Jan 7, 2013
Want your business to be more innovative in 2013? Make these five resolutions
Ken Tencer, CEO of Spyder Works Inc. and co-author of two books, The 90% Rule and Cause A Disturbance (to be released in 2013), speaks to groups around the world about branding and innovation. He is a relentless advocate of how easy and simple innovation can be for any business. He offers five easy-to-do New Years’ resolutions for anyone who wants to be a breakthrough innovator in 2013.
||Stop, look and listen
The world is filled with insight and inspiration. If you take the time to look and listen, you will discover ideas that can easily be transformed into new innovations for your business. Just get outside your business and your comfort zone and see what others are doing.
Resolution: In each month of 2013 have each member of your management team find at least three new ideas from outside the business.
||Build a backboard
Everyone needs a backboard to bounce ideas off. And you can’t score if you don’t fire up a lot of ideas. So get your team together once a month to bounce new ideas around and see which ones score best.
Resolution: To create a backboard for your team and have them fire up as many new ideas as possible and pick the best “slam-dunks.”
||Be your own apprentice
Don’t be Donald Trump’s “apprentice,” be your own, and jump into your own Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den by testing your best ideas. See which of your team’s top ideas can meet a rigorous due diligence test.
Resolution: To invest the necessary due diligence each month to determine the best opportunities and present them as working projects.
||Choose a champion
Every good idea needs a great champion in order to turn it into an active project that can become a commercial success.
Resolution: To champion innovation opportunities and treat them with the same rigour as you would any ‘traditional’ project in your company.
Money isn’t the only thing that counts but counting the things that generate money is critical to every innovative idea.
Resolution: To establish metrics for each new innovation in order to measure its return on opportunity.
If you make and keep these five simple resolutions, 2013 will be a happy, innovative new year. For how to do it; talk to Ken Tencer.
Mar 26, 2012
One of a series by Ken Tencer, Spyder Works CEO
While the assumption that a company or an industry could be “too big to fail” has been used mainly since the recent financial crisis, the notion itself has smugly resided in corporate boardrooms since the dawn of the modern corporation. “Our technology dominates the market, no need to worry,” said the buggy-whip maker to his horse.
Failure and evolution are a natural part of business, but sometimes it’s hard to watch. Sadly, we may now be witnessing the demise of a key industry giant in Kodak – a company that actually foresaw and invented the future, yet somehow managed not to learn from it.
As reported in the New York Times, “The big story here is that their core business, the yellow box business [film], got cannibalized by the digital camera, which ironically they invented,” said analyst Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank Securities.
The good news for investors is that Kodak’s management claims that the company is now soundly and strategically focused on digital printing technology – this in a world that is increasingly going paperless. I don’t mean to pick on Kodak; they are not the first company or industry to resist change, nor will they be the last.
In an upcoming Innovation Insight entitled “Fueling Green,” we will look at how the auto industry is managing changing technologies very well by re-imagining their own future… and actively trying to adapt.
Mar 19, 2012
One of a series by Ken Tencer, Spyder Works CEO
Keyboarding is slow; mice are passé. Voice recognition is still flawed. In future, you may interact with computers (and many other devices) simply by gesturing. A Canadian company called XYZ Interactive Technologies is using inexpensive infrared technology to power embedded sensors that enable you to control devices without touching them. Explains XYZ’s CEO, Michael Kosic,”The future battle for consumers of User Interfaces will be fought in 3D”.
Think of an iPad that you don’t even have to touch, because your hand movements (not the press of your smudging fingers) control the device. Or consider the potential for hands-free operation of devices in order to keep environments more sterile by reducing the transference of germs by contact.
Whatever field you are in, innovation isn’t only about invention; it’s also about solving problems by making existing products and services work better – one breakthrough at a time. As a business strategy, innovation is about recognizing ideas that will touch your customer’s lives in a positive, impactful way. Or not touch them, I guess, if you are part of a group of engineers re-thinking the whole notion of interaction.