Archive for September, 2012

Doll houses inspire young girls in science and technology

September 30, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Consumer "Identity"

Photo via

I’m always excited to see programs and projects that spark an interest in science and technology in young children. Now there is a type of new doll house product line called the Roominate, aimed at getting young girls interested in science and technology. This particular doll house offer an inspiring way for girls to connect rooms together, design unique furniture, bring a room to life with electricity, and more.

Here’s the story from the Roominate website:

Roominate is the first toy designed by Alice, Jennifer, and Bettina — three Stanford graduate students who wish they saw more women in their upper level math and science classes. They designed Roominate to develop young girls’ confidence and enthusiasm for math, science, and learning through fun hands-on play. Roominate is crafted for girls aged 6-10.

Roominate is a kit of building pieces and circuit components with which a child can use her creativity to design, build, wire, and decorate her own unique interactive room. The rooms are even attachable and stackable, enabling girls to build and design expandable structures. The pieces are made to be simple and intuitive so as to allow a girl to explore and discover on her own.

Over the past few months, we have tested prototypes with hundreds of girls in our target age range. Young girls have experimented with our toys at local events such as Maker Faire and at the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco. They have tested our toys individually, in small groups and in large groups, both with and without adult guidance. We have been performing rapid product iteration based on feedback and observation. We are thrilled with our alpha version of Roominate! Young girls have loved the product and are anxiously awaiting their opportunities to own their own kits.

Alice, Jennifer, and Bettina have built a toy company, Maykah, Inc., around their vision to inspire enthusiasm in young girls for science, technology, engineering, and math. They believe that early exposure through toys will motivate the next generation of female technology innovators.

CoDev Asia is coming to Shanghai in December!

September 26, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Innovation Edge, LLC

This week I’m announcing that the 2012 CoDev Asia Conference is coming to Shanghai, China on December 4 and 5, 2012! It’ll be a productive conference, and I’m looking forward to presenting on open innovation learning.

CoDev Asia will bring together a faculty of leading experts and advanced practitioners prepared to share their experiences and candid insights on the latest trends, what’s working, what’s not, as well as the future direction of co-development and open innovation strategies. Specifically, we will be taking a closer look at how open innovation efforts are helping top companies build capabilities and networks to create business value. The program features keynote presentations, case studies, and panels with top innovation leaders representing: Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, WD-40 Company, Asia Pulp & Paper, and more.

Through keynote presentations, case study reviews, panel discussions, facilitated group learning sessions, and multiple networking forums, you will come away with new methods, tools and processes to:

  • Identify and implement key open business models to help your company achieve faster results
  • Accelerate the pace at which your company can adapt to changing marketplace conditions
  • Develop and enact complex deal structures to effectively manage IP rights
  • Create and deploy new engagement platforms to co-innovate with customers, partners and suppliers

2012 CoDev Asia is a great venue to enhance your open innovation capabilities, identify potential partners and expand your innovation network. You can review the conference agenda and register for the conference HERE.


Leaders help others THINC Innovation!

September 22, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos

Earlier this spring a group of us from my community in northeast Wisconsin gathered as many innovators as we could from local business organizations and corporations for THINC Innovation. The event was sponsored by Insight On Business Magazine, and I was part of the planning Committee for the Forum.

I wanted to share the video about why the power of ideas needs to be harnessed.

When ideas are told in bursts of insight, they inspire. The “THINC! Talks” forum was designed to light the innovative spark and build a groundswell for a more risk-taking culture in the New North.

Pat Clusman from Innovationedge was one of the featured speakers, along with Neal Verfuerth from Orion Energy Systems, Craig Dickman from Breakthrough Fuel and Bob Pedersenfrom Goodwill Industries NCW. Looking forward to doing this again soon!






CGT offers a digital resource for innovators

September 17, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Uncategorized

To compete in today’s consumer world, consumer goods companies must link all modes of marketing, old and new, to make sure they are presenting the right information to the right shoppers all around the world. If you haven’t seen Consumer Goods Technology’s new digital issue, I encourage you to check out the proven New Marketing strategies.

Among the helpful articles for innovators you will find these case studies on real world new marketing successes:

  • Innovative Shopping: A Clorox and Facebook flash sale proves social commerce pays off.
  • More Customer Contact: Coca-Cola Brazil incorporates social media into its Customer Relationship Management strategy.
  • Social Collaboration Success: (This one is ours! My Innovationedge team shares a list of compelling social platform case studies.)

Also, check out the cover story with Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, which heard directly from consumers that simplified and easy access to nutritional information is what they needed. Being in the multivitamin business for 30 years, the Centrum team listened and developed Nutrition Possible to help people achieve their overall nutritional goals.

CGT is great at helping companies deepen their social media penetration, and they’ve produced CGT’s first-ever Technology Solutions Guide: 2012 Social Media Solutions, providing a comprehensive listing of solutions/applications that can help consumer goods manufacturers monitor and measure their social media engagement, campaigns and/or investments.

Click here to access the full issue. Enjoy!

Are you a leader of unorthodox ideas?

September 13, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Events

We know we need to build the right competencies to deliver results, so how do we create a strategy, structure, and culture to successfully translate unorthodox ideas to true innovation?

I’m glad you asked!

Next month I am going to present Be a Leader of Unorthodox Ideas, a special innovation presentation in Palo Alto, Calif. I’m doing this because I think it is vitally important for leaders to share best practices; especially those leaders who can identify and act on unorthodox ideas to deliver top-line growth and true innovation in today’s business climate.

