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Kevin & Jackie Freiberg

Archive for October, 2011

5 BIG Strategies to Use Now!

Think Big to Disrupt Your Competition

The United States Marines are famous for saying; “The difficult we do immediately, the impossible just takes us a little longer.” As leaders, you have incredible power to inspire your people and change the way business is done within your company. Innovation requires us to not only think big, but to think beyond what we know, to see the possible in what others see as impossible. Our country is counting on you, take the lead, think and inspire the possible!

Someone is going to start a revolution that will change your world. How? By thinking bigger and producing change that matters—change that disrupts the competition and amazes your customers.

Why can’t it be you?

General Electric was failing at selling their $150,000 ultrasound equipment in China, so when their leaders in China asked for a portable, lower-resolution ultrasound device that could sell for a tenth of the price, it didn’t sound like a good investment. But guess what? It turned out there was a market for a revolutionary, smaller device that turned the price-to-performance paradigm on its ear. A global market, worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Why can’t you do that in your market? At a time when everyone is looking for more efficient solutions (i.e.: less costly), why can’t you be the one to change the game?

When the winds of creative destruction blow at gale force one of the ways through the uncertainty is to accelerate innovation by thinking big, acting bold and thinking beyond our blinders.

Want to find what’s next? Want to build a culture of innovation? Here are five think big strategies to implement in your business:

1. Question the unquestionable.

Step out of the prevailing paradigm. Think like an outsider. Challenge your taken-for-granted assumptions—about the way your business and industry works, about what your competitors are doing, about your customer’s expectations, and what your employees are truly capable of doing. Send your team on a half-day mission to visit the competition or other businesses with the sole purpose of gaining at least 3 ideas to enhance your business.

Two college roommates who wanted to clean their apartment, Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan, questioned harmful cleaning supplies! Why can’t we make cleaning products that are not toxic to people and the environment? They created METHOD, now one of the fastest growing private companies in America. Ted Turner questioned the “news only comes at 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.” paradigm, Chuck Schwab questioned the assumption that “stocks can only be sold through high-commissioned brokers,” and Disney questioned the “animated films are only for kids” paradigm.

What is the prevailing paradigm in your business? Why not spend a morning challenging each other to lift off the blinders and think beyond your commonly held and accepted assumptions?

2. Look for the intersection of trends to find opportunities.

We live in the age of mass innovation. Competitive advantage goes not to the strongest, smartest, or richest companies, but to those that develop the capacity to see what others can’t see and turn those insights into innovations faster than their competitors do.

You can’t win with yesterday’s ideas, so what are the big, converging trends that are headed your way? There is white space where rising trends intersect. In that white space is a huge opportunity for innovation. Blake Mycoskie, a young entrepreneur, found some white space. He founded TOMS shoes where a for-profit company intersects with a social mission. The long time veterans in the shoe industry said it would never work. Ironically TOMS has succeeded because of its connection to the social cause. TOMS created a new and very successful business model and inspired a social movement that anyone can join.

What trend(s) in your industry might intersect with a cause, a social movement or a calling? Perhaps your business can start a movement and through that movement create an entirely new market opportunity.

3. Jettison the incumbent mentality.

Incumbents are vulnerable to the often-fatal trap of thinking the future will be more of the same only better—more choices, better features, and better design—all incremental improvements on yesterday’s headline.

Innovators see the future as a whole new game and leap-frog “better” with entirely new rules. They don’t think “best practice” they think “next practice.” Incumbents seek to grow market share by being “better” than the competition. But even if they are better, competitors catch up, innovations become commoditized, and incumbents eventually get forced into a price war. Innovators side-step the price-value discussion by creating new markets and making the competition irrelevant.

Where do new ideas come from? They don’t come from sitting in the same office, talking to the same people, looking at the same computer screens day after day. Spending the majority of your time with people who share your beliefs and assumptions doesn’t unleash your creativity. It sharpens your prejudices. It doesn’t promote discovery. It leads to close-mindedness.

Some of the best ideas for game-changing innovation will come from outside your industry. The question is: Do you have the guts to look beyond what’s comfortable and familiar? Do you have the wisdom to avoid the “not invented here” syndrome?

Why not pull different teams together to identify the “incumbent mentality” that pervades your business and as team challenge those assumptions. Look beyond your corner of the world for new and fresh ideas and see if any “next practices” evolve.

4. Look beyond customer imagination for the next big thing.

Customers are smart and never to be underestimated. But customers don’t always know what they want and if they do know what they want, they can’t always tell you. In fact, listening to customers might even derail you from pursuing breakthrough innovation and changes that will radically differentiate your business.

