Reducing the Risk of Innovation

Innovation is never risk-free. That doesn’t mean you have to throw money away every time you want to try something new. Follow these tips to think more like an entrepreneur, and watch as your company begins to solve more problems more quickly. Continue reading →

Innovation is never risk-free. That doesn’t mean you have to throw money away every time you want to try something new. Follow these tips to think more like an entrepreneur, and watch as your company begins to solve more problems more quickly. Continue reading →

[via Innovation Excellence]

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What’s Your Innovativeness Index? Shifting the odds of innovation success

Good advice and sound innovation practices are at the core of what innovation leaders are striving to do: make innovation work better. However, I’d like to refocus the conversation onto something that I’m convinced is more powerful than any of these strategies (based on hard data… Continue reading →

Good advice and sound innovation practices are at the core of what innovation leaders are striving to do: make innovation work better. However, I’d like to refocus the conversation onto something that I’m convinced is more powerful than any of these strategies (based on hard data… Continue reading →

[via Innovation Excellence]

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Can’t We All Just Get Along? Innovation and Bridging the Generational Divide

How to Fine-Tune Working Relationships between Boomers and Millennials to Create Harmonious Innovation Teams The innovation book Robert’s Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival… Visit our Innovation-Innovation coach website today! http://www.innovationcoach.com/

How to Fine-Tune Working Relationships between Boomers and Millennials to Create Harmonious Innovation Teams The innovation book Robert’s Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival… Visit our Innovation-Innovation coach website today! http://www.innovationcoach.com/

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7 Safety and Compliance Tips to Avoid the Product Recall List

With a growing focus on consumer safety, manufacturers from nearly every industry and all parts of the globe are working to ensure the efficacy of their products. Failure to develop products that are safe and user-friendly could result in monetary fines, loss of contracts and even mass recalls. In fact, an all-time high of 51 million vehicles were recalled in 2015 alone . The automotive industry isn’t the only one to suffer from widespread product recalls. According to a recent study by a Swiss research firm, worldwide food recalls have effectively doubled since 2002 . Given trends like this, efforts to ensure product safety and avoid recalls definitely need improvement. How to Keep Off the Product Recall List Monitoring Standards and Regulations Standards and regulations that define product safety are constantly changing, evolving and adapting to new societal trends, needs and demands. In fact, OSHA maintains an online database that provides information and resources regarding new and existing regulations throughout dozens of industries. OSHA is one of the most prolific and well-known safety agencies, but they’re not the only one. Depending on your specific industry, you may be subject to laws, rules or regulations from any number of other agencies. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, recently won a $15.45 million civil case against multiple appliance manufacturers in China as well as the United States. With that in mind, entrepreneurs and business owners must pay attention to existing and new regulations alike. By staying on top of these changes, and by attaining new certifications as necessary, you’ll be better poised to avoid future recalls or penalties. Pursuing Testing and Certification While institutions like OSHA and the CPSC can provide information, resources and, in some cases, actual safety testing and certification, some processes require third-party interaction, inspection and analysis. Some companies, like National Technical Systems, offer an array of product testing services throughout several different industries. Their tests, which focus on different standards and regulations, can ensure compliance with safety organizations from all corners of the globe. Specific products that can be tested by NTS include industrial machinery, lighting components and power supplies, audio and video hardware, household and commercial appliances, laboratory equipment and more. Bolstering Your Supply Chain Certain companies have even reduced their own product recalls by bolstering their strategies in supply chain management. Increased transparency throughout the entire chain can identify errors quicker and more efficiently while simultaneously improving communications with the general public in the event that a recall does occur. With today’s emphasis on mobile communications, it’s also important to facilitate mobile accessibility between sales representatives, compliance officers, distributors and customers. Supply chain and e-commerce apps can be coded to work across multiple platforms, including hardwired and mobile devices, which offers on-the-fly access and real-time monitoring. Establishing a Compliance Team If necessary, consider establishing a designated team of compliance specialists. It doesn’t matter if these are third-party consultants or in-house experts. Instead, focus on securing reputable compliance specialists that have experience in your exact line of business and industry. While this will require you to allocate additional resources to the new team, the costs of avoiding product recalls and improving safety might be worth it in the long run. However, it’s important to understand that the establishment of such a team is no straightforward task. A compliance team must avoid or overcome many challenges , including overly complex business models, conflicting viewpoints, stringent industry regulations and more. Keeping Your Competitors Close There’s an old adage that tells us to keep our friends close, but our enemies closer. This same saying can be applied to the world of manufacturing: By paying attention to your competition, you’ll be able to identify new safety requirements as soon as they emerge. Moreover, you may even be able to learn from the mistakes of your competitors and avoid future recalls of your own. Bucking the Trends Although product recalls are still common and even increasing in some industries, others have seen significant improvement. According to the CPSC, the overall number of toy recalls has experienced a sharp decline since 2008 . The total number of toy recalls involving lead-containing products have been nearly eliminated. In some cases, a high number of recalls can actually prompt change on its own. According to the American Marketing Association, the number of automobile recalls between 1995 and 2011 eventually resulted in fewer accidents . Statistics like this show that there is a bright side after all. Maintaining Product Safety Into the Future As a manufacturer, product safety should be your top priority. There are few better ways to drive away a solid customer base than by releasing defunct or hazardous products. In some cases, the results can be downright deadly. By sticking to the tips outlined above, and by taking a proactive stance toward manufacturing and consumer safety, you’ll be able to maintain the safety of your products and avoid mass recalls in the future. Republished by permission. Original here . Recall Photo via Shutterstock This article, ” 7 Safety and Compliance Tips to Avoid the Product Recall List ” was first published on Small Business Trends

