To be Successful, Participate in the Outcome Economy

No matter what business you think you’re in, you’re in the tool business. Your customers are not buying a set of features. They’re hiring the tools needed to complete one or more tasks that produce their desired outcome. Customers hire products and services to get a job done.[i] The real key to innovation success is to be outcome focused. Be clear on…

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Innovation: What You Think Matters Little

No matter what business you think you’re in, you’re in the tool business. Your customers are not buying the set of features you offer. They’re buying tools that (they hope) will solve their problems and produce their desired results. Often a gap exists between the results you believe your tools are capable of producing and the results your customer produces…

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Questions are the Answer

Why is it that everything is always in the last place you look? The obvious answer is that once you find it you stop looking. While that may work for your cell phone or your car keys, it doesn’t work for innovation. The first answers you find tend to produce mundane, everyone-has-thought-of-them-before ideas. It is only when you keep pushing…

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Not Even Samurai Can Manage Their Emotions

As an executive and leader, do you believe that managing your emotions is something you could and should do? Well it’s a lofty goal, but one not even samurai, raised from childhood in martial arts and self-discipline, could accomplish. In a scene from the film, Seven Samurai (1954), based on ancient religious texts, Kyuzo and another man are engaged in a…

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Learn from Your Own Mistakes; Let Others Learn from Theirs

Make a mistake, admit it, learn and profit from it by creating an action plan for how to avoid the same mistake in the future. Then share your plan with your crew. Justifying mistakes only makes them easier to repeat. Also give your crew a chance to make mistakes that they can learn from. Encourage everyone to push the envelope….

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Commonplace Genius – Borrowing Ideas from Other Industries to Solve Business Challenges

Borrowing ideas from other industries and disciplines is one of the best ways to make breakthrough improvements at your own organization. It also makes you look like a genius. Here are a few examples: Henry Ford is hailed as an American hero for figuring out that dividing labor into small specialized tasks maximizes output and drives down production cost. This…

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