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The 60 Second Innovator: Sixty Solid Techniques for Creative and Profitable Ideas at Work

The 60 Second Innovator: Sixty Solid Techniques for Creative and Profitable Ideas at Work

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The 60 Second Innovator: Sixty Solid Techniques for Creative and Profitable Ideas at Work

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Lançado em:
Aug 18, 2009


When the economy's in free fall, the strongest competitors are the ones rooted in innovation. Today, managers are screaming for innovators who can break through to the next level of business and technology.

In sixty succinct, humorous tips, Jeff Davidson helps you learn the practices that will make you a great innovator, such as:
  • Develop the qualities all innovators share
  • Embrace change
  • Enhance out-of-the-box thinking
  • Find new solutions to old problems
  • Be a business innovator as well as a team player
This guide doesn't just show you how to think outside of the box--it shows you how to hop out of the box, pick it up, turn it upside down, and shake out new ideas for profit and success!
Lançado em:
Aug 18, 2009

Sobre o autor

Jeff Davidson is a consultant, writer, and speaker. Known as the Work-Life Balance Expert, he speaks to organizations and groups who seek to enhance productivity by improving the work-life balance of their people. Davidson has spoken to Fortune 100 companies such as IBM, Cardinal Health, Lockheed Martin, American Express, and Wells Fargo. He is the author of numerous books, including Dial It Down, Live It Up; Simpler Living; Breathing Space; and The 60 Second Self-Starter. He lives in Raleigh, NC.

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The 60 Second Innovator - Jeff Davidson



Sixty Solid Techniques for Creative and

Profitable Ideas at Work



Copyright © 2009 by Jeff Davidson

All rights reserved.

This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher; exceptions are made for brief excerpts used in published reviews.

Poem copyright © 1993, by Portia Nelson, from the book There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk. Reprinted with permission from Beyond Words Publishing, Hillsboro, Oregon.

Published by Adams Business, an imprint of Adams Media,

an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

57 Littlefield Street, Avon, MA 02322. U.S.A.


ISBN 10: 1-60550-659-1

ISBN 13: 978-1-60550-659-3

eISBN: 978-1-44051-371-8

Printed in the United States of America.


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

is available from the publisher.

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

—From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations

This book is available at quantity discounts for bulk purchases.

For information, please call 1-800-289-0963.





PART ONE The Quest for a Better Way

PART TWO Upping Your Innovation Quotient

PART THREE Carving Your Path to Innovation

PART FOUR Preparing for the Unexpected

PART FIVE Embracing Your Personal Power

PART SIX Coaching from the Masters

Further Reading

About the Author


Brenna Leath, Tracy Anderson, Cat Hickey, Colin Lalley, and Michael Schmidtke helped me in the research, editing, and overall preparation of this book. Peter Archer, my editor and the driving force behind the 60 Second series, offered his usual dose of high energy, enthusiasm, and expertise. Thanks as well to Paula Munier, my editorial director, as well as Beth Gissinger and Jaquinn Williams in publicity, Phil Sexton in sales, and Chris Duffy in international rights and distribution. All have played key roles in the success of this venture. Thanks also to Scott Watrous for his long-term service and guiding hand during challenging times for publishers, and to Bob Adams for his creative vision so many years ago.

I’d also like to cite several subject matter experts, including Scott Burrows, Paul Sloan, Grace McGartland, Richard Connor, Laura Reed, Dan Janal, Robert Ringer, and Scott Adams, for their observations, insights, assistance, and other contributions to other specific tips.


If you want to increase your skills and reputation as an innovator at work, Jeff Davidson’s book, The 60 Second Innovator, is definitely for you.

Jeff has pulled out all the stops to impart the insider knowledge and crucial observations he has amassed over the years to help you become a great innovator. Just watch your coworkers’ jaws drop when you are able to come up with one innovative solution after another on the job.

This handy, eye-opening, active mini–reference tool contains sixty nontheoretical tips to help increase your innovative potential—and each tip can be absorbed in a New York minute.

Whenever you find yourself needing a burst of energy, a touch of creativity, or simply a new way of looking at the issues you face, just flip through this book and you’ll quickly find numerous tips that fit the bill.

If you’re the trailblazer at work devising bold and innovative steps to accomplish tasks, better a situation, or introduce change to the skeptical, you will find that The 60 Second Innovator can and will support you in wondrous ways.

If you are just starting on the path to becoming known as an innovator, you can read sequentially to derive a broad swath of benefits. In any case, make sure you keep this book close at hand to consult any time you need to take a novel approach to some challenge you face on the job.

As with his previous books in this series, including The 60 Second Self-Starter and The 60 Second Organizer, Jeff has arranged The 60 Second Innovator into six sections: The Quest for a Better Way, Upping Your Innovation Quotient, Carving Your Path to Innovation, Preparing for the Unexpected, Embracing Your Personal Power, and Coaching from the Masters.

These six sections will help you to stay innovative when facing challenging situations, hurdles, or impasses—large and small. Depending on what you are up against, any single one of these tips can help you carve a new path on the high road to resolution.

Jeff’s sixty tips run the gamut from traditional techniques for being more creative, creating bold new ideas, to helping career professionals soar to greater heights, all assembled in a lively, compelling, humorous, and down-to-earth style. Don’t be surprised if you feel as if Jeff is talking directly to you from right across the table.

Whether you find yourself boxed in on the tiniest of tasks or on complex, long-term projects, you’ll soon discover that The 60 Second Innovator is both a valuable resource and a daily action guide to help you to become a more creative, resourceful, and valuable member of your organization.

Give yourself an added edge. Put your own personal English on Jeff’s tips. Good luck on your personal journey as you discover the large benefits in store from reading this little book.

—Richard C. Levy

Author of The Complete Idiot’s

Guide to Cashing In on Your Inventions


The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.

—Linus Pauling, PhD, winner of two Nobel Prizes

Wouldn’t it be something to be an innovator at work who’s highly regarded for creative solutions to pressing problems? This book is all about how to release your inner innovator!

You’re capable of coming up with a wide variety of solutions to the challenges your team, department, division, or organization faces. In fact, you’re a walking, talking, thinking innovation machine.

From the time you get up in the morning to the time you retire at night, you constantly encounter challenges. Most are small and fleeting, many are significant and lingering, and a few are huge and seemingly insurmountable. Yet, little by little, one by one, we devise methods not only to cope with our challenges but often to overcome them and then thrive in the face of them.

From how we arrange our homes, cars, and offices, to the products and services we acquire, to the habits and customs we adopt, we constantly adjust and respond to the world as we find it. More times than not, we’re able to make the best of the situation. Whether it’s arranging the items on your desk for optimal performance, or creating rosters and checklists to guide you in specific situations, you devote much of your day and certainly much of your work day to finding solutions to the challenges that confront you.

The sixty tips offered in this book range from the simple to the outlandish. By the time you put down this book, I think you’ll have found that this diminutive text packs a large punch.

Have you ever stopped to think how you approach a tough question at work? You are capable of looking at the problem from several different angles and figuring out potential solutions. Your mind is your workshop. In this day and age the most vital resource we bring to our careers is brain power. On any given day, your job description can be as simple as meet challenges, find a better way, establish and enact a plan.

As we become adept at finding a better way to meet the challenges that arise, we can tackle each one faster and easier. When we apply innovative solutions in one arena, we find ourselves better equipped to find solutions to other issues in other areas.

And, as we develop a reputation as an innovator at work, people want to work with us. Bosses and employers covet such employees. You’re the ones most likely to be put on special task forces. You’re given your share of plum assignments. You are the least likely to be let go; in fact, you’re among those more likely to receive raises, promotions, and organizational kudos.

Entrepreneurial organizations, progressive companies, and market-leaders place a high value on innovation and invest in such people. They send them to training sessions and include them in key conferences and meetings. They reward them with bonuses. They regard them as valuable organizational resources, even deem them indispensable. Effective bosses do not want to let go of an innovator.

