InnovaBuzz Episode #105 – Michael Mapes, Graveyard Innovation

Michael Mapes, Graveyard Innovation

 Michael Mapes, Graveyard Innovation

In this episode of the InnovaBuzz Podcast, it’s a great privilege to welcome Michael Mapes of Graveyard Innovation back to the show.

Michael is a bestselling author, strategist, and founder of Graveyard Innovation a results-driven innovation firm that helps businesses, entrepreneurs, leaders, and organizations create and execute winning campaigns so they can grow.

Michael was my guest previously on Episode 51, a little under a year ago, so it’s great to catch up again. Of course, we also had Janette Valentino, his business partner, on Episode 59.

We talked about the dramatic changes in technology and the internet and their impact on marketing; about generating new ideas and testing them and about the strategic storytelling process.

Listen to the podcast to learn more.

What is your INVALUABLE proposition - be honest! @MichaelMapes on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

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Show Notes from this episode with Michael Mapes of Graveyard Innovation:

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Often, success and failure look the same at a certain point, then something shifts and things start to work.  Key is to be persistent and to recognize those pivot points.
  • There is a lot of failures involved in innovation. It’s important to stay in conversation with people. It’s important to stay curious.
  • Innovation requires great ideas, but also execution and timing.  It’s best to do a lot of little experiments to test the idea, and timing, before building a “perfect product”.
  • Be honest about the strengths and weaknesses you and your business have.  Know your invaluable proposition. Be open to feedback.
  • Working in innovation, we have to create what people don’t ask for!  It does, however, need to solve the real problem they have.
  • People interpret the world in different ways – the same event or sequence events can mean completely different things to different people.  Michael’s question: What story do you have in your mind?  And, how do you engage with it?
  • Cliche often sounds like wisdom.  It often sounds interesting.  It isn’t! Copy and paste can be a shortcut.  But there are no shortcuts to understanding your clients and looking at the world from many different perspectives.  Having a deep relationship with your clients and personalising your products or service really differentiates you.
  • Take an approach of running “a million little experiments”, to get feedback and input and learn what works and what helps people.  In doing that, keep focused on your long-term goals.
  • Information today is NOT at a premium value – what is valuable is curation and context.  Be a Librarian for the Internet!  Curation and context, combined with insights, to provide useful and interesting experiences for people, will differentiate you.  Ask, how can I create additional value for my target market, in a way that no one else is doing?
Curation and context, combined with insights, to provide useful and interesting experiences for people, will differentiate you. @MichaelMapes on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Michael’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.

  • #1 thing to be more innovative – Fail more – do more experiments, work out what went wrong and be honest.  Don’t rely on what worked last time.
  • Best thing for new ideas – Listen to people – listen carefully (between the lines), use your power of observation and check back.
  • Favourite tool for innovation – Legal pads and sharpies.  Focus on profound, powerful simplicity.
  • Keep project/client on track – Discernment – knowing when to stay the course and when to change course.
  • Differentiate – Hold differentiation or imagination as a value:  doing something different, unique, innovative.

To Be a Leader

There is no easy answer!  I have more questions than answers!  Learn from others and their experience, but also trust your own experience.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Michael via email, the Graveyard Innovation website, or even directly phone him on 1-309-430-9836

Suggested Guest

Michael suggested I interview Gigi Bisong of Lit By Miracles Company and his business partner in the Bisong-Mapes Speaking Agency, on a future InnovaBuzz podcast.

So Gigi, keep an eye on your inbox, for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Michael Mapes, of Graveyard Innovation.



Cool things about Michael:

  • Michael loves to read about history and take lessons from historical people and events to apply to modern business.
  • As a child, Michael joined his aunt – speaker and musician Joi Ebel – on stage, and he’s continued to wow audiences with his insights and creative thinking ever since.
  • A serial entrepreneur, Michael started his first business at 19.
Having a deep relationship with your clients and personalising your products or service really differentiates you. @MichaelMapes on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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