What Has Changed about Change?

innovation in a text message

What has changed about change? It’s the velocity. The time between major changes in business has been accelerated in the last 5-10 years. Every 6 months (or sooner) we see something new from our favourite companies.

In a recent interview on Small Business Advocate with Jim Blasingame. Ken Tencer, discusses “Innovation as a way of life, not a means to an end“. The need for change has made innovation and ideas the new currency for business. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be monumental every time. Innovation can be something small, like the taxi company texting their customers waiting for a ride, to tell them that their cab is 1 mile away. It’s a simple change in the way that the company interacts with their customers, allowing customers to be aware that the company is serving them well. Answering the age old question, “where is my cab?” Making the wait for a taxi more bearable.

You simply need to begin by asking, what does the end user or customer really want? How can our business help them get what they’re looking for? What can we change to make the customer experience better than ever and make them come back, time and again?

Delight your customers and they will delight your bottom-line.

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Innovate By Listening

innovate by listening

Ken Tencer was recently interviewed on the Small Business Advocate with Jim Blasingame. One of the two topics of conversation was: “Let customer expectations drive your innovation strategy” . In the interview, Ken explains that all businesses need to innovate to continue to grow and thrive. Businesses must change with the marketplace. Technology changes, marketplaces change and your business needs to change with it. How will you do it?

Innovation needs to begin with your customers’ needs. Get out and talk to them. Interview your customers and find out what’s keeping them up at night; understand what they need from you, your business, your service not just today but in six, 12, 18 months down the road. Understanding the challenges in their day-to-day business opens up different communication channels with your customer and helps to draw the most information possible out of them.

Customers are the people who buy what you sell. They are also your greatest source of insight and opportunity.

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Innovation Drives Marketing Drives Sales


Ken Tencer was recently interviewed on The Business Experience Show about The 90% Rule and how to bring innovation into your company.

Innovation is about bringing new ideas to your customers and keeping them delighted with your business. The 90% Rule book explores the practice of asking ourselves what we are 90% capable of, and what that next 10% will be. We have to think in logical and manageable next steps to determine what that next 10% can be. Highly successful and innovative companies are already doing this, and we should learn from their example.

A few ideas include:

Ask yourself what your company offers its customers. The great companies answer this with customer benefits, not the commodities that they manufacture. Think of Disney which is in the the business of fun, family and entertainment. Or Dove that is about Real Beauty, not selling bars of soap.  Companies need to learn to understand their core business and how what they do impacts the market.

Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Too often, we get stuck in our everyday rut and forget about networking and pushing ourselves to get out and meet new people. We all need to get out there and learn about what others are doing and how it impacts us.

Build a backboard of trusted resources to bounce ideas off. We don’t always have the answers ourselves, and we need to learn to lean on others whenever it becomes necessary.

Don’t forget to weigh and measure new ideas. We have to establish filters and use metrics to discover which ideas we should pursue. Treat those bright new ideas as live projects by assigning a champion to the idea. Task that person to grow and build the idea.

Companies that fail to innovate will ultimately fall behind in the marketplace. Recent examples are Hostess failing to grab hold of the healthy snack trend and Kodak failing to embrace the digital camera era. Whether you are a solopreneur or in the C-suite of a Fortune 500 company, there is no need to fall into this trap.

To learn more about these principles and The 90% Rule, Listen to Ken’s interview at: or buy The 90% Rule book.

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