Archive for June, 2016

5 Habits Of Truly Disruptive Leaders

June 30, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Disruptive Innovation

bubble wikipediadisrupt: (verb dis·rupt \dis-ˈrəpt\) to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way; to interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something). -Webster’s Dictionary

This is a “Throwback Thursday” post from our archives that I thought was important to share again if you missed it the first time around:

Disruptive leadership isn’t about change for the sake of change. It’s about integrating change into the modus operandi of the company—which, of course, is easier said than done. The truly disruptive leader doesn’t need to talk about disruption because it’s simply how they get things done. How? Here are five ways the most dynamic leaders embrace disruption and radiate it through their entire organizations.

1. They Relentlessly Pursue The Truth

Not telling others what you can see with your own eyes is the first step towards an early grave. When the business environment shifts and the accustomed approaches stop working, the last thing any business needs is a leader who suggests everyone keep calm and carry on.

Disruptive leaders are always testing to make sure their companies’ strategies are still effective—and say so when they aren’t. The more rapidly changes take place, the more crucial it becomes for leaders to take all their employees with them on the journey. The truth sometimes hurts, but it’s often the shock of that truth that prods people into taking actions and making decisions they might not have contemplated otherwise.

2. They Guide Others Through Chaos

Leaders need to be comfortable with the reality that in the face of change, the future is often hazy. Then they need others to be equally comfortable with that. As a company enters uncharted waters, it can be daunting for everyone involved. This is where the old “steady hand on the tiller” idea of leadership still has some force—not to guide an organization along a familiar course during difficult times, but to keep the ship steady as it steers in a new direction.

A big piece of that is communication. Leaders need to cut through the press-release palaver about “exciting new opportunities” and explain in concrete, practical terms how the changes under way tie into the business’s objectives: What new moves is the company making, and how come? Disruptive leaders empathize with their teams and involve them in their thinking. Chaos with a final destination is somehow a little less chaotic, even if you can’t map out in advance every move that will take you there.

3. They’re Decisive

The guiding principle of a disruptive leader is decisiveness. Leading by consensus has its place in the business world, but you can’t focus-group your way to an effective new playbook when the landscape changes abruptly.

Even if some decisions involves the most basic of “gut feels,” disruptive leaders need to tell their teams precisely what they want, when, and why—then help them to make it happen. Waiting too long to weigh countervailing opinions can spell doom.

4. They Break The Rules And Write New Ones—But Always Explain Why

The word “normal” doesn’t exist in a disruptive leader’s vocabulary—once something has become normal, it’s probably obsolete. The market is constantly changing, and the aim is always to be at its forefront rather than floundering in its wake. Sometimes that means breaking the rules; indeed, disruptive leaders nurture a healthy skepticism of best practices.

Still, a willingness to break the rules isn’t the same as cheering lawlessness. Embracing disruption means there’s always a new normal, and for as long as it lasts, it’s up to leaders to communicate what it is. If employees don’t know the current rules of the game, the organization can’t play by them as a team.

5. They Thrive On Uncertainty

Leading disruptive innovation means getting used to incredible levels of uncertainty. You never know how something will work until you try it. Modifying your assumptions and adapting your plans depending on your results is the standard practice of the most effective disruptive leaders.

But while such leaders might be called visionaries, they don’t have a crystal ball. There’s a certain method to the mayhem of navigating continuous changes, and disruptive leaders know that the key to success lies in using the insights from experimenting in order to chart a new direction.

Read more here

Are fitness trackers sustainable?

June 29, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets

pixabay free photoThe wearable fitness trackers began gaining popularity about four years ago, and these days it seems a lot of consumers have their health goals sleekly wrapped around their wrists. But for how long? Will those smart watches become the dusty treadmills of our time? Originally marketed to serious athletes, fitness trackers are now mainly being purchased and worn by mainstream buyers like you and me, particularly in the 35 to 54 age range.

But not for long.

About 40 percent of wearers stop using trackers within six months, according to a study by NPD Group.

“Engaging people in their health more by wearing an app or wearable is moving in the right direction,” said Mitesh Patel, a senior author of the University of Pennsylvania study. “But we don’t have enough information that using it by itself would significantly change behavior.”

Patel suggests competition among friends, workplace incentives such as working toward a goal may encourage people to keep using their fitness apps. But that may not be enough.

Tracking exercise on its own might not be enough.

“It’s going to take more than just showing (consumers) information. This platform will go beyond measurement to motivate and drive improvement and make the road to personal transformation fun and social,”  Patel said.

