Posts Tagged ‘www.innovationtraining.com.au’

It’s not just products

Monday, September 25th, 2017

It’s not just products!
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au
Building a business
Research conducted by the Chief Scientist of Australia and no doubt by many other showed that companies that replace their products at the greatest rate, the most innovative if you like, are the ones the grow the fastest with the greatest profit.

Of course there are many competitions in Australia and elsewhere that promote the so called, most innovative companies. Indeed some actually charge a fee to enter such a competition which possibly “smacks a little like google Awards in paying to be noticed.

None the less, it doesn’t take a competition to see who are the most innovation operators in Australia. McDonalds would be my No1, a company that brings out some new product or a menu change or highlight on almost a weekly basis. Of course Apple, a company with no product in its stable much more than 12 months old are also at the top of the tree.

What else?
However, apart from innovating your products there are many other ways to achieve sustained growth, but many of these are overlooked or simple not on the RADAR of business executives clambering to stay ahead of the game.

Some of these include, complementing you offering, which is in effect selling something that captures the mind set of your customer.

Yet another is to accessorise you products or indeed accessorise the products of any successful business. The company Belkin comes to mind as a company one may well argue may not even exit but for the accessories it has developed for Apple and like products.

A further means for growth is to enhance the channel though which you communicate and reach your customer. For instance insurance companies and banks are perfectly places to achieve this but to date have been very poor in implementing this powerful growth strategy, possibly because they are too focused on their banking business and have failed to properly look outside the square.

Finally, there are new markets.
The world is a very small place these days with communication and transport now so fast, cheap and reliable.

An important way to grow your business is to grow your geographical foot print, but too often, again the pressure of survival in an ever a more aggressive environments restricts many companies, especially the smaller ones from properly addressing the search for new markers.

What now?
Perhaps the rate of product churn is powerful growth mechanism but new products can be a risky, costly and time consuming business.

Remember, new products are just one business growth strategy, ignore the others at your peril.
**** ENDS ****

Roger La Salle, trains people in innovation, marketing and the new emerging art of Opportunity Capture. “Matrix Thinking”™ is now used in organizations in more than 29 countries. He is sought after as a speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and Business Development, is the author of four books, and a Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies, both in Australia 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.

**** ENDS ****

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Innovation on demand

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Innovation on demand – Yes it works
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au
Invest but don’t waste
Getting a return on your innovation investment is something you must demand otherwise your innovation efforts may well spiral out of control with little to show in the end. Indeed many organizations have realized this and literally disbanded their innovation departments as a waste of money.

But does this apply to innovation?
In any properly run business pressure is applied to deliver outcomes often against demanding KPIs. Sales, production, finance and marketing all operate under such demands so why should an innovation department be any different?

You can’t think under pressure!
The old saying “necessity is the mother of invention” is absolutely true. With that in mind it may follow that outcomes in innovation can be demanded when pressure is properly applied. Think of your innovation department or indeed any of your innovation endeavours as simply a production department with a different product – in this case a product or process that is new or different from something you are already doing.

Of course many new to the game will be pushing back with the tried and true axiom that one cannot be creative under pressure. This is nonsense. History tells the story.

Wars prove it
Probably the greatest spurts in innovation and invention in history driven under extreme pressure and absolute necessity can be seen during any war or major conflict.

The Second World War is a good examples that spawned so many innovation it would be impossible to audit. From vastly improved aircraft, RADAR, proximity triggered cannon shells, communications, miniaturized radios, gun sights and directors. The list is endless and all delivered under enormous pressure. Indeed wars or times of crisis are clear proof that innovations can be delivered under pressure. A major Asian bank for example has come to this realization with a KPI mandated on each Department head that 10% of each successive year’s revenue shall come from new products. They demand this and achieve it, so too should you!

