Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Shedding Legacy Industry Practices: Bank To Store & Coffee Shop Innovation

Shedding Legacy Industry Practices: Bank To Store & Coffee Shop Innovation | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

Customer experiences are delivered year after year without challenging the approach in what they do.  This unique bank reinvented their customer service approach and culture.”  

The banking industry is one of the more entrenched, which drew my attention to this innovation case example.


CEO Ray Davis Explains His Decision to Change Umpqua’s Purpose:   Umpqua Bank has a quirky, lighthearted nature for a financial services company, perhaps because they started with the simple goal to help loggers and farmers with their banking.

...Observing Umpqua’s lack of a clear customer-service approach, CEO Ray Davis decided to make a change. In a move away from traditional banking, he renamed Umpqua locations “stores.”  In redesigned “stores,” “shoppers” could browse products and services, stay as long as they wanted, sit a spell with their legs up on a comfy chair, and sip a cup of coffee. And when they were ready, they could tap an Umpqua associate to help them with their banking needs—all without the red ropes.

At Umpqua, customers are not herded into a line for service, and they don’t have to stand in separate lines to get different services. Dedicated associates assist each customer from start to finish.

“Umpqua Bank is part Internet café, part community center, and part bank. The coffee’s good and it’s not a bad place to sit and read a book.”

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4 Innovation Tools To Help Your Business Tap The Wisdom Of The Crowd

4 Innovation Tools To Help Your Business Tap The Wisdom Of The Crowd | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

Try tapping into the brainpower of your customers or partners, and see what ideas arise. Collective wisdom is one of the great beauties of the Internet.


Summary:  Four useful tools for building your own “innovation community,” wherever they may be.


Bulbstorm - Its innovation tools are closely tied in with social media, making it a good fit for any small business that’s active in the social media space.  You can post your own ideas (“bulbs”) and get feedback, or reach out to innovators in your industry to get their ideas.  Basic access to Bulbstorm is free and you can create micro-communities for your employees, customers or other partners to collaborate securely with private-group settings and idea-sharing controls that protect your confidentiality and intellectual property.


Big Idea Group - uses its existing innovation community, the Insight Club, to come up with insights on the issues facing your business. The group can help you identify problems with existing products, services or programs; pinpoint innovation opportunities; and evaluate and refine proposed innovations.  Once you’ve finally got the big idea, Big offers a Rapid Review program that lets you get consumers’ opinions on a new concept or product in just a few days.


Rightnow - offers a wide range of business services focused on the customer experience, enables you to create your own online innovation community to involve your customers in coming up with ideas for your business. The service takes advantage of the fact that your customers are increasingly knowledgeable about products and services and increasingly picky about what they want—so if you’re developing new products or services, why not go straight to the source to get ideas?


Chaordix - handles crowdsourcing of ideas from start to finish, including developing a crowdsourcing plan, recruiting your crowd, moderating the process and providing technology that enables collaboration and innovation. Crowds can be used to help your business with everything from idea creation to problem-solving and product testing

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Stay tuned.  I'll be updating this post for 2014 soon.  ~  D

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Why Best Buy is Going out of Business...Gradually - Forbes

Why Best Buy is Going out of Business...Gradually - Forbes | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |
Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy is doing everything wrong.

Yep, failure to innovate quickly enough in an age of rapid innovation.

Failure to know & implement HOW to innovation

The Wall Street Journal post on this curation site and this Forbes article make a good pair, a good mash-up of why Innovation and Institutions, Will it Blend is a continuing question on survivability.

Here's an excerpt:

....The company remains a ripe target for more nimble competitors.

...To discover the real reasons behind the company’s decline, just take this simple test. Walk into one of the company’s retail locations or shop online. And try, really try, not to lose your temper.

I admit. I can’t do it.

...According to the company’s website, it’s backordered but available for pickup at the store we visited. The item wasn’t there, however, and the sales staff had no information. friend decided to buy some other blu-ray discs. Or at least he tried to, until we were “assisted” by a young, poorly groomed sales clerk from the TV department, who wandered over to interrogate us. What kind of TV do you have? Do you have a cable service, or a satellite service? Do you have a triple play service plan?

My friend politely but firmly told him he was not interested in switching his service...The used car style questions continued.

We left the store, my friend having made his purchase but both of us fuming. 

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