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

    Is Intuition Required for Innovation?

    Is Intuition Required for Innovation?

    Introduction to Intuitive Thinking

    Intuitive thinking sometimes referred to as ‘thinking on autopilot,’ is based on prior experience and mental shortcuts. It involves using heuristics and pattern recognition to make decisions quickly and efficiently. Intuitive thinking is essential because it allows us to make decisions without pausing for conscious analysis or deliberation. This helps us react swiftly when we don’t have enough information or time – which is common in innovation.

    One can argue that intuitive thinking is essential to everyday life. It allows us to save energy and make decisions more quickly than if we were attempting to analyze every single detail of a situation. It also allows us to see/intuit things that are not obvious such as solutions to problems others do not see.

    Furthermore, intuition often helps us make better decisions than conscious thought processes alone. Studies show that we can trust our instincts in specific scenarios, such as predicting the outcome of sporting events or guessing the answer to a problem before checking the answer key.

    Intuitive thinking has drawbacks, however, as it relies upon past experiences, which may not always lead us in the right direction. Personal biases and assumptions may influence and cloud our judgment. As such, we must take time out from relying on intuition periodically and instead use conscious thought processes more deliberately when making decisions.

    Example of Intuitive Thinking

    An example of a person using intuitive thinking to innovate can be seen in the story of Henry Ford and his development of the Model T automobile. Ford had a vision of making an affordable car that could be used by families, and he knew that he needed an innovative solution.

    He began experimenting with different designs and materials until he eventually settled on mass-producing vehicles. However, it was not just the technical specifications that made this decision successful; Ford also relied on his intuition to ensure that what he was trying to achieve would be successful. He believed that people were looking for something new, reliable, and affordable, and he took a chance to create his product line – one that would revolutionize transportation as we know it today.

    Ford trusted his gut instinct and went against industrial trends at the time, believing in himself and his vision despite the risks involved. His intuition guided him toward making the right decisions, such as choosing assembly lines over hand-building cars or inventing new tools like wheel molds instead of relying solely on manual labor. Ultimately, these decisions ushered in a new era for car manufacturing – one where efficient production could result in cost savings for consumers without sacrificing quality or reliability.

    By trusting his intuition, Henry Ford created an innovative solution to a problem that had existed for years: how to make transportation more accessible and affordable without compromising quality or reliability. It was only after years of trial-and-error experimentation coupled with intuitive thinking that Ford succeeded with his Model T automobile design – leading to one of the greatest inventions of all time.

    History of Intuition

    Intuitive thinking has been a part of human decision-making for centuries. It is the ability to make decisions based on instinct, insight, or gut feeling rather than relying solely on conscious thought processes, facts, and figures. While intuitive thinking has long been viewed as an innate trait that some people possess while others do not, recent research suggests otherwise; anyone can cultivate intuition through practice and experience.

    The concept of intuitive thinking dates back to ancie...

    • 21 min
    Tom D’Eri on Hiring and Managing a Nontraditional Workforce

    Tom D’Eri on Hiring and Managing a Nontraditional Workforce

    Tom D’Eri, Co-Founder and COO of Rising Tide Car Wash, joins us to discuss the gap neurodivergent individuals face while entering the workforce and how to bridge that gap by changing hiring methods and implementing strategic operations that are inclusive to those with different skill sets.

    Prospective job seekers with autism face a massive disparity in the job market. Unemployment rates of this group of individuals are between 60-80 percent. Taking that percentage of people out of the workforce when only 16 percent of autistic people face a significant intellectual disability is holding many businesses back and harming the economy. Tom D’Eri started Rising Tide Car Wash to help his brother with autism find employment rather than be a statistic in a rigid workforce not designed for those facing mental disabilities.

    So many neurodivergent individuals are capable and have much to offer employers. A change in how businesses look at people and how teams function must take place for the future of the workforce to become more inclusive, diverse, and ultimately successful.


