200 episodes

An award-winning podcast and nationally syndicated talk radio show that looks at the innovations that are changing our lives and how their innovators used creativity and design to take their raw idea and create they're game-changing product or service.

Phil McKinney and his guests share real-world practical advice on how to harness the power of creativity and design to create ideas that turn into innovations that radically improve your personal, career and business success.

The show is hosted by Phil McKinney, retired CTO of Hewlett-Packard (HP) and author of Beyond The Obvious.

The complete backlog of content (going back to 2005) is available at http://killerinnovations.com. Follow Phil on Facebook at http://bit.ly/phil-facebook and Twitter at http://twitter.com/philmckinney

Killer Innovations with Phil McKinney - A Show About Ideas Creativity And Innovation Phil McKinney

    • Business
    • 4.6 • 74 Ratings

An award-winning podcast and nationally syndicated talk radio show that looks at the innovations that are changing our lives and how their innovators used creativity and design to take their raw idea and create they're game-changing product or service.

Phil McKinney and his guests share real-world practical advice on how to harness the power of creativity and design to create ideas that turn into innovations that radically improve your personal, career and business success.

The show is hosted by Phil McKinney, retired CTO of Hewlett-Packard (HP) and author of Beyond The Obvious.

The complete backlog of content (going back to 2005) is available at http://killerinnovations.com. Follow Phil on Facebook at http://bit.ly/phil-facebook and Twitter at http://twitter.com/philmckinney

    Procrastinators’ Guide for Innovators

    Procrastinators’ Guide for Innovators

    Procrastination is a thief of potential, time, happiness, and success. Innovators often don't realize have become procrastinators because of how many projects they start. While innovators start innovations, they fail to launch them.

    Failure to launch is one of the most insidious forms of procrastination. In innovation, you will get your next position or project based on your portfolio, not your resume. It's all about the execution. If you are interested in looking at a small sample of my portfolio, you can hop over to Techtrend.

    FIRE – Execution Stage

    The FIRE innovation framework is a great way to avoid the trap of starting but not completing.

    The key is to move from stage to stage in the framework until you've launched your innovation.

    People procrastinate the most in the execution stage.

    In the execution stage, things can get messy, but avoiding it is no excuse. As innovators, we tend to compare our ideas to others and want to launch something perfect. Perfectionism is one of the biggest roadblocks to creative output. Don't let the fear of failure block your chances of success.

    Anti-Procrastination Tips for Innovators

    1.     Focus on one innovation.

    Your focus will increase overall productivity as you will unlock the room for more innovations.

    2.     Set a deadline.

    Setting intermediate deadlines for each task allows you to reach goals effectively. “The difference between a dream and a goal is a deadline.” – Harvey Mackay

    3.     Find an accountability partner.

    A partner should be someone who keeps you on track and is supportive while offering honest feedback.

    4.     Break it down into smaller steps.

    Consider using an agile innovation process that breaks down a project into short iterative cycles.

    Check out our podcast on The 7 Essential Ingredients of Agile Innovation.

    5.     Focus on your why.

    Your why is the reason or your motivation for working on a particular project. If you can keep this in mind, it will help you push through the difficult times.

    6.     Celebrate your wins.

    Celebrating each accomplishment will help you keep your focus and motivation high.

    Achieving Innovation Success

    Regarding innovation, it's important to remember that Rome wasn't built in one day.

    Your first try will probably fail, and that is ok. It takes hard work, focus, and determination to be successful. If you follow the steps outlined, you'll be well on achieving your innovation goals.

    To know more about procrastination in innovation, listen to this week's show: Procrastinators‘ Guide for Innovators.

    • 22 min
    The Failure of Innovation Journalism

    The Failure of Innovation Journalism

    Innovation journalism is one of the essential types of journalism in the modern world. Journalists must explain and communicate these changes when innovations and ideas emerge to the public. Innovation journalism is currently in a state of crisis, as science and technology reporters only make up a small percentage of reporters in American newspapers. Despite this fact, according to a Pew Research Center survey, more than half of Americans say they want more news about science and technology. To truly understand and grapple with our changing world, we need journalists willing to provide real insight into emerging innovations.

    The Problem: Lack of Innovation Understanding

    Journalists and media platforms often sensationalize innovations to increase traffic while showing prejudice towards ones they don't like. Sensationalism can distort public understanding of potentially transformative innovations, promote misinformation, and distort policymaking. Innovation journalism should be about exploring the implications of innovations and ideas while shining a light on the people making them happen.

    Theranos: An Innovation Journalism Failure

    The media hailed Theranos as an exciting new technology that could revolutionize the blood testing industry. Theranos' CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, was often described as the “youngest self-made billionaire,” Time Magazine referred to her as “The next Steve Jobs.” Eventually, The Wall Street Journal revealed that Theranos was misleading investors and patients about its technology.

    Forced to shut down, Elizabeth Holmes was convicted on multiple counts of fraud. The lesson from the Theranos story is that innovation journalism needs to be more than just positive coverage of new technologies. It needs to be willing to ask tough questions and investigate claims made.

    Guidelines of Good Innovation Journalism

    Here are eight guidelines of good innovation journalism discussed in the podcast:

    * Avoid Hype

    * Seek Diverse Perspectives

    * Consider the Implications

    * Go Beyond the Press Release

    * Verify The Claims

    * Be Transparent About Your Sources

    * Disclose Conflicts of Interest

    * Label Opinions as Such

    The Future of Innovation Journalism

    If innovation journalism is to have a future, it must do several things.

    * It must move away from its current focus on gadgetry and startups.

    * It must embrace its role as a critical and informative force in society.

    * It must also provide context and analysis, not just hype.

    * It must ask hard questions and hold those in power accountable.

    Only then will it be able to fulfill its potential truly. Otherwise, it risks becoming nothing more than a buzzword or an empty promise. Having accurate, transparent, and unbiased reporting on innovation can empower individuals, organizations, governments, and society to bring about positive change.

    To know more about science and technology in journalism, listen to this week's show: The Failure of Innovation Journalism.

    • 19 min
    The Joy of Innovation

    The Joy of Innovation

    Joy is a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Many things can prevent us from enjoying our lives and our work. Finding ways to deal with these challenges is crucial, so they don't take away our happiness. Innovation is all about creating new things and solving problems. Finding the joy of innovation motivates every innovator.

    Being a part of successful innovation adds joy to your life. That joy has motivated me for 40 years of my career in innovation. It can be gratifying if you're able to make a difference in the world through innovation.

    What Brought Me Joy of Innovation

    In 1986, I led the development of one of the first biometric security devices, a fingerprint reader for a company called ThumbScan. Eventually, a company out of Stockholm acquired ThumbScan. Delivering something nobody thought could ever invent excited me and made me want to repeat it.

    Next, I worked on a supercomputer project at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. There was a researcher that had developed the concept of massively parallel supercomputers. The processing architecture was called MISC, which drove a lot of interest when we developed it. Ultimately, it got acquired by Atmel. It was exciting to see something we'd worked on for so long and so hard become real. The excitement gave others also brought me joy. Again, this joy motivated me to continue the process.

    Finding Joy of Innovation At Work

    Many things can take the joy out of innovation. While finding joy in your work is hard, making a few changes in your mindset is possible. Here are a few tips that I've applied over my career:

    * Make a list of things you love at your job

    A list can help you remember why you chose this career in the first place

    * Set small goals for yourself and celebrate when you reach them

    Goals can help give you a sense of accomplishment rather than waiting for the big win. I believe in utilizing Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).

    * Find a mentor or role model who loves their work

    A mentor can give you a different perspective and encourage you

    * Take a break when you're feeling overwhelmed

    Breaks can help you clear your head and come back to your work refreshed

    * Talk to your friends and family about your work.

    Get those close friends and families who will tell you the truth and have your back when you need them.

    To know more about finding joy as an innovator,  listen to this week's show: The Joy of Innovation.

    • 32 min
    Innovating with Nanobots: What You Need to Know

    Innovating with Nanobots: What You Need to Know

    During the Cold War, Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman investigated the possibility of science on a microscopic scale. He wanted to create machines that could assemble molecules atom by atom. While this sounds like science fiction, the “nanoscale” exists. Nanobots exist. Nanotechnology is growing rapidly, and I believe its impact will be significant.

    The Nanoscale

    In 2016, IBM researchers announced they had created the world's smallest motor, just 1x1x4 nanometers in size. A nanometer is one-millionth of a meter. The motor is made of a single carbon nanotube, spinning at up to 60,000 rpm. The nanobot technology trend focuses on making these tiny machines fast, strong, and precise. While IBM's motor is not yet practical for real-world applications, it shows how far nanotechnology has come.

    7 Use Cases for Nanoscale Robots

    1.     Cancer treatment

    Nanobots can help in the early diagnosis of cancer cells and can destroy them.

    2.     Brain-computer interface

    Nanobots could read electrical signals in the brain and translate them into commands for a computer.

    3.     Surgical procedures

    Nanobots can help improve the accuracy of surgery and reduce healing time, risk of infection, costs, etc.

    4.     Drug delivery

    Nanobots can ‌target cells or tissues to deliver drugs with more precision.

    5.     Environmental cleanup

    Nanobots can aid in the environmental cleanup of spills and other disasters by targeting pollutants.

    6.     Manufacturing

    Nanobots can be used in manufacturing to create small, intricate parts or products.

    7.     Computing

    Nanobots can create ultra-fast processors that store more data.

    The Future of Nanobots

    Successful innovation with nanobots can improve the efficiency of many industries and create new ones altogether. Government organizations like the National Science Foundation (NSF) invest in nanotechnology research for improved energy sources, materials, electronics, etc.

    The global market growth for nanorobotics is from $6 billion in 2020 to $14.3 billion by 2028. The secondary economic impact of nanorobotics on industries that adopt them is a projected $3.1 trillion by 2035. Because of the competitive advantage nanobots can bring, leaders should consider how they leverage them. This feat can be challenging to do on your own, which is why many companies turn to an innovation agency for help in innovation scouting.

    To know more about nanotechnology,  listen to this week's show: Innovating with Nanobots: What You Need to Know.

    • 34 min
    Process Innovation – Including the Innovation Process

    Process Innovation – Including the Innovation Process

    Process innovation is the implementation of new or significantly improved processes to achieve tangible outcomes. There are two types of processes: operational and managerial. Operational processes seek to improve efficiency through streamlining activities and eliminating production waste. Managerial processes strive to enhance the effectiveness of a process by improving coordination and decision-making. Redesigning the process’s structure or improving its activities can help in both process types.

    Increasing departmental collaboration, creating a culture of experimentation, and utilizing data analytics help improve it. Constantly monitoring and refining an innovation process ensures businesses are always at the forefront of market trends and can create successful products.

    Why is Process Innovation Challenging?

    Process innovation involves change, which people don’t typically like. It also requires a clear understanding of the process and areas of improvement. To achieve this, try breaking down the process into small parts, diagraming it, reordering it, or seeking help from an expert such as Techtrend. An implementation plan is needed to implement a business process innovation successfully.

    5 Benefits of Process Innovation

    1.     Reduced waste and costs

    Businesses can reduce waste by developing new methods or technologies to carry out activities more effectively.

    2.     Improved efficiency

    Process innovation allows organizations to carry out activities more effectively, which reduces the time required to complete those activities.

    3.     Increased production capacity

    The creation of more efficient processes can result in higher work handling.

    4.     More affordable products or services

    Increasing efficiency can lead to lower costs and passed on to consumers at lower prices.

    5.     Greater customer satisfaction

    When products or services meet the customer’s needs, customer satisfaction and loyalty also increase.

    Example: The Ford Assembly Line

    The Ford assembly line increased efficiency and allowed for mass production. It also helped to reduce the cost of manufacturing cars, making them more affordable for consumers. Some call this a product and process innovation in a highly competitive business environment.

    To know more about process innovation,  listen to this week's show: Process Innovation – Including the Innovation Process.

    • 32 min
    Chunka Mui on Innovating a Perfect Future

    Chunka Mui on Innovating a Perfect Future

    Chunka Mui is passionate about changing the world by thinking through future problems. He loves to ponder what is possible in the future, given the exponential growth we are experiencing now. As innovators, we forget to consider our innovations' unintended consequences.  

    Chunka says innovators also don't think enough about the intended consequences. His latest book, A Brief History of a Perfect Future, asks what would be crazy not to have, given the current capabilities. It goes on to share how society can work to design a better future intentionally. It's a different way to look at how we innovate, not just for social good but for business good as well.

    A Brief History of a Perfect Future

    Much of Chunka's new book is helping people think outside of the box. The book does a great job of actively motivating people to think differently to make a better future. We have incredible tools that act as amplifiers to our choices. Advanced solar and renewable energy, transportation, etc., act as building blocks. We can use these capabilities to help with problems such as healthcare and poverty. So much more can be done, but it all starts with a long-term mindset.

    Pressing Problems

    According to Chunka, the climate is one of the most pressing issues. With the available capabilities, it would be crazy if we didn't mitigate the worst effects of climate change by 2050. To do this will require a combination of individual, corporate, and government action.

    How You Can Make a Difference

    Leaders can look for business opportunities that address long-term problems. Consumers can make an impact through what they buy and don't buy. Investors can enable companies to make significant impacts. Employees can bring their talent to impactful organizations. We can all play an active role in designing a perfect future where real change happens. Aim for the future and treat it as an opportunity.

    About our Guest: Chunka Mui

    Chunka Mui is a popular guest speaker, futurist, and innovation advisor. He is the author of 5 books on strategy and innovation, including, most recently, “A Brief History of a Perfect Future: Inventing the World We Can Proudly Leave Our Kids by 2050.”

    Check out Chunka's Linkedin here and his website here.

    To know more about thinking through future problems,  listen to this week's show: Chunka Mui on Innovating a Perfect Future.


    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
74 Ratings

74 Ratings

Adarcus ,


No matter the topic, you’re guaranteed to gain something from every episode - can’t recommend Killer Innovations enough. 🙌 This show is a listening MUST!

malfoxley ,

Great show!

Phil, host of the Killer Innovations podcast, highlights all aspects of innovation and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

LennyLMF ,

Great show. Listened to all 16+ years of episodes

Great listen

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