When we’re overloaded with so much competition for our attention, it’s a pure pleasure to work with someone who consistently derives innovative solutions to pressing problems.

In my own small firm, I’m as pleased as punch when one of my helpers comes up with a clever way to accomplish a task. When someone comes to me with a new way of accomplishing something that I have been doing in a more laborious, slow, and ineffective way, I am overjoyed.

In this book we will explore the depth of innovation: what prompts it, what supports it, what multiplies it, and what keeps it going. We’ll highlight how to condition your environment so as to elevate opportunities for innovation.

And, because all work and no play makes you dull, this will be a fun book. A little tongue-in-cheek humor here and there never killed a reader, as far as I know. I’m going to assume that you have no corporate-wide influence. If you do, that’s great. However, the tips and suggestions contained herein are for everyone. Whether you’re on the first day of work in a new position or you’ve been with your organization for twenty years, the opportunities for you to innovate will soon become apparent and plentiful.

As with other books in the 60 Second series, the tips contained in The 60 Second Innovator will sometimes overlap, sometimes build upon one another, and sometimes even seem contradictory. Hey, what works in one instance may not work in another, and vice versa.

If a tip from the beginning of the book says go right, and it works for you, fine. If a tip from elsewhere in the book says go left, and that works for you, fine. You can pick and choose, as long as in the end you generate ideas to get started!

So, if you’re ready, strap yourself into your chair, sit back, and enjoy the ride. It’s going to be a stimulating and rewarding journey.


The Quest for a Better Way

01 Adopting the Mindset of an Innovator

02 Anticipate and Win

03 Spotting the Links Between Things

04 Eureka Moments and the Slow Grind

05 Flow and the Big Idea

06 Whole-Brain Thinking for Optimal Gain

07 Facing Challenges with Aplomb

08 Taking Cues from Where They Lay

09 Problems and Solutions

10 Challenges as Best Friends

1Adopting the Mindset of an Innovator In today’s business world, if you want to progress in your career you must be an innovator; someone who can approach problems creatively, devise solutions to recurring time and resource issues, and figure out better ways to get things done. Otherwise you need to be good at sleeping with the boss. So, how can you train your brain to innovate without pain? A question for the ages! Only a fraction of professionals within an organization are innovators.

Unfortunately, most people in the working world perform their jobs the way they always have; they approach their tasks much the same, attempt to stay within their comfort zones all day long, depart, and repeat the process the next day. The innovator treads a different path. The innovator thinks, What if, or Suppose. The innovator questions the status quo.

Innovators can march to the beat of the team leader’s drum and to the beat of their own drum. When the innovator stumbles across an obstacle, he or she asks why nobody has tackled it before, and reconfigured the system or eliminated the bottleneck.

The best companies, in the United States and abroad, want and need innovators. A survey by Prophet (www.Prophet.com), headquartered in San Francisco, indicated that 150 senior executives in various business organizations would like to have a proactive and ongoing innovative strategy. They seek to promote curiosity among their employees. Most encourage their staff to take risks.

Right Where You Are

If you work for a company that encourages you in this manner, lucky you! If not, that doesn’t mean you’re up the creek. You can adopt the mindset of an innovator right where you are, with what you have. These following two techniques are subtle but will work for you in splendid ways.

1. Listen to your constituents. Who does your company, or more specifically, your division, department, or team serve? Do you serve customers or clients who buy your products and services? Or does your job serve people elsewhere within your organization?

Regardless of who you serve, it’s a given that these constituents have needs. They often express their needs in many ways, but who is listening?

Keep alert to shifts in your constituents’ goals—what they’re seeking to accomplish—and offer your innovations accordingly.

When you have the opportunity to read surveys, feedback forms, suggestions, complaints, or any other shreds of credible information about or from your constituents, pounce on it. Your fellow employees may pass over gems that could be buried in reports, waiting for someone to

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