    One significant barrier neurodivergent people face is the traditional hiring process. Most businesses are not designed to accurately assess the capabilities of individuals with autism during the hiring process. They don’t see past external dissimilarities and can often overlook great talent simply by not realizing that the thought process of a neurodivergent person, though different, is not a handicap but can be an asset to a business. Employers need to reassess their methods to support neurodiversity better. Ensuring these individuals have the tools to be successful in the workplace will further ensure the business’s success.

    Benefits of Creating a Diverse Team

    To better support a nontraditional workforce, Tom believes you do not have to do anything structurally different; you need to do things better. Better communication, clear feedback, and managers who care enough about your employees to make a safe and trusting environment will help a nontraditional workplace thrive. Tom mentions how people with autism are extreme users of organizational systems, which is extremely beneficial to a team because it creates better management skills and processes and provides more communication clarity.

    Those who are neurodivergent think differently. People with different thinking styles can help drive a good innovation strategy by bringing a different perspective. Tom believes having diversity of thought on your team is one of the most impactful ways diversity can influence an organization. Not being afraid to try unconventional approaches to problem-solving will push teams in new directions and promote learning and innovation.

    Tom’s groundbreaking book, The Power of Potential, focuses on how the unemployment of neurodivergent people is an issue that can be solved. There is a need for talent, and there are people who supply that talent in the neurodivergent community. By expanding past traditional systems that aren’t built for the neurodivergent community and creating more inclusive and innovative business operations, businesses can unlock vast untapped potential and benefit the lives of those involved.

    About our Guest: Tom D’Eri

    Tom D’Eri is the Co-Founder and COO of Rising Tid...

    • 39 min
    Jim Kalbach of Mural on Visual Collaboration

    Jim Kalbach of Mural on Visual Collaboration

    Jim Kalbach, Head of Customer Experience at Mural, joins us to discuss innovation efforts in the world of visual collaboration.

    Remote work was at nearly one hundred percent during the pandemic, creating a need for effective digital whiteboards. Not only did people need a working space, but also a space for visual collaboration to take place. Since the pandemic, new modes outside of remote work have arisen, such as in-person, asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid. The challenge has been finding a happy medium these different modes can meet in. Jim Kalbach believes shifting the focus from getting teams remote to ensuring teams can work fluidly throughout these different modes will ensure that teams can collaborate to come up with innovative ideas.

    Experimentation and Understanding

    Having an experimental mindset is key while concepts are developing. It can be a challenge while experimenting with new techniques and tools, but a willingness to experiment and try different things, along with having patience when concepts don’t work out, is crucial in improving visual collaboration.

    As modes for digital whiteboards change, Jim says the key to understanding the new way how things work is having the proper mindset. You have to come in with the mindset that things start and end digitally. Understanding a digitally defined workplace is important because even if you are in person, other parts of your team could be remote. Therefore, it is vital to understand the platforms other team members are using so that things run smoothly.

    Intentional Collaboration

    Making team collaboration intentional is vital in ensuring your team is productive, creative, and innovative. Coming at situations with collaborative intelligence will ensure your teams have all they need to thrive. Having a methodology that your team follows, facilitating a culture of transparent communication, and understanding that there is room for learning will help teams effectively collaborate while using digital whiteboards.

    About the Author: Jim Kalbach

    Jim Kalbach is the Chief Evangelist at Mural, a collaborative intelligence company that offers a shared workspace for training on the LUMA System, the practical way to collaborate that anyone can learn and apply. Jim is an expert in the areas of experience design, visual methods, strategy, and remote facilitation. He is a world-renowned speaker, and author of the following books: the JTBD Playbook, Mapping Experiences and Designing Web Navigation.


    To know more about visual collaboration, listen to: Jim Kalbach of Mural on Visual Collaboration.

    • 40 min
    Business Model Innovation – Why Agility Matters

    Business Model Innovation – Why Agility Matters

    There’s no question that business model innovation is a hot topic in today’s business world. After all, who wouldn’t want to be the next Uber or Airbnb? But what does it take to create a new and successful business model?

