Competitive Edge
Follow
Find tag "creative"
24.2K views | +10 today
Competitive Edge
Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Innovation Strategies
Scoop.it!

The smart creative: How to spot them, how to use them

The smart creative: How to spot them, how to use them | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

The term “smart creative” is often heard today in the hallways and conference rooms of some of the nation’s leading tech companies.

Not surprising, since it was coined by Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman. But the concept is not necessarily unique to Google, or even to the tech world.

Smart creatives (SCs) can be found almost anywhere, from the corner coffeehouse to the corner office.

  • How can you tell if you are a smart creative?
  • How can you spot a smart creative?
  • How can you maximize smart creatives’ potential in your organization?

Here are four key characteristics to look for:

Read more, click on the image or title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"I have been receiving "Growing Your Empire" newsletter for about a year, and I appreciate the advice that you have been sharing on entrepreneurship - I have leveraged the information you've provided many times."
Alex Stolyar



Via Ken Cooper
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Are you a smart creative? If you are, you'll be looking to add on the skills and experience you need to become one.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Leadership
Scoop.it!

Coaching on How To Ask Powerful Questions

Coaching on How To Ask Powerful Questions | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Here are ten ways asking questions can help us be more effective leaders and create breakthroughs in our impact.

If there were one single tool that would help you inspire greater creativity, drive stronger engagement, and get better results,would you try it?

It’s called a question.

Voltaire said “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers”.

In my executive coaching practice, asking the right questions is the single most important tool I use to help others discover and grow themselves as leaders.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Via donhornsby, Michael Binzer
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Questions will start the process of communication, resolving, thinking, etc. Great article.

more...
donhornsby's curator insight, May 27, 2014 9:21 AM

(From the article): 

Here’s the real challenge to asking good questions. It requires a shift in our own mindset as leaders. We have to let go of three ego needs that hold us back.

Let go of the need to be superior or to prove ourselves (e.g. I’m the smartest person in the room so let me tell you everything I know).Let go of the need to control outcomes (e.g. the best and most efficient way to do this is my way, so let me just help you by telling you what to do).Let go of the need for perfection or need to succeed without any tolerance for failure (we have to do this perfectly because anything less than success will make us or me look bad).

This is where executive coaching really works to uncover limiting beliefs and paradigms we have so we can let our curiosity naturally flow through. Do these apply to you?

 

Michael Binzer's curator insight, June 25, 2014 4:36 AM

Ten good ways to ask difficult questions. Worth reading

Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Richard Branson on the Best Places to Find Inspiration

Richard Branson on the Best Places to Find Inspiration | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Getting inspired to start a new business means paying attention to the world around you. Here's how Virgin's CEO seeks out his own inspiration.

Entrepreneur Richard Branson regularly shares his business experience and advice with readers. Ask him a question and your query might be the inspiration for a future column.

Q: Where do you go to find inspiration? -- Tomas Jonsson

Most entrepreneurs dream of having an idea that changes the world -- of inspiration that comes in a flash, like Sir Isaac Newton and his apple, and results in a business that transforms an industry. And a few ideas have come to me out of nowhere, as if someone had flicked on a light switch, but I've learned over time that most good ideas take a lot longer to formulate and are the result of steady observation.

My best sources of inspiration come from the everyday frustrations I encounter at work and in my personal life. Simply taking note of them can lead to great ideas, because if you follow up and find that you can offer consumers a better solution than the ones currently on the market, you may soon be running a successful business.

To read the full article, click on the title.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here:

http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

My experience is similar. Once in a while I get a great idea out of nowhere, but often it is all about improving or looking for solutions for existing problems.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

15 Business Card Designs That Will Leave An Impression

15 Business Card Designs That Will Leave An Impression | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

If you are asked to recall your favorite business card, I bet you don’t have an answer for it. No worries, me neither because who notices the generic look for business cards? Fact of the matter is, for many people, their business card is also a promotional tool for them, particularly when they are not attached to any organization – and some of them are really great attention-grabbers.

While most of us will fall back on a business card template or the minimalistic style, after going through all the considerations required of the card that will sell your services for you, sometimes it’s good to just let down your hair and have fun with it.

In this post we will show you 15 business cards that are anything but regular or normal. These cards will make you want to play with them.

To read the full article, and see some awesome desings, click on the title.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here:

http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This is really very creative, and I bet it's also very effective. Some of these designs are just incredible. Love it!

