Posts Tagged ‘Innovationteams INNOVATION CIRCLES’

La Salle – Committment

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Commitment – A business essential
By Roger La Salle
You need Committed Staff!

The one thing common to most businesses is that they employ staff across all levels to assist them in realising the business goals. But what is it that would make a person stay back late at night or come to work very early or work weekends when necessary?

In looking at individuals within a business, how can we be sure each person is really committed to success? Just how hard will they try?

The answer lies in commitment, a determination to succeed and in you “doing people the honour” by allowing them to take personal responsibility for their part of the task. But this will only happen if the people have respect and confidence in their leaders and a personal commitment to fulfil whatever they have agree to achieve.

How can we have people working in a team and proving their commitment and moreover, how can we put our people to the test?

Winning commitment

The answer lies in proper project planning with written tasks, goals and a timeline and target dates. In fact there is one school of thought that says nothing ever gets finished without a target. If there is no date required for an activity to be completed then why bother to do it at all?

Thus at the commencement of a project it is vitally important to develop some sort of time line chart to layout the project as a map of the activities to be undertaken and thus arrive at a target date for completion.

In a complex project involving many players a PERT or Gantt chart should be drawn showing the critical intersections of project activities and just as importantly the dates that each activity will be completed as well as the person that has agreed to take responsibility for meeting that agreed date.

Testing Commitment

In developing such a chart it is vital that the participants involved have an input and agree to what’s drawn and perhaps even have them personally initial the chart indicating they have agreed to the timeline and their part in meeting it.

In this way you can be sure that there can be no later doubt as to just who is responsible for any slippage.

In the case that an individual sees problems in meeting their agreed goal it is their responsibility to signal that well in advance so adjustments can be made to the overall project time line and remedial actions taken.

Armed with this type of project development tool it is easy to see those really committed and ready to put in the extra hours if needed. A failure to “go the extra mile” when needs be is a strong signal that commitment is lacking. There can be no better way to manage a project, staff and test for commitment.

Roger La Salle, is the creator of the “Matrix Thinking”™ technique and is widely sought after as an international speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development. He is the author of four books, Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australian and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panellist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. Matrix Thinking is now used in more than 26 countries and licensed to Deloitte, one of the world’s largest consulting firms. www.matrixthinking.com

**** ENDS ****

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

What’s all the Productivity stuff, anyway?

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

What’s all this Productivity stuff anyway?
By Roger La Salle

What is Productivity?
In general productivity is a measure of the efficiency with which a task is undertaken.

Normally this term applies to the so called “muscle workers” as Karl Marx called them. Those that physically toil to produce an outcome. This could apply to manufacturing, mining or agriculture and the like.

In past years we have seen governments of all persuasions talking about improving productivity within the Australian workforce, but just what does this mean and is it the “main game”?

Look at the Big Picture
There are several ways to look at this, but in simplistic terms, productivity increases do not lead to business development or expansion, except somewhat by accident as a lower priced product may win more markets. But to be frank, no amount of productivity improvement will allow us to compete with Asian or Indian manufacturers that pay a fraction of the costs and overheads industry in Australia has to bear.

In reality, if you look at a company profit and loss statement the facts are obvious.

Revenue minus costs equals profit. So if we improve productivity, costs go down and profits go up. This is great for the boss and maybe the Government that collects more taxes, but this does not expand the top line of business; revenue. To do this new markets and new protected or innovated products are needed.

Full employment may be a casualty!
Further, in theory, if one likes to extrapolate productive improvement to infinity, what this creates is unemployment as labour is removed to achieve the same outcome to serve the same market. Of course such an extrapolation is extreme, but in a microcosm this is actually happening in many industries as automation to improve productivity replaces muscle workers. Just look at garbage collections today, achieved in a fraction of the time with less effort and half the staff of yesteryear. Further, as wages rise and business overheads increase the drive to replace labour is even stronger and now the flames of headcount reduction, courtesy of automation, are being fanned by low interest rates.

What is most needed is product growth
In short, what we need in this country is new products, services (ones that actually generate wealth like inbound tourism) and innovation protected either by appropriate IPR. Alternatively, or as many do, the constant drive to replace the old with the new, before the competition can react.

Productivity might have a nice political ring, but in essence, this alone is almost a lost cause in this country, and even so, of little value in building the wealth.

**** ENDS ****

Roger La Salle, is the creator of the “Matrix Thinking”™ technique and is widely sought after as an international speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development. He is the author of four books, Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australian and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panellist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. Matrix Thinking is now used in more than 26 countries and licensed to Deloitte, one of the world’s largest consulting firms. www.matrixthinking.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Innovate or Perish

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Innovate or perish!
By Roger La Salle

As a speaker on innovation at this year’s Professional Conference Organisers event in November, it may be timely to reiterate the need for innovation in all types of business.

To give some context; in a book entitled Creating Wealth by MIT professor Lester Thurow the alarming statistic was revealed that whereas in the 1920’s the life expectancy of a US based business was some 65 years, by the 1990’s this had fallen to less than ten years!

The fact is that no matter what business you are in you can be sure if it is highly profitable others will soon enter the market. Market saturation will inevitably occur and profits will be eroded to somewhere near bank interest rates. Consequently if bank rates rise significantly the marginal players or those with excessive overheads will ultimately succumb.

Classic examples of market saturation have been in the proliferation of Petrol stations, and of course the once highly profitable Convenience Stores that have now popped up on almost every shopping strip. In the future as convenience stores move to beat the competition by changing the model, you can be sure that ultimately some will move to a “drive through” service to offer more of what they do well, “provide convenience.”

Being “Number One” is no safeguard
In the past Boeing dominated the passenger aircraft business but now plays second fiddle to Airbus Industries. Airbus may now be leader, but what lies ahead as the Chinese work to develop their own aircraft manufacturing business? In the future, if not already, China will be the largest market for airliners with strong nationalistic instincts motivating them to buy locally.

In the past the big speaking agencies were highly profitable with a well tried and true business model – the commissioned selling of speakers. But now, even the speaking agency business is becoming saturated with new players entering the market at every turn, all working hard to be number one on Google. Perhaps the time has come to explore some new initiatives in this arena and do better at providing and delivering what these businesses see as core business.

The bottom line is that as a businessperson if you are not aware that this saturation scenario will transpire, you may be ignoring the obvious and perhaps failing to explore innovations that can set you apart from the pack.

So it is with little doubt that conference organisers should be asking, what is it they can do to set themselves apart and be the most sought after agency? Be assured, there is always a better way!

Innovation and Opportunity Capture are systematic processes!
The answer of course lies in innovation and the systematic search for opportunities in your business space and to plot the trajectory of your industry over time to anticipate the future.
As a means to achieve this we can use a form of systematic thinking rather than the abstraction of pure creativity that should perhaps be more confined to the performing arts.

Accurately and systematically applied, a structured innovation approach will naturally yield the outcomes necessary to provide business insights to shape long-term sustainability.

Change or be ready to fall by the wayside
One thing is sure, if you fail to embrace the art of innovation and change, your future will be at great risk. New players will enter the market and poach your customers by presenting them different or improved models or perhaps just better pricing, this being the ultimate business killer as you “race to the bottom”.

Innovate or Perish, that’s the overriding need of businesses today, but how many of us are really doing it?

Roger La Salle, is the creator of the “Matrix Thinking”™ technique and is widely sought after as an international speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development. He is the author of four books, Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australian and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panellist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. Matrix Thinking is now used in more than 26 countries and licensed to Deloitte, one of the world’s largest consulting firms. www.matrixthinking.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend