We often try to determine the actual value of these newsletters. We have been sending them to thousands and thousands of people for the better part of 20 years. Each month we search for the best content. We want the ideas to be interesting enough for you to open the email. That’s a challenge when you think of over 240 past issues! We put it in a story format and try to create value around an idea. Sure, it’s our monthly touch point and we get tons of email every month from readers who voice their opinions on the subjects or that just use the newsletter to check in with us. It’s not an easy thing every month. I write, Dr. Jim edits, and Colin does the magnificent production. So, is it worth it?
After sending out last month's newsletter on some of our ideas around culture, we received a call the next day from a client who said; “I just finished your newsletter and it gave me an idea for a project.” WOW, that’s a real metric of success for a newsletter.
The middle of July started the monsoon season of business for us and it has us jumping with really great projects and a couple of new ones just hit the calendar!
Here is the latest OVER COFFEE VIDEO on discovering and capitalizing on your patterns.
"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."
- George Bernard Shaw
Many moons ago all we knew of the night sky and our place in the universe we gained by staring into the darkness of night. We would look for explanations based on our observations. The great Greek astronomer, Ptolemy would gaze into a star filled night and postulate on why these heavenly bodies moved. With nothing more than his brilliant mind and observation skills, he created the geocentric model of the solar system. It made sense, earth was at the center and all the planets did their orbital dance around us. One of the greatest minds in history thought it was a good idea and Aristotle grabbed hold. That model of our solar system stood the test of 1500 years of thinking. Then, the Renaissance hits and tons of new information and thinking floods Europe. In 1514 the brilliant Nicolaus Copernicus, using more modernized observational equipment discovers the sun is at the center of our little planetary neighborhood (heliocentric model) and everything starts to change. Emerging knowledge replaces an older understanding and the next thing you know, we have new models, new processes, new systems and new ideas. New information leads to new thinking. This is how things change over time, IF and I do mean IF, you are open and aware.
Despite the scientific work of Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, and even Galileo, the world was slow to accept the new work. For even thinking along the lines of a non-earth centered model, despite being able to prove it through the use of a telescope, Galileo was punished by a life of house arrest.
Companies that ride new idea waves pay attention to emerging information. They grab a hold of ideas to create new avenues of revenue production where just a few short years ago they didn’t even exist.
Buy a car on the internet, that’s crazy. File your own taxes, no way. Create an LLC on the internet, way too dangerous.
In 1876 Thomas Edison set up the first industrial research lab based on new information about methods of production. It was here that over 1000 patents were created and the revolution of modern electric power began. He leveraged emerging knowledge. His buddy Henry Ford was modifying the assembly line idea using emerging processes to revolutionize the automobile industry (No, he didn’t invent the assembly line. That happened in England in about 1853). In less than four years his adjustments to mass production reduced the assembly time from 12 hours to 93 minutes!
The gang at Proctor and Gamble created their new "growth factory” by leveraging emerging knowledge that started with Edison and Ford. Their Tide detergent used to be just boxes and bottles of soap, but by being open to new ideas the Tide name can now be found on dozens of products with a completely new array of capabilities.
Knowledge is not a fixed entity. It moves, shifts, adapts and morphs before those who are looking. Bodies of information are in a constant pattern of seismic shifts. Even Albert Einstein was agile enough not to ignore the impact of emerging knowledge. His Special Relativity was superceded by his own General Relativity!
What does this all mean to you? It’s time to increase your field of vision. It’s time to look in different places for opportunity. We have clients that engage in our Beyond Series, our strategic platform that opens the understanding of how divergent businesses can converge into an opportunity you never knew existed, Here is how to get started on your emerging knowledge leverage.
YOUR VIEW:Emerging knowledge doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens out there, in the big wild world. In order to take advantage of a new idea, you have to be looking for new ideas. Both Ford and Edison were very aware of what’s was going on in manufacturing. They were connected to the industrial world. How connected are you? Are you an ACTIVE member of your professional trade associations? Do you subscribe to your industry publications? Do you attend industry meetings and events? Are you connected to the business community in which you make a living? It’s best to start with where you are, but that’s not where emerging knowledge ends!
A BIGGER VIEW:What KIND of business are you in? Do you make things? Are you in the service industry? Are you both? Look for ideas and emerging knowledge in a bigger universe. If you made things you are a manufacturer. Look for chances to learn from other companies. Let’s say you are a bottling facility for a soft drink company, you might think about touring a dairy. If you run a medical clinic you might take a tour of a car agency. Huh? Both have waiting rooms. Maybe the Lexus dealership has an idea you could leverage. It’s a big world and the business community is evolving at a historic pace. A little exploration will reveal emerging knowledge that can create separation and differentiation for you and your company.
MAKE IT A FUNCTION: All companies have functions. There’s accounting, purchasing, sales, administrative and on and on. These divisions all serve a purpose. If you want to make new ideas and emerging knowledge a real and true asset (and it surely is) you need to have a level of commitment. Most companies don’t really need a full human resource commitment like 3M or NASA, but you do need a time and effort commitment. Form your “idea" or EK (emerging knowledge) group. Their task, HUNT. Look around and find ideas. Talk about them. Throw out the bad ones and get ready to recommend the good ones. Create a forum where they can report the treasure they have discovered. We created monthly town hall meetings for a client where, with a little pizza, the EK Group reports to the entire company. They make their case for new things to try. One of our clients developed a new line of business in their industrial cleaning company based on an idea from the EK Group!
Ya-Who?: So, this month was a big deal for Yahoo. Well, not really, but it was a great month for Verizon. Verizon swooped in and purchased Yahoo for $4.4billion last week with plans to combine it with AOL to form a new powerhouse. $4.4 billion seems like a steal considering Yahoo once turned down a $44.6 billion deal. So what did Verizon get? Well, they don’t get Alibaba or Yahoo Japan, the two most profitable segments of the company. What they do get is a brand name, a logo, and the quiet giant, Bing. Through their hush-hush partnerships with everyone from Microsoft to Apple, Bing, a pain in the side to Google, posted revenues in the $5 billion range, due to their masterful ad integration. It looks like the digital advertising market just birthed an 800-pound gorilla.
NO MORE CRACKING UP:Exciting news out of Apple. If you’ve been burdened with trying to read texts or emails through a cracked and spidered screen, worry no more. Apple announced this month their partnership with Corning, an American glassmaker, that has developed a new glass for Apple smartphones and tablets that will all but eliminate your need for an OtterBox. Their new Gorilla Glass 5 can survive 80% of drops from 5 feet. This is great news for everyone with butterfingers like me. What’s next for iPhone upgrades is still a mystery but, hopefully, they’ll continue to come up with some more great ideas that protect my phone… from me.
STYLE ON DEMAND:I love when comedy bits from some of my favorite shows pop up in the real world. Parks and Recreation’s (a must watch) Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) is the ideal entrepreneur, seldom discouraged by failure and unafraid to launch any crazy idea. One of my favorite of his ideas, Rent-a-Swag, allowed you to rent clothes and accessories for a day. At the time it was comical, now it’s starting to sound like a good idea. The start-up Dress Bank is offering their clients the opportunity to wear top notch brands at a fraction of the price through their rental service. Great news for all the 20 something’s looking to stand out at networking events and galas without having to worry about hiding price tags.
Here's what our clients have to say...
"My staff reviewed several training programs and met with numerous consultants before determining that your custom design best met our needs. We have never regretted the decision to use your expertise. You went beyond our expectations and took us to the cutting edge."