With a growing focus on consumer safety, manufacturers from nearly every industry and all parts of the globe are working to ensure the efficacy of their products. Failure to develop products that are safe and user-friendly could result in monetary fines, loss of contracts and even mass recalls. In fact, an all-time high of 51 million vehicles were recalled in 2015 alone . The automotive industry isn’t the only one to suffer from widespread product recalls. According to a recent study by a Swiss research firm, worldwide food recalls have effectively doubled since 2002 . Given trends like this, efforts to ensure product safety and avoid recalls definitely need improvement. How to Keep Off the Product Recall List Monitoring Standards and Regulations Standards and regulations that define product safety are constantly changing, evolving and adapting to new societal trends, needs and demands. In fact, OSHA maintains an online database that provides information and resources regarding new and existing regulations throughout dozens of industries. OSHA is one of the most prolific and well-known safety agencies, but they’re not the only one. Depending on your specific industry, you may be subject to laws, rules or regulations from any number of other agencies. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, recently won a $15.45 million civil case against multiple appliance manufacturers in China as well as the United States. With that in mind, entrepreneurs and business owners must pay attention to existing and new regulations alike. By staying on top of these changes, and by attaining new certifications as necessary, you’ll be better poised to avoid future recalls or penalties. Pursuing Testing and Certification While institutions like OSHA and the CPSC can provide information, resources and, in some cases, actual safety testing and certification, some processes require third-party interaction, inspection and analysis. Some companies, like National Technical Systems, offer an array of product testing services throughout several different industries. Their tests, which focus on different standards and regulations, can ensure compliance with safety organizations from all corners of the globe. Specific products that can be tested by NTS include industrial machinery, lighting components and power supplies, audio and video hardware, household and commercial appliances, laboratory equipment and more. Bolstering Your Supply Chain Certain companies have even reduced their own product recalls by bolstering their strategies in supply chain management. Increased transparency throughout the entire chain can identify errors quicker and more efficiently while simultaneously improving communications with the general public in the event that a recall does occur. With today’s emphasis on mobile communications, it’s also important to facilitate mobile accessibility between sales representatives, compliance officers, distributors and customers. Supply chain and e-commerce apps can be coded to work across multiple platforms, including hardwired and mobile devices, which offers on-the-fly access and real-time monitoring. Establishing a Compliance Team If necessary, consider establishing a designated team of compliance specialists. It doesn’t matter if these are third-party consultants or in-house experts. Instead, focus on securing reputable compliance specialists that have experience in your exact line of business and industry. While this will require you to allocate additional resources to the new team, the costs of avoiding product recalls and improving safety might be worth it in the long run. However, it’s important to understand that the establishment of such a team is no straightforward task. A compliance team must avoid or overcome many challenges , including overly complex business models, conflicting viewpoints, stringent industry regulations and more. Keeping Your Competitors Close There’s an old adage that tells us to keep our friends close, but our enemies closer. This same saying can be applied to the world of manufacturing: By paying attention to your competition, you’ll be able to identify new safety requirements as soon as they emerge. Moreover, you may even be able to learn from the mistakes of your competitors and avoid future recalls of your own. Bucking the Trends Although product recalls are still common and even increasing in some industries, others have seen significant improvement. According to the CPSC, the overall number of toy recalls has experienced a sharp decline since 2008 . The total number of toy recalls involving lead-containing products have been nearly eliminated. In some cases, a high number of recalls can actually prompt change on its own. According to the American Marketing Association, the number of automobile recalls between 1995 and 2011 eventually resulted in fewer accidents . Statistics like this show that there is a bright side after all. Maintaining Product Safety Into the Future As a manufacturer, product safety should be your top priority. There are few better ways to drive away a solid customer base than by releasing defunct or hazardous products. In some cases, the results can be downright deadly. By sticking to the tips outlined above, and by taking a proactive stance toward manufacturing and consumer safety, you’ll be able to maintain the safety of your products and avoid mass recalls in the future. Republished by permission. Original here . Recall Photo via Shutterstock This article, ” 7 Safety and Compliance Tips to Avoid the Product Recall List ” was first published on Small Business Trends

[via Small Business Trends]

