How WD-40 Created a Learning-Obsessed Company Culture

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on September 18, 2016

WD-40 has been a partner/client of ours for many years, and is very savvy when it comes to creating a culture of innovation. What a great story in HBR about their culture! Here is a snippet:

wikipedia free photoWD-40 is an unlikely setting for such a learning-obsessed culture. It is hardly a glamorous brand, but it is iconic in its own way. Almost anybody who works on cars, or does home repairs, or just wants to get rid of a squeak or some rust, has one of those bright blue-and-yellow cans in their garage or under their sink. In fact, when Garry Ridge took over, WD-40’s flagship offering was used in four of five American households and in virtually every mine, factory, and construction site in the country.

The new CEO quickly realized the product’s ubiquity was both a blessing and a curse. It was truly part of the fabric of American life, almost a cult brand. Yet the company was also a one-trick pony. It basically had the single product, which it sold mainly in its home country. As a publicly traded stock, it paid out almost 100 percent of its profits as dividends — because it didn’t know what else to do with the money. “WD-40 is a cult product,” an article in Barron’s proclaimed, but “it is hardly a cult stock.” The “very nature of WD-40’s past success doomed it to ultimate failure.”

Read the full article here: 

New food film made from milk is edible!

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on September 14, 2016

What if plastic food wrappers became a thing of the past? I saw this on CNN recently, and it details the USDA’s invention of a new film made with milk proteins, enabling people to eat the wrappers. It’s also 500 times better at keeping oxygen away from the food. The American Chemical society says it’s perfectly edible and safe.

Check out some of the interesting applications:

Build practical strategies with CLEARVIEW

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on September 12, 2016
Clear View
We’re now just six weeks away from our CLEAR™VIEW event, a highly interactive, three day leadership experience for top executives charged with driving business performance through organizational capability and transformational change. There is still plenty of time to sign up!
The CLEAR™VIEW program is focused on building practical strategies to address challenges in agility, change, innovation, talent and leadership. In-depth sessions with globally recognized thought leaders such as John Boudreau, Rob Cross, Al Vicere, as well as small group breakouts with CLEAR™ Institute executive coaches are designed to maximize ideas and learning in an intimate peer-to-peer setting. October 27 – 29, 2016 at the Lansdowne Resort and Conference Center in Leesburg, VA.
Business 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.
With that in mind, CLEAR(TM) Institute is offering the inaugural CLEAR(TM)VIEW program, providing a 360 learning environment. 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!
ClearViewSpeakers

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 2.21.33 PMDownload the full brochure.

When

October 27 – 29, 2016
Add to Calendar

Where

Lansdowne Resort and Conference Center
44050 Woodridge Parkway
Leesburg, VA 20176


Driving Directions

Contact

Talisa Ernstmann
CLEAR Institute
703-707-9338
talisa@ernstmann.com

How a billion dollar startup moves offline

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on September 6, 2016

Online shopping is expected to reach half a Trillion dollars this decade. Everyone thought brick and mortar stores would be replaced by online shopping, and yet real retail shops bring in 10 times what online stores do.

Here’s an interesting profile of two entrepreneurs who started thier venture from a New York apartment, hoping to get consumers to play in both spaces at the same time (rather than either/or).

Robotics making pizza?

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on September 1, 2016

A Silicon Valley pizzeria has launched the first-of-its-kind pizza robot. And it’s not just one robot, but a pizza-making army.  Zume, a Silicon Valley startup, is competing with Domino’s and Pizza Hut.

Zume has also also created special delivery trucks that will finish cooking pizzas along the delivery route. That part of the business still has to be approved by the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health. Could Zume dominate the $9.7 billion pizza delivery industry? Perhaps for a time it will. At least until the others catch up.

“Bone-Aid” an innovative flexible cast

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on August 28, 2016

Remember those old plaster casts? I remember the discomfort of these casts for broken bones, but here’s an idea that I thought I’d share today: Bone-Aid casts, that I think might make the process of healing broken or fractured bones more comfortable.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 12.00.06 PM

Photo via Business Insider.

These were designed by students from Tunghai University in China. The casts aren’t for sale yet, but the Industrial Designers Society of America recently selected BoneAid as one of its Gold winners in the 2016 IDSA Awards, in the category of Student Designs:

Called the ‘BoneAid,’ the unique device was made with a flat-pack design that is primarily meant for emergency situations. Whether it is in war, during natural disasters or any other crises of humanity in which medical resources may be limited, these bone casts are made to ease the suffering of those in need. The casts lie flat and it is believed that the average truck can fit 500 of them in one go.

