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Andrew
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I just spent a couple of weeks gardening for my Dad. Apart from weeding his parking area, cutting the grass and trimming the hedges, most of my time was spent attacking the three evil enemies of the well-stocked herbaceous border: nettles, bind weed and brambles. Thanks to Covid, this trio... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2021 at ADD on
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Sometimes you just come across something that’s just perfect. It happened to me this morning as I did my early morning perambulation around town. There, in the window of my favourite hikers’ shop, was the above window poster. A perfect summary of how to get innovation ideas. If you are... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2021 at ADD on
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I saw this window sign as I was passing through my local town centre on the way to the supermarket during lock down. The notification was taped to the glass front of an antique shop. And it got me thinking about communications during the closure of all stores due to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2020 at ADD on
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Ever heard someone at work say: ‘I wish we could afford to buy trend data.’ That always annoys me as it’s usually coming from someone who believes marketing and innovation begins and ends in front of a computer on a desk. Just look at the picture at the head of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2019 at ADD on
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I learned something new this week about innovation. Something important. I’d always presented the innovation process with insight as the first step – because many people start with idea generation, which is useless unless you know what insight you are using as your starting point. Walking this morning I realised... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2019 at ADD on
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I think it started about six months ago for me. Walking through the side streets of the South Bank, I spotted a hotel entrance clad in them. Then almost immediately afterwards, a photographers’ window. I decided this was not a weird coincidence when I saw the entrance to Fenwick in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2019 at ADD on
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There are two places you can visit that I guarantee will result in you having hundreds of ideas for innovating in any category. The two? First, Comic book shops. Artists in the Sci Fi genre have always been generations ahead of the rest of us when envisaging the future and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2019 at ADD on
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I’ve been reading several books recently about how to get a hit. Most of the time the authors talk about music, films or books, but their conclusions work just as well for new products. To save you time reading the various tomes, I can summarise their findings in one phrase:... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2018 at ADD on
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After my last blog entry about saving the high street, I came across this notice in my local Waterstones book shop. What a great example of why, I think, us shoppers are turning away from our local stores. If I go to a bookshop, I want an expert on books,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2018 at ADD on
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I took this picture a few months back in the high street of Ulverston, a small town on the west coast of northern England. It has sat on my desktop since then and every so often I look at it thinking about its relevance for a blog entry. Initially I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2018 at ADD on
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Do you know how difficult it is to come up with the title for a book? I’ve been agonising over mine for some time. The book isn’t really written yet – just loads of research and data coming out my ears. But in the process of sifting through all the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2017 at ADD on
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This is Pom-Pom. He is a massive, handsome Breton draft horse who makes the ground shake when he comes lumbering up to meet me or, more accurately, my big bag of carrots. He loves this vegetable and apples as well, but quite rightly rejects lettuce and anything salad-ey. His picture... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2016 at ADD on
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My friend Andy's garden in Brittany is a constant source of inspiration for me. And this week his acre of hard worked land revealed a new wonder for me. It's called a dead hedge and as you can see from my photo, it's a carefully stacked and woven line of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2016 at ADD on
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Quite a few years back, I had a wonderful moment of insight. It happened in a brainstorming session for a beer brand. I was leading the discussion, felt tip in hand, flip chart crisp and white – and unfortunately empty. After about thirty minutes what little conversation dried up and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2016 at ADD on
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I saw a wonderful piece of innovation in action this morning in my public library in Lewes. It made me instantly pull out my phone and take a picture – which you can see above. What a clever idea. Instead of walking into the library and just picking out a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2016 at ADD on
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Last year I spent a week in Tuscany and noticed that little Pinocchio figures were just about the most popular tourist souvenirs on offer. I took some pictures like the one above as I thought they might come in handy for a visual in a presentation. Well dear little Pinocchio,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2015 at ADD on
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I was strolling up to the station the other day when I spotted a thirtyish, well-dressed blonde in very high heels coming towards me. What caught my eye in particular was the gruesome face she was pulling as she tried to bite open a packet of peanuts she'd just bought.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2015 at ADD on
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Why are flowers and plants so different from each other? They may look beautiful and decorous but behind their unique shapes, scents and colours lies a battle - a battle to attract pollinating insects. And over millions of years each individual species has evolved a way of getting those insects... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2015 at ADD on
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I was lucky enough to get invited to ‘Taste of London’ a few weeks ago. It’s a sprawling temporary camp of tented pop up restaurants in Regents Park that appears every June. Armed with the currency of the event, you can eat your way around the menus of forty or... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2015 at ADD on
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Just before Christmas I helped a friend run a stall at a Christmas market held in the community centre of a little village in the middle of Brittany. Our table was one of about thirty selling a variety of Christmassy things and manned by a mixture of expats and locals.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at ADD on
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When we lived in Brussels the house, three doors up, had a sycamore tree in its garden. Every year around about now it would carpet bomb the neighbourhood with its helicopter seeds and every Spring I had to spend days yanking up the thousands of baby trees it maliciously left... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2014 at ADD on
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I have been growing a beard this summer. Not for any aesthetic, health or philosophical reasons but to be really honest, just to get an extra few minutes in bed in the morning. And looking at my grey stubbly face in the mirror today, I was reminded of a much... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2014 at ADD on
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When I was a lot younger, I got a life lesson from one of my best bosses. It happened like this: I was sitting in a meeting with about fifteen people and really struggling to keep my temper, as one of the participants reacted to all my proposals in a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2014 at ADD on
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There has been a lot of moaning recently about the sound of F1 cars this season. Apparently they sound more like vacuum cleaners than roaring mechanised monsters. And that means, for those who care, part of their brand appeal has disappeared. This got me thinking - and listening. Just about... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2014 at ADD on
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I’m pretty certain I am going to teach you a new word. Have you ever heard of a ‘gabion’? I thought not. Let me explain, first of all, why I came to know this term and then I’ll tell you a bit about its origins. I am always on the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2013 at ADD on