    It turns out that business model innovation is not just about having a great idea but about execution and timing. It’s also about being willing to take risks and experiment. And, of course, it helps if you have a bit of luck.

    So, what does it take to create a new and successful business model? Let’s take a closer look.

    What is a Business Model?

    First, let’s define what we mean by a business model. A business model is a way a company creates value for itself and its customers. It includes the company’s value proposition (the unique selling point that differentiates it from competitors), the channels through which it reaches customers, the relationships it builds with them, the revenue streams it generates, and the costs it incurs.

    In other words, a business model is a company’s framework to generate revenue and profits.

    To be successful, a business model must be viable, scalable, and sustainable. A viable business model can generate enough revenue to cover its costs and make a profit. A scalable business model can grow to meet demand. And a sustainable business model can be sustained over the long term.

    Why Do Business Models Need Innovation?

    There are several reasons businesses need to innovate their models.

    First, the market is constantly changing, so companies must evolve.

    Second, technology is constantly changing and evolving, which means that the way businesses operate also needs to change.

    And third, customers are constantly changing and evolving, so companies need to find new and innovative ways to meet their needs.

    One will become irrelevant if a company doesn’t innovate its business model. Its products and services will no longer be in demand, and it can no longer generate profits. So, it’s essential for businesses to continuously experiment with new models to stay ahead of the competition.

    How to Innovate a Business Model

    So how can a company go about innovating its business model? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as every company and industry is different. However, there are some general steps that companies can take to get started:

    1. Define your value proposition.

    What makes your company unique? What do you offer that nobody else does? Figure out your unique selling point and focus on developing products and services that capitalize on that advantage.

    2. Identify your channels of distribution.

    How do you reach your customers? Are there any new or innovative ways you can reach them? Can you use digital channels to reach a wider audience?

    3. Build relationships with customers.

    How can you create loyalty among your customers? Can you create a community around your product or service? Can you find ways to delight your customers?

    4. Generate revenue streams.

    What are the different ways you can make money from your products or services? Can you find new ways to monetize them?

    5. Cut costs.

    How can you reduce the costs of running your business? Can you find ways to a href="https://killerinnovations.com/collin-howlett-of-vecima-on-the-pace-and-sources-of-innov...

    • 25 min
    Sandra Howe on Innovation Timing and Collaboration

    Sandra Howe on Innovation Timing and Collaboration

    Sandra Howe, an award-winning technology expert, joins us to discuss the effectiveness of pairing good timing with collaboration.

    The need for innovators willing to work with each other rather than against is progressing. Thanks to the swiftly changing technology market. The necessity for broadband internet is ever-increasing, especially in recent years, due to people’s increased need for it during and since the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the elasticity of the industry, Sandra stresses the importance of having a hub of innovators to discuss key aspects of leadership, standards, and new technologies.

    Experimentation and Adaptability

    The difference between a good idea and a great idea is rarely the idea but rather the timing. Companies often choose the wrong time to release new products or services. Poor timing can be detrimental to a good idea. Paired with having the right timing is engaging in effective collaboration. Having a good team or partnership to discuss and adequately vet an idea or product through trials and experimentation is vital. Using these trials to learn what adjustments need to be made or how consumers react is critical for success.

    Sandy says that the best way to prepare for the unexpected is to perform trials, listen to consumers, and make the necessary adjustments based on the findings. Being persistent and taking the time to listen goes a long way.

    Being able to adapt quickly is critical in the changing market. With the constantly changing market, it is incredibly challenging for companies to stay ahead of the curve. Sandra advises innovators to keep things simple, listen to consumers, and be willing to adjust to their demands.

