Archive for January, 2013

Produce ripe for change. Is Farmigo the answer?

January 31, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos

Imagine an online farmer’s market where the fresh, farm-grown food comes right to your workplace. Farmigo is a new web-based model that connects local farms with consumers for custom delivery subscriptions direct to a convenient community location.

Here’s how it works:

I’d try this!  Farmigo  now works with more than 300 farms in 25 states across the U.S. Members shop their dedicated Farmigo farmer’s market online and then have their orders delivered weekly to their food community site within 48 hours of harvest. Local growers reap 80 percent of the sale of the food, compared with only nine to 20 percent when they sell to traditional grocers; Farmigo gets 10 percent for each transaction.




Using the sun to make salt water drinkable

January 29, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets

There have been many efforts to purify water and make it safe for drinking in the poorer nations of the world, but now it is possible to take the salt right out of the sea water. It’s called Eliodomestico, and it is an eco-distiller that uses solar power to make salt water drinkable.


Photo courtesy of
Eliodomestico requires no electricity or filters, and it’s fairly easy to maintain.  Italian designer Gabriele Diamanti created it in an open-source project to provide safe drinking water for those in developing nations where sanitation is hard to come by.  The device can produce five liters of fresh water every day. Users simply add sea water in the morning, and the head from the sun causes the steam to rise and condense in a collection basin. By the time the sun set, the basin is full of fresh water, which can be transported in the traditional way: on the head.
Here the inventor explains the premise in more detail:

Got trust?

January 28, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Conferences

With CoDev2013: Forging Collaborative Capabilities & Relationships to Accelerate Innovation being just three weeks away, I want to encourage those of you who are still sitting on the fence to join us in La Jolla, Calif.  On Monday, February 11 we are doing a workshop that will help you drive innovation through trust.  You can’t create a competitive advantage without trust. But do you know the trust-building leadership behaviors that generate collaboration, creativity, innovation and risk-taking?


“Drive Innovation Through Trust” Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine – San Diego Monday, February 11 – 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

You’ll get the cutting-edge practices on how to build trust as a core foundational element in your culture, allowing your organization to effectively develop, foster and achieve trust throughout your entire company and beyond to the partners you depend on for open innovation.

When you have trust, you can confidently move forward to
  •  Accelerate delivery of new products and services and process innovations.
  •  Create sustainable competitive advantage.
  •  Create adaptability and flexibility to effectively navigate change.

To sign up for the workshop or register for CoDev2013, go here for more details

Get unorthodox…

January 27, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Innovation

free photo1Companies these days cannot afford to sit still!  If you’re near the Palo Alto area next week, I’m teaming up with my friends at Xerox to present PARC FORUM: “Be a Leader of Unorthodox Ideas.”  It’s a free event happening February 7 at the George E. Pake Auditorium, Palo Alto, California.

I will shares best practices of leaders who can identify and act on unorthodox ideas to deliver top-line growth and true innovation in today’s business climate.  You hear how these leaders take innovation to the next step while tackling the current challenges of talent management and innovation fatigue.
More information here.


Still time to get in on CoDev 2013!

January 26, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Open Innovation

iStock_000001017387XSmall (2)Two more weeks, and we’re excited to bring you Forging Collaborative Capabilities and Relationships to Accelerate Innovation,  happening Feb. 11-13 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla (at Aventine) in  La Jolla, Calif.

Over the past decade, CoDev conferences have been a driving force in leading a cross-industry exchange on the evolution of open innovation practices. Today, open innovation is no longer viewed as an optional business strategy -companies now recognize the potential value creation an open innovation approach can yield and are committed to evolving company culture, allocating resources and embedding open innovation as a standard operating business process.

Register Now!

The secret to a smoother travel experience in 2013

January 22, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Uncategorized

Co Pilot!I’ve traveled quite a few miles in my career and no matter how much I traverse the globe, I keep learning about how to do it better.

Travel begins with preparation, and although it is taking years I’m still learning and reinforcing to myself that packing light is important. There is always the urge to take extra things that I think I might need. The key is to only take things that I will likely need.

I have heard that there was a French philosopher that said, “He who would travel happily must travel light.”

It has taken me years to really understand this. Even on short trips, I often used to take many heavy bags, and when I returned I sometimes found myself unpacking stuff that never even came out of my bag on the trip. Then after getting charged for an overweight bag overseas, it was time to rethink my approach.

Finding baggage that is really light empty has helped me pack what I need without being over the weight limit. This year, even with several back-to-back trips overseas where I needed to be ready for any situation or occasion, I have been able to successfully get down to one larger checked bag and a carry-on with my computer, camera, power adapters and other gadgets.

I have already been through a couple of bags this year and have found that the lightweight bags with four spinning wheels that allow 360-degree upright movement are the best and easiest to maneuver.

English: - North Concourse, , West Yorkshire, ...

I also usually go with the wire framed ones with the fabric exteriors, as opposed to the hard-sided ones, so that they conform better if they need to be stuffed. I usually can find an inexpensive one that is on sale and that way I don’t have to worry about durability as much. I can just replace it when it gets worn and still come out ahead money-wise.

Another part of travel that is a challenge, especially when traveling for long periods of times, is Internet connectivity and power. Many carriers are installing Wi-Fi in their planes because travelers today want in-flight connectivity, not just for business but also for personal use. By 2015, my favorite carrier, Delta, plans to have Internet connectivity on its entire fleet.

