July 21st, 2014

The Art Of Avoiding Work, And What To Do About It!

Happiness is an attitude posterThere is a certain type of person that takes great delight in doing everything possible to avoid work.  I have seen them in action, or perhaps I should say I have seen their inaction, in many different situations and from what I can see they generally have one, or a combination of motivations:

1.  Laziness;

2.  A need to demonstrate their “superiority”, through their ability to “fool the boss”;

3.  Their need to belong or just peer pressure, following the lead of the “instigators”;

4.  The “thrill” of the game … because they are not really challenged by their work; and

5.  Sometimes it is the only “control” that they feel they have.

“It’s sad, really, how a negative workplace can impact our lives and the way we feel about ourselves. The situation is reaching pandemic heights – most people go to work at jobs they dislike, supervised by people who don’t care about them, and directed by senior leaders who are often clueless about where to take the company.”  Leigh Branham and Mark Hirschfeld

If you are a business owner, or a leader within an organization the obviously this kind of “worker” (non-worker) is not good for business, but what can you do about it?

  • If it is not already an embedded culture within your organization then you need to move fast and “stop the rot”.

“If you want to learn about a culture listen to the stories.  If you want to change a culture change the stories”  Anonymous.

  • It is not always possible to make employees feel engaged, but it is possible to measure productivity.  If it is a possibility to tie pay to performance, rewards to performance and/or recognition to performance it might help.  An employee who is rewarded, whether financially or otherwise), by “what they do”, rather than by “time put in”, might find some motivation to actually do the job.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” Simon Sinek

  • Engagement is a BIG word … but the essence of the problem is a divide between the person doing the work, and the management/ownership.  It is possible to get people engaged, but it takes a big effort, a real willingness to do that heavy lifting, an honesty about wanting to have engagement and it needs to be done for the right reasons … not just because it is good for productivity.

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” Doug Conant

  •  Sometimes you need to remove the toxic influencers … just like the story of the bad apples affecting the good, a toxic personality can have a devastating impact on those around them.  I heard a quote recently that

“Some people are like clouds, when they disappear it is a brighter day”. 

  • Communicate … a lot.  People need to know you value them.  People need to understand the big picture.  People want to feel a part of something.  People want to be recognized.

“The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.”  Tom Peters

This is a problem faced by many large, bureaucratic types of organizations and once that culture is embedded it is incredibly difficult to change.  For smaller companies this is a great reason to establish the culture that you want, right from the beginning.

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
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July 15th, 2014

Developing Your Business Strategy … 10 Tips

H Stanley Judd quote about planningStrategic planning is a critical component of any company’s success.

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat” Sun Tsu.

Developing plans does not need to be onerous, but it does require effort and a commitment to taking the time required to the process. At my company we schedule a quarterly management meeting off site which we use to create plans, to review how plans are going and to address tactical problems. I believe this is a good practice and a big part of any success that we have enjoyed.

There are many benefits to taking the management team offsite for these kinds of sessions.

1. In a fairly short amount of time you can develop a roadmap that your team can execute against.

2. You will take advantage of the collective brainpower of your management team.

3. By getting away from the office you can bring a fresh look at the business.

4. A planning session should focus on the potential, but also recognize the challenges.

5. Some companies prefer to bring in external facilitators; we have had more success handling it ourselves. What you do need is someone capable of leading the sessions.

6. The sessions should be structured, following a process that “teases” out the ideas, encourages participation and is not constrained by “group think”.

7. The sessions need lots of space to write … we use the large post it note sheets all over the walls.

8. One traditional approach, and a good way to get into planning is a SWOT … Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

9. All participants should feel safe, everyone should be treated equally and nobody should dominate the talking.

10. The end result of this exercise should be ACTION Plans … with measurable outcomes, assigned to people AND with deadlines.

“Strategy is thinking about a choice, and choosing to stick with your thinking” Jeroen de Flanders

It is unlikely that your first strategic planning session will result in a major change in your direction … but it might!

