Archive for the ‘Visionary’ Category

If I was a restaurant owner looking to create a remarkable experience I’d start here.

What if you created an interactive experience for your customers. No need to wait for menus, drinks, or your bill. You could order everything from your table and it would be sent to the main hub in the kitchen. Waiters/waitresses would see your order on the screen as it comes in and would be bring your drinks and food over as soon as it is ready. No need to try to find your waiter when you need a refill and you haven’t seen them in 10 minutes.

Now, what if you took this one step further and allowed people to rate their meal once they’re done? Now that would be something worth talking about. You could come into the restaurant for the first time and see what the most popular dish is for that day, week, month, etc. This would help would ensure the quality of the food, customers can experiment or see what they best meals are, and the restaurant owner can eliminate the meals people don’t like and add in new meals and see what the response is.

This is a hit in the making. Restaurants meet the digital age. Who will be the first to do it?

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I saw this quote on Modern Marvels, a History Channel show, today from Twentieth Century Fox’s movie executive Darryl Zanuck who predicted in 1946 that TV wouldn’t last six months after its introduction.

“People will get tired of staring at a plywood box every night” he said.

I’m happy to see that the movie industry was just as forward thinking 60 years ago as they are today. Way to embrace new technology and use it expand your business and your relationship with customers. Can you imagine if they movie industry never embraced TV? Few if any movies would ever make a profit.

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So what do businesses and the space program have in common? They don’t set difficult goals. Back in the dark ages before man landed on the moon John F Kennedy gave a speech at Rice University. During this inspiring speech JFK vowed that:

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too”.

JFK made this speech in 1962. In 1969, just seven years after JFK’s speech, this goal was accomplished. JFK set a difficult goal for the US, but a wonderful thing happens when you set difficult goals. People get excited, they pull together, and they step up to the challenge. If left without such a goal, it probably would have been several years later that the US landed on the moon. Fast forward to today, the Bush Administration is saying we’ll land on Mars by 2030. 2030?!? That’s 23 years away. I confess to knowing nothing about the difficulties of getting to Mars and back but how is this a goal that we can get excited about? Is this goal any more difficult to us today as landing a mon on the moon was to people in 1962? Many people working on the program today will probably be retired by then. Others will switch jobs. It will be the rare person who sticks around that long to see the work they put in in 2007 come to life in 2030.

So what does this have to do with business? Too many companies after the stock market crash and business closures of the early 2000’s are doing the same thing. CEO’s are setting safe goals that can be easily obtained. There is no incentive to set the bar too high because if the company doesn’t make them, everyone looks bad and the stock takes a hit.

But there is an incentive isn’t there?

Of course! Sure it’s risky but if you want to stand out and be a leader you have to take these risks or the “first to land on the moon” goal will be accomplished by another company and in the end, that will be much more damaging to your business. Set goals that your employees can get behind. Give them a reason to push as hard as they can. Why not try to become the fastest company in industry X to reach 2 billion dollars. Why not try to be the first company to do X by 2010? Why not step forward and say you will land a person on Mars in the next decade?

Goals need to push people but they also have to excite people. Wouldn’t you want to be a part of a company that sets such goals?

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Interesting post by Stow
e Boyd
on the need to break networks to stimulate innovation.

I see this all the time when I try to explain the importance of RSS, blogs, tagging,
and any other “innovation” on the web that corporate marketing can use to
improve it’s customer interaction. Most people’s eyes glaze over during these
discussions as they wondering why we should waste our time this stuff they’ve
never heard of before. Then we go on to discuss what needs to go in the next
quarterly email newsletter. I guess email was never considered one of these
“innovations” 🙂

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Notes: Great post explaining how to sync internal and external communications. Align the conversation by using blogs to poke holes through the membrane. Works for both internal and external blogging.

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