So what’s the message?
Have demanding KPI’s for innovation, just like sales and production. Measure your innovation ROI and be ruthless in demanding outcomes. If it’s not working, then clearly you have the wrong people, the wrong process; or both.
Roger La Salle, trains people in innovation, marketing and the new emerging art of Opportunity Capture. “Matrix Thinking”™ is now used in organizations in more than 29 countries. He is sought after as a speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and Business Development, is the author of four books, and a Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies, both in Australia 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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Push Back – the opportunity kliier

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

“Push-Back” – The opportunity killer By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au

The CEO has little Power

The CEO of a large company once said to me, believe it or not,

“I am in the position of least power to change this organisation. If people will not change I am unable to make them, the organisation is simply too large for me to do their jobs in a different way. I must rely on my people.”

What’s Push-back?
Anybody in a medium to large sized organisation will have encountered Push-Back”. This occurs when an individual or a group expresses doubt or even rejects outright the notion of a new approach. This is “Push-Back” and unfortunately it’s all too common.

Should we discourage “Push-back”?
Push back has its place should be used as a catalyst for creating open, full and frank discussion. The last thing one wants is for all to agree with no dissenting views and thus no discussion or exploration of alternatives. Surrounding yourself with “Yes-men” is the ploy of weak and insecure managers who are afraid to be challenged.

As General George Patton said: “If everyone is thinking the same, then nobody is thinking at all.”

What’s the solution?
Without doubt the most effective way to bring about change and acceptance of a better way is to have the negative thinkers involved in the development of the new initiative. Run a session or meeting and lead the naysayers to the “font of discovery” and have them inspire the new thinking. People generally love their own ideas.

An alternative approach is to ask somebody for their advice. People love to give advice, this makes them feel in control, feel well respected and perhaps admired.

Ask somebody for their advice and you will immediately have them on side.

What now?
The realisation that the boss, especially in larger organisations, really has little power to make change may come as a surprise to most, but is a fact.

To inspire change and get “buy in” you need to embrace those that will drive the change in developing the change initiative. Get them involved in developing the new thinking. This is the secret to mitigating “Push-Back”.

**** END ****

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Talk is cheap – Talk is Easy!

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Talk is cheap – Talk is easy
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au

For anyone seeking business advice and assistance whether in strategy, marketing, advertising, sales or innovation, there is one overriding metric that should underpin your purchase decision –
“will it add value?”

Client endorsements – hollow words?
Many web sites, brochures and promotional banners from consulting and training firms carry endorsements from previous clients. These can and should be a powerful aid in your decision making process but beware, if such words of endorsement do not carry the person’s title, name and organisation, they are simply hollow words that are best ignored.

In our business of innovation, opportunity capture, business strategy and culture change we indeed do have powerful endorsements, naturally all are backed by names and titles. However, when it comes to delivering innovation outcomes the real bottom line and a question you should be asking is “what innovations have resulted directly from your engagement?” This is the real question, in fact the only question. “Show me the products you have delivered, the patents lodged and products commercialised, show me the real “Value added”, then I will believe.

Read between the lines
Beware however of misleading endorsements and claims, not dishonest by design, but misleading by omission.

For example, a stunning patented breakthrough product we delivered and is now on display in an Australian Technology museum bears the tile of the “creator”. That title unwittingly misleads people to think these people were the inventors when in fact these people did nothing more than the industrial design. They simply made this amazing technology which we created, look pretty.

So too the industrial design company that is often credited with the creation of the computer mouse. In fact what they did was to turn an idea and a crude prototype conceived by others into an ergonomic saleable product, but so often we hear of them as the creators of the computer mouse. Of course this is not to detract from their design effort, but in exploring your innovation provider, make sure they are able to back their word with real tangible demonstrable outcomes and real innovators. Make sure you are dealing with doers, not talkers.

Remember the best measure we have in business is profit – plain and simple. Profit of course is the result of providing real value – the bottom line!

**** ENDS ****

Roger La Salle, trains people in innovation, marketing and the new emerging art of Opportunity Capture. “Matrix Thinking”™ is now used in organizations in more than 29 countries. He is sought after as a speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development and is the author of four books and a Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australia and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. www.innovationtraining.com.au

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Innovating the Innovators!

