Years ago at Procter & Gamble my team and I were trying to sort out what to do after having just gotten some horrible product testing results. Tim Feely, who I believe was a Product Development Director at the time, stopped into the meeting and told us, “Numbers are your friend when innovating.”
To create, communicate and commercialize an innovation requires lots of money. The money can come from your existing company, from outside investors or from your own savings. Note - when it’s from your own savings it’s not uncommon for that to not be fully your decision - you often have a spouse or partner who has a financial and emotional stake in you investing your money.
Using innovation to grow sales and profits is an accepted business concept.
After 48 years of innovating and 33 years of consulting - I believe that the ROOT CAUSE of a lack of innovation at most companies the lack of TRUST that leaders have in the ability of their teams to innovate successfully.
A wise man taught me recently the difference between a Bartender and a Mixologist.
The last song of the Broadway musical Kinky Boots is a lesson to everyone “You change the world when you change your mind.”
This past week I’ve been pushing myself to new levels of failure. I’m not talking polite “excuse me” failures I’m talking about down right UGH that didn’t work.
In some cases they were public failures - messing up the cooking of a meal - making mistakes on some math - not saying the right things at the right time. In other cases they were private mistakes that I came to realize privately.
Years ago these types of failures would have infected my mind. I would have played the “could of, should of” game of mental torture with myself. I would have relived my failures over and over again. I would have spent most of the weekend dealing with my past week rather then living in the current moment.
Over the past few months I’ve observed that we are collectively becoming less truthful.
At a car dealership I observed a sales person lying 5 times. To make it worse - when her manager came over he lied 3 times in a row. Now I understand that they would call it “just selling” however in North Fryeburg Maine - where I spent time with my Grand Mother, Hazel Hall - she’d call it lying.
In business meetings managers claim “amnesia” that had never been told something - when there is written evidence of it being shared at least 6 times - again Hazel would say lying.
Innovations can be meaningful, wonderful, better than expected.
However my new standard is BEYOND REASONABLE!
I experienced BEYOND REASONABLE during the opening night of the new James Taylor and His All-Star Band with Bonnie Raitt tour.
It was not just good - it was overwhelmingly BEYOND REASONABLY AWESOME. I can’t believe I’m saying this but on a pure entertainment basis it ranked close to Bruce Springsteen - and for fun with Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville circus.
The show did the little stuff great - started on time - delivered 3 hours of great music.
But that was just the start - it then went…