There’s no better example of the potential for IoT in business than when it comes to customer relationship management (CRM).
From cars to air conditioning, fridges to fitness bands, there are few ‘things’ that the Internet of Things has yet to start infiltrating. They’ve even started entering business, where the potential for automation and connectedness sees your customer service reps being replaced by an email from your washing machine telling you to change your drain hose.
Based on our experience, we've created a list of things that might inspire your innovation room. Some of these items are already in our office, others will follow soon. Make sure to let us know if you have other great suggestions.
We live in an era in which innovation reigns supreme—and everything from state addresses to New York Times bestsellers to the board’s P&L expectations reminds us of that fact. Everyone wants it, everyone needs it. But the day-to-day realities of those who are actually tasked with innovation tend to be mired more in a vague sense of frustration than a triumphant chorus of bottom-line wins. One big source of that frustration: having your big idea—the one you and your team just know can stand the test of time and generate market impact—diluted, stalled, and eventually quashed by organizational barriers. It’s the tragedy of a great idea never seeing the light of day, and it’s enough to make innovation feel academic—abstract, even.
What role does creativity play in your life? Do you like to make, cook, paint, write or glue things together? The more you do, the better off you may be. And while most of us aren't spending our days doing watercolors or writing songs, that doesn't mean we should write off creativity, period. Because one of the best reasons to embrace more of it in your life is that it's a powerful way to build resilience. That's what Brene Brown, Ph.D, told the audience of nearly 4,000 at the recent How Design Live conference, where graphic designers, visual artists, and other creative professionals go for information and inspiration in their industry. Brown, whose famous TED talk has garnered nearly 20 million views to date, says that the act of creating isn't just a career -- it's a tool that helps turn ideas into action. "The biggest question I've gotten in my career is this," she said. "How do I go from understanding an idea in my head to living it in my heart?" After all, you can know a thing intellectually, but how do you make it real?
All companies want to be known for innovation—from increased research and development budget to swanky innovation labs. How do you make sure your efforts—and dollars—will lead to actual advancements? Creativity and innovation are processes, and big budgets don’t necessarily lead to huge, market-changing ideas. I think everyone has a creative muscle that can be strengthened to generate better results, regardless of the monetary investment. Imagine if all it took to create a better world through innovation was a little creative conditioning? Inspired by this thought, my company Motivate Design launched What If Studios. This uses the What If Technique (WIT), to teach anyone—entrepreneurs, corporations, and employees—how to unlock innovative thinking by reframing issues, cultivating curiosity, and increasing creativity.
As consumers we are told that we live in a world of innovation. New technology is released everyday, the next generation iPhone is always just around the corner and each new device that enters the market is packed with the latest ground-breaking innovative technology. Today ‘innovation’ is the buzzword that has us all, consumers and businesses alike, reaching for our wallets. Today’s products will be archaic by Christmas, we accept this as an inevitable outcome of a non-stop innovation process. But how true is this and, for that matter, what does innovation truly mean? As the growing importance of advancements and their connections to economic growth become more visible, the term ‘innovation’ is tending towards hyperbole, and at best it is a nebulous concept. A marketers and PR’s default adjective, almost anything vaguely new to market is classed as innovative.
When Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for the Washington Post in March 2013, the move had a lot of people scratching their heads. Up to that point, Bezos had showed great initiative in innovating the Internet retail world, but not many people understood his connection to the icons of standard media such as the Washington Post.
Some of the immediate changes Bezos made appeared to be obvious. For example, the Post’s website has been redesigned to make it more user-friendly. But there have been other changes at the Post that have been so successful that the Post has been steadily hiring new employees and looking for even more ways to expand its influence.
Ten key levers built into any project or process effort can dramatically improve results and create a culture of continuous improvement and creativity. Five of the levers are directed toward the individual and five toward the organization; together they can make a big difference in replacing bureaucracy with an entrepreneurial spirit of excitement, innovation and creative problem solving. 1. Involve Frontline Employees Some of the best ideas for process improvement lie with the process owners. This is not a new concept, but it bears emphasizing. Frequently, the process owners are frontline people who do not have the chance to participate in improvement efforts. While they may not be formally trained in quality tools, their closeness to the process is a vantage point second to none. Every project or deployment needs to ask the question: “Who knows the process or subprocess best, and how are we assessing their unique knowledge and insight?”
It’s tough to meet customer expectations, let alone exceed them. But it is possible. Here are 12 ideas to help you improve customer satisfaction. 1. Understand why your customers call The majority of customer service operations still do not measure the reason why customers call, at least not in an ongoing and analytical way. This should be the first port of call in your journey to exceeding customer expectations. If you learn why your customers call, you can publish answers to FAQs on your website and help your customers to help themselves.
