Let’s not beat around the bush. We are going through an unimaginably (at least until recently) difficult time — a time that requires innovative thinking. At some point, of course, the news will start to get better. But as of now, it just seems to be getting worse and worse.
It’s difficult to take. It’s all too easy (and perfectly justifiable) to fall into despair, or even depression. And there’s a certain part of that that’s appropriate. It’s part of the ... Continue Reading →
There’s this company based not too far from me in downtown Seattle that routinely makes the Top 10 lists of Most Innovative Companies. You might have heard of it.
It’s called Amazon.
Amazon is run by the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos. Bezos took the crown away from the previous richest man, Bill Gates (who also lives relatively close to me, albeit in a slightly more upscale neighborhood).
So Jeff Bezos is one ... Continue Reading →
You have a choice.
You have a choice over how you will spend this unique moment in history.
Right now, most of us are in some version of a quarantine, self-isolation, or stay-at-home mandate. Like me, you have a choice over what you will do with this extraordinary block of time. And your choice is this:
Will you shut down, or will you ramp up?
You can use this unique moment in history as an opportunity to relax, chill out, and binge watch ... Continue Reading →
There’s a good chance that the coronavirus — COVID-19 — is disrupting your business and your life. It’s certainly disrupting mine. As a keynote speaker on innovation, I work in the meetings industry. In other words, I work in an industry that is predicated on large numbers of people gathering together in a single place. And we all know how that’s going right now.
The disruption might be different in your world. Perhaps you’ve been affected by supply chain issues. If ... Continue Reading →
You see it so often you probably don’t even notice it anymore.
Heinz 57 Varieties.
You see it on bottles of ketchup, jars of pickles, cans of baked beans.
Heinz 57 Varieties.
Which begs two questions: Are there really 57 varieties? And, if so, 57 varieties of what?
The answers, respectively, are: no; and, it doesn’t matter.
That brilliant slogan, which made Heinz a world-famous brand, was created when a person connected two dots that nobody else ever had before.
It happened in 1896 when Henry John ... Continue Reading →
In a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive world, the next breakthrough idea wins.
Depending on how you feel about #innovation, #creativity, and #breakthrough thinking, you may find this concept either frightening or exhilarating.
It’s frightening if you think of innovation, creativity, and breakthrough thinking as specialized skills that are only available to “the others.”
It’s exhilarating if you realize that innovation, creativity, and breakthrough thinking are natural human traits that are available to us all.
In other words, if you ... Continue Reading →
You’ve heard of FOMO, right? Fear Of Missing Out. It’s why we’re addicted to Facebook and Instagram and all the rest. It’s why we tell our devices to notify us the instant anything happens anywhere in the world. Because heaven forbid we’re not in the know!
Industry leaders have a similar fear, which I call FOD: Fear Of Disruption. They don’t want to be the Blockbuster to someone else’s Netflix. They don’t want to be the ... Continue Reading →
I grew up in the shadow of an Amish dairy farm (depending on where the sun was, of course) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Now, if you’ve spent as much time around the Amish as I have, you know that they’re kind of big on horses. And if you’ve spent as much time around Amish horses as I have, you know that they all have something in common.
They’re all wearing blinders.
Partially as a fashion statement, of course, but mostly so that they ... Continue Reading →
We all run into obstacles.
Maybe it’s a business change that we don’t like; a traffic jam when we’re already late; a system or process that feels overly cumbersome. But we all run into obstacles.
And what do we do when that happens? What do we do when we run into that obstacle?
We whine. Grumble. Curse. Complain. Gripe about it to others.
And that’s where most of us stop.
In other words, the entire process for most of us looks like this:
Continue Reading →
- Run into obstacle.
- Complain ...
It’s more than just a corporate buzzword.
It’s the new way of the world.
Amazon did it with retail. Uber did it with transportation. Apple did it with phones and other devices.
Ask any CEO what they fear the most, and you’ll hear a variety of answers. Recession. Talent exodus. Brain drain. All valid concerns. But the one that really keeps them up at night — the one they talk about in the back rooms where nobody else can hear ... Continue Reading →