An avid proponent of looking at the world through humorous inquisitiveness to fuel our creativity and imagination, Gabor pens this weekly series of comic anecdotes on strategy and innovation.
A principal premise of SLINGSHOT, is that while there is no such thing as a perfectly and continuously satisfied customer, there is such a thing as an infatuated customer. As with personal relationships, infatuation occurs when customers first come into contact with a product or a service that deeply resonates with them.
Consequently, they become temporarily blinded by any shortcomings or possible defects and are in a trance of positive affiliation. This is the type of strong emotional connectivity that you should strive to create and re-create over and over again with your customers.
Just about as extreme an example of the power of emotional connectivity as you can get, is the saga of the legendary East German passenger car, the Trabant. The former communist economies of Eastern Europe produced some of the most incredible cars ever made. Behind the iron curtain only East European vehicles were available, and people had to wait up to ten years to get one.
Way back in 1985, while studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, I attended a classical guitar concert in the small, college town. Upon entering the building, I was greeted with something quite unexpected. The stage and chairs from the concert hall had been removed and the large room stood empty. At the doorway was a sizable pile of diverse pillows and a sign that invited spectators to take off their shoes, grab as many pillows as they wanted, and proceed into the hall to freely configure their own sitting environment anywhere on the floor. In lieu of a stage, the guitarist’s bench was positioned in the center of the room, so people could surround him on all sides during the performance. I grabbed five or six cushy pillows and arranged a very comfortable, supine position for myself near the bench. As I looked around, everyone else was in a similarly individualized, relaxed configuration throughout the hall.
The beautiful thing about inspiration is that it can come in any form and from anywhere. While arts and culture provide a familiar place for inspiration, that place isn’t always one of business innovation.
Across the globe, the economy continues to teeter precariously. In some cases, it isn’t just teetering. Some countries are trying to stop the bleeding. News of new austerity measures and protests are becoming a daily occurrence.
Spain has recently imposed new austerity measures. One that puts a 21 percent sales tax on theater tickets. When the new measure came out, the Bescano Municipal Theater company thought it meant the end of their business. How could they fill the 300-seat theater in an already tough economy, now further hindered by a 21 percent tax?
Enter innovation. Enter quick thinking. Enter inspiration. Enter pure brilliance, in my opinion. Owner Quim Marce looked out his window, saw the farm fields and saw his answer.
A professor of biotechnology, innovation and business at the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires, Estanislao Bachrach is no amateur in terms of extensive study for his young age: a PhD recipient, he participated in postdoctoral work at the Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as a earned from Harvard University the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching Biological Sciences four years in a row.
Just three days after the ruling in Apple’s favor in Federal District Court in San Jose, California in a copyright infringement hearing versus Samsung, and every major news outlet is ringing with their analysis of the situation and the implications for Samsung, Apple, and the entire smartphone/tablet industry. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the jury found that Samsung infringed on all but one of the seven patent issues, protecting the rectangular, rounded corner shape and pinch-to-zoom function.
The exact cost? $1 billion in damages. The cost when considering future implications of smartphone design? Incalculable at the moment. Will the ruling spur innovation of new products for users? Or does it give an unfair monopoly advantage to Apple?
In the following we capture all the controversial viewpoints and ask…whose side are you on?
We have an instinctive sense that introverts are anything but powerful. However a recently published book by former Wall Street lawyer and avowed introvert Susan Cain takes aims at this common misconception and claims that introverts have much to offer in terms of leadership and creativity that is frequently either undervalued or overlooked altogether.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking has become an instant best seller, igniting discussions about the values and characteristics that we as a society look for, appreciate and encourage, whether it be in our children, our team members or our leaders.
I recently had the chance to talk to Susan about some of the ideas in her book and the potential impact they have on business. Here are some of the highlights of our conversation
Problem solvers, self-driven and creators. These are just three of the characteristics of a new group of employees that are less like workers and more like artists. Authors, universities and even global movements are endorsing, one way or another, this new profile. Could you imagine yourself surrounded by artists at work? Maybe you already are; you may even be one! In the following blog discover the perspective of two renowned authors on the subject, Daniel Pink and Seth Godin, as well as 8 reasons businesses should incorporate art into DNA.
Each year the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity highlights the best of creativity and innovation. It’s made the south of France hallowed ground for the best of what the marketing industry has to offer – as well as set the bar that we all strive to hurdle. While the ad community, judges, juries and the public all deliberate over their favorites and the creative masterpieces that can change how we think, feel and love, I have a hard and fast rule: does the work make me jealous?
Business competition has moved past efficiency and sheer volume as the key competitive advantage. Most companies now recognize the power of ideas, creativity and innovation. However, innovative ideas require the freedom to sit, think, ponder, discuss and challenge, which requires time not usually allotted in the daily office schedule. WOBI’s content team gathered last week to make time for just that: a brainstorming activity at Urban Station in our headquarter city of Buenos Aires. Read along for more information on our experience and overall opinion of off-site brainstorming activities to foster creativity, as well as do's and don't's for off-site meetings.