Sound like heresy? Maybe, but how many customers are on the cutting edge enough to know what’s possible in your industry? How many customers are aware of your future capabilities? How many customers are in the right frame of mind to share their ideas for an innovative new product that is likely to displace the one they just bought?

Had Steve Jobs asked consumers what they wanted before developing the iPod, what would they have said? “Give us something smaller, with more features for the same price as what’s already on the market.” What was on the market sold for $60 or less. How many focus group members would’ve said, “We’re okay with your $400 price”? How many of them understood the future of technology enough to know that a solid-state device would trump a CD scanned by laser? And how many of these people could’ve conceived of software such as iTunes replacing CDs—one song at a time?

What if you bring in some young, forward thinking interns who are new to your business, who are not faithful customers and ask them to spend a morning looking beyond current offerings to “re-imagine” your services and products?

5. Let limitations drive creativity vs. complacency.

Limitations: Are they a blessing or a curse, an asset or a liability?

That’s your choice.

Whether they are financial, regulatory, geographical or political, limitations can be springboards to creativity. They can call forth cleverness, focus you on what’s most important, and drive you toward more elegant solutions—if you let them.

There is no question that limited resources can stifle innovation, but all too often this becomes an easy and convenient excuse for not doing the critical and creative thinking required to push to the next level—the place where elegance is found. While your competitors are whining and moaning about the limitations you both face, why not apply your imagination and ingenuity to find unique solutions within those constraints? THAT could radically differentiate you.

Why not challenge people to think of limitations as boundaries. Using a sports metaphor, whatever sport you play there are boundaries, rules and regulations within which great athletes get to play, some play big, some play small, it’s a choice. Industries and businesses are similar, there are rules, regulations and boundaries. Do your people play big or small? Set-up a 1st annual Beyond Limitations Challenge as a way to inspire people to find creative and innovative ways to play big, play their best, and play different even in the midst of the boundaries (aka limitations). Again, don’t do this alone, create a team to review all the ideas, choose the top three and reward people for their contributions. This is about creating a culture wherein boundaries inspire people to bring their best to the game, think big and play with unbridled creativity.

For more tips on innovation and thinking big we invite you to read Nanovation.

Drs Kevin and Jackie Freiberg and Dain Dunston are the authors of a new BIG book on innovation. A reviewer recently wrote; “Nanovation is three inspiring books in one:

First, the story of how India is making her way into the global economy.

Second, the inspiring story of how a young design team innovated car design and accomplished what most said would be impossible—produce the $2,200 People’s Car, the Nano.

And third, it offers tested and easily transferable leadership and innovation principles for leaders and their teams in all industries.”

For more small business resources and to join our online community feel free to visit: www.Freibergs.com and www.Nanovationbook.com

Purchase NANOVATION!

Creating the BEST places where the BEST people can do
their BEST work to make the world BETTER.

Contact E: info@freibergs.com
Follow us on Twitter for more on Lshp

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The BIG Book on Innovation

You Get Three Stories in One Big Book

Innovate on Purpose, the #2 blog on innovation just wrote a review on Nanovation!

In a nutshell, 500 pages gives you three valuable stories:

The tale of India striving to enter the global economy.
The innovation tale of the $2,200 People’s Car, the Nano.
Eight leadership and innovation lessons every business can use.
Advice, you don’t have to read all 500 pages! Read what will accelerate leadership and innovation for you and your business.

“The read is inspiring and extremely practical.”

Purchase NANOVATION!

Creating the BEST places where the BEST people can do
their BEST work to make the world BETTER.

Contact E: info@freibergs.com
Follow us on Twitter for more on Lshp

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Critics Shape Strategy

Dissatisified? Then Innovate!

According to Kevin & Jackie, great innovations come from dissatisfied people.

Read their interview with Business Outlook Magazine of India for more…

Sample segment from the interview below:

Where is the next game-changing idea, like the Nano, coming from?

We are big fans of the Planetree model of healthcare in the US. It is an association of hospitals that is changing the way healthcare is delivered. It’s a great example of business model innovation. They are taking the best of hotels and restaurants (hospitality), spas and fitness centres (wellness) and hospitals (clinical care) and transforming the patient’s entire experience.

Imagine a hospital that looks and feels more like a 5-star hotel or spa; a hospital where patients are empowered to be partners with care givers by making notes on their own medical charts, and where families are able to cook a cancer patient’s favourite soup in a kitchenette right outside the patient’s room. Planetree is using massage, aroma and pet therapies to calm nervous patients before stressful procedures such as an MRI.