When big companies want to innovate these days, they tend to do all kinds of things such as: including the word "innovate" and its variations on corporate literature; promoting managers to be innovation managers; investing in idea management software; and running creative thinking events such as brainstorms and anticonventional thinking sessions. While these actions can all lead to improved innovation, the improvement is limited. If a company really wants to become an innovation powerhouse, there is one simple action they can take: fire the CEO and hire a new one with a focused vision.
If you want to be creative, you've got to step out of your comfort zone, right? Wrong! If you look at the great authors, artists and composers throughout history, you will see that they almost universally worked in their offices or studies and often kept strict routines. (For examples, see here and here). In other words, they not only worked within comfort zones, but they cultivated very comfortable comfort zones. You should do the same when you need to be creative. But first, it helps to understand what a comfort zone is. In his paper, "From Comfort Zone to Performance Management" Alasdair White, defines a comfort zone as The comfort zone is a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk. In a nutshell, then, a comfort zone is an environment or situation where you minimize anxiety.
Today’s pioneering enterprises are doing more than just talking a good digital game. They are fundamentally changing the way they look at themselves and quickly mastering the shift from “me” to “we.” Proactive corporate leaders see their businesses, employees and customers as a living, breathing digital fabric offering unprecedented opportunity to establish beachheads in new markets, drive profit and change life for the better. Through the transformational power of this network, we’re witnessing the birth of a new era of “digital ecosystems.” The Accenture Technology Vision 2015 maps out five key trends: The Internet of Me, Outcome Economy, Platform (R)evolution, Intelligent Enterprise and Workforce Reimagined. How to sum it all up? It’s not just about you — or me, or anyone else in particular. It’s about all of us — The “We Economy”.
I’ll be honest. Rules really bug me. I recognize their importance in life but I do feel their importance is often inflated. As a well-credentialed rule breaker I do recognize and appreciate how the majority of people in life find peace and comfort in rule following. However, it is also necessary to recognize that progress is almost always precipitated by rule breaking. Innovation of any kind is nearly impossible without breaking some type of rule. Rules about how we relate to people. Rules about how we should behave. Rules about how we should run organizations. Good rules produce quality work on a repeatable basis. They produce safe and reasonable decisions. They also waste time and create too many non-innovative discussions in boring committees.
Running innovation projects is hard. By definition you’re doing new things so you can’t rely on old habits and routines. If you and your innovation team don’t feel uncomfortable, you’re simply not innovating. That doesn’t mean you’ll need to fly blind. At every moment in your innovation process you can use tools, references, checklists and other innovation methods. We do the same in our innovation projects. Let me give you some insights in our innovation toolkit. Let me present my weapons of choice at every stage within an innovation process!
Google is releasing prototypes of its self-driving car on the roads of Mountain View, California this summer. According to the announcement, the vehicle test runs will include safety drivers who can takeover driving if necessary, and speeds for the vehicles have been capped at 25-mph. Google says this phase of testing will help them better understand how the community interacts with the self-driving cars, and identify challenges.
Innovation. The word might make you think of Silicon Valley. But innovation isn’t the sole province of startups. They didn’t invent it, and they’re not always the ones from which we can best learn. As Matt Kingdon argues in The Science of Serendipity, it’s corporate innovators battling within large, established organizations who are the field’s real heroes. Tapping into 20 years of experience on the front lines of innovation—bringing new products and services to market and helping organizations become more innovative—Kingdon dissects the ways in which corporations are continually reborn. He looks at the anatomy of innovation, asking: How do time-pressed executives go about taking risks? How do they prepare to see—and seize—opportunity? And how do you place humans, with all of their fears and foibles, at the heart of commercial success?
Coca-Cola has been around for 130 years. Coca-Cola has a market cap of $179 billion. Coca-Cola has 129,000 employees. And Coca-Cola is very, very good at what it does. But making the soda is only part of the story. Getting the fizzy stuff into stores and restaurants all over the globe requires a massive supply chain of shipment, bottling, stocking, and staffing — not to mention sales and marketing. Each of those are giant, sometimes independent, businesses related to the Coca-Cola empire. And at a time when little startups are disrupting big businesses left and right, Coke knows that it cannot afford to ignore technology, says Coca-Cola VP of Innovation and Entrepreneurship David Butler.
Innovation is the most common realty of modern business world but not many people understand what actually innovation is. Very few of them have any idea of how innovation works and how you can harness the power it offers to achieve new heights of success. As a business leader, you should answer all the important questions, develop necessary mindset and acquire all the skills required to make any innovation process a success rather than a failure. You must be able to optimize the innovation process in order to make most out of it. Most importantly, you must learn how to measure the performance and outcome of the process otherwise you are not going to get the results you desire.
