Sittin In My Room…

23 01 2014

Got an INSPIRATION!

Sittin in my room got an inspiration

No one ever did it.  Its an innovation

How we gonna do it? Thats implementation.

Tellin you about it thats my motivation!

 

365 plus makin it real

Once a week wrtiting all about the deal

Never hit my mojo couldn’t get the feel

Started with a temper took the time to heal.

 

Then it popped off

Not a knock off

Blow the roof off

Time to show off

Its a stand off

Or a face off

Not a Madeoff

Wasnt paid off

 

But I know that when I speak or take it slow

I get lost, it aint me…you would never know

If I dont bring it strong the chance would blow

 

So Yo go!

Get your Mo Jo!

Let the words flow

From the front row!

 

Woah!

 

Sittin in my room got an inspiration

No one ever did it.  Its an innovation

How we gonna do it? Thats implementation

Tellin you about it thats my motivation!

 

EYE CUBED

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The End of the Beginning (for Eye Cubed U)

16 01 2014

And the Beginning of a New Journey!  Join me….





Today’s Destination – Innovation City! All Aboard The Eye Cubed Railway.

19 11 2013

Welcome on board Eye Cubed Railway.  Captain David Sussman speaking on our way to Innovation City aboard The Inspiration.  Our super-speed train travels to the future faster than the speed of business.  So buckle up and get ready to roll.

Eye Cubed Railway

You are the select few ready to take the journey.  Each stop is a critical junction taking us closer to Inspiration City.  Allow yourself to disembark at each stop to re-orient.  Finally,  feel the power of stepping out of Inspiration smack in the middle of innovation!

First Stop              Education Junction

Know the industry.  There are a maze of streets out there.   This means reading, studying and observing.  Become familiar with the processes your competitors are following.   Study newspapers and journals to determine trends.  Know why some of your competitors are no longer in the game and what the new competitors are doing differently.  Put a critical eye on the track your company has been following and evaluate your results.

Second Stop          Finance Center

Know the Economics of your industry and your company.   Each floor offers you the focus on a different key question.  (1) What are the consumer trends?  (2) What impact has technology had on the way you do business?  (3) Has the global economy had an effect on your bottom line?  (4) Are there local economic factors impacting you?  (5) Is it difficult to hire competent employees?  (6) Does your marketing effort have to be updated?   (7) How recognizable is your brand?  (8) Where are the bottlenecks impeding evolution? The questions (and floors) are endless.  Take the time to ask yourself all of them.  Each question has tremendous value.

Third Stop                  Solutions Canal

Just thinking about these aspects of your business will give you the impetus for developing solutions to the concerns you have uncovered while exploring the Finance Center.   Perhaps you will come up with a solution for each issue.  Categorize the potential solutions and focus the solutions on specific target categories.

Now rest as you traverse the canal!   Yes, rest.   Go to a quiet place—your choice—a comfortable couch, your bed, sitting in your car as you float from lock to lock.   Shut off the phone.  Quiet music is allowed if it silences the chatter in your brain.  Give your mind the problems you want to solve—one at a time, and let this marvelous machine do its work.   You’ve fed your brain a wealth of healthy information.   It will digest and deliver.

Fourth Stop          Innovation City

Not every idea is appropriate or will work.  Nor is your organization ready for each idea as you uncover them.  Since this is a personal journey, you have the control of which idea to bring forward.  But don’t jump off the train too soon.  Wait for the best time to step out of Inspiration and onto the solid footing of Innovation.  For now, you will keep the possible solutions to yourself.   Develop your strategy to disclose once you have safely arrived in Innovation City.

There are many ways to get from where you are today all the way to Innovation City.  Some modes of transportation may be faster. Other modes of transportation may appear more attractive.  However, when you get on this train, you are guaranteed an on-time arrival.  Remember, it does not help your organization if you arrive in Innovation City too late.  Nor does anyone want to crash along the way.  The Eye Cubed Railway is the safest, most reliable means of corporate travel. We know you have a choice when it comes to Inspiration, Innovation and Implementation.  We are thankful that you chose us.  Enjoy your trip!





How Effective Is Your Corporate Social Media Strategy?

29 10 2013

Where do you fit on the social media continuum?  Many folks have some friends on Facebook (1.1 billion users), an incomplete profile on LinkedIn (240 million users), a bunch of views on Youtube (1 billion unique users/month) and that is about it.  While many folks don’t tweet (555 million users) regularly, ALL of us have purchased a ton of things online.  Fewer of us write checks than ever before and many use our “phone” to transact financial business and get answers to a myriad of questions.  Regardless of where you are personally on social media and how you measure your activity today compared to five years ago, your findings will be not be shocking.  We have all made individual moves forward.  So what about your corporate plan?  What moves has your Eye Cubed organization made or is preparing to make?

social-media-seo-logos

My company, PFP, started our LinkedIn Group “Where Your Credit Union Goes To Grow” in March, 2013 and the group consistently grows each month.  When you search Groups in LinkedIn under “Credit Union”, we are currently ranked #28!  That is a good start to a very robust plan.   Our purpose is to become national thought leaders and value generators for the credit union industry.  We are definitely on the best platform.  Nothing compares to LinkedIn to achieve the goal of B to B networking.