For further reading, see, Have we reached peak FitBit?

Innovation helps the (color) blind to see!

If you are one of the 300 million people who are colorblind, these videos will inspire you! The video captures the reactions of several people able to see color for the first time, thanks to a new innovation:

Up to 300 million people worldwide are affected by red-green color vision deficiency, also called color blindness.
EnChroma is a U.S. -based company that has created glasses which enhance color perception by separating light into its primary spectral components before they reach the eye. Color blindness affects millions of people worldwide. It affects 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women. The condition ranges from a variety of classes, red-green color blindness being the most common.
Most people who suffer from color blindness are not blind to color, but have a reduced ability to see them. Color blindness is also called Color Vision Deficiency (CVD).

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 8.46.06 AM
EnChroma’s story goes like this:

Great things start from small beginnings, and some begin as fortuitous ‘accidents.’ Don McPherson, who has a Ph.D in Glass Science (Alfred University), noticed certain color transformations when he wore his lab glasses, coated with a special lens formula he had invented for laser surgery eye protection.
The discovery led to a research study. Clinical trials of the early prototypes revealed that the lenses had benefits serving as an optical aid to the color blind. The research was conducted under NIH SBIR grants, with test sites allocated at UC Berkeley and UC Davis.

Despite all the advancements, there was still more work that needed to be done to turn the lenses into a consumer-ready product. Don teamed up with Andrew Schmeder, who specialized in several fields including mathematics, computer model simulation and perceptual psychology. Together, they co-founded EnChroma, Inc. in 2010.
EnChroma set out on developing the prototypes into a scalable product. The first version launched in 2012, followed by innovations in creating lightweight plastic lenses, prescription lenses, and broad acceptance by professional eyecare communities in 2014.

The company offers a color test on its website.

Laughter: Good for Innovation!

June 22, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos

I came across a post from a few years ago, and had almost forgotten how funny this was:

When Good Laughs Inspire Innovation         by Stefan Lindegaard

Have you ever thought that bringing people together on innovation is like hearding cats? Cheryl Perkins, founder of InnovationEdge made me laugh when she included this video in a presentation she gave a few years ago.

How do we change people’s behaviour? is a site that is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.

The site has several fun and inspiring videos. This is one of my favourites.

Tom Fishbourne makes some great cartoons. I think this one shows that internal forces often are the worst enemies of innovation.

Five Ways to Disrupt the Disruptors

June 20, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Disruptive Innovation

Flickr free photo - Zen DisruptionThere’s a new breed of digital disruptors that are impacting everything. My friend Robert Tucker at Innovation Resource has penned a piece about disruption trends in the coming months.

At FIS’s banking conference in Orlando last month, the talk was of digital disruption. As if Dodd-Frank financial regulations and blockchain technology weren’t enough to contend with, here comes the “two guys from Ireland” to eat their lunch. Brothers Patrick and John Collison grew up in a remote part of Ireland and didn’t have internet access until they were teens. But they created Stripe, which is being heralded as “a far simpler method of processing payments” that could wipe out banks’ credit card processing business. Stripe was recently valued at $5 billion, and the brothers have relocated to Silicon Valley.

The Collisons are part of a new breed of digital disruptors sending shudders through the banking sector. With names like Stripe, Square, AimLoans, Zopa, Mint, and Wonga, they are targeting every revenue category that banks rely upon for profits: home loans, consumer credit, asset management, deposits, and credit cards. Accenture expects disruptive business models to gobble up 32 percent of banks’ revenue stream by 2020. And banks are hardly alone. Here are five ways to disrupt the disruptors in your market:

1. Understand the nature of disruption in your market. To understand the nature and pace of disruption, look at the exponential rate of technological advancement. When the term “disruption” first entered the business lexicon in the late 90s, the phenomenon was confined to the disk drive industry and a few others. Today, it’s an ever-growing threat to virtually every industry. Banks and bookstores and brick and mortar retailers of all stripes are endangered. Already in 2016, the shift to online shopping has decimated big box retailer Sports Authority and regional chains across America. The college textbook industry has essentially stopped acquiring new titles, and laid off thousands of editorial employees. Moore’s Law predicted a doubling in storage and processing capacity every two years, and that’s what’s occurred. Combine Moore’s Law with the enabling power of The Cloud, and the entrepreneurial zeal of Collison brothers around the world looking to make their mark, and you get a glimpse of what is to come over the next three to five years. And what you must do to prepare.

