Notes on Innovation [Business Skills with Bucky]

Final Skills meeting of 2011

Next call will be in January.

2001 has been an unusual year for GCS and while it has presented us with an unusual business climate i. the long term impact will create a stronger and more diversified company.

the last call we had was on core competency training for management and here are soem highlights

GCS core competencies of GCS

  • to make great and compelling presentations
  • to have ontime and accurate deliverables (data and report)
  • superior flexibility in communication with clients
  • licensed insurance agents
  • managemnet team

any companys core comp should provide acces to a wide variety oof markets, facilitate the dev of new products and services and should be difficult for competition to imitate

A goal for all of these meetings has been to cover topics that apply to all of us.

After the call we’ll be asking for input from center managers.  So take notes!


Motivating Innovation

Whether its our center, department, our job… can be improved through innovation.

I’m sure all of us can think back to occurences in our life that have been truely innovative, while some innovations are small and relatively insignificant, some change the way we think and act moving into the future .  A good example happened (and I may be the only one on this call old enough to remember this) during the 1968 Olympics.  Prior to that high jumpers used one of three methods to get over the bar, scissors kick, side straddle or the western roll.  At those Olympics, Dick Fosbury used an innovative style, later to be called the Fosbury Flop, to set a new world record.  He arched his back, excelled over the bar with his fee over his head, in effect going over the bar backwards.  This method of high jumping is still in use today! The heights reached due to changing

while businesses must do what they need to remain successful, they must also be looking for new and innovative ideasfoster an enironment of innovation to remain competitive.  These efforts can take many avenues, form new products to new markets, to new market expansion, to toally different ways of doing business. we must look at innovation as a strategic investment that will pay dividends now and in the future

all employees must help cultivate an atmosphere were all empoyees see innovation as an investment in the future. often times people will find fault in anything new you attempt to do.

as a rule, all companies will require the following to create an environment where innovation happens (5 core values)

  • curiosity, natural ability to challenge the status quo
  • risk taking and a willingness to learn from failure
  • openness, companies with silos are less innovative
  • patience and tenacity, sense of giving an idea a chance to grow
  • trust
we should strive for incremental and future growth innovation. as a rule, incremental innovation is process or customer dirven. they keep current cusotmers happy and orgs competetive and efficient, but we can forget disruptive and breakthrough innovations. both call for lookign at problems in an entirely new way. a good example in music would be the ipod.
a cultur that embraces both types features people that have time for innovation. if you’re performing head down work, ther eisnt much time for big picture innovation
innovation should be viewed as a process. you can measure incememtal innovation, but those geared towards the future can not be directly measured while its happening
  • a couple tips for fostering innovation
  • consider both incremental and growth
  • view it as an investment, key source of economic grow
  • determine barriers to innovation
  • verbally solicit ideas from employees
  • make innovation fun (one company wanted to involve their employees and gave them the chance to cook pancakes with different, unusual items to add as ingredients)
  • publicize implemented ideas
  • praise all innovations
  • allow all employees to get involved in the process (be the customer)
  • many companies found teams that are cross functional to be more innovative
  • groups that doen’t work together on a daily basis can provide great insight
  • teammembers perform better if given adequate time and an informal atmoshper eto meet
inovation does not have to be on a grand scale
exteremly important in tough economic times, all depts have room to grow




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