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

“Innovating” the Innovators
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au

Innovation is certainly flavor of the month, if not the decade, but a question worth exploring is whether or not the conventional approach to innovation can itself be innovated?

Traditional tools ask you to find different ways to think about things. For example, use of the open question such as “what if” about a product or service? Whilst this may be an interesting way to stretch the imagination, it really fails to address the real issue which is the “why” of the “what if”?

Another common approach asks people what annoys or frustrates them and how resolving this may lead to breakthrough thinking.

Whilst these methods have great merit they don’t address the real question of how people interface with products and services. This surely has to be a good starting point and that comes down to observation. This is the real secret.

For example, the realization that a force called gravity existed was not an innovation but a discovery. It was the use people made of this observation, the opportunity if you like, that lead to innovations.

So too the principles of buoyancy, thrust, sound, heat, magnetism, light and the like, you name it!
All of these were discoveries, not innovations or inventions, but they opened the door to innovations in ships, submarines, aircraft, acoustics, navigation, flight and many more. The list of innovations resulting from discoveries, or perhaps of observations, is endless.

The secret that conventional approaches to innovation overlook is that of discovery, or as we refer to it “Opportunity Capture”, for without an opportunity there is little scope for innovation.

A better approach is to first explore the “opportunity horizon” and to look for areas of human interface with the products and services we use and with that in mind use one of the techniques we have developed known as “tracking”. This tool is fundamental to the art of “Opportunity Capture”. Indeed there are 36 trigger questions in the “Opportunity Matrix”.

In business, nothing happens until you sell something.

With innovation, nothing happens without first an opportunity.

**** ends ****

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Innovating the innovators!

Friday, April 21st, 2017

“Innovating” the Innovators
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au

Innovation is certainly flavor of the month, if not the decade, but a question worth exploring is whether or not the conventional approach to innovation can itself be innovated?

Traditional tools ask you to find different ways to think about things. For example, use of the open question such as “what if” about a product or service? Whilst this may be an interesting way to stretch the imagination, it really fails to address the real issue which is the “why” of the “what if”?

Another common approach asks people what annoys or frustrates them and how resolving this may lead to breakthrough thinking.

Whilst these methods have great merit they don’t address the real question of how people interface with products and services. This surely has to be a good starting point and that comes down to observation. This is the real secret.

For example, the realization that a force called gravity existed was not an innovation but a discovery. It was the use people made of this observation, the opportunity if you like, that lead to innovations.

So too the principles of buoyancy, thrust, sound, heat, magnetism, light and the like, you name it!
All of these were discoveries, not innovations or inventions, but they opened the door to innovations in ships, submarines, aircraft, acoustics, navigation, flight and many more. The list of innovations resulting from discoveries, or perhaps of observations, is endless.

The secret that conventional approaches to innovation overlook is that of discovery, or as we refer to it “Opportunity Capture”, for without an opportunity there is little scope for innovation.

A better approach is to first explore the “opportunity horizon” and to look for areas of human interface with the products and services we use and with that in mind use one of the techniques we have developed known as “tracking”. This tool is fundamental to the art of “Opportunity Capture”. Indeed there are 36 trigger questions in the “Opportunity Matrix”.

In business, nothing happens until you sell something.

With innovation, nothing happens without first an opportunity.

**** ends ****

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Colombia – We could learn a lot from these people!

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

We could learn a lot from these people!
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au
Colombia
The publicity we hear about distant places like Colombia always seems to send a negative, a message that is far from accurate.

I have worked in Colombia on many occasions. It’s a place where I could live and to be honest, I see far more people begging in the streets of Melbourne than I have ever seen in the streets of Colombia.

I recently returned from work with the Chamber of Commerce in Bogota and a major university in Cali. The Chamber in Bogota and much the same in Cali runs innovation programs that would be the envy of the world. These people are knowledgeable, well-resourced and committed. The universities, the buildings and the facilities are to be admired. I have seldom seen better anywhere in the world. For example computer labs with wall to wall 60cm Mac computers, room after room.

UK and Poland
I will be working in the UK, Belfast and then for a week in Poland in January.

Again, much like Colombia, they do things properly. Indeed in January in Poland we have “Matrix Thinking Week”. A week committed to innovation, technology, training and meetings. Even their promotional material is to be admired, clean, crisp and to the point. See www.matrixthinkingweek.com

Coming soon
I’ll report back in late January with the outcomes and news of an exciting new development in Matrix Thinking being done at a university in Cali and expected to be available in January 2017.

These are indeed busy but exciting times and with innovation at the forefront of Government policy in Australia, perhaps the timing is ideal.

**** ENDS ****

Roger La Salle, trains people in innovation, marketing and the new emerging art of Opportunity Capture. “Matrix Thinking”™ is now used in organizations in more than 29 countries. He is sought after as a speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development and is the author of four books and a Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australia and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. www.innovationtraining.com.au

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

What’s your Staff ROI

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

What’s your staff ROI?
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au
Business is about profit!
I define business as “Creating Wealth through Profitable Transactions”.

Indeed it’s the first duty of a CEO and board to work to the best interest of shareholders in providing a return on their investments.

Do you measure it?
In many businesses precise metrics are employed to ensure people and departments are providing an adequate return on their costs, wages and the attendant overheads. In production for example we measure process efficiency as output per unit time divided by costs. We then work to maximise this, but we measure it. In accounting, law and consulting practices earned income compared with cost is measured. If you are not returning a profit on your time, then your career may indeed be short lived.

In fact there is an old axiom in business, “If you can’t measure it, don’t do it”.

In the case of innovation and indeed complete innovation departments, the rationale behind the establishment of an innovation department is most often that “it’s the done thing – we need to be seen as innovative”. But is this really working and more to the point are these people paying their way?

What’s the ROI on your innovation initiative, do you measure it?

Where to Start?
Done properly innovation initiatives should be producing positive outcomes within 12 months at the most, if not, it’s time to question your approach.

There are two important points to be made in looking to measure innovation:
1. Innovation is not research where the chance of a possible outcome is uncertain
2. Innovation is a systematic process that can be measured. Indeed metrics for innovation are not that difficult to establish. Metrics need to be in place before you even start.

Of all things, don’t be sucked in by the story that innovation is difficult, it takes time and so on.

Are new hires contributing to the business?
On great way to measure the overall effect of all staff, including the addition of people devoted to innovation and headcount in general is to measure the company overall profit per head. This is a good indication of the overall effect of growing staff numbers. By Roger La Salle www.innovationtraining.com.au

**** ENDS ****

Roger La Salle, trains people in innovation, marketing and the new emerging art of Opportunity Capture. “Matrix Thinking”™ is now used in organizations in more than 29 countries. He is sought after as a speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development and is the author of four books and a Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australia and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. www.innovationtraining.com.au

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

The Business of Business

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

The Business of Business
© Roger La Salle 2012
Maintaining the theme
The last business insight drew an overwhelming response. Continuing on the theme of the picture being worth a thousand words, below is a link to the first of a series of 13 short sessions done with the Deloitte Innovation Academy.

This may seems like basic stuff, but hang in there and learn the only one way to really build a business.

“The business of business is fundamentally simple”! Have a product, sell enough at the right price and you have a sustaining business, the rest is just how you go about achieving that. This is where this video series is heading.

I hope you find this introduction of interest and please feel free to pass it on or publish in any form you may wish.

Regards
**** END ****
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 one of the world’s largest consulting firms. www.matrixthinking.com
Regards,

Roger La Salle
Innovation – Opportunity – Inspiration
Conferences – Key Notes – Workshops – Facilitation

www.matrixthinking.com
Twitter @rogerlasalle
Mobile 0418 370 828
Office + 613 9842 7267
Fax + 613 9842 2260
Sponsor – INNOVIC Next Big Thing Award

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend