Category Archives: Strategy

What is the biggest innovation challenge for leaders of large organizations?

What is the biggest innovation challenge for leaders of large organizations?

Understanding and accepting the innovation equation:

Innovation = reducing errors + increasing insights

Via Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights (Kindle):

6 simple questions that yield better decisions

decisive bookHow can we become better at making decisions? There is wide literature, blogs and books on the topic of decision making , and you wouldn’t go wrong reading most of them. How and why we make the decision we make is one topic I believe we would all do well know about more because it influences everything we do.

The most recent books about decision making I’ve read is Decisive by the Heath Brothers, authors of Made To Stick and Switch. I’m a huge fan of them because they take on interesting topics, and they make the content interesting and useful to any type of reader. With that said, I’m subscribed to their newsletter and yesterday I got a nugget of information in a series of questions that appear, in some way or another, in their latest book about decision making.

Remember, everything is a matter of perspective. So, if you’re struggling with a decision, see if any of the following questions helps you see differently.

Why do we fall prey to theories of success?

Why do we fall prey to theories of success?

Theories of success intrigue us because they provide a shortcut. But in following the herd, we deprive ourselves from developing and expressing our originality.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how people and businesses aren’t really obsessed with disruption per se, rather they are in love with theories of success. Silver bullet ideas that you can use to shortcut your way to “success”, theories that become hardened after “supposedly” observing them in the environment.

Recently, another success theory has been shot down: Malcolm Gladwell’s famous 10,000 hour rule.

Does social media marketing still matter?

Does social media marketing still matter?

Social media marketing doesn’t matter. Or so says an article on MIT Sloan Management Review:

I argue that we have reached the same point with social media marketing. In terms of competitive advantage, social media marketing simply doesn’t matter. Having a presence on Facebook and Twitter is no longer sufficient to provide any source of competitive advantage for companies — not when all of their competitors have a presence on Facebook on Twitter, too.

Monitoring social media chatter and sentiment won’t provide any competitive advantage on its own, because all your competitors are monitoring the same content as you and can derive the same insights. Customers today expect to be able to engage companies over Twitter and other social media channels. Companies can certainly deliver better or worse customer service over these channels, just like they can over the phone or in person, but these challenges become questions of backend operations, not marketing. Social media marketing has become table stakes for competitive business in today’s world, not a source of competitive advantage.

The fact that social media marketing doesn’t matter is supported by the data from our 2014 survey of social business. Our data showed that using social media in other aspects of business — innovation, transparency into organizational communication, management and recruiting, and integrated into business operations — were all meaningful differentiators for company’s social business maturity and social business outcomes. Whether or not companies engaged in social media for marketing, however, had little meaningful impact on these outcomes.

He is correct that social media marketing has matured, even though most marketers haven’t figured out how to measure the ROI of their efforts on social media. But, social media marketing does matter.

Here’s why…

Innovation lessons from Google’s self-driving car

google driverless car

A few days ago Google showed off their very own self-driving car. But unlike their first prototypes, which were custom rigged SUV’s and cars from known manufacturers, it isn’t built around a driver behind the wheel. Rather, it’s built around safety; without any driver.

Chris Urmson, Director of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project said:

Quick guide on how to use Evernote to stay on top of emerging trends

evernoteWhat is the process I use to keep up and /or uncover emerging trends and what tools do I use? Previously, I’ve written about how to create an insights bank using Evernote. Here I’ll expand on that initial idea, with a quick guide on how you can stay on top of emerging trends, as well as building your own sense making capability, to make sure you don’t get caught off guard.

Why do successful companies fail? Because they miss the future. But, companies don’t fail because they choose the wrong course, they fail because they can’t imagine a better one.

How does trend spotting fit into an organization’s future?

Innovators either create trends that change the world, or take advantage of emerging ones. Trend spotting is a very important innovation skill, and one that the vast majority of companies outsource to trend hunting firm; sometimes with no benefit.

This is a valid strategy, but a I’d recommend you don’t bet on it because most organizations have access to the same information those trend hunting firms are selling. More strategic for you is to develop your own capability for detecting and taking action on trends.

Detecting trends is a similar exercise to how you look for tension points to uncover opportunities for innovation; you attentively look for what at some point could become a huge problem.

Innovation needs intent

innovation needs intentUltimately, just like your business strategy, your innovation strategy needs to be focused. It can’t be all things to all people. It must be able to stand on its own.

Last Friday I conducted a second innovation workshop with graduate students from UABC, the largest university in Tijuana. Before we were done, I made sure they took two things to heart:

  1. Figure out their own definition of innovation;
  2. Be intentional with your innovation intent.

The last point is important, and hopefully they caught my drift because a lot of what the media considers innovation fits into the silly category…