Category Archives

Speed Kills vs. Innovation

I just heard a public service announcement for the Highway Patrol. You've heard it before - "This is trooper B. R. Jones reminding you that speed kills. Slow down this holiday weekend. Yadda,  yadda. Sorry Trooper Jones. Speed does NOT kill. [caption id="attachment_2478" align="alignright" width="219"] The Autobahn. No limits.[/caption] Anyone that has driven on Germany's autobahn can tell you that speed…

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Passion or Vision. Which would you choose?

It's clear. A company needs a vision. It has to know where it's going, why it's going, and it needs a plan to get there.  Without purpose and passion though, a vision is just words on paper…a body without a soul. This is what separates the great companies from the good ones.   John Deere was a blacksmith in the…

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Do You Have 2020 Vision?

Every MBA school in America will tell you the importance of a 5 year plan. You have to have a clear vision of where you are headed, where your business will be, and what it will LOOK like five years from now. How many employees, how many customers, what kind of product mix? You have to have vision. Frankly, I…

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Innovation and the Better Mouse Trap

The old saying goes "build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door"…implying that all you have to do is find a better way of doing something and you'll be a successful innovator. Not true Lots of better solutions fail everyday and they fail for two basic reasons: #1 - They aren't really solutions. #2…

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Innovation and the BIG Deal, part two.

This is a story about the little things. The little things that solve little problems that give customers what they want and bring success to the little thing innovator. Hewlett-Packard had great success with the handheld calculator but they did NOT invent the handheld calculator. That honor belongs to Texas Instruments. The first calculator was big and bulky and cost $2500.…

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Innovation is not a BIG deal.

Simon Sinek in Start With Why  says innovation is revolutionary. It changes industries, changes the way we do things. According to Sinek, innovation is a BIG DEAL. He is right. And he is wrong. Innovation is a big deal about 2 percent of the time. 98 percent of the time though, innovation goes unnoticed by most of the world. Most innovations…

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Market Innovation to Avoid Extinction

Innovation guru Doug Hall says that every business, every product, every service is on a continuum somewhere between Monopoly and Commodity. At one end, you own the market (for the moment) and at the other, you compete with the rest of the commodities. I think it is the difference between Distinction and Extinction. At the Distinction end of the spectrum, sales, margins,…

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The Thought Leader vs. The Change Leader

Thought Leadership may be the fastest growing "sub-industry" in the world. There are over 150 million blogs covering every subject under the sun. Everyone is clamoring to be THE Thought Leader in their respective fields. (Including yours truly, of course.) While thought leadership is good, it can also be a trap. In a popular 1960's TV show "The Many Loves of…

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Innovation is like a sunset

I spend a lot of time on a sailboat so I've seen my share of sunsets. Glorious sunsets. Average sunsets. Lots of sunsets. It occurred to me recently that innovation is a lot like a sunset. 1. Sunsets can surprise you. You know the sunset is coming but you never know how it will appear until it happens. You have…

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Innovation Beats Clever Advertising

One of the best ad campaigns of all time was unveiled the day Avis declared "We're number two, we try harder." Avis was immediately propelled from the back lot of the airport parking deck to the "front row" in the minds of the car renting public. It was brilliant. Hertz dominated the market and, until that campaign, was the only brand…

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