Global Winds Driving The Uncertainty-Paradox

No matter how local your business appears, global forces are going to trip you up if they haven’t already. A corollary – all local markets will feel the impact of international competition and technological change. If your job doesn’t disappear into a digital vacuum, it very well could be centralized in Ohio or Korea. Or decentralized everywhere. Toss a coin. People in high places are thinking about you. You can either view the coming disruptions as opportunities or tidal waves. Welcome to the Uncertainty-Paradox, it’s not just about big companies. It’s about you. Innovation is a personal enterprise, part of life-long learning that builds value in all different sorts of ways. For example, folks generating creative output are under some of the most visible pressure to change business models. This is true whether you are a large studio/publisher or one person art studio. It’s very uncomfortable, but not unexpected. Changes … Continue reading

The Power Of “What Can I Do?” and Puppies Behind Bars

“Puppies Behind Bars started dog tags when I, just as a private citizen, would read the paper every day and just hear about the number of our men and women who were getting wounded. And I said, what can I do? I’m sitting here in my comfort of New York and they’re in Iraq and Afghanistan, what can I do?” -Gloria Gilbert Stoga on Fresh Air August 12, 2009 Innovation starts and stops on the personal level. There are many things society, organizations, friends, strangers, business, and random acts of kindness can do to encourage innovation. But in the end it takes individuals who want to make a difference. What Can I Do? Is such a powerful statement. It has to rival the power of Why? In the lexicon of innovation that happens. Puppies Behind Bars has been in the news a lot lately, and it’s been a growing organization … Continue reading

Why Is Competition Good?

Was flipping channels and came across a story on Russian TV about the first object on the moon. Courtesy of the USSR the Luna 2 landed (well, intentionally crashed actually) 50 years ago today, September 14th, 1959. Haven’t seen it anywhere else and may have forgotten except for this amazing world of new media where international viewpoints are as accessible as the local sports scores. Luna 2 woke up U.S. politicians and scientists a little like a snooze alarm repeating two years after Sputnik 1 flew by, helping drive a space race that motivated scientific effort through the 60’s and well into the 70’s. Nothing landed safely until Luna 9 (again U.S.S.R.) in 1966. The list of stuff that was crashed into the moon getting ready for brave crew of Apollo 11 is really quite long. Would the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. have had the political will to spend the … Continue reading

The 3 P’s of Innovation

If marketers have one failing (just one you ask?) it is our love of lists. Marketing’s 4 P’s (price, product, place, promotion) morphed into longer lists of p-words that seemed to work on the principle of ‘My list is longer than your list.’ (add power, people, performance, presence, pr,…) Long lists successfully masked the larger universality of the original 4 P’s adding to the departmentalization of marketing. So to try and reclaim lost ground we get holistic marketing from Kotler/Keller (no list slouch themselves) and the 3 V’s. Marketing involves satisfying consumers’ known (and subconscious unknown) needs. The 3 V’s is a value creation and delivery sequence to get marketers back to thinking about the whole package. As put forward by Lanning/Michaels at McKinsey & Co. the 3 V’s include ‘Choose the Value’, ‘Provide the Value’, and ‘Communicate the Value.’ I like holistic reminders of what a job entails, but … Continue reading

Biomutualism, Breaking Down Silos, and Finding Inspiration

Developing a structure that encourages cross pollination of ideas is difficult at best. We are barely able to keep up with all the advances within a discipline, let alone take time to see what is happening in other fields. But as you may know from my love of ideas from strange places, I’m a big believer in breaking those silos down to drive innovative thought. In that vein I came across this Ted Talk from June by Robert Full called Learning from the gecko’s tail. His presentation demonstrates the powerful possibilities of cross discipline approaches to innovation. A few quotes really stood out: “[Biomutualism is] An association between biology and another discipline where each discipline reciprocally advances the other to where the collective advances that emerge are beyond any single field.” And: “We need to build biomutualisms like I showed that will increase the pace of basic discovery, in their … Continue reading