You Could Learn a Lot About Innovation from a Potato!   |   +1 (720) 308 2960 (US)

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You Could Learn a Lot About Innovation from a Potato!

Creating waste and increasing costs are just an everyday part of doing business, right?  


What if I was to tell you that it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way…if you INNOVATE! 


After 25 years of business development for companies small and large, I’ve become an avid observer of innovation.  


I look for it. I admire it. I salivate over it. I even read obscure publications to find it.  


For example, an eye-opening write up in the rarely-seen-but-still-quite-interesting Fresh Plaza publication inspired this article.


I’m a massive fan of French fries (see me rave about it HERE) – who isn’t?! But I had honestly not given much thought to the waste generated in the process.  

All that potato peel has to go somewhere. And while farmers can use them to feed their animals, there might be a more innovative use.  


This article explained efforts to use pulped and processed potato peel as containers to hold French fries. Pretty cool, right?!  


While this initiative is still in early stages and hasn’t yet received funding, we can certainly use it for inspiration! 


Over the years, I’ve created a list of innovation-inspiring questions that get teams and leaders to think outside the box. This potato story reminded me specifically of one of these Little Big Bang Questions.  



How could we generate revenue from our leftovers, bi-products and waste? 


Now, it’s easy to think about the physical bi-products of your manufacturing process. So, I’d like to encourage you to consider how you might innovate around your intangible leftovers and waste.  


For example, you might have product managers or marketers doing research on your target markets and clients. Could you leverage or sell that information in some other way?  


You have consultants that are travelling constantly. What could they work on while they are on the road that would add value to the business? Could they contribute to a sales call or take a client to dinner?  


On their own, these might not seem like they would make a massive difference to your company. But if you can change the way you think about ‘waste’, you might generate some awesome Little Big Bangs.  


Our goal here is to find those small, quick and low-risk opportunities to incrementally innovate our business and our processes. 


So, what’s your potato peel? And what could you do with it? 


I’d love to hear what clever ideas you come up with!  


Having trouble thinking of options? Grab my ebook: Spark the Ideas. It shares 10 strategies for generating innovative ideas painlessly.   




Julie Holmes is an inventor, founder, entrepreneur and corporate survivor. Her favorite question is “What if?” What if you could transform your frustration into time savings and money making? It might sound crazy but that’s exactly what she’s been doing for organizations over the last 25 years.  Today she speaks all over the world on incremental innovation and the power of Little Big Bangs. Have an event or a group that you think could use a dose of Julie? Drop her a note at

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