You cannot prove you can swim when you only have your foot in the water!

We have only just begun.  It is fair to say that our initial foray into social media has merely taken us out of the gate and represents a small fraction of our overall strategy.  When you combine our B to B and B to C strategies, we will be managing ten social media pages via five platforms in 2014.  We have a ton of work to do to build our community and provide meaningful value.

This aint no “Field Of Dreams”…. For everyone to come, we have to do more than just “Build it”!

There are three core competencies needed to have a successful social media game plan:

  • Content Acquisition
  • Marketing/ Dissemination
  • Community Acquisition

Most organizations are unwilling to excel at all three consistently over a long period of time.  If one of the above is ignored, the overall initiative will be off balance and will miss the mark.

  • It takes time to provide meaningful content.
  • It requires work to develop original thought.
  • It takes diligence to demonstrate effective distribution.
  • It takes effort to build a growing network.

You need “numbers” to play the numbers game!        

We need to get comfortable with the fact that “small” percentages of our network will see our efforts and a “smaller” percentage will act on it.  The good news is that those numbers are relative and become “big” when our social media community is “big”.  Like any marketing and sales strategy, metrics drive our activity.  As we develop a track record of actions and measurable results, we will improve the top line and bottom line by focusing on the activities that drive our metrics beyond our targets.

We are building an asset, not buying a lottery ticket.  Eye Cubed companies invest the time necessary to build by executing a sound strategy.  While social media is not a new concept to anyone, for most companies, infusing an effective plan into the culture is pure innovation and fits neatly into the Eye Cubed philosophies presented in the prior posts.

Eye-Cubed leaders need:

  • Vision to feel the Inspiration
  • Vision to see the Innovation
  • Vision to execute the Implementation




The Innovation Safari: Hunt For ‘Big Game’ In Your Company!

18 09 2013

safari hunt

While tracking and hunting “wild game” is not for everyone, hunting down innovative solutions for one’s company is always considered a worthy pursuit.  One would never wander aimlessly around the back-country hoping to bump into one’s prize.  In the same respect, one would never target a random innovation as the next great strategic initiative for one’s company. Take a lesson from the Eye-Cubed hunters in pursuit of corporate greatness and maintain the position as “the hunter” rather than eventually becoming “the hunted.”

The hallways of your company set the path to follow and explore.  As you traverse the dangerous terrain in complete stealth mode, you must make your first strategic decision.  Should you slink through the caverns of operations looking for innovative efficiencies or brave the open plains of sales in search of innovative products or delivery methods?  There is no “wrong” move here since with the assistance of Eye-Cubed strategies, the “prize” awaits you in either environment.

Look closely and listen carefully.  What do you see?  What do you hear?  The opportunities lie camouflaged, lying in wait wherever the bottlenecks find themselves.  You can also focus within the mundane and senseless processes.  It is within those scenarios where the innovation opportunities infest the organization.  You can root them out from multiple sources if you wish.

In addition, when you make your way across the plentiful hunting ground, spend some time forging the many streams that abound.  Each stream (of income) has a flow all of its own.  Like a native tracker who knows the signs of his prey, so too does the hunter who analyzes the streams of income that flow through your company. Is the flow weak? Are the waters deep?  Is the river wide?  And most importantly, are there hidden streams yet uncovered that need excavation? Those new streams must be discovered and included within the Game Preserve. New waters are the lifeblood for current and future nourishment.

Once you’ve spotted the innovation which you desire to pursue, you need a plan so you can sneak up on the prize and launch an attack without spooking the elusive animal.  I suggest spending the time needed to gain the buy-in from the other hunters on your expedition.  It is unlikely that you will be successful seizing your prey on your own.  Together with your team, orchestrate your plan with the precision of a champion.  Remember that implementing the plan is as important as building the plan.  By drawing on the expertise of your team members, you will increase your chances of success.

One of the greatest pieces of advice for all hunters and teams is to avoid the pursuit while maintaining a feeling of desperation.  Give your team ample time to reach your goal and bag your big game.  Be prepared that your initial plan may be incomplete or totally ineffective. In many cases, you will need to revise your initial strategy or go back to the drawing board and devise an entirely new plan.

Think of the Eye-Cubed Innovation Safari like Teddy Roosevelt thought of his hunting prowess when he stated:

“No, I’m not a good shot, but I shoot often.”





How Can You “Build The Vision For Innovation” With Eye-Cubed U?

10 09 2013

Has Apple lost it’s innovative edge? 71%  of respondents to a Bloomberg Global Poll say “YES”

Has Microsoft been dethroned due to Steve Ballmer’s lack of focus on innovation? According to Harvard Business Review, there is no question.