    About our Guest: Sandra Howe

    Sandra Howe currently serves as an Independent Director on the Minim board of directors, as well as the Chair of The WICT Network Global Board, the board of directors for NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, and the board of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Foundation as an advisor on the investment committee. Sandra is also a former Technetix EVP. Sandy graduated from Pennsylvania State University and has received numerous industry awards: Cable TV Pioneers, Multichannel News’ Wonder Woman, CableFAX’s Top Women in Technology, The WICT Network Carolinas Carol A. Hevey Leadership Award, and NAMIC Carolinas EPIC in Technology.

    To know more about innovation timing and collaboration, listen to: Sandra Howe on Innovation Timing and Collaboration.

    • 39 min
    Most Downloaded Show of 2022 – Innovation Benchmarking

    Most Downloaded Show of 2022 – Innovation Benchmarking

    Benchmarking is the comparing of your organization to others to measure your performance and possibly identify areas for improvement. It has been common practice since the early 1900s. Frederick Taylor, an American mechanical engineer, is credited with coining the term “benchmarking” in his book, The Principles of Scientific Management. Benchmarking enables continuous learning and improvement by identifying those that are having an impact and change and following them. These learnings and improvements can nurture the innovation success of your organization.

    Benchmarking helps you understand how you compare to others in your industry, making it easier to identify the best practices. For example, benchmarking enables you to identify the companies that use the best technology, the fastest production time, or the lowest costs. Whatever the measurement of success you define in your benchmarking activities, a benchmarking study can help an organization’s managers make strategic decisions. It may also provide some insights into where to allocate your corporate resources. A common part of the data that gets collected in benchmarking is headcount. All kinds of weird metrics come out of this, such as dollars per revenue. While this is all good, there are also some challenges that we’re going to discuss.

    In general, benchmarking could prove useful in business units where benchmarking data reveals which competitors are performing better than others. However, before benchmarking, you must first conduct research to know who to benchmark against. You want to benchmark peers that are similar to you. You don’t want something unrelated, such as comparing a software company to a steel manufacturer. You want something similar. Similar peers could be in the same industry, have similar sizes, or they could be selling and servicing in a consistent geographic area. It can be tempting to say we want to be more like Silicon Valley. If a restaurant in Milwaukee benchmarked itself against the leading companies in Silicon Valley such as Apple, Google, or HP, that comparison would be meaningless.

    Benchmarking Failures

    Benchmarking has been around for quite some time, and it has some strong benefits, but there are bad that can come from benchmarking as well. The key here is that benchmarking can have negative consequences if done wrong. For example, if you benchmark against peers who are poorly chosen, it is not going to work. This can lead to bad decision-making and can destroy organizations. Therefore, it is important to handpick your benchmark peers to get accurate insights. For example, in the late 90s and early 2000s, MCI WorldCom, a major telecom company in the United States, was reporting results far better than any of its peers. AT&T and others attempted to benchmark themselves to find out how MCI could have a such standout performance. This resulted in the industry changing its strategies and its investment models to chase the MCI WorldCom results. While their competitors tried to play catch up, MCI WorldCom continued to report surprising results. That is until authorities revealed that MCI WorldCom was practicing fraudulent accounting practices. They overshowed the revenue streams, and they misallocated expenses to make their results look good.

    People had made decisions based on a benchmark against somebody who looked like they were performing outstandingly. To compete with how MCI was performing, they changed how they operated. MCI WorldCom eventually went bankrupt, but AT&T survived unscathed. They had size, scale, and all the capabilities. However, others in the industry got trapped in the benchmark. They made a href="https://philmckinney.com/if-you-want-to-innovate-then-dont-go-with-the-herd-groupthink-leads-to-bad-decisions/"...

    • 39 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

Top Podcasts In Business

Freakonomics Network & Zachary Crockett
Ramsey Network
Erika Kullberg
Jocko DEFCOR Network
Justin Su'a

You Might Also Like

Harvard Business Review
McKinsey Strategy & Corporate Finance
HBR Presents / Brian Kenny
McKinsey & Company
Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher
HBR Presents / Muriel Wilkins