With smaller laptops and iPads these days it is easy during a coast-to-coast flight in the U.S. to read your incoming email and respond while in flight. No one would even know you are actually emailing from 30,000 feet. I’m hoping that at some point Internet connectivity is expanded to international flights. It sure would have been welcome on the 141/2-hour flight that I took to Shanghai last month.

Finally, one last part of travel that I wanted to mention is hotel loyalty programs. Much like airline frequent flier programs, I have really found value in the loyalty programs from organizations like Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Carlson and Wyndham hotels.

Their programs allow you accumulate benefits for free upgrades on rooms, free Internet and more. You have to stay somewhere, so you might as well join and enjoy the benefits. They continue to expand. Some of them are even linked with airline loyalty programs for an added bonus of frequent flyer miles.

Happy travels in 2013.

Making the case for innovation

January 11, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Uncategorized

innnovate2There is no doubt that innovation is vital to a strong, healthy community, whether you live and work in a small town or large metropolis. I recently had the opportunity in my own community here in northeast Wisconsin to make a case for innovation, along with other industry experts. In that report, I said that I’ve worked with a lot of companies that have been struggling. They’re stymied by the challenges of this economy, and are looking for new ways to achieve growth and customer satisfaction.  Their challenge is to also change what the world needs rather than letting the world just change them. That takes innovation.

Many of the leaders in our communities have realized that although the current economic situation is likely going to continue for the foreseeable future, they need to look past the next quarter and explore new ways to stimulate innovation for the long term.  They are adjusting their current strategies and refocusing on finding the right balance between shorter-term efforts and longer-term growth opportunities through innovation.  This is the right strategy for future growth.

innovation report 1For companies lucky enough to have leaders with vision, refocusing on finding the right balance between shorter-term efforts and longer-term growth opportunities through innovation enabled by capital and new venture investments is a solid approach to deliver for future growth.  These types of investments become a catalyst that propels along new innovative pathways that otherwise wouldn’t have been taken.

Indeed there are not as many high risk capital or new venture enabled innovation efforts underway on as wide a scale as there were a few years ago.  However, companies in our region are pushing for selective and concentrated efforts that separate themselves from those that do nothing.

Economic development is creating value for the region and the companies. It involves many levers of innovation beyond offerings such as products, process and services. These three are connected as offerings that companies and organizations deliver to their end users – customers, shoppers, consumers and even their shareholders.  They all play their role in innovation.  Many leaders in the New North have realized that it is no longer enough to just deliver these offerings to create economic value.  For them, the total solution often must include other elements such as new business models, unique delivery models that create an engaging experience, and also the creation of new strategic alliances and partnerships.  They focus these partnerships in the region on delivering growth and innovation by leveraging joint resources, capital, and capabilities while minimizing their investment risk.



First digital money: Bitcoin

January 5, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos

bitHave you heard of Bitcoin? It is a new kind of digital money that is being proclaimed as the first decentralized electronic currency in the world.  Like the Internet, it’s not controlled by one organization or government entity. The open source project is said to be used by more than 100,000 people around the world who have been trading hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin daily.  It’s digital currency that does not use a middle man or credit card companies.

Bitcoin is as free as email or Skype, and allows you to send money to anyone online.

The Original Bitcoin Client is free, open-source software. You can download an online “Wallet” automatically, at Coinbase, InstaWallet or MyWallet.

Here is a video explaining how it works:

Will Bitcoin be the next big opportunity for innovation? What do you think?

Grow beyond your comfort zone in 2013

January 1, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Uncategorized

Happy new year
I don’t know about you, but as we enter a New Year, I like to look back at the significant events and milestones of the past year that challenged us to grow beyond our comfort zone and propel us forward. Certainly the economic climate impacted every company, large and small. And while some felt the weight of struggling to stay afloat with fewer resources, others discovered creative new ways to reach customers and meet their needs with new solutions.

For many of us, 2012 was a year of challenge in how we set our personal and professional goals for measuring success. So how did you do with your goals? Did you meet them? Did you find you needed to adjust your targets along the journey? Those are the questions I most like to focus on as I plan for the year ahead.

The new year has to be more than just another time of transition. Yes, we will continue to see costs and prices increase, and our consumers and customers spending less. But we also need to create at a level beyond what we’ve always known as “normal,” because those days may not come back.

It’s in this new climate of innovation that we will be immersed in the year ahead. Your customers are finding creative new ways to use social media channels to share everything from their political viewpoints to their favorite marketing ideas and consumer insights. Plan on meeting them there and joining in on the conversation.

This social media train will continue to gain momentum, but in these days of rapid technology development other new trends will also be emerging. Be alert for these early opportunities.

Thought leaders and innovation champions within every industry need to explore new ways to stimulate innovation. Start this by adjusting strategies and refocusing on finding the right balance between shorter-term challenges and longer-term growth opportunities. Remember too that as we also look to mitigate problems and find solutions, we need a mindset of success. Don’t get mired in fatigue from operating with a fear of failure.

And above all let’s not forget the most important ideas that our corporate cultures are based on: engagement and trust. If it’s not happening internally with your employees and your teams, it’s not going to happen in your external partnerships, and it surely won’t happen with your customers and consumers.

So in 2013, let’s continue to build a foundation of trust and respect for one another. May the hope of the New Year find you and your families thriving and preparing for the excitement and change that 2013 is sure to bring! Happy New Year!

Business and Beyond Video

January 1, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Media Coverage

Companies today are facing many challenges in today’s economy which are impacting the way they are innovating. In this segment airing on CNN in markets across the country, Cheryl Perkins, founder of Innovationedge, discusses her experiences and insights on business methods, processes, and creating consumer experiences to remain competitive in the marketplace.

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