Being Open To Ideas From Unexpected Places

The Killer Questions are used in the Ideation phase of FIRE. The point of the Killer Questions is to keep you focused on a specific facet of your organization, your customer, your product, or your operations, but at the same time keep your search for ideas expansive within that area. The Killer Questions will help […]


Focus Your Search For Better Ideas

Narrowing Your Search Improves The Quality Of The Ideas

The first stage of FIRE, Focus, is about doing a thorough but organized search, so you don’t inadvertently ignore a critical area of discovery. Successful innovation is the translation of better ideas into something, such as a product, that is real. If you are focused in your approach, you will be able to decide if […]


How Does FIRE Fix The Innovation Gap And The Innovation Delay?

Using A 4 Step Framework To Improve Innovation Impact

The main challenges that all organizations face are what I call the innovation gap and the innovation delay. The innovation gap is the difference between the need for really great ideas and the actual supply of them. The innovation delay refers to how long it takes you to go from selecting an idea for execution to […]

fire background

The New Economy

Your creative ability to create new ideas

I firmly believe that we are in the early stages of a new economy, one where the most valuable talent you can bring to the table is being an “idea person.” Knowledge is quickly becoming a commodity (think of the thousands of highly capable educational institutions springing up in India, China, and other areas of […]

Concept, market, leadership.

Fight or Flight Against The Corporate Antibodies

How HP Missed Out On The Apple 1

I have a very simple reason for being passionate about pushing back (fight) against corporate antibodies. Nearly all great ideas require nerve, vision, and guts to get in motion. The corporate antibody is the first of many hurdles that you’ll need to push your idea past. If you can’t develop the skills to fight for […]


How Can You Overcome Corporate Antibodies?

I work in the innovation and technology sector. Many of my coworkers are brilliant individuals, some bordering on genius. Yet many of these men and women have almost no ability to navigate the hurdles between having an idea and getting others to support it. I’m amazed at how few people have the skill to pitch […]

corporate antibodies

What Are The Corporate Antibodies And Are They Dangerous To Your Ideas?

The Idea Haters That Block Your Innovation Efforts

The antagonist of the innovator is the corporate antibody. Much like antibodies in our immune system attack and destroy foreign objects that might harm the body, “antibodies” in your organization identify and neutralize forces that threaten to destabilize a company. And in much the same way as antibodies can damage the very thing they seek […]

How To Prepare For The Unexpected Jolts

Having The Ability To Recognize When The Improbable Is Happening To You

If assumptions keep you safe, comfortable, and stagnant, then jolts are their counterpart. Jolts are the earthquakes and the tsunamis, metaphorical and occasionally literal, that you either don’t or can’t see coming. Jolts can be terrifying; one day you wake up and a fundamental assumption about how you do business has crumbled away. Its absence […]


What Are The Rules And Assumptions Under Which You Organization And Industry Operates?

To uncover the assumptions that could be blocking you from seeing the challenges and opportunities, here are two questions that are designed to help you discover the rules and assumptions under which your organization and industry operates. I want you to use them to start unraveling the assumptions you have about your business, your industry, and your […]

Know The Rules

The History Of The Killer Questions

How Did They Come About?

I started writing the Killer Questions when I was in my short-lived “retirement” early in 2001. As I relaxed in the Virginian countryside, my mind started to flash back to various experiences I’d had during my working life. Over the course of the preceding twenty years I’d seen dozens of highly innovative products and ideas […]

killer questions killer innovations questions card deck