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Ideas, Innovation & Start-ups
Scoop.it!

Ten Rules for Web Startups

Ten Rules for Web Startups | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
#1: Be Narrow
Focus on the smallest possible problem you could solve that would potentially be useful. Most companies start out trying to do too many things, which makes life difficult and turns you into a me-too. Focusing on a small niche has so many advantages: With much less work, you can be the best at what you do. Small things, like a microscopic world, almost always turn out to be bigger than you think when you zoom in. You can much more easily position and market yourself when more focused. And when it comes to partnering, or being acquired, there's less chance for conflict. This is all so logical and, yet, there's a resistance to focusing. I think it comes from a fear of being trivial. Just remember: If you get to be #1 in your category, but your category is too small, then you can broaden your scope—and you can do so with leverage.

#2: Be Different
Ideas are in the air. There are lots of people thinking about—and probably working on—the same thing you are. And one of them is Google. Deal with it. How? First of all, realize that no sufficiently interesting space will be limited to one player. In a sense, competition actually is good—especially to legitimize new markets. Second, see #1—the specialist will almost always kick the generalist's ass. Third, consider doing something that's not so cutting edge. Many highly successful companies—the aforementioned big G being one—have thrived by taking on areas that everyone thought were done and redoing them right. Also? Get a good, non-generic name. Easier said than done, granted. But the most common mistake in naming is trying to be too descriptive, which leads to lots of hard-to-distinguish names. How many blogging companies have "blog" in their name, RSS companies "feed," or podcasting companies "pod" or "cast"? Rarely are they the ones that stand out.

#3: Be Casual
We're moving into what I call the era of the "Casual Web" (and casual content creation). This is much bigger than the hobbyist web or the professional web. Why? Because people have lives. And now, people with lives also have broadband. If you want to hit the really big home runs, create services that fit in with—and, indeed, help—people's everyday lives without requiring lots of commitment or identity change. Flickr enables personal publishing among millions of folks who would never consider themselves personal publishers—they're just sharing pictures with friends and family, a casual activity. Casual games are huge. Skype enables casual conversations.

#4: Be Picky
Another perennial business rule, and it applies to everything you do: features, employees, investors, partners, press opportunities. Startups are often too eager to accept people or ideas into their world. You can almost always afford to wait if something doesn't feel just right, and false negatives are usually better than false positives. One of Google's biggest strengths—and sources of frustration for outsiders—was their willingness to say no to opportunities, easy money, potential employees, and deals.

#5: Be User-Centric
User experience is everything. It always has been, but it's still undervalued and under-invested in. If you don't know user-centered design, study it. Hire people who know it. Obsess over it. Live and breathe it. Get your whole company on board. Better to iterate a hundred times to get the right feature right than to add a hundred more. The point of Ajax is that it can make a site more responsive, not that it's sexy. Tags can make things easier to find and classify, but maybe not in your application. The point of an API is so developers can add value for users, not to impress the geeks. Don't get sidetracked by technologies or the blog-worthiness of your next feature. Always focus on the user and all will be well.

#6: Be Self-Centered
Great products almost always come from someone scratching their own itch. Create something you want to exist in the world. Be a user of your own product. Hire people who are users of your product. Make it better based on your own desires. (But don't trick yourself into thinking you are your user, when it comes to usability.) Another aspect of this is to not get seduced into doing deals with big companies at the expense or your users or at the expense of making your product better. When you're small and they're big, it's hard to say no, but see #4.

#7: Be Greedy
It's always good to have options. One of the best ways to do that is to have income. While it's true that traffic is now again actually worth something, the give-everything-away-and-make-it-up-on-volume strategy stamps an expiration date on your company's ass. In other words, design something to charge for into your product and start taking money within 6 months (and do it with PayPal). Done right, charging money can actually accelerate growth, not impede it, because then you have something to fuel marketing costs with. More importantly, having money coming in the door puts you in a much more powerful position when it comes to your next round of funding or acquisition talks. In fact, consider whether you need to have a free version at all. The TypePad approach—taking the high-end position in the market—makes for a great business model in the right market. Less support. Less scalability concerns. Less abuse. And much higher margins.

