Making the best ideas happen successfully

Whilst creativity is about divergent thinking – opening up to explore new perspectives, make new connections, generate more ideas – innovation is about convergent thinking – evaluating the best ideas, focusing on making them practical and profitable, then making them happen effectively.

In my book “Creative Genius” we explore Leonardo da Vinci’s 8 principles, then apply them to today’s business world: being curious, exploring margins, reframing context, visualisation, resolving paradox, balancing art and science, making new connections and being alive.

Innovating the whole business

Innovation in most companies is still mostly about products and services, whereas innovation has most impact when applied to business models and customer experiences. We therefore focus on business innovation, driven by your purpose and opportunity, and by thinking hard about what is the problem we are trying to solve, and the impact we want to make. Innovation is therefore particularly about five important factors, looking across the whole business to open up, and then close down:

  • Design thinking – embracing “insight” to understand the deeper motivations and aspirations of customers, through deep-dive immersion with individuals, connecting analytics with observation and intuition. Design thinking is about better defining the challenge – problem, opportunity – then being more human, creative and real in solving it.
  • Making connections – fusing ideas to create richer “concepts”, but also learning from other places, from “parallel” markets where the same customers are already embracing change and new ideas, and then applying to your own market, as a pioneer. Connecting initial ideas into concepts makes them stronger and more distinctive.
  • Creative disruption – how to be different, to challenge the conventions, break the rules, and redefine the markets in a different way – for example by technological simplification, or new customer behaviour. This creates rethinking – changing the who, why, what and how – and can potentially recalibrate the market.
  • New business models – more dramatic and sustainable innovation usually involves changing the way the business works – in particular through new partnerships, and creating new revenue streams built around a strong value proposition at the core – this focuses on value propositions and business model design.
  • Accelerating action – facilitating your best ideas to market better and faster, through challenge and support, bringing your best people together, adding external ideas to internal expertise, and disciplined process. This includes “lean thinking” techniques from minimal viable products, prototyping and then vortex market adoption.

Doblin’s “10 types of innovation”

and examples of each of the 10 types:

coming together to shape your own business model:

of which there are infinite options to innovate business:


Peter Fisk helps you to innovate, further and faster. This can be either through fast and focused facilitation using the “Innolab” methodology that brings expert support to help you make the best ideas happen faster, through to the broader challenges of developing a creative culture, and innovation strategy – from capability diagnostics to portfolio management.


Examples of recent clients include

  • American Express: Innovation mindset and breakthrough projects, developing a shared process and culture for innovation.
  • Aster Atelier: Reimagining the fashion business for one of the largest private label manufactures on the high street, how to be better and go direct.
  • Coty: rethinking business models for a very different future of beauty – consumer change, market disruption, finding new growth.
  • Canon: FutureBook, creating the future of printing and publishing, positioning Canon as the thought leader of its customers world.
  • Erste Bank: How banks can innovate for innovators, by recognising the roles of finance and advice at each point in the start up, and scale up, journey for small businesses.
  • GSK: Rethinking healthcare around patients and doctors, from an old model of product-centric selling to a new future of patient-centric wellbeing.
  • Vodafone: Creating a global strategy for sustainable innovation, by focusing on what the brand can uniquely enable, through its subscriber network, rather than just do itself.

Explore more about innovation


Explore more insights from GeniusWorks: