowledge and skills which can also be replaced by automation.
What can save Africa from its many problems; grinding poverty, corrupt bureaucrats, incompetent governments, civil conflicts and dire infrastructure? The best hope might lie with the innovations of its home grown entrepreneurs. Many solutions that work in the developed world do not translate well to Africa so indigenous innovations are often a better answer. In some cases they leap-frog current Western offerings.
Grand statements are not enough. Change is achieved through actions and they need to be prioritised and followed up. The good news is that nearly everyone in the organisation wants to see beneficial innovations. So start by removing today's barriers so that ideas can flow more easily from inception through to implementation.
Let's say you are faced with a tough problem. It could be at work or in your social life. You have wrestled with it for a while and now you have to make a decision. I recommend that you try using the three by three method.
It is not so much the big innovations that improve life as the countless incremental improvements in quality and usability of products and services. The motor car has continually become safer, more connected and more fuel efficient over the years. We currently have significant problems with pollution, traffic accidents and congestion.
Would you like to be more persuasive with people? How can you get people to like you, respect you and listen to your suggestions? Studies have shown these five simple expressions to be highly effective when used in the right circumstances:
Sit down with your team and agree the challenge and then empower them by asking for their ideas on how to achieve it. Often it is better to let them try their best ideas rather than imposing your own. Set the great goal and let the team figure out how to reach it.
Theresa May has said that she wants the UK to be a world leader in free trade after Brexit. But what will we trade? The answer is new products and services - some of which do not exist today. Leaders innovate and in a world outside the EU the UK needs to be more innovative than ever before.
And older people seem to be getting smarter. The average age of Nobel prize winners has increased significantly. According to a study reported in Nature 'comparing discoveries made before 1905 with after 1985, the average age at which physicists made their discoveries rose from 37 to 50.
10/10/2016 11:29 BST
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