#8: Be Tiny
It's standard web startup wisdom by now that with the substantially lower costs to starting something on the web, the difficulty of IPOs, and the willingness of the big guys to shell out for small teams doing innovative stuff, the most likely end game if you're successful is acquisition. Acquisitions are much easier if they're small. And small acquisitions are possible if valuations are kept low from the get go. And keeping valuations low is possible because it doesn't cost much to start something anymore (especially if you keep the scope narrow). Besides the obvious techniques, one way to do this is to use turnkey services to lower your overhead—Administaff, ServerBeach, web apps, maybe even Elance.

#9: Be Agile
You know that old saw about a plane flying from California to Hawaii being off course 99% of the time—but constantly correcting? The same is true of successful startups—except they may start out heading toward Alaska. Many dot-com bubble companies that died could have eventually been successful had they been able to adjust and change their plans instead of running as fast as they could until they burned out, based on their initial assumptions. Pyra was started to build a project-management app, not Blogger. Flickr's company was building a game. Ebay was going to sell auction software. Initial assumptions are almost always wrong. That's why the waterfall approach to building software is obsolete in favor agile techniques. The same philosophy should be applied to building a company.

#10: Be Balanced
What is a startup without bleary-eyed, junk-food-fueled, balls-to-the-wall days and sleepless, caffeine-fueled, relationship-stressing nights? Answer?: A lot more enjoyable place to work. Yes, high levels of commitment are crucial. And yes, crunch times come and sometimes require an inordinate, painful, apologies-to-the-SO amount of work. But it can't be all the time. Nature requires balance for health—as do the bodies and minds who work for you and, without which, your company will be worthless. There is no better way to maintain balance and lower your stress that I've found than David Allen's GTD process. Learn it. Live it. Make it a part of your company, and you'll have a secret weapon.

#11 (bonus!): Be Wary
Overgeneralized lists of business "rules" are not to be taken too literally. There are exceptions to everything.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km





Via Justin Jones
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Rule #12: Break all the rules.

more...
Ibrahim Rahmani's curator insight, January 30, 3:06 PM

Focus on the smallest possible problem you could solve that would potentially be useful. Most companies start out trying to do too many things, which makes life difficult and turns you into a me-too. 

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Daily Magazine
Scoop.it!

5 Tips To Become a Morning Person

5 Tips To Become a Morning Person | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

A majority of people in the world are night owls, staying up late either catching up on “to-do” lists, watching a late night show or socializing with friends, but is staying up late into the night and sleeping later in the morning a smart approach?

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Via OFFICIAL ANDREASCY
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Being a morning person definitely makes you more competitive. You can get an incredible amount of work done in the morning, and then you still have the whole day available to be creative and relaxed and to enjoy what you do, or want to do.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Practical Networked Leadership Skills
Scoop.it!

10 of the most controversial productivity tips that actually work - - The Buffer Blog

10 of the most controversial productivity tips that actually work - - The Buffer Blog | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Tim Ferriss tells us "To do the impossible, you have to ignore the popular".

We’ve all heard what makes us more productive. To be more productive, get: Better sleep, better food, better work environment, etc. And I think these tips are amazing and a great focus to have. Heck, we even wrote about most of these and the science behind it here on the Buffer blog.

And yet, today, I thought of changing it up dramatically. It goes nicely with Tim Ferriss’ moto:

“To do the impossible, you need to ignore the popular.”

So with this article, I tried to really step aside from the popular and look for the counter-intuitive. Of course, it’s all backed by the latest and most reputable studies.

Let’s dig and find out some of the most controversial things you could do today to boost your creativity, happiness and productivity:

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Via Beth Kanter
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

I always like to look at everything with my 'own' eyes, ignoring the popular. So this article by co-founder and CMO of Buffer Leo Widrich makes you think about some real 'popular' assumptions.

more...
Beth Kanter's curator insight, March 2, 2014 5:42 PM
4.)  Work less

Within the Buffer team, we have an informal rule, that goes something like this:

“Working more is never the answer.”

This is derived from Tony Schwartz’ book “The Power of Full Engagement”, where he proposes a solution to working, that completely changed my productivity. His key idea is simple: “Manage your energy, not your time.”

Harvard Business School professor Leslie Perlow also has some explanations:

“There are first order benefits to taking the time off, but I think the real business case is (that) in working together to make that time off possible, companies actually re-think how you work and how to be productive.”

So if you start working less, you will have to think really hard about what you will spend your time doing. Here is also more on managing energy, rather than time.