Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category

Innovation , Invention and Collaboration

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Innovation – Invention – Collaboration
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au
www.matrixthinking.com

Open Innovation, the term used when companies and people literally open their problems and issues to the world looking for advice and solutions is possibly the most obvious form of collaboration.

There are a lot of issues with this so called open innovation model, a prime one of course is ownership of IP. This has the potential to be a minefield if not properly understood and managed.

However, before we go too far down the path of collaboration and open innovation it may first be useful to agree on what we even mean by the word innovation. Innovation, a word that seems to have been corrupted by so many, achieving nothing more that turning the simple into the complex!

It can be argued that Innovation is the basis for all things new and better, but what inspires innovation and new ideas? More to the point, what is the link between an innovative or inventive idea and an outcome?

If we think of innovation when applied to building a business and making money, which is probably what inspires most innovators, then we need to think about the risks in business.

In most cases when an idea is being pursued and a technology development is being undertaken, whether it be an IT solution, new App, a tangible product or a new service, in essence there are only two risks that need to be considered.

The first is what we may refer to as technical risk, which means can the technologist achieve the desired outcome?

In science and technology, for the most part the technologist will deliver a solution or at least will be able to give some insight as to the risks involved. For example if we were to ask the technologist to give us anti-gravity boots they would easily be able to assign the risks associated with achieving an outcome. Of course in this case the risk would be enormous.

On the other hand if we asked a clock to be developed with hands that were in fact LED strips that were clearly visible in darkness, the answer would be that this is achievable with no technical risk.

In short, technical risk is something we can generally measure and assign a degree of risk.

However, assuming I did achieve the technical outcome with my innovation, the real questions to be asked, and the ones that too many innovators and even large companies get so wrong so often are “can I sell it?” – “will there be a market?”

Market risk is without doubt out the single biggest risk in bringing new products to market.

With this in mind we may be able to coin a definition of innovation that has the effect of reducing market risk and with that we can explore the opportunity landscape to hopefully create successful innovation.

When we look at some products from the past, Google, the i-Phone, MasterCard and Visa, Nokia, Seiko, the IBM PC and Windows, one thing these all have in common is that none we first to market. Indeed all were followers of some prior art and yet all these were great successes. In short the secret to mitigating market risk is to find a product or service that everybody is buying and simply change it in some way to add value.

Thus a definition for innovation can follow.

The common synonyms for innovation are improvement or advancement. Further, if we take it that people buy things because they see value for money, then perhaps the best definition for innovation is “Change that Adds Value”. Indeed this derivation and definition was coined in my book “Think New” many years ago. This definition has now been adopted by many organisations and innovation practitioners worldwide.

Whereas innovation may be about making changes for improvement, inventions are more about novelty. Novelty of course is an essential ingredient to a successful patent application. Having said that, there are many innovations that do contain elements of novelty and are thus also patentable. Indeed one may argue that there are few absolutely new inventions, though a few that may fall into this category might be the electric light bulb, the transistor device, the atomic bomb, RADAR and the LASER.

Given that we may have a better understanding of innovation the task now falls to the creation of innovations. How does one do that and why is collaboration so vital to successful innovation outcomes?

The secret to this comes from three elements, all essential ingredients that underpin successful innovation:
• Observation
• Knowhow borne of experience
• Connections or collaborations

Observation
The key to finding opportunities for innovation lies in observation. That is, looking at the way people interact with the world, with products and services and finding the gaps and value added opportunities. Of course the idea embodied in the relatively new concept of Design Thinking asks one to look at the customer. However the fact is that from my reading of this methodology, what it fails to do is to ask how one looks at the customer. Furthermore it should also ask you to look at the customer’s customer. For example, is the retailer your customer or the purchaser and user of your product? The packaging industry seems to have worked that one out, for example in attending to supermarket shelf storage space and customer convenience in opening and storing products!

Indeed there are five things that Design Thinking seems to miss in exploring customer behaviour and the way people interact with products and the world. These are in my book “Think Next” published over a decade ago.

• Predictable activity
• Widespread activity
• Repetitious activity
• Comparative activity
• Trends

If we explore our customer with these five, what I refer to as “seeds” of opportunity, the game gets a lot easier. It’s further made easier if you then use the eight thinking triggers I refer to as “Catalysts” to stimulate thoughts about these seeds.

This is what I refer to as “opportunity Capture”.

Knowhow borne of experience
Young children are often very good at seeing what to them appears obvious, whereas people who have been doing the same thing the same way for too long often seem prone to overlook the obvious.

The young, the uninitiated and those untarnished with tradition are often very good at seeing what may be possible, but what they lack is knowledge and experience in looking at how such opportunities may be addressed and what seems sensible and may be possible.

This is where experience and an older head is so valuable in innovation outcomes.

There is a great saying, “knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom comes from experience and experience comes with age.

Below are some examples that may illustrate the point of why knowledge borne of experience is so important.

• The inventor who correctly realised that the lead on a hairdresser’s hairdryer was a problem is a case in point. His solution was to have a battery operated hair dryer. What his lack of knowledge failed to identify was that even a car battery would not have had the capacity to run a hair dryer even though the idea may have had merit. As it happened the inventor did toil away at this innovation for far too long and spent quite a lot of money before acquiring the knowledge that at this point in battery development, his idea was simply impractical.

• A building company with very large innovation teams, in fact four separate teams, which were trying to find ways to identify if scaffolding that had been put in place and certified as safe was subsequently moved by subcontractors, and perhaps rendered unsafe. They had been wrestling with the problem without a solution. When the problem was put to an older head the answer was simple, something the inexperienced innovation teams had never even heard of. Tie the scaffolding to the building with “Tamper Tape” that fractures on movement. This was a great solution, but one that the young innovators were simply too inexperienced to have even considered.

• A fellow who proposed a warning device that alerted parents if a child had unfastened their seat belt. This was nice in theory, but what was overlooked was that many cars already have a “person sitting on the seat but seat belt unfastened” alarm. Perhaps an easier solution could be a seat belt clip latch that requires stronger hands to undo, or maybe a two handed operation action much like a safety interlock on a power tool. We refer to this as “re-question”. It asks you to explore the real issue and decide what is really the ideal or best question to be asked in addressing a problem?

In my world we refer to the type of connections from problem to solution as “connecting the dots”.

One of the great skills of clever entrepreneurs and innovators is to see the linkages between seemingly unrelated issues. This is where broadly skilled technologists and open minded thinkers come to the fore.
For example, suppose I run a lumber business, the business of cutting up trees to provide timber for the building industry. What possible connection does that have with mathematics? Perhaps none you may think, or certainly the old fashioned timber manager may have thought. But in fact linear programming, quite an old science these days, when employed in that industry can optimise the way timber is cut to provide massive additional profits. But in the closed non-collaborative model, such knowledge may never be acquired.
Similarly,
• The technologies developed in putting a man on the moon. How could that possibly connect to the business of pots and pans? The answer – Teflon coating
• Clocks and radio paging, is there a connection? Indeed there is. Imagine having a clock equipped with a radio paging receiver to receive time signals and thus keep perfect time and even update for Summer Time changes. Such clocks were developed in Australia long before we had cell phones with perfect time
• The packaging business and home insulation? Of course, use bubble wrap as the ideal insulator. It’s light weight, cheap, easy to install and with fire retardant grades also available.
• Optics and home insulation? Of course, use a reflective coating on one side of the bubble wrap to reflect radiated heat.
• Physiotherapy and the reduction of carbon emissions?
• The tooth brush and ceramic crystals?
• Extruded plastic “core flute” sheeting and aluminium extrusions?

The reader can ponder the latter three, but the connection in each of these cases has spawned real businesses.
There is an endless list of these seemingly unrelated disciplines that can be connected with appropriate knowledge and collaboration between disciplines
Indeed this is why the new paradigm of “Opportunity Capture” is now emerging as the preferred approach to the more narrow discipline of traditional innovation.
There are endless examples like this which goes to show that perhaps inexperienced people may have great value in identifying possible innovation opportunities but really fail to deliver when it comes to real and viable outcomes.

Connections and Collaborations
There are few cases where one individual or even one organisation can solve all the problems and go from mind to market with an idea without assistance, or perhaps better said, collaboration.

Possible the best example is in the auto sector. Auto makers are really just assemblers of parts made in most cases by third parties. No auto maker can make all the chassis components, the body work the paint or the rubber, the bushes, shock absorbers, alternators, windscreen wipers, the complex electronics, the air conditioners and even something as simple as the seats and the seat belts. Of course tyres, bearings even engines parts are provided by collaborating third party suppliers.

Collaboration and finding the best parties to assist you on your innovation journey is essential whether it is in the design, the engineering, the manufacture, the business planning and even the sale and marketing. Indeed even the very largest manufactures from food to cosmetics usually outsource their packaging and even advertising campaigns. Collaboration at its best.

Collaboration is definitely the name of the game when I comes to successful innovation outcomes.
**** 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 panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast.

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Big outcomes from simple Changes!

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Big outcomes from simple changes!

By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au
www.matrixthinking.com
A game changer on a “dime”
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, “You don’t have to put a man on the moon to be a great and successful innovator!”

Too many people try too hard to make innovation seem difficult when in fact it’s not that hard if you have the right approach and the right tools. Really, you do have to wonder what benefit people see in making the simple seem complex.

The perfect example and it’s so obvious
A company with whom we work has develop a breathtakingly simple solution to a problem nobody even thought existed and they’ve changed the game. The inspiration of course is founded on the “Opportunity Matrix” – the notion not of asking people what they want, since they seldom know, but simply watching what they do and observing.

Posting a poster!
When a paper poster or certificate is to be sent by post or courier of course it needs to be protected, so of course we put it inside one of these round hard cardboard tubes with the nice little plastic end caps. That’s how we’ve done it for years.

But watch and learn the problems:
• Stacking them is impossible
• They roll everywhere in vans and crates
• They are next to impossible to reliably position for bar code readers
• They do not “nest”.

In fact if you pack four cylindrical tubes together for shipping a full 25 percent of the shipping volume is fresh air, air that you pay to ship. (I cannot recall how many times we have pointed this out to food and wet wipe tissue companies that insist on using round containers.)

Well finally the problem has been addressed by a Melbourne based company, Kebet Packaging. They have developed and are now shipping triangular shaped tubes, much like the famous “Toblerone” chocolate packaging.

Not only does this work but the customers love it with hugely reduced shipping volumes, much easier handling and packages that actually sit in on the spot as they are conveyed past bar code counting stations.

See the difference? It’s obvious. But as we always say “The obvious once made obvious is always obvious”

What’s the message?
• Embrace the art of “Opportunity Capture”
• Learn the art of observation
• It’s not rocket science but it sure leads to innovation.

**** 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 panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast

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It’s happened again!

Saturday, June 9th, 2018

Don’t be fooled!
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au
www.matrixthinking.com
The changing landscape
The world of business is changing at an alarming rate and we need to move with the times.

Many of us are now open for business 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are mobile connected, you just never know who may be calling you. A missed call may be a missed opportunity.

In marketing, social media seems to be all the go these days so much so that television advertising is now extremely cheap, except for the few top rating shows. Of course many print publications that relied entirely on advertising are now downsizing, closing or moving to the e-space as they struggle to find relevance for paying customers.

Is it that simple?
All good, but don’t be fooled. Blasting the social media space does have its downsides including the cost, over exposure and money wasted on inappropriate channels.

For example, whilst is may be appropriate to promote and have others wholly endorse a new fitness craze on Facebook, Instagram and some of the other more casual social media sites, the same would not likely apply to a new surgical scalpel, or blood sampling syringe.

The fact is, we need to look at where the market we are targeting clusters. What is appropriate for one is not necessarily the case for the other.

It’s obvious
Many experts would say the main purpose of social media in business is to drive people to your web site.

For some products and services this may be so, in which case a lot of work needs to be done to ensure your site is easy and fast to open and grabs the reader’s attention at a glance. SEO of you web site in this case is essential, but properly thought through, this can often be done at for next to no cost.

Many use AdWords to be near the top of Google and BING but this can be very expensive. Further, in many cases people ignore AdWords as it may send the message that you on top, screaming for attention, not because you are good, but because you‘re paying. Beware, the downside of AdWords.

Ideally, if you can identify the most common search term for your business activity and register a URL including that term you are well down the path of being number one without ever paying.

In some cases a web site is not so important or even necessary if the sales process can be made directly from the social media channel. Again, we must ask, where does our market reside and what is the most cost effective interact?

Engaging Social Media?
Whilst some engage social media experts who blast the e-space at a monthly cost, which may be far less than a full time hire, make sure that you are properly targeting your market. You are the experts, so focus your social media people.

For example, we all complain about the traffic these days, but let’s look at the upside. People with long commutes listen to the radio, now more than ever. Use this to advantage, but again, think of your audience. A millennial may listen to a rock station whereas a senior executive, CEO or Board Chairman will be listening to an entirely different station.

Use an Opportunity Matrix to find how your customers behave. The rest will come naturally but don’t be fooled into thinking that blasting on social media is necessarily money well spent.

**** 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 panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast

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Too quick to protect

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

Too quick to protect
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au

When we meet with inventors, entrepreneurs and innovators with what they believe is the “next big thing” it seems what they most often think they need is money.

More to the point, the money they want is for protection, with this most commonly being for patents.

A Provisional Patent with its International 12 month priority date protection, followed by a PCT application and then the National Phase (where patents are sought in every place imaginable) seems to be the order of the day.

The fact is, only a tiny percentage of patents ever return a cent to their creator, but notwithstanding this, too many people see patents as the panacea. Unfortunately, apart from the risks and uncertainty in obtaining strong defensible protection, it’s the costs involved in patenting that most often brings inventors to their knees, even before they have a final working prototype.

The reality is quite different
In the first case, what is not widely understood is that a patent does not so much protect an idea, what it protects is the particular way a problem has been solved. This is why patents are best referred to as “Method and Apparatus”.

Indeed the inventor’s ideal way of solving the problem is normally referred to in patents as “the preferred embodiment”. Of course in many cases there are other ways to solve the same problem.

Good protection is best obtained in narrow fields where there is little room to manoeuvre with few other possible embodiments.

For example the helix thread would be a great invention to protect because of its fundamental simplicity. So too the Star or Phillips head screw, again with the simplicity being the key to a strong patent. But then of course some “bright spark” may see the Phillips head screw as a stimulus to create an Allen key drive head, or a triangular recessed drive head.

The other issue with a patent is that it discloses the problem and of course the solution. Indeed this is one reason, often after a great deal of research, expense and effort, sometimes patents are not sought. Simply the knowhow is retained in-house as a “trade secret”.

Remember the contents of a patent eventually become public knowledge.

It is said that Coca-Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken retained their IP as well kept trade secrets with no public disclosure.

What does a patent really offer?
Good patents that you are prepared to defend can really work. The KODAK versus Polaroid case of many year ago proved that and there are many other examples.

But understand the risks. In reality, and we have said this before, a patent is only as good as your willingness and ability to defend it.

**** 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 panelist 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.innovationtraining.com.au

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Tesla – Let history be the judge!

Monday, March 26th, 2018

Tesla – let history be the judge!
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au
www.matrixthinking.com
We must be ahead of the curve?
There can be no doubt that being first to market with a new initiative may demonstrate great leadership, but just how important is that, or perhaps more importantly, how risky is it?

Innovation Defined
Our definition of innovation, “Change that Adds Value”, that we first coined in the late 1990’s was derived for a special reason. It’s all about mitigating market risk, without doubt the single biggest risk with new products.

This definition suggests that instead of being first, it’s a lot less risky to find something that is a big success in the marketplace and then to innovate it. Change it in some way to make it better and go to market with an improvement on what you know people are already buying.

Amazing examples
None of the following success stories were first to market.
• Boeing 707 passenger jet
• I-Phone
• VISA and MasterCard
• Facebook
• Google
• PayPal
• NOKIA Cell phone

The British COMET aircraft was the first passenger jet but it had some technical difficulties that enabled BOEING to learn and develop the BOEING 707, an aircraft that took the world market by storm.

DINERS Card was the first true credit card, but its followers VISA and MasterCard were the real winners.

Motorola virtually created the cell phone but NOKIA took the world market with the best phones only then to be displaced by Apple with the first tablet phones. Samsung are now challenging APPLE with similar featured phones at a much reduced price.

The list of first to market failures is extensive. Of course this is not to say that being first is taboo, simply that being first carries a lot more risk.

History will be the judge!
The most current example of this may be the TESLA all electric vehicles. Certainly TESLA have in essence created a paradigm shift with their marvellous first to market products, but in doing so they have in effect, “poked the hornets’ nest”.

The big auto makers like FORD, GM, Hyundai, TOYOTA, NISSEN and the like have now been stirred into action. By now these giants would have reverse engineered every TESLA model, learned some “new “tricks” and will soon be flooding the market with even better versions of electric cars, most likely at an even lower price.

It will be interesting to see is how TESLA will fare in the face of relentless competitors that will have learned so much from the pioneering work of TESLA.
**** 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 panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast

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It’s Booming

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

It’s Booming
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au

In Australia in particular, low interest rates together with huge population growth (mostly from immigration) is fueling a housing boom. Coupled with unrestrained State and Federal Government infrastructure spending, it seem the “music may never stop”.

If your business is not in boom times then it’s time to look closely at your business strategy, your marketing and how you are applying innovation to cash in on this boom.

Old but true
There is an old saying in business:

“Nothing happens until you sell something”

Though this may be obvious, it’s so often overlooked by companies inspired by the concept of innovation. They move into new and innovated products with great enthusiasm only to find at the end of the day, there is little market interest.

This all “flies in the face” of another saying so often used to inspire innovation:

“Built it and they will come”

Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

What’s the Secret?
There are two principles that we apply to innovation, principles that have never failed us:

• Sell it before you make it
• Innovate, don’t invent. We need to understand the difference between these terms so often wrongly used interchangeably.

Apply the principles of innovation and success is assured.

Will it even end?
The short answer is no and this brings us to the fundamental that inspires the product development we do, in hardware, software and marketing.

“Everything we do or use today will eventually be rendered obsolete by either a better way or the march of Technology. Nothing is free from the opportunity for innovation”

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 panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast

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Innovation Man – Not!

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Innovation Man – Not?
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au

A New Year is upon us. Perhaps this may be the ideal time to take a breath and look at your strategy for growth!

Check this out
If innovation is one of your strategic pillars then remember that it’s outcomes that matter, not inputs. Indeed there is an old but must see IBM video that speaks a lot to innovation endeavors. The link is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjKh11jpqfc

Note, the intent is brilliant but unfortunately the outcomes are still a work in progress – will it ever be done?

The fact is, innovation does not happen even with deeply inspired people sitting in a darkened room singing the “What if I”….” hymn. “What if I … what……”? We may well ask?

Have a process
There is nowhere to go with such an open ended question. The secret to having outcomes is to finish the sentence with a full body of stimulus words each of which demands a specific answer. In fact properly done there are over 100 stimulus words that can finish the “What if I…” sentence. If you use these you can guarantee innovations will flow, literally as a river of opportunity.

So too in exploring your customer. The key to success in innovation is to understand what your customer wants. One approach is to simply ask. But this is not without its issues, including the one we so often encounter where in many cases customers seldom really know what they really want.

The secret to satisfying your customers’ needs lies in observation, what we refer to as “opportunity capture” with more than 40 ways to observe your customer. But it should not stop there, you also may need to be exploring your customer’s customer to get to the real source of true opportunity.

Finding new opportunities with which to explore and grow your business is the easy part. The real skill comes in evaluating these opportunities underpinned by the simple “technology diffusion model” – a numerical score card for new initiatives to be used as a precursor to your commercialization strategy.

None of this is difficult but your endeavors must be backed by sound judgement and proper risk management. This needs to be coupled with the clear understanding of the single biggest reason for failed innovations, the customer or perhaps better said, Market Risk.

What’s the message?
Now’s the time to review your business strategy and don’t be fooled into thinking that innovation is reserved for the gifted. We are all users of products and services. Engineers, scientist, accountants, lawyers, children, indeed everybody and anybody may be your customer. Use the right tools and outcomes are guaranteed.

****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 panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast

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The Power Crunch has come

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

The Power Crunch has come

By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au

It is simply amazing that the people on every side of politics for the past 15 years have not foreseen the power crunch coming.

Frankly, this is unbelievable. Who advises Government on energy policy, who is to blame for the catastrophe that is now befalling this country? Are these people blind to the obvious or simply in denial or, worse still, stupid!

Many years ago energy generation was planned 30 years in advance with the eye to population growth and likely demand. Gone are all these forecasts so that now at the 11th hour the Government is scrambling, at any cost just to keep the lights on – and of course it’s too late. No short term fix is possible and for the long terms, there is no plan, no foresight, just hope. Where are the engineers, the people that could see this coming and where was the action to head this off at the pass?

Australia in now doomed to energy poverty. Poverty in a country that should and could essentially have free power. We have an abundance of power generation capability but politicians too afraid to make any decisions, except to give more subsidies to renewables, a source of power that cannot possibly meet the demand.

We also hear of the fabulous batteries that are supposed to provide the stop gap measures, we hear of 10KW domestic batteries, (one assumes this is 10kWhour – but of course the experts don’t even know how to properly specify it’s capability) a battery that barely has sufficient capacity to cook a single large roast dinner.

We have the wonderful prospect of 100MW batteries (again one assumes this is 100MWhour). Wow, 100MWh would not have enough power to charge Australia’s population of cell phones, laptops and tablets, just once. Yes, one day of charge from a 100MWh, but who’s counting?

Then we have the issue of disposal of these so called wonderful savours. In a few years these will be like car tyres, and what of their carbon foot print in manufacture, delivery and of course disposal. I have not heard a single commentator even mention this, much less offer a solution.

This is simply greatest failure of Governments of all persuasions in the history of this nation. We are now in a place where the government is in knee jerk panic response at any cost from an economy already at breaking point, but alas, it’s all too late.

To boot, apart from energy poverty, we are driving industry to the wall with ever rising power prices, and it’s only going to get worse.

Who is to blame? It’s time we sheeted this home to out hopeless body of politicians running scared in the light of C02 mitigation when even the Chief Scientist says that what we are doing will have no effect on global temperatures.

Are we mad, it seems so!

**** 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

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AICD Article “7 long term megatrends…”

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

Are these really the important long term mega trends?
December 2017
By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au

Regarding the LinkedIn article from the AICD magazine on the “7 long-terms megatrends… “, I find this article largely statements of the most obvious and in some ways a little deceptive.
In the first case, why the comment “climate data shows “NEARLY ALL” warmest years were in 21st Century. Is this deception by omission and pushing a climate change agenda?
As for water, the amount of water on the planet is probably fixed (except for the little locked in concrete mix and the like) and to be sure Australia has been inundated with water for the last six or more years. Any shortage is due to population growth and the prevention of new mass storage dams, courtesy of the Green lobby. The result of course was DeSal plants, now idle but in any case there is no power available to run them, even if they are needed.
The concerning mega trends are many that are not listed including:
1. The growing car population with close to 1.5 million per year being added to Australia’s roads and all Government can do is build more roads, inspiring more cars and more congestion. Time and productivity lost in travel is a huge and a costly megatrend with no end in sight.
2. Spiralling government debt with no solution in sight and a recession, which we have not had for some 27 years (despite the usual occurrence every nine years) bound to occur as we reach our debt ceiling, interest rates rise and the economy tanks. This is inevitable.
3. The shift to the services sector that creates little wealth and is largely funded by government infrastructure spending (more debt) and housing to support our unmanageable immigration inspired population growth.
4. Power shortages driving the manufacturing sector to the wall with no clear policy direction and more debt used to subsidies otherwise unprofitable green inspired power initiatives.
5. Social media that is changing the very fabric of society sometimes for the better other times as for the worse as our children lose the ability to communicate, except by text and news become twitter inspired opinion rather than fact.
6. Unsustainable growth in wind turbines that have too short a life span and are too unreliable to be a viable. Additionally, they kill any coastal creature that can fly with blade tip speed as much as 400 kph. (Where are the greens?)
7. Politicians making short term decisions in the interest of holding government rather that the country, such as a hand full of obsolescent submarines at $50 plus billion to win a couple of marginal SA seats.
There are many other megatrends not even considered in the AICD article.

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Co-working spaces – Real or a nice little earner?

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

The “co-working space” – real or a “nice little earner?

By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au
The new wave
Innovation has been on everybody’s lips for at least the past decade.

With that in mind we now see governments, councils, universities and many public and private companies offering co-working spaces, sometime at huge cost running into the millions of dollars.

What’s the plan?
It’s hard to criticise the endeavours of those who provide these spaces. However it’s worth asking the question, just what is their plan and how is the cost benefit of these facilities measured?

Certainly there is value in networking and meeting new people all hopefully having innovation at front of mind. Perhaps with the right mix of people sparks will fly and the next Facebook will emerge! This is always a possibility but are these relying on good luck as much as good management? What are the metrics and how are the costs of these funky new spaces that are popping up like mushroom justified?

Metrics are important. If you can’t measure something you can’t manage it, nor can you make changes knowing you are heading in the right direction.

One major bank that has invested heavily in these co-working spaces has clear metrics, as you would expect from a profit driven enterprise. Their major metric being – “The Number of new accounts that have resulted”. From what we have learned, they are delivering on this.

A new real estate model
Perhaps the co-working spaces in many cases are actually a “real estate play” with a new name of co-working spaces and the funky décor simply used to give them panache. Are they simply serviced desks instead of serviced offices with the landlords being the real beneficiaries?

There are some clear messages here
Innovation is not luck, we don’t invest in innovation to be lucky. If you address innovation and opportunity capture with a structured approach, you can almost guarantee outcomes in hours.

Finally, have a plan. Measure what you do.

****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.

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