It’s often traditional practice in business that innovation is restricted to either the product development team or the marketing department.
While this is natural and to be encouraged, businesses who want to survive and thrive in these times should take a more holistic approach to ideas generation.
Back in 1984, I was the proud owner of an early Macintosh computer. In the nineties, I ended up being begrudgingly dragged into the world of PC’s. Two years ago, I returned from the wilderness and have become a proud owner of an iMac and am writing this blog on an iPad. If you call me, I will answer you on an iPhone. I use MobileMe, shortly to be iCloud, and all in all I am a happy bunny.
Why? What Apple do is bring innovation into all customer touch points – starting with new product announcements and rich product functionality through to simplicity of purchase, ease of set up and use. This is all capped with superb ongoing support. A good example of the benefits of such a philosophy is that most iPad owners pay the same price again as the device in apps over a product’s life span.
But if you haven’t got Apple’s billions, how do you even begin to emulate their success? Where do you start?
The answer lies in looking at all the areas where you connect with clients and tackling the ones that are giving you the most headaches. By looking at these first, everything else will be a breeze. The way you look at them is important though.
If you wallow in negative thinking, this engages the parts of your neurology that block light bulb moments from occurring. The key lies in positive thinking. Even if the area you are looking at is not so great, it will inevitably have some good points at least.
What you do is simply identify the good points only and see how you can improve them as opposed to focussing on any negatives. The results are surprising – especially when you engage an independent and objective facilitator 😉
This is the basis and start of a process known as Appreciative Enquiry (or Inquiry). It is an example of parallel and sequential thinking which I will expand upon later in this new blog series on Light Bulb Moments in Business. Using this type of thinking is the key to making sure ideas don’t get away.
I was reminded recently of the power of gathering a Circle of Influence around you from an email I got a lovely soul in my networking circle, Amanda Goldston. On my desk, I then spotted the book by author Kuumba Nia called The Circle of One. Then I had a conversation about collaborating with a circle of complementary archetypes with Lillian Ogbogoh.
When you get messages in threes, it’s time to pay attention !!!
As I am now entering a new phase in my life and career as a speaker and author. I thought it would be handy to garner together as much support around me as possible.
So I had a musing on a dog walk on which people and souls, both living and departed, I would treasure having around me over the coming months and years. I’ve come down to a short list of seven of them whose wisdom, experience and achievements I admire greatly. I will be checking in with them regularly in meditation and while talking about existing books and creating the next ones. For the three that are still living, I would dearly like to connect with them by electronic means and ideally meet them in person one day.
My thinking is that achieving just 1% of what one of them had done individually would be a fabulous goal in itself. Where this might lead when some of their guidance rubs of collectively, God only knows.
I thought too it would be fun to run a competition based on my Circle. I’ve now augmented my book Flavours of Thought: Recipes for Fresh Thinking into a Second Edition with loads of new recipes and some more insights. It will be available in print and as an ebook by Autumn. I will send a pre-release copy of the ebook version to the first person to identify all the seven people in my virtual Circle correctly.
Here’s my Circle below – click on the image to see a higher resolution version.
To enter the competition, put your answers below as a comment to this blog. I will respond to each entry telling you how many you have got right. Multiple entries are accepted …
So Good Luck and why not have a go at assembling your Circle of Influence too?
I am doubly thrilled that my new book, The Art and Science of Light Bulb Moments, has now made it on to the Nook platform just after becoming available on the Kindle.
What’s even more pleasing is how many places my publisher Obooks have made the book available. It’s taken a year but it is definitely worth the wait and it’s a joy just to have been able to write and for all this to happen around me.
I am so thrilled that my new book, The Art and Science of Light Bulb Moments, has now made it on to the Kindle platform a couple of weeks after it was available in print.
Especially as I have just been reading about how US-author John Locke has been going about selling over 1 million books in a few short months – see my Bookwright blog for details on this.
At the same time, bookings are coming in thick and fast for talks on how to experience light bulb moments on demand – see the schedule here – and contact me if you have a group you’d like me to talk to.
I’ll also be sharing some new about the full workshop programme I am launching in the UK in Autumn and extending worldwide to 2012.
It’s a real testament to the doors writing a book opens to an author … watch this space.