Warning, Conventional Wisdom Ahead

I overheard a conversation at lunch today between two business folks. Now I don’t know whether they were boss/employee or just colleagues, but the older one uttered a phrase that all but stopped the discussion – “Well, conventional wisdom says…” There are many phrases that masquerade as positive feedback or analysis but are truly meant to stop whatever ideation or innovation is occurring. “Conventional Wisdom” is one of the worst offenders. Used by an authority figure (Manager, CEO, Industry Analyst, Consultant, Mentor, etc.,) its hidden meaning screams “No that isn’t how we are going to do it.” It could also mean, “you don’t know about which (or to whom) you are talking.” Either way, this is an ideation and innovation stopper. “Conventional Wisdom” should not be a static thought, but one that is challenged over time and experience. Businesses change, customers change, investors change – so yesterday’s conventional wisdom could … Continue reading

Little Things Pay Off

I spent several hours writing at my local library today. Before I cloistered myself in my favorite cubicle, I stopped by a local eatery for my favorite sandwich – a bacon cheddar egg bagel. (We can talk health issues later!) When my sandwich was delivered I did the same thing I have done every other time I have ordered it – turned the bacon around. You see, they make the sandwich — bottom, egg, bacon, cheese, top – and then they cut it in half to make it easier to eat. Inevitably they cut it so that the bacon lays perpendicular to the cut. So what you ask? Well, the bacon mostly hangs over the edge of the sandwich instead of being on the sandwich causing it to be eaten separately or having to turn the bacon around. So what you ask? (again) Well, as much as I like this … Continue reading

Odd Time for Branding

I don’t get it. Why are companies so anxious to associate themselves with “bad” things these days? Watching a couple hours of television and I am inundated with messages that suggest: ilicit sex, lying (lots and lots of lying), stealing, egotism (paired with its cousin narcissism) and just plain rudeness. The list could go on but it only gets more depressing. Have we as a consumer pool become so jaded in life that the only way we can get excited is to “live on the wild side” through our products? Granted, there have always been a handful of products that promised walking with the bad boys such as Harley Davidson. Today however, these messages are pervasive through many product catergories. Somewhere along the line advertising, especially television, became all about the “ad” instead of the product. Is it edgy enough? Does it shout loud enough? Is the “ewww” factor high … Continue reading