>>redefine innovation often, companies think innovation is only about developing a blockbuster new product or service. not so, says evans. just as important can be a new way of doing things internally, such as using technology to streamline and cut costs. "we think it's important to not just try to create new products and services," he says. "but also invent new ways to improve what you're currently doing, improve your process so you take out costs and improve efficiencies." it's what has allowed companies like dell and wal-mart to flourish. neither invented anything groundbreaking; they simply innovated around process.

>>evaluate carefully with many business ideas, potential is not immediately obvious. many die, particularly in the budgeting process of large companies, because it's not glaringly obvious that they'll earn billions right away. that's a mistake, says scott anthony of innosight, a watertown, massachusetts-based innovation consultancy. "especially for large companies, you have to build a financial model, and the financial model requires a certain number of zeros at the end of it to be interesting to people," he says. "it causes new innovations to mutate and fail."

>>just say yes think of the last time you were in a meeting to brainstorm ideas. you believe you have a really great one and toss it out to the group. right away, someone says, "no, that can't work because," and ends it right there. patricia ryan madson, a drama teacher at stanford and creativity consultant, says you should instead say yes to everything, at least at first. "there is a predisposition toward affirmative thinking that is an absolute basic principle of creativity," says madson. "the critical eye is not a friend during the creative process. the mind generates 'no' easily, while creativity requires saying 'yes,' and then building and modifying an idea."