The students say that these bone casts are perfect for people who lack adequate medical access and care, whether it is in poor regions, ones that are dealing with conflict or ones that are facing the consequences of a natural disaster. What do you think? More info via Business Insider.

Register for CLEAR™ VIEW: Driving Business Performance through Organizational Capability!

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on August 25, 2016
Clear ViewCLEAR™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. In-depth sessions with globally recognized thought leaders such as John Boudreau, Rob Cross, Al Vicere, as well as small group breakouts with CLEAR™ Institute executive coaches are designed to maximize ideas and learning in an intimate peer-to-peer setting. October 27 – 29, 2016 at the Lansdowne Resort and Conference Center in Leesburg, VA.
Business 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.
With that in mind, CLEAR(TM) Institute is offering the inaugural CLEAR(TM)VIEW program, providing a 360 learning environment. 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!
ClearViewSpeakers

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 2.21.33 PMDownload the full brochure.

When

October 27 – 29, 2016
Add to Calendar

Where

Lansdowne Resort and Conference Center
44050 Woodridge Parkway
Leesburg, VA 20176


Driving Directions

Contact

Talisa Ernstmann
CLEAR Institute
703-707-9338
talisa@ernstmann.com

Self-driving taxis hit Singapore

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on August 19, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 11.58.49 AMStarting on this week, residents of Singapore can hail a self-driving car as a taxi, thanks to It’s brought to U.S.-based nuTonomy by Renault Zoe and Mitsubishi. The new i-Miev taxis use an invite-only app.

The trial will offer riders a commute through Singapore’s one-north business district:

The startup, which in May received $16 million in funding, is narrowly beating Uber to the punch. The ride-sharing giant reportedly hopes to trial autonomous vehicles in downtown Pittsburgh sometime this month. Uber hopes that a fully autonomous Volvo will be a staple of its Pittsburgh fleet by the end of the year.

It’s not the first self-driving taxi trial, however, with driverless taxis doing the rounds in Tokyo earlier this year, courtesy of phone company DeNA.

“The trial represents an extraordinary opportunity to collect feedback from riders in a real-world setting,” said Karl Iagnemma, CEO and co-founder of nuTonomy. “This feedback will give nuTonomy a unique advantage as we work toward deployment of a self-driving vehicle fleet in 2018.”

Learn more here, and check out this video:

Chinese scientists will be the first to use CRISPR gene editing in human patients

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on August 16, 2016
Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 11.47.55 AM

Image via Digital Trends

A lung cancer diagnosis is serious business. But in China, scientists are using a revolutionary technique to treat lung cancer:

Chinese scientists are preparing to set a world’s first by treating lung cancer patients with immune cells modified using the CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing technique. The team of clinical researchers hopes the modified immune cells will attack the cancer cells, offering a treatment option in cases where other conventional treatments have failed. “This technique is of great promise in bringing benefits to patients, especially the cancer patients whom we treat every day,” said lead oncologist Lu You from Sichuan University’s West China Hospital in an article published recently in Nature.

Lu and his team plan to extract T-cells from cancer patients and modify them using the CRISPR–Cas9 technique. The technology will knock out the PD-1 gene, which sits on the surface of the T-Cell and prevents the cell from attacking healthy cells that have the companion PD-L1 protein. Many cancer cells also express this standard PD-L1 marker as a defensive mechanism to prevent the body’s T-cells from attacking them. By disabling this PD-1 gene and removing the PD-1 protein, the modified T-cell will be free to destroy the cancer cells.

Read the full article here: 

 

When you’re away, device lets you reward your dog

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on August 12, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 5.42.17 PMIt’s Friday, so here is an upbeat invention to share for those of you who might want to step away from your pet for a few hours this weekend: The Furbo Dog Camera. It’s a smart camera that lets you see, talk to, and even toss a treat to your dog while you are away.

I travel a lot myself, so imagine being able to make your pup feel loved whether you’re across town or halfway around the world!  This camera comes with night vision, so dog owners who work late can still see their furry friend.

The concept was developed in 2014 by Tomofun, an international tech startup founded in 2014 by Victor Chang and Steve Chang, Chairman of Trend Micro. Designers shared their brand story on their website:

We talked with over 5000 dog parents to get their input on product design, features, packaging, and everything in between. From the very beginning, Furbo was created for dogs by dog lovers. We’ve also worked closely with veterinarians and professional dog trainers to ensure Furbo is good for your dog. In truth, Furbo wasn’t just created by our team, it was created by a whole community of dogs parents that wanted the very best for our puppies.