Recently I did a presentation for a very sophisticated business audience. The client specified that my session be 20 minutes. This was in a general session in what we used to call (and still usually do) a “keynote” slot. All of their general session speakers went 20 minutes. When asked why, the answer was simple: “We hire excellent speakers. Many of them catapulted to national and even worldwide popularity based on their short TED Talks.
Experience and observation have taught me that almost all innovation is adaptive innovation. You see a great idea “over there” that you bring back to your organization, adapt it to your arena, and then use to drive performance, success, and maybe even disruption. Barcelona and New York are world-leading centers of innovation. I want to see and learn in these innovative environments from the companies and organizations that are on the leading edge of transformative disruption and innovation.
There are several authors who have had a huge impact on my thinking and my career, and at the top of that list is Joe Calloway. I have read every book he has written, and then reread them, and then read them again. The title of one of Joe’s books is “Be The Best At What Matters Most” which exactly describes Joe.
To me, it would be the height of intellectual stagnation to follow only the websites, news sources, books, magazines, radio stations, podcasts, or political commentators that I know in advance I’ll agree with. People have fallen into the intellectual trap of confirmation bias to the point that they will only believe the “news” that they want to be true. Then they repost it on whatever echo chamber is their social media of choice, for the people who already think exactly like they do.
You add features and superior functionality to the product. I’ll make it easier to use and more convenient. Let’s see who wins. In his book on disruption, The Innovator’s Dilemna, Clayton Christensen makes the case that simplicity and convenience drive more success and growth than adding features or superior functionality. A classic example is Quicken, which is the market leader because customers find it so easy to use.
The effect of all of your advertising pales in comparison to the power of these stars. This is the new “customer moment of truth.” A key element in Becoming A Category Of One: The Leadership Workshop is that effective leaders must understand what drives the buying decisions of today’s customers. That understanding is essential in setting priorities and determining strategies.
For the first time ever, Americans are reportedly more satisfied with their fast-food dining experiences than they are at full-service casual restaurants, and they like Chick-fil-A better than anyplace else, according to a new report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. (from FOX Business News) What that means to you and me is that lower price alone won’t guarantee us a win, but when it’s combined with higher customer satisfaction, then you’ve hit the jackpot.
“Sessions need to move from monologue to dialog to polylogue, where participants are talking together in a group. Speakers, then, become facilitators of learning. That’s not a comfortable skill for a lot of speakers. For them, this is a growing-edge skill…it is the skill of the future.” – Northstar Travel Group’s Independent Planner Education Conference/2017.
So the current hot business term is “disruption.” Everyone wants to be a disruptor, but unless you create value as you disrupt, you are doomed to fail. So how do you disrupt and create value? One way – maybe the best way – is to make something easier to do, buy, or use.
In the past week I read two articles on customer service/experience. One said that to be competitive you have to amaze your customers. The other declared that if you don’t astound your customers, you’re toast.