Learning to think in systems – using LEGO bricks.

  What does Google’s Pagerank, the scientific citation index and the taxonomy of plants, animals and insects have in common with LEGO bricks? They are all systems. A post over at the MIT Technology review examines the history of the Pagerank algorithm and shows that in fact, this thinking had been around for quite a…

LEGO Architecture: a fan-created enterprise on the LEGO platform

  What is the ultimate form of lead-user innovation? That would be to enable lead-users to develop a product and set up a business on your company platform. Sounds outrageous perhaps, but exactly that is what Adam Reed Tucker of Brickstructures and the LEGO Group have pulled off together. LEGO Architecture was officially introduced in…

Defining LEGO Systematic Creativity

  Interested in understanding the kind of creativity playing with LEGO bricks develops? Wonder no longer – a year long research project involving professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Westminster to name but a few, has now been completed – explaining not only creativity, and how LEGO play supports creativity, but also…

Understanding LEGO and systematic creativity

LEGO bricks are almost universally synonymous with creativity, the exuberant energy of children to imagine the future and craft it with their very own hands. Much has been said about creativity, and in recent years a lot of new research has emerged, shedding new light on this complex human quality. Creativity is not something you…

The full value of lead-user innovation

  Last week I had the pleasure to be at the Front End Innovation Europe conference, to give a key note on moving towards an eco-system of value creation with consumers. An interesting subject inviting speakers from a range of industries, this was bound to be a fascinating session. Prior to the conference the speakers…

Debunking Popular Myths about Creativity

  Like innovation, there are plenty of misconceptions about creativity out there, which makes it all the more confusing when people are extolling the importance of creative skill in the 21st century. To continue my quest to unravel these complex topics this instalment is all about explaining what creativity is NOT. You have to be…

What Makes a Good Toy?

  All the recent attention focused on the toy industry courtesy of safety concerns seem to have not just caused any Chinese-manufactured toys to be viewed with suspicion and sent parents trawling through the Internet in search of advice on the matter, but also caused a wider shift in spending patterns link as parents increasingly…

The Rules of Creativity According to Kids

  Recently I had the pleasure to meet Mitchel Resnick, a professor at the MIT, and listen to his presentation of the Lifelong Kindergarten project. Resnick is famous for his book Turtles Termites and Traffic Jams where he outlines how control emerges from apparently independent behaviour. Another book, by Kevin Kelly, called Out of Control…

From Insights to Innovation

  Just back from a conference in lovely Amsterdam on the subject of ‘Converting Insights into Actionable Results’, my mind buzzing with two days’ worth of presentations from the likes of Coca-Cola, Volvo, Sony-Ericsson, Procter & Gamble etc. on how they use insights in their respective companies. In some respects it really sounds like Insights…