It will result in positive action, supported by the whole management team that will advance the company’s goals.

It will result in a more engaged management team.

It will show who the strategic thinkers are.

It will allow the “quiet voices” (who often have the best ideas) a forum to get their ideas out.

If you don’t already conduct strategic planning t then I would strongly advise any business owner, executive, entrepreneur to engage in such an exercise and see what it can do for you.

And the final word from Peter Drucker, Strategic management is not a box of tricks or a bundle of techniques. It is analytical thinking and commitment of resources to action. But quantification alone is not planning. Some of the most important issues in strategic management cannot be quantified at all.”

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
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July 14th, 2014

Get Time Management Right And Everything Else Follows!

Franklin Time Management QuotesThere are a million and one books designed to help us be more successful, be fitter and be smarter.  It can be a little daunting just trying to figure out what is most important.

Is it better to exercise in the morning or the evening?  Should I do weigh training or cardio?

Should I learn a new technical skill, get better at writing or work on my presentation skills?

Do I network within my industry or with people from other industries?

As you progress through your career you will be faced with a multitude of choices and you will need to work through your options to determine what the right answer is for you.

TimerThe best choice I made fairly early in my career was to be organized … to really work at my time management, because if you can be efficient with your time then you have an ability to introduce change into our routine, and accommodate all of those other commitments that will help you on the road to success.

If you can manage your calendar efficiently then you will know what is possible and what will work best for you.  Incidentally I work out in the mornings, because family commitments tended be in the evenings and I could adjust my sleep schedule to accommodate my workout routine in the morning.  If I tried to fit it in last thing at night I was far less likely to do it!

If you can figure out priorities then you can focus on what is important.  By giving some of my personal family commitments a very high priority I was able to fit in those parent/teacher interviews and sports events while still giving sufficient priority to get my work commitments done.  It’s not easy, but good time management and priority management achieves the best results.

If you can be disciplined enough to keep a current “To Do” list then you (a) ensure that you do not inadvertently miss any important tasks; and (b) can focus on “doing the work” rather than figuring out what to do.  You work on your “To Do” list for a few minutes once or twice a day, and then you just need to follow the plan.  You execute the top priority items first meaning that you are at your most productive.

Covey's time management quadrantIf you are committed to great time management then you learn some clear lessons that will help you for life.  Here are a few of mine:

i.  Interruptions are a productivity killer … when you are focused on a task do everything you can to avoid interruptions.

ii.  Just because the phone rings or an email arrives it does not mean you need to react to them.

iii.  There are certain parts of the day that are better suited to certain tasks … for example as a salesperson I had good luck contacting clients early in the morning before they got into their day.

iv.  You should concentrate on the toughest tasks first, when you are freshest.

v.  Crossing tasks off your list is very satisfying.

vi.  Every time you change job your system will need to change.  As a manager you delegate tasks and tracking those is a different challenge than actually doing your own tasks.  As a business owner I wear a number of hats which means having a system to ensure I am not missing tasks for ANY of those roles.

vii.  My stress levels are increased when I let my time management discipline slip.

viii.  Technology has given us some great tools … but sometimes paper works best.

ix.  You can get great ideas from lots of sources, but you have to decide what works best for you.

x.  Time management is a never ending task, both in the execution of your system AND in the evolution of your system!

My contention is that if you practice great time management then you will find a way to get all the things done that will contribute to your success!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
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July 11th, 2014

KEEP The End In Mind!

target with arrows in the bullseyeIf you know me, or have read many of my blog entries, you will know that I am a Steven Covey fan, in particular his book and theories around the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Covey’s Habit #2 is “Start with the end in mind” … which is excellent advice.  What he is really saying is to understand what your ultimate goal is, before you set out on your journey, or before you start to execute on a plan.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Tony Robbins

It seems so obvious, but I can tell you that “more often than not” people just “do stuff” rather than having a plan first and then executing against that plan.

One of the obvious benefits of setting goals is that it helps you to map out a strategy along with actionable tasks to help you reach that goal. One of the less obvious benefits of having that goal is that it helps you to stay focused all along the “route”.  You are better able to focus on what really matters, rather than being distracted by the “sidebar events” that happen along your journey.

“In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.” Unknown

In business it is easy to get distracted, there are always new opportunities that can take you off course, there are problems and issues that seem big … but if you can stay focused on that end goal, are not really big!

If you are a salesperson who is trying to grow a territory, you can chase every lead that you hear about … or you can have a plan.  If you have a plan, it will consist of target accounts, target client relationships, revenue targets for each of those clients and timelines in which to achieve those revenues.

Your plan should include contingencies such that when (as inevitably happens) sales slip into the next quarter, or fall of altogether, then you have other clients in the funnel to pick up the slack.

If you don’t have a plan then you become driven by your day and driven by circumstance, hence when a client moves their buying cycle it IS a big deal.  If you have contingency in your plan then it is not the end of the world, merely an adjustment to the plan.

If you are on track to meet your target them people issues, client issues, other initiatives, other opportunities and any other distraction are merely that … a distraction.  You keep focused on the goal, executing on the plan and the distractions do not get in your way.

So … your takeaway is to set Goals, and develop a plan to meet those goals.  You will be amazed at how much that will set you free … from worry, from distraction and from wondering what you do next!

Covey had it right … “Begin with the end in mind”, but don’t forget to KEEP that end in mind, as you experience challenges along the way!

“Goals give you a compass in order to direct your path through life. Goals focus your thoughts and actions on areas that have precise purpose and meaning.” Catherine Pulsifer

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
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July 10th, 2014

It Takes A Plan To Get Stuff Done!

Drukker quote about planningWe need to create plans all the time, business plans, account plans, growth plans, acquisition plans, project plans etc. We even create holiday plans.  There really is no magic to creating plans, but what there is … is EFFORT!  It takes a willingness to roll up the sleeves and really apply yourself, if you want to create a good plan.  If a plan is worth doing then it is worth doing well!

If I break it down into components the I would suggest a plan should have at least five stages, starting with having a clear goal for the plan, right through to the action items that will get you where you want to go.

Here is my very high level look at what it takes to create a plan … any plan!

1.  The Goal of the plan. 

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” Yogi Berra

What are you trying to achieve through this exercise.  For example a new account manager may be trying to develop a plan of attack for making an impact in their new role; OR anybody in need to shaking things up may choose to go through this process; OR even someone looking to create a special holiday might choose to go through this kind of planning exercise!

2.  Data gathering. 

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” Arthur Conan Doyle

There are many sources of data and the more inputs to a plan the better.  If it is a new salesperson then they may want to talk to their peers to gather lessons learned, history they should know about, messages that work etc.  A new CEO might have a set of questions to ask all of his direct reports and perhaps key people throughout the organization, including the front line workers. If it is a holiday plan the person might look at all the different types of vacations out there, the different general geographies and may need to gather data from anyone who might be joining them on the trip.

3.  Problem identification/Areas to be addressed. 

“A problem well put, is half solved.”  John Dewey

That new account manager might decide to identify three types of clients to target … key current clients; high potential clients; and decent opportunity clients.   A new CEO might identify the underperforming areas within the company and target those.  The holiday planner may need better understand the pros and cons of different types of vacation given all of the differing needs/wants of those on the trip.

4.  Prioritisation of issues and goals for each of those areas to be addressed. 

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” Stephen R. Covey

That new account manager might decide to identify three types of clients to target … key current clients; high potential clients; and decent opportunity clients.   The account manager could then set goals for meetings, new orders, closed business and new contact names for each of the next 3 months.  The holiday planner will lay out options and put together ideas about how to get to that final choice.

