Practical Innovation Magic

Turning ideas into reality requires more than persistence, as this article explains it is much more like practical innovation magic. Innovation is taking a great idea to make a change to a process, product or to improve performance.

Often the most brilliant novel ideas are the hardest for others to understand the potential. If others can’t immediately see the upside then often it can be harder to get support, resources and funding. This is often referred to as the Innovators Dilemma.

Furr et al conducted over 100 interviews with innovative leaders including: Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Elon Musk (Tesla and SpaceX), Marc Benioff (, Shantanu Narayen (Adobe), Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo), Mark Parker (Nike) and Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn). They analysed and distilled the processes these leaders used to build the support. As well as the resources required to be successful. They then codified these tools and practices into what they refer to as ‘Impression Amplifiers’. Which are used to generate interest and attention, building credibility and support – its practical innovation magic.


Using comparisons and analogies between your idea and something both relatable and positive that your investors can relate to. Comparisons help build understanding and generate excitement about the idea or opportunity.


We are hardwired to react to and recall physical things. The more abstract the idea, the harder it can be to achieve a shared understanding. A tangible prototype or model can capture the imagination and connect people to the innovation.


Powerful stories connect the audience to the underlying narrative. That emotional connection to the story, also amplifies the connection to the idea. Using stories that explain how this innovation impacts lives. Creating vivid characters and a powerful narrative will captivate the listener.


Is using the visible public support of others to generate ongoing access to resources. The visible support might come in the form of endorsements or recognition of the novel innovation by influencers. These influencers can be different depending on the idea. Business Start-ups work with incubators and accelerators to ‘signal’ that others believe they have a good idea.

Practical Innovation
Image Credit: Artem Malsev Unsplash


Using an age old metaphor of fear of missing out. Apply pressure on the potential supporters. People want what they cannot easily have. Diversity of support and resourcing can also bring greater insight to the idea.


Making a personal commitment demonstrates that you are all in. You believe in the idea enough to back yourself. Others see this and it has influential powers when decision comes to support or provide resources.

Key Takeaways

  • Just having a good idea does not make it obvious to others. The list of techniques here help connect the audience to the idea.
  • The practical innovation magic happens when great ideas have access to the right resources. Motivating support requires the narrative to motivate the audience, connecting them to the opportunity and why it is the right time now.
DIGEST of an article from INSEAD KNOWLEDGE
Seven Tools for Turning Your Ideas Into Reality
By Nathan Furr
Published: 30th November 2020

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