The whole focus is on prevention and wellness versus acute care. The idea is to help people build healthy lifestyles so they don’t end up in the hospital in the first place. The model is designed to empower patients to OWN their own wellness, to PARTNER with care givers to create a way of life that prevents serious illness from happening.Anyone involved in the healthcare debate in the US will tell you that the cost of healthcare is growing fast. Cost cutting is not a quick fix; it starts with engendering a health lifestyle. Think about how the game will change in healthcare if a critical mass of providers adopt the Planetree philosophy!

To order NANOVATION, a how to on innovation and making a difference while making a profit.

Creating the BEST places where the BEST people can do
their BEST work to make the world BETTER.

Contact E: info@freibergs.com
Follow us on Twitter for more on Lshp

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New Book New Keynote



Innovate or Perish

Following the ongoing success of their international bestseller NUTS! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success, GUTS! and BOOM!, Jackie and Kevin, once again, take you behind the scenes of another one of the most admired companies in the world.

In Nanovation, the Freibergs show you how, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, the people of Tata Motors accomplished what most said was impossible and created the Nano, a $2500 car—one of the greatest innovations in the auto industry since the Model-T.

Bring the Nanovation Message Live:
Contact E: info@freibergs.com

The Freibergs will unpack the story of Nanovation and share 8 strategies designed to help leaders create a culture of innovation and a team of Nanovators.

Nanovation will teach you how to innovate.

It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, someone, somewhere right now is building a product, process or business model designed to kick your butt.

If it’s you, then you define the rules by which others must play the game. If it’s NOT you, then you had better get comfortable playing by someone else’s rules.

Someone is going to start a revolution that will change your world. How? By producing change that matters—change that disrupts the competition and amazes your customers.

Why can’t it be you?

In a 90 minute keynote the Freibergs will take you on a “deep dive” into the kind of leadership that unleashes innovation and ingenuity.

Today, business leaders everywhere around the world are asking:
• How can we create a culture where impassioned people show up to work everyday firing on all cylinders—a culture where people are hungry for change and inspired to find innovative solutions to today’s significant problems?

• How do we make INNOVATION a core capability and an essential part of everyone’s job—a permanent, perpetual way of doing business in our organization?

• How can we exploit our core competencies in new ways? What new competencies do we need to acquire? What market segments have been ignored by our competitors? Do these markets represent an opportunity for us?

• How do we radically differentiate ourselves from our competitors?

• How do we become good corporate citizens and make a profit while making a difference?

The Freibergs will address these questions and many more. They will inspire you to give history a shove by showing you how to pursue your own ideas for game-changing innovation.

8 Strategies to Accelerate Innovation

1. Get Wired for Innovation!

Everyone has the potential to innovate. However, Nanovators are wired different. Who are they? How do they think? What makes them tick? What do they bring to the game that makes nanovation possible? The Freibergs will show you how to hire, inspire and equip people to think big, act bold, and Nanovate.

2. Question the unquestionable.

Question it! Step out of the prevailing paradigm. Think like an outsider. Challenge your taken-for-granted assumptions—about the way the world works, about your customer’s expectations, and what your employees are truly capable of doing.

3. Look for the intersection of trends to find opportunities.

You can’t win with yesterday’s ideas, so what are the big, converging trends that are headed your way? You’ll find white space where rising trends intersect. In that white space is a huge opportunity for innovation.

4. Jettison the incumbent mentality.

Incumbents are vulnerable to the often-fatal trap of thinking the future will be more of the same only better—more choices, better features, and better design—all incremental improvements on yesterday’s headline. Nanovators don’t think “best practice” they are think “next practice.” Nanovators see the future as a whole new game and leap-frog “best” with entirely new rules.

5. Look beyond customer imagination for next big thing.

Customers are smart and never to be underestimated. But customers don’t always know what they want and if they do know, they can’t always tell you. Nanovators start a lot of conversations with “What if?” and respond to a lot of push back with “Why not?” and “Why not now?”

6. Let limitations drive creativity vs. complacency.

Nanovators see limitations as invitations to innovation and opportunities to differentiate vs. constraints and excuses for why it can’t be done! Limited resources forced the design team to be extremely creative in every aspect of the Nano’s design.

7. Look for breakthroughs beyond your industry.

Some of the best ideas for game-changing innovation will come from outside your industry. The question is: Do you have the guts to look beyond what’s comfortable and familiar? Do you have the wisdom to avoid the “not invented here” syndrome?

8. Dare to Try! Risk more to gain more.

The fact is, you can’t innovate without experimenting and you can’t experiment without making some mistakes. Companies like Tata Motors and Southwest Airlines have created cultures where it is safe for people to try new things and test new ideas.

Creating the BEST places where the BEST people can do
their BEST work to make the world BETTER.

Contact E: info@freibergs.com
Follow us on Twitter for more on Lshp

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