2. Understand what’s really going on with your value proposition. In my work across industries, I regularly see numerous forces and factors triggering dislocation, not just technological. Among them: lifestyle changes, demographic shifts, and new regulations, to name only a few. Scientific breakthroughs can be triggers. Dentists are having a hard time because better preventive measures (fluoride, for example) means people are getting fewer cavities so there’s less drilling and filling to do. Consumers are drinking 36 percent less fluid milk, as an array of alternative beverages such as almond and soy milk, become available. More and more Americans are opting for cremation, disrupting the traditional funeral industry in the process. People are writing fewer and fewer letters, and the envelope industry is idled. Who will need auto insurance when driverless cars arrive? The age of disruption demands that we develop a closer understanding of what’s producing value for our customers, and how today’s value proposition might be obsoleted by new offerings that give customers greater choices.

3. In the age of disruption, being in denial is not an option. Kodak had 16 years to fend off digital disruption before declaring bankruptcy in 2012. After the iPhone was introduced in 2007, Blackberry saw its market share plummet from 53 percent to three percent in only five years. Clearly the time to respond is diminishing, and delay can be costly. With disruptive forces afoot, the natural tendency is to downplay their significance, or to make incremental moves to regain position. As a leader, it’s vitally important to not get caught focusing on the wrong things. Gather data, talk to outsiders and pick their brains for insights and advice. Study history, and develop a point of view about where things will be three to five years from now under various scenarios. Regardless of your industry or your title, you can make yourself indispensable to your organization by chasing the storm, rather than hiding in your bunker. Having studied the downfall of once-powerful companies like Kodak, Blockbuster, Radio Shack, Blackberry and others, my conclusion is that we have less time than we think to take action.

Read more here.

Walmart looking at robotic shopping carts that tell you what to buy

June 18, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Consumer "Identity"

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 7.31.39 PMWalmart is collaborating with Five Elements Robotics on a new way to shop using carts that can be helpful, and were featured at the Bloomberg Technology Conference.

ZDNet reports:

It’s part of an emerging chapter of the ongoing war between brick-and-mortar retailers and the king of fast-delivery online sellers: The announcement that Walmart is considering robotic shopping carts came from Five Elements CEO Wendy Roberts last week at the Bloomberg Technology Conference. For its part, Walmart is being more hush-hush about the project, declining to comment on the evaluation process.

Walmart is struggling with falling sales with profits predicted to be off by more than 10 percent this year.

Five Element Robotics makes the Budgee personal robot. The gadget is essentially a personal shopping cart that can follow its operator around automatically.

Robots helping hospital patients

June 15, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos

I found this interesting. What do you think?

Robots have already invaded the operating room in some hospitals, but in Belgium they will soon be taking on the potentially more difficult task — for robots, at least — of greeting patients and giving them directions.

The Citadelle regional hospital in Liège and the Damiaan general hospital in Ostend will be working with Zora Robotics to test patients’ reactions to robot receptionists in the coming months.

Zora already has experience programming the diminutive humanoid robot Nao to act as a chatty companion for the elderly, offering it as a form of therapy for those with dementia.

Now the Belgian company is working with Nao’s newer, bigger sibling, Pepper. Both were developed by French robotics company Aldebaran, now owned by Japanese Internet conglomerate SoftBank.

Like Nao before it, Pepper has already found work as a receptionist in Japanese hotels, an environment where visitors are likely to be less nervous and more familiar with their surroundings than those arriving at a hospital.

More Here

There’s still time to get in on CLEAR™VIEW!

June 9, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Conferences, Speaking Engagements
This October 27th, CLEAR™VIEW Institute is offering the inaugural CLEAR(TM)VIEW program, providing a 360 learning environment.
CLEAR™VIEW is a highly interactive, three day leadership experience for top executives charged with driving business performance through organizational capability and transformational change.  The CLEAR™VIEW program is focused on building practical strategies to address challenges in agility, change, innovation, talent and leadership.Led by Ian Ziskin, I’ll be among the thought leaders featured, including John Boudreau, Al Vicere, Rob Cross, and Bill Schiemann, as well as group coaching sessions to maximize learning from peers, this program will enhance your ability to deal with transformations ahead!

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 2.21.33 PMBusiness and organizational transformation are among the most urgent needs facing today’s leaders, as they prepare to address future trends and challenges. Responsibility for making organizations more agile, innovative, resilient, and “capable” is increasingly becoming a multi-disciplinary leadership role.

Download the full brochure.


Thursday, October 27th, 2016 to Saturday, October 29th.  
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