When you’re trying to be more innovative in your small business, it never hurts to turn to outside sources. Ideas, inspiration and even instruction can come from anywhere—but when your focus is on business innovation, it helps to get input from those who focus on that topic. With that in mind, here (in no particular order) are five innovation blogs that are worth checking out.
Blogger Matthew E. May (who is also an OPEN Forum contributor) is the founder of Shibumi Creative Works, an innovation consultancy dedicated to improving human creative capital in business, work and life. Unleashing Your Creativity includes a wide range of posts, from short, thought-provoking paragraphs to lengthier how-to articles. Recently, Matt blogged about his experience doing a 53-minute “design jam” and what he learned. He also reviews books and tools related to innovation and creativity. His open-minded attitude and incessant curiosity comes through in his blog posts. Since both are key traits for business innovators, I like feeling that a little of his approach rubs off on me every time I visit this blog.
Hosted by Idea Champions, a consulting and training company dedicated to awakening and nurturing the spirit of innovation, this blog is a great place to go when you need a quick burst of inspiration or energy to help you innovate. True to the concept of creativity, what you find on The Heart of Innovation will vary wildly from day to day. You might discover a quick, energizing read like “15 Awesome Quotes About Collaboration” or a pithy Zen koan. Or you might find a more traditional blog post on the power of full immersion, which explains the results you can get from spending a full day working on one thing and one thing only, or “The 8 Dimensions of a Brainstorm Session.” The blog, which also spotlights books and tools related to innovation, features posts from a variety of contributors.
3. Idea Sandbox
The “Sandblog,” as the blog hosted by creative problem-solving company Idea Sandbox is called, is one of the more attractively designed blogs around. The creative look will help inspire creativity—so will the practical and thorough how-to posts, such as 11 Ways To Restate Problems to Get Better Solutions. Other recent topics I found useful (and innovative) included what foods you should order for the group to maximize a brainstorming session and how to manage time using a pie chart instead of a traditional calendar. Idea Sandbox offers books and tools to help you be more creative, with enough useful, practical content to make it a worthwhile read.
Hosted by writer and speaker Braden Kelley of Business Strategy Innovation for the Global Innovation Community, this blog says it has visitors from more than 150 countries. As is fitting for a blog with such a wide audience, breadth and depth of content are this site’s strengths. Post archives go back to 2006, and there are many contributors with a wide variety of expertise. In addition to blog posts on topics such as “9 Innovation Roles” (which highlights the nine people or roles you need filled to successfully innovate), you can also access case studies and news. The blog also features a bookstore where you can buy books on innovation.
A “meta-index of the latest innovation trends, news, technology, resources and viewpoints,” Innovation Weblog is chock-full of ideas, how-to’s and tools to help you be more innovative. Posts run the gamut from book reviews and lists of innovation tools to reports on innovation-related events. You’ll also find thought-provoking posts such as “How the Cage of Affinity Limits Your Creative Thinking,” and interviews with thought leaders in innovation. You can buy innovation tools, books and software on the site, too.
We can all use more tools in our innovation arsenal. Bookmark these five sites and you’ll up your innovation potential considerably!