The most impressive product advocates like Steve J. share the same method to be sure to create an extraordinary moment when presenting a product. Here is what they do to convince you and millions that the brand new thing they have for you is an absolute must:
Prepare, prepare, prepare! Success needs hard work.
Find a name: Short, clear, straight to the point
This is one the most important thing to do. A good name will allow everybody to remember your product and its positioning, a bas one…
Find a good moto: « The car, without the gasoline »
Refer to the main solved problem, summarize the advantages, make the value clear
Explain the main functionalities of your product: « Phone + email + internet »
That’s where you show why your best, not 1 or 2 times, 100 times better!
Make a demo that will help your audience to picture themselves Show it real, show it works!
Present a problem you solved, the competitors don’t (and show how you solved it of course)
That’s where you hit the target.
A second one? That’s where you hit the target, a second time.
Summarize quickly all the advantages / innovations / key features of your product
so much advantages, so many innovations…
Explain the pricing vs competitors or equivalent solutions
Convinced that your product is THE solution, explain to your prospects that your are not a escrow (at least pretend it).
Train, train and train Do it in front of your mum, your son, your wife, your dog, do it and do it again and again so that the D-day it will be smooth, clear and efficient.
I have just attended to a meeting regarding one project of my running program. This kind of meeting is called « Project Meeting ». Initiated by the project manager, it aims to discuss with the program manager and other selected stakeholders some important facts about the projects before the official Project Review. It aims to deal with important issues and collect options from important sponsors beforehand.
Really often the project team uses those meetings to announce:
a budget exceeding,
What I realize today is that in most of the meeting I have participated to, the project team forgive to bring important information that are keys to their counterparts: a plan.
Explaining that budget is going wild, planning is dead and gold-plated deliverables are everywhere is in a sense not really interesting to take decision about the project. What the project team should focus on are its strategy to take the project on track according to the available options:
Budget should remain unchanged
Planning should remain unchanged
Scope should remain unchanged
According to those 3 different strategy the team should provide scenarii to their stakeholders in order to have clear direction.
What is the plan to keep the budget unchanged while our scope is booming or delay is out of control?
What are the consequences if we keep the original planning (i.e. deliverables dates) regarding to the scope (descoping) or budget?
When experiencing troubles on projects, project teams should of course understand the reasons and act to stop the deviation but also work on alternative and scenarii about the future of its project. If not, the decision taken during a project review could be somehow definitive.
In your own company or outside, you meet people that have always something new to present, a new product to sell, a new project running/starting/ending… Why are those people more innovative than you? They have in mind and managed to implement in their environment those 8 characteristics which make their actions more innovative. Let’s discover them and see how you can leverage them.
Listen to your customer. Outside and inside the company. Ask for feedback, what’s good, what’s wrong, what should be changed or improve. Listening to your customer is something that will always, ever, pay off.
Created a momentum and more important, keep the high pace. Innovation today is more a question of pace and speed than a question of size, engineering capabilities or so… Install an innovation momentum from the start of your project, stimulate your team to creative thinking.
Kick-off lazy managers. You don’t need any manager in your projects just to look and steer. Focus on actions. Ask those managers to come and join. Innovation is a game but also a war. Invite them to share their knowledge and drive the other wild dogs to the success.
3 words: Team, Team, Team. You can’t innovate alone. With your project team you are on a mission ans thus you will be able to innovate better and faster. Let your team embrace the project objectives and make their. Let them decide where and how to go. You will have astonishing results
Use Creative Problem Solving. Being creative and innovative is a process. Creative Problem solving is a very good tool to help you getting new approach and ideas. It works on organisation, process and technology.
Encourage versatility. More ideas and insights come if you encourage your team to switch position or change their habits. allow your team to visit customers, talk to clients, go to some place to inspire them…
Prepare the business. The most important part of your job: insuring that your deliverable will be included into the business and create value for you and your customers. Prepare the hands-on with production team, with sales team etc…
I hope those 8 tips and good practices I have identified will help you to innovate more in practice. Let me know in the comments section if you see some more.
So important for your activity, to track its performances and weaknesses, your KPIs must be wisely chosen to serve your strategy and objectives.
Let’s start at the beginning (it is much better).
What kind of KPI?
composite KPIs==> helps to track complex activities within your company and aggregate different indicators to evaluate their performance
Measuring KPI ==> quants KPIs helping to follow the activities and performances of your company
Quality KPIs==> Specific KPI to measure Quality, Clients satisfaction, emotions etc…
Choose them wisely
An error when casting your KPIs can have tremendous impact on your activity. here are some steps to help you find the right one for you.
Set the Direction: Define clearly your objectives and strategy
Yes, your employees and your company deserve clear objectives and strategy. It will definitely help later to chose the right one if you know where, when and how you want to drive your company.
Chose your vessels: Define the tactic Lots of people misunderstood Strategy vs tactic. Tactic is how you get where your strategy is aiming you. Each tactic plan has a given objective (gaining clients, selling more, increase the revenue per client, developing more cutting edge technology, Patenting more etc…). It should give access to a quantified results and participate to the company strategy.
Do it! Elaborate your action plan Your action plan is your daily reference document. It contains all actions and activities necessary to achieve your goals. Each line should have a given KPIs helping you to drive your actions and evaluate their results.
Drive: Follow and adapt
Build, Test, Learn, the magic words. Follow your performances, line by line, set targets and thresholds and even more important, learn why your actions have the given results, get feedback from customers or clients, and adapt your tactics. Your clients are not reacting the way you thought, learn why and adapt your actions. That’s the only way to be successful.
KPIs and Innovation
Oh yes, I couldn’t finish this article without having a word on Innovation. There are good KPIs for innovation. Depending of your targets, objectives, strategy and tactics of course. But there are bads any way, whatever you like to achieve. Here they are:
Number of patents…. So easy to write a patent. Is the company needing it? Is there a market out there? If yes, does the investment worth the sales? Answer those question (and some others incl do the owner get money when filing up?) to be sure patents are necessary but anyway it is so easily deviated…
Number of ideas per employees. First my personal opinion is that suggestion or idea boxes are killing innovation and collaborative innovation. Don’t start an idea box to innovate. Start it for continuous improvement, for employee engagements whatever you want but you will never innovate with an idea box. especially with a quantified « per employee » number of ideas. It kills the dynamic (if you managed to have one), overflow the process… If you had the chance to have one good idea, now you are sure to miss it.
Tell me if you have some more deadly KPIs for Innovation in the comments.
As I am participating to lots of conferences, start-up meetings and other networking events to develop both my professional and personal network, I would like to share with you my little tips.
I was bad at connecting and networking with peers. I have search the web, spoke with some friends I know are good at it to improve my networking capacities. After all, here are my top tips for you.
Choose your meetings wisely
Not only according to the contents but also according to what you know bout the future attendees.
Book meetings before you arrive
Speakers or attendees, book meetings before you arrive. Use the online app or attendees directory in advance.
Define a plan
Define your goals and set a plan to attend them. Whether you want to meet professionals or learning more about providers, stick to your plan.
Don’t just take Business Card
Frankly business cards don’t make a project so speak, engage people by discussing about their proejcts, needs and problems.
PRO TIP 1: Use a business card reader
Not only helping you to organize your enw contacts, most of them help you to add comments and notes.
Share your contacts and hints with your colleagues once back
Connect as soon as possible
At your hotel or back home, go to linked-in or whatever social network you invest in and connect. If you don’t like social network send an email to remind people who you are and how you know each other.
PRO TIP 2: Use mailing soft
I personnaly use Mailchimp once back home to make a list per conference. I then can share hints and informations directly to all attendees I have met.
I have used Creative Problem Solving techniques for more than 10 years now and facilitated more than 100 workshops using this method or one derived from it. CSP is at one hand one of the most useful techniques to innovate, both for established companies and for start-ups.
CPS: a simple process to be creative
CPS is a simple but key process critical to any innovation process. yes, creativity and problem solving is a process and can impact strongly your innovative initiative.
From a couple of years now I have developed my own approach to CPS and workshop facilitation. My version of CPS takes the best of Design Thinking, Lean 6 sigma and creativity tools to travel from the problem identification to launching the project that will at the end solve it.
The necessary missing step of CSP
If the steps I used towards CPS are more or less the ones defined at Buffalo college in the 1950’s I strongly recommend to go as far as possible to the implementation phase.
My point is that often CSP workshops end with a lot of so-called « idea-sheets » or « action plan » to be implemented. That’s not enough if you want to deliver and innovate to create customer value. At this point my « Project Manager dark side of the force » takes the lead and drive it along the « Initiating Project Process ». It is a key factor of success to have, ready to sign for the sponsor, a project charter to launch the first activities necessary to evaluate and implement the solution to the CSP topic.
The definitive CSP steps
Clarify the problem: Identify and converge on what your group understand from the topic
Explore the problem: Define clearly the topic
Analyse the problem: Analyse all the parameters and dimensions of your topic. Be sure to have everything in mind all the specifications of our topic
Ideate: generate ideas, cross-fertilize them…
Challenge the ideas: evaluate all ideas and transform them into concepts (a more advanced state) and explore all positive and negative aspects of the possible implementation
Implement the ideas (initiate the projects): prepare the project, define the ready-to-launch actions incl. project charter, preliminary WBS and stakeholder map.
If you want some more information, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send us a mail
In the field of the new IMAGE-IN cards deck, INNOWEO has issued a booklet to help our community members to use the deck at its best.
Within the booklet, you will find 3 facilitation tools:
One Ice Breaker exercise to start your workshop, to turn your group into a team in a few minutes.
One Topic Exploration tool to define clearly the scope and state a common understanding of the topic.
One Idea Generation tool to generate more breakthrough ideas, through connection and association
We developed those tools inspired by Arthur Koestler « The Act of Creation » and tested it for months in our own creativity and problem-solving workshops. It works very well and we want today to share it with you.
Get your IMAGE-IN cards and the IMAGE-IN booklets by joining the INNOWEO community!
INNOWEO is very proud to issue its first creativity cards deck: IMAGE-IN. This is a wonderful high quality PDF allowing you to print your own deck.
Those 68 A6 sized cards with high quality images aim to make you innovate more creatively. Inspired by Arthur Koestler « The Act of Creation », the cards have a general organization allowing you to connect, leverage and combine concepts, objects, elements and abstraction. By using the images on the cards and connecting it to your theme, you will empower the idea generation phase of your creativity of problem solving workshop.
In addition to the cards, we have developed for you the IMAGE IN booklet. In this booklet you will find out how to use the IMAGE-IN cards at their best:
One Ice Breaker exercise to start your workshop,
One Topic Exploration tool to define clearly the scope,
One Idea Generation tool to generate more breakthrough ideas.
INNOWEO just issued its first creativity cards deck. Join our community to download it for free.
IMAGE-IN cards deck is a 68 cards deck that will provide your with inspiring pictures from Nature, Technologies or Abstract arts to help you think « out-of-the-box ». With the IMAGE-IN booklet, you will have 3 wonderful and easy exercises to use your IMAGE-IN cards. Also available for free for INNOWEO’s community members, a 40€ value!
So join our community to have our very own deck and enjoy our special contents. In addition, INNOWEO’s community members will be the first to have some more news about the coming soon specials we are working on at the moment. So join us now.
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