Tag Archives: Innovation

Customer satisfaction is no longer enough, we have to create new expectations

exceed customer expectationsHere’s a pop quiz for you, do you think it is easier to be innovative if:

  1. you consistently aim for excellence
  2. you pursue excellence only after there is a crisis

If your answer is #2, pay attention because this post is for you…

I’m proud to say that the people and companies that I’ve worked with have always complimented me on, sadly something that isn’t common, my follow through.

Why? I have a sense of mission to get things done. As a result, I have issues with people with poor follow through.

For innovation: culture trumps office design

blu maya at ios offices tijuana

Blu Maya office at IOS Offices Tijuana

Innovation Labs, either accelerators or corporate bunkers, are now becoming commonplace. As a result, workspace design is booming.

Browse around the web, and you’ll quickly see articles about startups that have designed their workspace to resemble their culture. For established companies trying to create a culture of innovation, this means copying the same design mantra of most startups, but more interesting is how they are using gimmicks to get people to collaborate.

Up there with “innovation”, “lean startup”and “design thinking”, the latest word to make it to buzzword-bingo is “Lab”. Whatever you think the definition of a Lab is, it is not what you think. I see them more as a workspace that let’s people collaborate right there on the spot, not at an offsite space where only a special few congregate. If a company calls their workspace a lab, it means anyone can take their gear, desk, and move it to be close to their collaborators.

This means that what in the corporate world used to mean that the R&D guys were the ones responsible for creating the future (aka innovation), they no longer hold the distinction of being the official innovators. No longer is everyone else, just everyone else.

No, today innovation is everyone’s job.

Innovation Book Review: Disruption Revolution

disruption revolutionDiversity breeds innovation, and as I stated a few weeks ago when I shared with you a list of 10 books about innovation that I recommend you read, it is best for you to look far and wide about the type of content that you read.

Right now, the hunger for anything innovation is huge. There are enough sources that it is hard to decide what to follow and what not to read! In the last few months I’ve read material from other authors that just isn’t innovative. It’s just repackaging.

How many more books about innovation does the world need?

Complaining is not a strategy

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos starts his High Orde... Many companies may start their lives playing to win, but inevitably end up playing not to lose. It is this cycle of being proactive and then reactive that may become a fact for your organization.

Many books and blog posts have been written about the many reasons companies fail, a key reason is because they stop paying  attention to customers, and instead focus on competitors. It is a very interesting dynamic to observe how companies may start innovating but then decide to align themselves with their competitors…

The question is: why?

The answer comes down to human nature. Success hides problems, and our tendency to become complacent after having some success puts us in a state of reaction. As a result, competitor activity becomes a huge source of anxiety and frustration for company leaders. For me, a clear signal that a company may be loosing its footing is when it talks a lot about what competitors are doing and how they have to match them; not what they are doing differently.

Sure, other competitors may take advantage of trends in technology and ride a wave that ends up disrupting existing businesses; but very rarely are companies created with a deliberate need to crush existing companies. That happens after the fact!

It is very simple, the future happens to you, not other competitors.

Live Hangouts: Experimenting with digital ethnography

Tomorrow, at 12:20 PM PT I’ll be collaborating with Cirklo on the first part of an innovation workshop via a live Hangout session.

Just click play in the video frame below to watch and listen to our commentary. It will be conducted in spanish.

If you want to join the conversation, tweet @jorgebarba or @CirkloMx using hashtag #DoggyLab

Next week I’ll share with you our findings in a more detailed post.

A simple technique to help you develop culture in your organization

develop culture in your organization

Do you have a User Manual of yourself for others to learn about how to deal with you?

This is an interesting idea I read about in an interview with Ivar Kroghrud, lead strategist of QuestBack, by Adam Bryant for his upcoming book Quick and Nimble: Lessons from Leading CEOs on How to Create a Culture of Innovation.

The basic idea of the User Manual is simple: shorten that inevitable learning curve of building work relationships, and let people know right up front what you’re like as a leader.

Below is a one-page cheat sheet of what a User Manual might look like:

The Big Bang approach to problem definition

The way a problem is defined guides the way people think about it.

You can never have/experiment with enough tools. I like to experiment with various “problem definition” approaches, as I believe this is the most important step in the innovation process. While there are various ways to define a problem, I think there isn’t a more intuitive way to do it.

This is important because it is a very common innovation issue to jump in before taking time to define the problem/challenge. As Michael Michalko, author of the creative thinking book Thinkertoys, says, “The more time you devote to perfecting the wording of your challenge, the closer you will be to a solution.”