Some days I wake up and have about 100 creative ideas before breakfast. My mind quickly becomes overwhelmed with thoughts and ideas, and that is before the tea and toast kick in. Some days it feels like a complete mess. I have a messy brain creating ideas sparking off each other. A lot of this is due to my personality. There are plenty of personality type tests available. Having taken many of these I understand myself quite well. I am an ideas person. I am inspired by possibilities and potential. I have notebooks, apps, files and folders full of thoughts and ideas. My problem is, that currently, I need to get these ideas realised. I believe in modelling a minimalist lifestyle. If I don’t need something I shouldn’t have it. If I have something that already does the job I shouldn’t need to buy anything that does the same job, even if it is all shiny. I believe I should only have, or strive to have, what I need, and not what I want, or think would be nice. This is my minimalist philosophy. The world has finite resources and as a member of the human race, I will try to live my life using only what I need.
Collaboration, agility, transparency, innovation and productivity are the five key challenges facing global companies over the next five years, according to data based on more than five million employees worldwide by global management consultancy Hay Group. However, the Hay Group research found that engagement and enablement levels in many global businesses haven’t improved since 200
“The business environment is rapidly changing. Our research shows that many companies don’t currently have the right strategies in place to respond to the challenges this brings through arguably their most critical asset – their people,” says Mark Royal, senior principal at Hay Group. “Firms rated highest for engaging and enabling their staff achieve four and a half times the revenue growth of their lowest scoring counterparts and see up to 54% improvement on staff retention. People are the lynchpin to sustaining performance in this rapidly changing world, and organizations need to wake up to this. The successful organizations will be those that realize their employees are a unique asset and can help them meet the challenges both now, and as they intensify in the future,” he remarks.
The seven principles that Jobs used to achieve his breakthrough success are available to any business leader in any field who hopes to create radical transformation. 1. Do what you love. Passion is everything. Innovation doesn’t happen without it. Dig deep to identify your true passion. Steve Jobs was not passionate about computers; he was passionate about building tools to help people unleash their potential. One of the most profound remarks Jobs ever made occurred at the end of one of his last major public presentations. Jobs said, “It’s the intersection of technology and liberal arts that makes our hearts sing.” Ask yourself, “What makes your heart sing?” Follow the answer. Put a dent in the universe. Passion fuels the rocket; vision directs the 2. rocket to its ultimate destination. In the mid-1970s personal computers were largely limited to hobbyists who assembled parts from kits. Jobs and co-founder Steve Wozniak had a vision to “put a computer in the hands of everyday people.” A bold, specific vision inspires evangelists and sets forces in motion. Jobs once said the role of a leader is to hire the best people and to keep them aligned toward achieving the vision. Keep your team focused on the big picture. 3. Creativity is connecting things.............................
1. Phone the customer – regardless of how they contacted you When things go wrong, customers appreciate a phone call, even if they made contact with you through a different channel. This is because phone calls are both quick and PRIVATE; your customers’ issues won’t be bandied across the internet. Phoning also ensures that both parties are less likely to misunderstand what is being said – if you email, tweet etc. the written word doesn’t have the depth of meaning or tone conveyed by speech and is more open to misinterpretation. A phone call will also elicit greater detail about your customer (so you can keep adding to your histories) – and you can control the content. 2. Make sure your service strategy has well-defined procedures
Business leaders know that great strategies with great execution produce winning companies. They also know that winning companies are far outnumbered by mediocre ones. What they may not realize is that it’s the path from strategy to execution that often separates the two. The typical path goes something like this: You start by setting your goals. These could be financially oriented (grow earnings a certain amount by so-and-so year) or strategic (become the leader in this-or-that market). Then you prioritize the actions that will get you there: invest here, cut there, reorganize this, buy that. And then you implement like mad: align the organization around your goals and priorities, review your progress quarterly, reward performance accordingly, and so on. Of course, some companies are much better than others at following this track. That could explain the difference between winning and mediocre companies — but in my experience something much more significant is at play.
Creativity often seems a lovey-dovey sort of thing. In brainstorming, all ideas are welcome and criticism of ideas is a capital offence. Idea management systems often reward participation by quantity of ideas rather than quality. Criticism stifles creativity and probably causes cancer -- or so we are led to believe. But the truth is, we need to be critical if we want to be creative. After all, if we believe that an ill-thought out idea is already truly marvellous, why would we want to push it further? Likewise, if an existing process is good enough, why bother to come up with a creative new idea to replace the process? "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," as we say in English. If existing products are great and racking up lots of sales, why try to come up with a radical new product concept? Why not just implement incremental improvements from time to time to make a good product a bit better? If in a staff meeting, your manager proposes a new idea and everyone tells her it's great, why should she or any of her direct report bother to push the idea further or replaces it with a more radical idea?
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