5.  Action item development, with measurable outcomes and a timeline. 

“There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.” Mark Twain

This is where the rubber meets the road.  If you have goals with no action items then your plan is not a plan!  A plan lays out the way to achieve those goals.  That account manager might identify the key contacts in all of those target accounts and set a goal to meet all of them within a set time.  She might set herself goals for numbers of orders to get and closed business to book.  She will have timelines associated with these goals.  The holiday planner might need to have more meetings with participants, research in more details final choices, and put together a pros and cons document for each of those choices.

Once a plan is done then there is a roadmap for the execution of the plan.  At this point the strategy is in place and the “all important” execution needs to happen.

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
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July 9th, 2014

Reasons To Grow A Business … And What It Takes

busTomorrow your business could get hit by the “metaphorical bus” … some catastrophic change might happen, some market shift, some impact that will spell the beginning of the end.

It happens to businesses all the time.

Companies become complacent; they become too dependent upon one client, upon one market or on one product.

Clients change suppliers, competitors get aggressive, disruptors enter the marketplace, recessions happen and key employees choose to leave … any of which can hurt a company.

For these reasons it is critical that companies continue to evolve and grow over time.

They need to find new clients, hopefully enter new markets and potentially add new products and services.  Through this evolution a company can grow and can protect itself from the “bus risk”.

The bigger you get the less impact from one “hit”.

The more diverse your client base the less risk from a change at a client.

The more diverse your services the less risk from an aggressive competitor or a market disruption.

Some realities of growth:

1.  Growth takes investment and patience.

2.  You will make mistakes along the way, and they will cost you.

3.  Growth takes change … you need to change!  You cannot do the same things today that you did yesterday and expect change to happen.  Not only that, but your entire management team needs to understand the change expected of them … and embrace that change.

“If you change nothing, nothing changes.”  Tony Robbins.

4.  Geographical growth brings different challenges … it is tougher to manage what you can’t see every day.

5.  Adding clients needs compelling messages, a strong sales effort and typically involves unseating incumbent suppliers!

If you want to grow your company, consider this:

It takes some courage to invest the time and effort into something new, when you would be more sure of the return on that same investment in your known business.

It takes belief and passion because you have to champion the cause, sell the idea to your team at the outset and keep that belief and passion even when things don’t go the way you would like them to go.

It takes a commitment to change.  It means a willingness to change your work habits, to change your way of doing business, to change how you spend your time and even how you measure the business.  It takes a commitment to instill those same changes in your management team and to get buy in from the whole team.

It takes hard work!  You worked hard to start your business and this is no less onerous.  You will need to go outside your comfort zone, perhaps travel more, learn new services/products, build new relationships, trust new people and all the effort that takes.

“Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard at it!”  Thomas Jefferson

It costs money, time and effort … are you willing to do what it takes?

poster with attributes of an entrepreneur

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
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July 8th, 2014

One Life, One Calendar

Man on a tightropeOne of the questions frequently asked of senior executives is around the concept of work/life balance.  How do you manage your time with a crazy busy work schedule and family commitments?

“The challenge of work-life balance  is without question one of the most significant struggles faced by modern  man.”  Stephen  Covey

I have always responded to these questions with the response that I focus on “life balance”, not work/life balance.  I view my job as an important part of my life and the intersection between work and home life is quite blurred.

  • Many of my friends are people I met through work.
  • I met my wife through work.
  • When I am out socializing it is often with work people, or people in business.
  • When I am out networking it is often with friends and future friends.

So what is work and what is not?

“I believe that being successful  means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life.  You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home  life  is in shambles.” Zig Ziglar

Calendar on Jan 1stI started my business in 1996 when my kids were still quite young, 7 yrs. old and 12 yrs. old, so there were many important events in their lives that I did not want to miss.   I coached both in soccer for many years, attended almost all teacher interviews, attended almost every sports event and practice that they participated in and still managed to build a company with offices across the country.

One of the tips I would give people is to be disciplined in using their calendar … and to have just one calendar that shows everything going on in their lives, whether it is related to business or home life.

