CM 054: Amantha Imber On The Formula For Innovation

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blog-post-amantha-imberIs there a formula for innovation? Yes! And the most successful individuals, teams, and organizations rely on it to achieve their goals.

Innovation psychologist, bestselling author, and Founder of the leading innovation firm in Australia, Inventium, Amantha Imber has worked with organizations like Google, Disney, LEGO, and Virgin. In her book, The Innovation Formula: The 14 Science-backed Keys for Creating a Culture Where Innovation Thrives, she distills the science behind game-changing innovation and offers concrete examples of what leaders can do to cultivate it in their teams.

In this interview, we talk about:  

  • What it means to democratize innovation in our organizations
  • Innovation as change that adds value
  • What happens when we assign projects for challenge vs capacity
  • The Imagination Breakthroughs Project at GE
  • The diminishing returns of cash rewards for performance
  • Why leaders are trading cash for time to support innovation
  • Guarding against groupthink in long-standing teams
  • The value in walking in stupid for doing innovative work
  • The kind of leadership that sets the most innovative organizations apart
  • Why leaders should do innovative work rather than delegate it
  • How the Kickbox project helps companies like Adobe spark innovation
  • Why blue-sky brainstorming is a lazy way to innovate
  • Innovative ways Engineers without Borders and Tata Group learn from failure
  • The power of assuming abundance by sharing generously
  • Why we need a certain level of noise to do creative work
  • Hack-in-a-box to support student innovation and entrepreneurship

Selected Links to Topics Mentioned


Jeff Immelt of GE

Imagination Breakthroughs at GE

Wieden + Kennedy Advertising

Originals by Adam Grant

Adobe Kickbox project

Tata Group

Engineers without Borders

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Thank you to Emmy-award-winning Creative Director Vanida Vae for designing the Curious Minds logo, and thank you to Rob Mancabelli for all of his production expertise!



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