3 Websites That Will Inspire You to Innovate

Need some innovation inspiration? These three website will help spark your fire.
CEO, Small Business Trends LLC
March 26, 2012

When you’re looking for insights to help inspire innovation, where you go might depend on your energy level and available time. Some days, you may have an hour you can set aside to delve into deep research or academic topics. Other days, you can barely spare a moment to glance at your smartphone. This week, I’ve gathered three innovation websites that offer useful info you can consume in seconds, minutes or hours depending on what you’ve got to give.

1. Don the Idea Guy

Don “the Idea Guy” Snyder is an author, speaker and freelance innovation consultant who helps businesses brainstorm and otherwise inspire creativity. His to-the-point blog posts cover a range of topics, such as how good innovators are like Silly Putty and the three roles you can play in any brainstorming session (Pirate, Politician or Painting), and he’s recently added cartoons to the mix to get ideas across quickly.

These aren’t academic posts you’ll have to wade through—they’re fast reads to give you a jolt of energy in the morning. In fact, one of the nice things about Don the Idea Guy is his focus on not just inspiring you, but actually motivating you to get things done. Sign up for Don’s e-mail newsletter and get free weekly tips on how to inspire creativity in your company. Got a little more time? Check out his list of suggested books on innovation.

2. Creativity Central

The man behind Creativity Central, Martin Baker, describes his blog as a “repository for all things creative—creative thinking, innovation, ideas and brainstorming.” His thoughtful and intelligent blog posts pull in infographics, videos and more to showcase ideas inspired by a wide range of sources. Recent post topics included how to manage creative people (lessons drawn from the creator of the animated film Iron Giant), how a pencil can inspire creativity, and how to inspire better collaboration in your workplace.

A former award-winning creative director who has worked with client companies of all sizes, Baker is also the president of Inotivity, an innovation firm that helps clients accelerate the development of new ideas. If you like Creativity Central, check out the Inotivity blog, where recent posts have included innovation lessons from Nobel-Prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman, what dating sites can teach us about innovation, and how exploring your status quo can inspire change. You can read these posts in 15 minutes or less, but they’ll have you thinking and pondering long after.

3. Innovation 360 Institute

This global innovation management consultancy uses systematic innovation methods and leadership development to help companies of all sizes become more innovative. Although Innovation 360 primarily works with businesses that are based or have a presence in the Middle East, its website offers a wealth of knowledge companies anywhere can access to help develop their own innovation strategies.

Visit the site’s Knowledge Center to read articles on various innovation topics, view free webinars and videos on innovation issues, peruse case studies on companies in a variety of industries, and get the latest research on topics ranging from Six Sigma to ROI measurements and customer relationship management. (A recent report examined the scientific principles behind LEGO’s “Serious Play” innovation methodology, which uses play and exploration to expand innovation, and uses the hand-mind connection of working with physical objects to spark communication, idea generation and problem solving.) You’ll also find information on related topics such as creativity, business model design, change management and entrepreneurship. Yes, you’ll need to set aside some time to get the most from these tools—but the results will be well worth it.

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