I cannot get my head around people that don’t use their calendar; it is such an essential tool if you want to have any hope of managing a busy life.  Because I use my work calendar I can make personal appointments private so they are not viewable to the whole world.  I can block off regular events, I can look at my calendar any time because it syncs to my phone, I can move appointments to accommodate other priorities … whether those priorities are personal or work related.

A second tip is to have a way of prioritizing events.  I am lucky as a business owner that I can plan internal business activities such that there are reduced conflicts with personal activities, but that only works to some degree.  The trick then comes in deciding what are the highest priority activities.  If I place a very high priority on being at my kid’s events then it makes decisions easier.  It takes an even HIGHER priority item to make me miss an event, and that then becomes rare.

“I’ve learned that you can’t have everything and do everything at the same time.” Oprah Winfrey

There are no magic answers, and there will always be tough decisions to make … but if you have all the facts at your fingertips and are able to assign the right level of priority then you can hit a good life balance!  Besides with a little creativity you might decide it is always possible to have a business meeting with a colleague at a kid’s soccer game!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
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July 7th, 2014

Common Sense In Business Using the 80/20 Rule

Diagram explaining the 80 20 ruleI think most people have heard of the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle … basically that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

In business it is often that case that 80% of revenues come from 20% of the clients.  It can also be suggested that 80% of your problems come from 20% of your clients.

Jim Rohn would suggest, “Spend 80% of your time with the 20% that produce the most.”

In a perfect world you might be able to use that data to fire 20% of your clients, replace them with “better clients” and hence your business would improve.  In reality life is never that simple.

This IS however a very handy way to look at your efforts at work because very often an 80% solution is perfectly adequate, and if it can be achieved with 20% of the effort, that would be required for a 100% solution, then that is often a far better answer than expending the other 80% effort to increase from 80% to near perfection.

Don’t get me wrong … if you are a surgeon then 80% of your operations being successful is not acceptableI  Equally if you are a pilot them 80% of your landings being good is not acceptable!  However if you are developing an IT project then just maybe a solution that meets 80% of the needs, but is developed at 20% of the cost would be a great answer!  If you are producing internal reports do they need to be “pretty” or do they need to be functional?  If they are readable and professional is that OK … or do they need to be in colour, formatted to the “nth” degree and publisher quality?  (Sometimes they do, sometimes not).

This is where business common sense comes into play …

Ask yourself some basic questions:

1.  Does the 80/20 rule apply to my situation?

2.  Will the extra effort it will take to improve my result “here” be better spent elsewhere?

3.  Will the extra effort it will take to improve my result be time well spent?

4.  Am I aiming for perfection at the expense of practicality?

5.  Will my client be happy with the result I am providing?  (Note it can be an internal client, or an external client).

Some caveats:

1.  Quality is always something to strive for … BUT it needs to be viewed throught the lens of practicality.  If you achieve perfection, but the result is unaffordable then you lose!

2.  A commitment to excellence should never be undermined in an employee … but if applying a “common sense” approach will help them to be more efficient it is worth teaching that lesson.

“The 80/20 rule should serve as a daily reminder to focus 80 percent of your time and energy on the 20 percent of your work that is really important” F. John Reh.

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

June 26th, 2014

Checklists Help Productivity

Albert Einstein quote about memoryPilots use them to make sure they go through every step in their routine, every time … even though they might have been doing it every day for years!

You can create checklists to make sure that you remember to do everything you should do!

Checklists allow your brain to focus on the more creative aspects of selling because you don’t even need to think about the mundane process steps that need to happen, you just follow the list.

If you forget one step in a process it might not mean a crashed plane, but it could mean an unhappy client, an angry boss or even a lost sale.

Here are a few examples a salesperson might consider (Note: these would be customized and expanded over time to suit the individual):

The Monday morning checklist. 

