Keep Current: News, Product Launches, Thought Leadership


Biomimicry is “Natural” Innovation

By Nottingham Spirk, October 9, 2015

Every nature show you’ve ever seen has featured some marvel of evolution that puts human innovations to shame. The cheetah’s aerodynamic shape and supercharged heart. The Cyanea octopus’s color-changing skin (video). The woodpecker’s ability to slam its beak into a tree all day without suffering so much as a Read more »


Freedom and Responsibility Culture

By Nottingham Spirk, September 1, 2015

As soon as Netflix announced its unlimited parental leave policy for new parents, doubters were quick to predict that the policy would not work. The reason? A version of “Work Martyr Syndrome,” according “In competitive workplaces, employees are looking for any leg up they can get, Read more »


The Relentless Pursuit of Information and “Insights”

By Nottingham Spirk, August 25, 2015

We’ve written about the importance of hiring creative people  and fostering a culture that promotes risk-taking.  But these should not be read to imply that all transformative ideas spring fully formed from the heads of smart, properly managed designer and engineers. Innovation requires a relentless pursuit of new information, and that Read more »


Innovation and Education: We need more “STEAM”

By Nottingham Spirk, August 18, 2015

An op-ed about the value of high school shop classes got us thinking and reading more about education’s role in innovation. That’s how we came across this essay from March with the provocative title “Why America’s Read more »


Troy-Bilt FLEX: Modular Outdoor Power Equipment

By Nottingham Spirk, July 21, 2015

MTD Products, owner of several lines of outdoor power equipment (OPE) products, approached Nottingham Spirk with an unprecedented challenge: design a multifunction powered yard care system that addresses the two biggest consumer concerns, cost and storage space.

With the Troy-Bilt FLEX modular yard care system, a Lawn Mower, Snow Thrower, Leaf Blower and Read more »


CardioInsight Technologies Acquired To Further Advance Heart Mapping Technology

By Nottingham Spirk, July 10, 2015

The recent acquisition of CardioInsight Technologies Inc., a privately-held, Cleveland-based medical device company, will further advance electrocardiographic mapping technology initially researched and developed in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University’s Case School of Engineering and Read more »


Learning To Innovate By “Making”

By Nottingham Spirk, June 18, 2015

We were impressed with Westlake, Ohio teacher K. Scott Kutz’s recent op-ed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “In Defense of Shop Class”:

You hear of middle and secondary schools that have abandoned their woodworking programs, yet at the same time we have a huge number Read more »


Workspace Inspires Creativity

By Nottingham Spirk, May 18, 2015

In the 1990s, “cubicles” became symbols of soulless corporations and mind-numbing jobs (in movies as different as Office Space and The Matrix , and the comic strip Dilbert. But the cube farm was a bastardization of the Read more »


Maintaining The Culture of Creativity

By Nottingham Spirk, April 15, 2015

Cartoonist Manu Cornet created a series of “organizational charts” for some of the biggest tech companies, based on their cultures. Google’s chart is absurdly complex but with a relatively clear hierarchy. Facebook’s is almost childishly simple and looping, as if no one’s in charge. In Microsoft’s, departments are Read more »


Cub Cadet HAULER: Innovative Versatily

By Nottingham Spirk, March 20, 2015

MTD (Headquartered in Valley City, OH), owner of Cub Cadet lawn and garden tractors, is partnering with NS to develop new products for the business. Our insights process revealed that among the target demographic — homeowners with large properties — the biggest deterrent to buying tow-behind Read more »

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