Companies cannot afford to stand still. We’re going to collaborate on ideas for taking innovation to the next step while tackling the current challenges of talent management. We’re also going to learn how to better engage internal stakeholders and overcome barriers to personal and corporate success as discussed in the book Conquering Innovation Fatigue.

I am excited to do this presentation as part of the PARC Forum. PARC is a Xerox company that brings leaders together to learn about open innovation, how to create new business options, accelerate time to market, augment internal capabilities, and reduce risk.

If you are in the Palo Alto area, join me at the George E. Pake Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. Details are over on the PARC site. My hope is that you will walk away inspired and motivated to advance their leadership skills to leverage unorthodox ideas in new ways from building new capabilities, changing culture, piloting several innovation approaches, and tailoring unique solutions to win in very competitive markets.

Credit cards: 4 things you need to know for the future

September 13, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Consumer "Identity"

Most of us carry a credit card or a debit card, and I always wonder what new and innovative things banks are doing to keep us safe and secure. According to MSN Money partner, some major changes are soon launching that will not only keep our accounts safe, but add a little more pizazz to our billfolds.

The way we pay with plastic has changed a lot over the years, from the explosion in debit card usage over the last couple decades to the proliferation of rewards cards from retail stores, airlines and hotel chains. The physical features of cards have also evolved.

First, those embossed account numbers in raised lettering and numbering are soon to be a thing of the past. After all, we no longer run our cards through carbon-copy embossing devices that take a physical imprint. Everything is digital now thanks to the magnetic “swipe.” But even magnetic strips can be altered. So now we can expect to see flat cards without the 3-D lettering.

Second, you can expect to see “smart cards” that contain embedded computer chips rather than magnetic strips. Chips can allow shoppers to simply wave their card toward a terminal rather than having a swiping device read the card. In fact, some of those terminals are already up and running in cabs and gas stations in some major cities like New York. And in Europe, they are quite common.

Until retailers can make a major transition in the next five to ten years, many cards will be hybrids, containing both magnetic strips and chips.

Third, the use of holograms in the signature panel as a security feature will slowly fade away. That’s because crooks have gotten pretty savvy in their technical expertise. Plus the holographic images are pretty expensive, and banks aren’t seeing a very high ROI to replicate these. As far as your three-digit security code on the back, those can now be put directly into the computer chip, once those become available.

Fourth, did I mention the pizazz factor? Check out the sleek new design of the Discover it card, which has no name and number at all–just the logo. All the important information is on the back of the card. This card does have a hologram-embedded magnetic strip. The Citi 2G rewards card has two tiny buttons for transactions and rewards redemption.

Look for unique designs and cool branding templates. And shouldn’t there be something a little less boring than plain old plastic? How about the American Express Centurion card of anodized titanium, or the J.P. Morgan Palladium made of palladium and gold!


Finger scanners get schooled!

September 5, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets

High tech scanners are helping students get through cafeteria lines faster in many schools throughout the nation this fall, and that’s a big help for those districts where overcrowding is a challenge. Did you know that the United States Department of Agriculture requires students to have a “seat time” of 20 minutes for lunch? But the common complaint is that it often takes a lot longer than that to get through the lines, especially on pizza day!

In one West Virginia district, schools began using finger scanners a few days ago. Both students and parents like the idea, especially the way in which biometric finger scanning maintains privacy. Here is how The Journal is reporting the story:

Jefferson County schools to begin using finger scanners

August 31, 2012

By Michelle Horst – Journal staff writer

MARTINSBURG – With the quick swipe of a finger, students in Berkeley County are able to pay for lunch in less than a second. Jefferson County plans to implement the same system in two of its middle schools in September.

“Biometric finger scanning is used to improve efficiency in serving students meals and accuracy in billing for those meals. Our schools must balance instructional time and

adequate time for meal consumption,” said Tracy Heck, director of child nutrition and wellness for Berkeley County Schools.

The scanning software, IdentiMetrics, is a state-adopted program. According to the IdentiMetrics software description, the computer system develops a grid of intersection points from the swirls and arcs on the scanned finger. The unique points are translated into a binary number, which is encrypted and stored. No fingerprint image is stored, and no fingerprint can be recreated from the binary number.

(Journal photo by Michelle Horst)

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Innovation Everywhere: Join us!

September 4, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Speaking Engagements

I’ll be in Miami in a couple of weeks for the annual Consumer Goods Growth & Innovation Forum– the only event dedicated specifically to the new product process in the CG industry! I hope you can join me on September 19 – 21, at the W Hotel in South Beach for this amazing event we’re titling, Innovation Everywhere: Uncovering Successful Ideas at the Pace of Change.

The forum is designed for executives who understand the importance of creating new brands and services and building brand loyalty. Through a variety of educational sessions and networking opportunities, attendees will gain strategic insight into and actionable information on topics that will help drive innovation throughout their businesses.

I’ll be moderating a discussion called New Business Models to Spur Growth & Revenue on Thursday, and I’m very excited to collaborate with some of the top innovators around the world! The event also features leaders from Starbucks, Snap-On, Coca-Cola, Kraft, Procter & Gamble and many more in the consumer goods industry. Here is the full line-up.
Who Should Attend:

  • President/CEO
  • CIOs
  • Innovation Executives
  • VP/SVP/Director of Marketing
  • SVP/VP/Director of Research and Development
  • COOs
  • CMOs
  • New Product Development Executives
  • MIS, IS, IT, Technology

Register here!