  • Make sure      calendar is up to date and you know where you are going and when this      week.  (You can try to schedule more meetings in the same general      location on those days when you are travelling somewhere).
  • Make sure you did      not miss any “To Do” items last week.
  • Update your      “To Do” list with items for this week.
  • Schedule time to      make important outbound calls/return messages.
  • Add to your “new      leads” list and research people to call.
  • Update your      distribution lists to ensure you are staying in contact with all the      people you should.

The Friday Evening Checklist

  • Add any new      contacts into the CRM.  Add them to newsletter/contact lists.
  • Update systems      with any information that might have been missed … notes from meetings,      updates on sales funnel, new leads etc.
  • Make sure no      important items were missed from “To Do” list.
  • Add items to      next weeks “To Do” list.
  • Add weekly      activities to your ales report so that by month end you don’t miss      anything.
  • Add new tasks to      “check lists” … routine things you might do.
  • Send interesting      article to clients using distribution lists.
  • Review your      distribution lists to identify contacts that you should be meeting in the      next month.

The Closed Business Checklist

  • Complete ALL      appropriate internal paperwork/system updates (list it out so you      don’t miss anything)
  • Schedule client      follow-ups to ensure client satisfaction.
  • Send thank you      cards to client, to internal people who helped with sale, to anyone who      may have helped with referrals etc.

You can have checklists for anything, whether personal or work related.  You might have a checklist for business travel, to make sure you remember everything; you could have a checklist for going to the cottage etc.

Checklists just make it easy to ensure you don’t miss anything.  Salespeople are notoriously bad at the administrative side of the job and checklists can help to keep them on the straight and narrow.  It’s not much use selling something and not getting paid because the salesperson forgot to enter the right information in the system!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

June 19th, 2014

5 Tips To Foster Innovation

Innovation quote. "Its not how many ideas you have.  It's how many you make happen."We hear about innovation all the time these days.

Governments need to embrace innovation because they need to “do more with less”, and increase their tax base by encouraging innovative companies that create jobs.

Companies are told that they need to innovate to be competitive, to adapt to changing market conditions and remain relevant.

Employees are told to “think outside the box” … of course nobody explains what that “box” looks like!

Here is what I think about when I think of innovation.

Innovation does not have to be a brand new idea or product … it needs to be a change from what was there previously and it should bring some positive result, such as improved productivity, increased profits etc.

Some of the most “innovative” companies achieve some or all of their innovation by acquiring smaller entities that have made breakthroughs.  They might actually not innovate internally at all, but find ways to bring innovation into their company.

Some of the most innovative ideas come from an evolution in thinking rather than a revolution in thinking.  The smart phone did not happen overnight, it was discussed for years and as technology evolved the smartphone was a natural product.

Any company can be an innovator, but they need to create the right environment and have an ability to recognize it when they see it and a willingness to embrace the change that it will bring.

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” Albert Einstein

5 Tips To Foster innovation:

  1. If you are company with enough resources, or an executive at a big company why not start a small investment arm that scours the country for startups operating in your industry … invest in them, help them grow and buy the ones that fit your strategy.
  2. Develop pilot projects that try new ideas.  Reward employees who bring new ideas, give them the opportunity to try it out on a managed scale.
  3. Read about your industry.  Read about related industries.  Read about innovation around the world.  See what is happening in other jurisdictions and discuss whether they could be applicable in your world.
  4. Follow known sources of innovation.    The Ideas Database from Springwise and Trendhunter are just two such sources.  Work with universities, and understand their research and their entrepreneur clubs.
  5. Talk to young people about what they are seeing.  They tend to see new trends and know how they are used.  Social media innovations, gaming innovations and other technological advances will have big impacts on business and it is the newer generations that grasped them first.

You don’t need to make a huge investment in dollars, but it is an investment in time and it also needs to be an investment in “mind share”.  You will need to be open to change, willing to listen and understand implications even if it is not intuitively easy.

“The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.” Arthur Koestler

Innovation CAN be a game changer … if you can get your head around it!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

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