And the Beginning of a New Journey! Join me….
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.”
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
When you put it all together, innovation is not a solitary endeavor. You need collaboration. But how do you do that? Where does it fit in the process? Most importantly…HOW DO YOU GET THERE? The road is laid out in front of you today. Simply put one foot in front of the other, and soon you will be walking towards Eye-Cubed greatness. Do not trip along the way!
Successful green light sessions have direction and a plan. When you follow the Yellow Brick Road towards collaborative innovation, you already know the objections, enhancements, concerns and interest level. You are way ahead of the game when you do the necessary work ahead of time!
Innovation needs direction, leadership and strategy. To be considered an Eye-Cubed leader with the “Innovator” quality, you need to have the answers, not just the questions. Everyone knows the questions. To find the answers, simply Follow The Ye____ Br___ Ro__!
Innovating under pressure is harder than being randomly called out of the audience and asked to come on stage and “be funny”. While anything is possible, it is unlikely that most folks can get it done.
Preparation is the fuel for luck. The same goes for innovation. The more innovative your company is, the more innovations your company will uncover. It is simple, Eye-Cubed companies succeed more often and sustain greatness for a longer period of time than those companies that reject the principles of inspiration, innovation and implementation. Eye-Cubed qualities are not turned on or off. They are infused in the fabric of the organization. So once you have it, nurture it and develop it. Give your team the greatest opportunity to widen, deepen and lengthen your streams of income. More importantly, maintain the Eye-Cubed culture to find new streams of income.
But if your in the unfortunate position that you have one more shot at success and your next innovation either saves your company or you shut the doors, take a deep breath and stick to the Eye-Cubed plan. While there is no doubt that your probability of success improves when you enter the process with positive energy, you cannot avoid the hurdles facing any of the innovations that came before yours and those that will come after. There are no short cuts.
You need a great idea. You need buy in. You need to test, tweak and perfect. You need to infuse it into your operations. Time to read the posts in Eye-Cubed-U and hit that game winning home run, sink the final shot as time runs out, score the winning goal as time expires or chip in for an eagle on the 18th for the win. It can be done. It has been done.
Encourage inspiration. Embrace innovation. Execute Implementation.
There is smooth sailing in your company. You have a great product, your service is needed in your niche and your profitable. So if it aint broke, then don’t fix it! Right?
Unfortunately, this philosophy may be a sure sign of doom. We can never take current success for granted because we know one thing for sure and that is true for all income streams. They share the same fate if left alone. They will eventually dry up. Nothing last forever. So what are you to do?
Innovate when in a position of strength.
It is our roles as leaders to make our income streams wider, deeper or longer. And even more important, we need to be capable of finding new streams of income. There is no better time to dedicate your search than during good times.
There is a long timeline for successful innovation. It may take years to develop a new idea, years to test it, years to gain the necessary buy-in for change and years to implement the innovation into the culture of your company. What makes the process even more intense is the fact that more innovations fail along the way than are successful. The odds are stacked against you. To get one phenomenal innovation into the fabric of your company, you have to endure many ideas that fall by the wayside.
Therefore it is critical to continue to foster a culture of inspiration, innovation and implementation. The Eye-Cubed atmosphere allows for a flow of results. But it must be consciously maintained. Decide on a specific budgetary item identified as “innovations” and invest annually in the process. It takes time to build an appropriate pipeline to avoid skipping a year.
By maintaining the Eye-Cubed discipline of innovation, you and your organization have the greatest chance for sustained growth and flexibility on your way towards greatness.