These giants have been scrutinized for falling out of the lead.  It seems as if the prodigal innovative leaders of each company carried the ball that kept them at the top of their game.  Did anyone believe that Bill Gates or Steve Jobs could easily be replaced?  I think not.  While each of us may be a far cry from Bill or Steve, we have an obligation to bring our organizations forward in turbulent times.  We must survive and thrive.

great profile pic

Once you know that you need to be driving your company along the Eye-Cubed Super Highway towards innovation, it is time to take the many lessons of the past and design a plan to get there.

  1. Make sure you have the diversity in leadership personality to lead innovative change.  The value of differing thought processes and skills lead to success.
  2. Perform Corporate Hydrology exercises and deeply analyze your streams of income.  Make them wider, deeper, longer and if possible, find new ones.
  3. Analyze your past and present using Dendochronology tools and determine if your organization has been innovative enough over the years and remains innovative enough today. Add the rings of change to your growing tree and visualize the evolution of each corporate innovation.
  4. Scrutinize your innovations and make sure they benefit the customer. It is all about them and not about us.  Never lose sight of the end-game.  Without the consumer, we are all looking for new jobs.
  5. Develop a consistent plan to innovate every year, especially when times are good.  This prevents you having to “swing for the fences” on the final pitch.
  6. Follow a plan to choose which innovations to pursue by determining which ones to do in the short term, medium term and long term.  Create a process to measure each opportunity.
  7. Make sure your innovators know what to expect as they effectively bring about change.  The road to greatness for innovators is long and hard.  Give them support along the way.
  8. Follow effective plans to gain buy-in among your teams.  Your great idea will die on the vine without senior management support.
  9. Understand that the innovative path from point A to point B is not always straight.  Prepare for twists, turns and huge bumps in the road.
  10. Utilize collaborative techniques to optimize the innovative process.  Bring others in and enhance your idea.

It does not matter what industry you are in, Eye-Cubed companies survive because they evolve.  Peter Drucker, one of the greatest business minds in history aptly puts it “Core competencies are different for every organization..But every organization needs one core competence: innovation”.

It is time to consider engaging Eye-Cubed U as a speaker to facilitate the analysis of your innovative process within your organization or to address the innovative leaders attending your next conference.   Take advantage of the Eye-Cubed-U philosophy.   I look forward to discussing availability for your next corporate event or conference.

David J. Sussman, Esq. CLU

SVP PFP-Schmitt Sussman Enterprises, Inc.

Founder and President, Eye-Cubed-U, LLC

Building the Vision for Inspiration. Innovation. Implementation.

Cell Phone:  203-247-2104:  Email:  dsussman@pfpservices.com





Innovation “SCREWED” The Wine Industry! What will it do to yours?

14 08 2013

glasses_wine_against_sunset

The sun sets on a warm summer evening.  You slide the chilled bottle of Kim Crawford Souvignon Blanc out of the ice bucket.  The sound of the bottle against the ice and the water dripping from its sides fills your ears. With towel in hand, you wipe the excess condensation away, creating the most perfect, romantic moment.  And now for the big finish!  You lift the corkscrew and raise it to the mouth of the bottle.  You crave that sound of the initial release as the cork breaks free and offers you the delicious, crisp liquid within.

“WHAT?  NO CORK?  A SCREW CAP?  YIKES!  My moment is ruined.”

No way!  In fact, you are on your way to an incredible evening. What just happened?

You experienced innovation within the wine industry, a process that took 45 years to evolve.  The Stelvin Screw Cap, by Amcor,  was developed in the late 1960’s yet had not penetrated the wine industry until recently.  In fact, the adoption rate in New Zealand was at a mere 1% in 2001.  By 2004, 70% of the wine out of this area was sealed with the Stelvin Screw Cap.

There were two issues.

  1. There were practical issues regarding quality control and the impact screw caps have on the product.
  2. There were damaging consumer perceptions of screw caps and the negative impact they have on the experiential value of wine.

INNOVATION’S IMPACT ON QUALITY

All concerns posed are real.  In order to move the innovation forward, testing must take place.  The supporters and detractors of the innovation must clear the air with regard to the facts.  In the end, if there remain concerns (real or perceived), those can be addressed and debated.  The less impact the innovation has on the original quality, the more likely it will be adopted.  Furthermore, there are many instances when the innovation improves the original quality of a product or process.  These facts must be explored and communicated throughout the industry.

CONSUMER’S PERCEPTION OF INNOVATION

What does the consumer think about the innovation?  Unfortunately, the answer to this question guides the impact the innovation will have on changing the industry.  Without consumer adoption, the market needs may be significantly limited.  The innovation may need a PR machine with the “right” supporters publicly pushing adoption.  Educating the public is also a strategic initiative.  By creating a wave of positive perception, the wave of demand will follow.  Breaking the perception barrier, if it is a factor, is clearly the key to success.

Eye-Cubed lessons abound within this story.

  • The atmosphere was ripe for inspiration
  • The industry had matured enough to be inspired for a change.
  • The issues “for” or “against” the innovation were addressed.
  • The plan to break the perception barrier was implemented.

Never pick a grape prematurely.  Never serve wine before its time.  And never underestimate the determination of an Eye-Cubed leader who has been inspired to innovate and brave enough to implement.