Tag Archives: Innovation

5 innovation opportunities for 2011

EducationI’m sure most company leaders want to be like Steve Jobs. They want to lead the industry and watch as everyone struggles to keep up. They want to constantly innovate. They want to create products that people line up for days before they’re released.

But, if you’re a company or department leader, you know it’s not that easy. You’re under tremendous pressure to innovate and find creative ways to grow the company. If you’re looking for innovation tips, I recently ran across a nice article on CIO.com entitled, “5 innovation opportunities for CIOs in 2011.” While it’s focused on CIOs, I think it could help others as well. Continue reading

14 ways to kill creativity

Save MoneyDo you feel like your company lags behind the competition? Do you feel like you’re struggling to keep up? I’d like to tell you about the secret key to innovation. It’s something that every company has: Employees! Specifically, your employee’s ideas are a great way to fuel innovation.

Every company wants to think that their corporate culture fosters new employee ideas. They want to think (or at least say) that their employees are their best asset. Here’s my question: What do the employees say? Continue reading

14 inventions that you could’ve thought of

Save Time“Why didn’t I think of that?” We’ve all asked this question at one time or another. We see a new product or idea that makes so much sense it’s surprising that we didn’t think of it first.

I think the key to invention is how we perceive problems or inconveniences. Do you get frustrated and complain when something is difficult or inconvenient? Instead of complaining, view problems as an opportunity for a solution. Think about it: If you could find a solution to a common problem, don’t you think others would buy it? Continue reading

5 reasons to celebrate mistakes at work

ProductivityAccording to the late Peter Drucker, those who never make mistakes, never do anything interesting. Yet, how many companies look at mistakes in this manner?

I recently found that quote in an interesting article on positivesharing.com entitled, “5 reasons to celebrate mistakes at work.” The article challenges our perceptions of mistakes and suggests that without mistakes, there is no innovation. Continue reading

Dare to be different

Save MoneyI’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon. Technological advancement varies greatly from industry to industry, but very little within an industry. It seems like the companies within an industry care more about matching their competition, and less about bettering the competition.

Why?

Industries without pressure to innovate usually stagnate. The thought process goes something like this: If the competition isn’t advancing, why should we? Continue reading

How to leapfrog the competition

Save MoneyThere are very few innovators these days. A few companies lead the way while everyone else tries to catch up. Take Apple and the tablet computer for example. As soon as Apple announces a product, everyone scrambles to push out the same thing. Do you think we would be deluged with new tablet computers if not for the iPad? I doubt it.

There are two problems with “catch up” approach: First, the leaders have invested more thought and effort into their products, while the followers don’t have the luxury of time. Their products are hastily planned and assembled. Secondly, and most importantly, the “catch up” approach ensures that the followers will never get ahead. Continue reading

How to keep your employees focused and productive in a bad economy

ProductivityI’ve heard this question presented many times in the last year: How do I keep my employees focused and productive in such a bad economy? It’s a good question. Your employees are no doubt dealing with more economy-related stress than ever, and nothing kills productivity quite like stress.

Here’s a great article on Forbes.com with some interesting (but good) advice for you. I’d like to toss another idea in there as well: Make your employees feel like you believe they are intelligent and respect their opinions and ideas. This is much more than writing those words in a company newsletter. It’s all about your actions. Continue reading

5 rules for the new business environment

ProductivityThe recession has altered the business landscape. But how will it affect your business? How can you take advantage of the new changes brought on by the poor economy?

Here’s a good article on techrepublic.com entitled, “5 Rules for the New Business Environment.” Along with the ideas presented in this article, I have another bit of advice for you: It’s time to ask yourself “Why?”

It’s time to question why it is you do what you do. Look at your business processes and strategies. Ask yourself, “Why do we do this?” If the answer is, “That’s the way we’ve always done it,” then it’s time to seriously reconsider your actions. Continue reading

Why the 12-month budget is bad for business

Save MoneyThe budgeting process used by businesses today is fundamentally flawed. No, I’m not against budgets, far from it. However, the idea that a budget should refresh every 12 months wastes money, prohibits progress, and compromises decision-making. Let me explain:

It wastes money
When you near the end of the year with a budget surplus, what do you do? You spend it, because if you don’t spend it, your budget will decrease the following year. Sure, you may use that money for necessary purchases, but many do not. Regardless, the “spend it or lose it” mentality should never drive a purchase. If budget surplus carried over to the next year, the temptation to make a hasty purchase is eliminated. Continue reading

Are you complaining or doing?

ProductivityThe business landscape is changing for many industries, driven largely by the internet and new technology. Many companies are realizing something: What worked a few years ago no longer works today. What works today may not work in a few years.

My question is this: What is your company doing about it?

I’ve heard many people, even high-ranking executives, complain about the changing business climate. “If it wasn’t for (fill in the blank), we would be successful,” is the common refrain. Continue reading