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Making Design Thinking Work in Complex Ecosystems

Whilst the practice of “build-test-fail-learn-iterate” can lead to elegant innovation and superior user experiences in relatively simple, linear 1:1 company-customer markets such as consumer goods or tech, in markets characterised by many stakeholders with often competing interests, design thinking is less effective. Continue reading →

Whilst the practice of “build-test-fail-learn-iterate” can lead to elegant innovation and superior user experiences in relatively simple, linear 1:1 company-customer markets such as consumer goods or tech, in markets characterised by many stakeholders with often competing interests, design thinking is less effective. Continue reading →

[via Innovation Excellence]

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What You Need to Know About Google’s Expanded Text Ads

Expanded Text Ads are coming to Google AdWords. Are you excited? But more importantly, are you ready? Expanded Text Ads were one of several huge AdWords changes Google announced Tuesday — if not the biggest. I still can’t believe that Google will soon actually increase its ad text limits by 2x! So what exactly is changing? Here are 10 things advertisers need to know about Expanded Text Ads. 1. What Are Expanded Text Ads? Expanded Text Ads are 2x bigger than current text ads. The new ads are designed to maximize your presence and performance on mobile search results with a bigger headline and an extra long description. (And with a mobile-first mindset, whatever works on mobile is going to get applied to desktop too.) Expanded Text ads will show across all devices — desktop and mobile — and will wrap automatically based on device size. Google began testing Expanded Text ads in Q2 of 2016. 2. Why Is Google Making This Change? Google is calling this the biggest change to text ads since AdWords launched 15 years ago. Several months ago, Google began thinking about what an AdWords ad would look like if they created AdWords in today’s mobile-first world, where more than half of the trillions of searches conducted on Google per year are done via a mobile device. Google’s first move toward creating a unified experience across devices came in February when they  killed off right side ads on desktop. Now with the constraints of desktop right-side ads gone, this change seems like a natural progression from the super-sized headlines introduced in 2011 . 3. How Much Bigger Are These Expanded Ads? Expanded text ads are 2x bigger (math nerd alert: technically 47 percent bigger) from today’s AdWords text ads. You now have a total of 140 characters of ad copy space to use, marking the end of the current 25-35-35 limits. No comment from Twitter as yet about their thoughts on Google adopting a 140-character limit. Here’s a little more info on the changes from the AdWords blog : So make all those extra characters count. Create eye-catching and emotional ads that searchers can’t resist clicking on. 4. What Do The New Expanded Text Ads Look Like? Here’s a before and after of what the ads will look like on mobile and desktop: And here’s what Expanded Text Ads will look like in the AdWords interface : 5. How Much Are Headlines Expanding? Advertisers will have two 30-character headlines when Expanded Text Ads become available later this year. Advertisers currently are limited to a 25-character headline. That’s means our headlines will soon increase by 140 percent! 6. How Much Will Descriptions Expand? Advertisers will have one 80-character description line. Advertisers currently are limited to two 35-character description lines. That means descriptions will increase by 14 percent. 7. What’s Changing With Display URLs? AdWords will automatically extract the domain from the final URL. Advertisers can then add up to two paths to enhance the display URL (using up to 15 characters). 8. Will This Improve CTR? Yes! More text means greater visibility. Early reports indicate that Expanded Text Ads are seeing CTR increase by as much as 20 percent. At WordStream, we’ve observed CTR increase by around 12 percent by adding ad or call extensions to mobile text ads — so we expect increasing the character counts of headlines and description should result in more clicks. Regardless, you can bet we’ll be closely tracking the performance of this new ad format as it becomes more widely available. 9.  When Will The New Ads Roll Out? Google hasn’t officially revealed when all advertisers will have access to Expanded Text Ads. Keep an eye out and we’ll update when we know more details. 10. What Should You Do To Prepare for Expanded Text Ads? Raise your Quality Scores now ! Quality Score is already the most important metric in your AdWords account, but it’s about to become even more important. Businesses that occupy the top spots will take up the most valuable SERP real estate – especially for commercial queries. It could make anything below position 2 or 3 on mobile devices irrelevant! Here is some helpful reading on Quality Score: Hacking AdWords: Winning at AdWords the Weird Way. Additionally, you’ve got a lot of ad text optimization ahead of you. You’ll need to make sure your text ads are all rewritten to take advantage of this new format. Google is giving you 2x more space with Expanded Text Ads – so be ready to use it to your advantage! Republished by permission. Original here . Images: WordStream via Google This article, ” What You Need to Know About Google’s Expanded Text Ads ” was first published on Small Business Trends

Expanded Text Ads are coming to Google AdWords. Are you excited? But more importantly, are you ready? Expanded Text Ads were one of several huge AdWords changes Google announced Tuesday — if not the biggest. I still can’t believe that Google will soon actually increase its ad text limits by 2x! So what exactly is changing? Here are 10 things advertisers need to know about Expanded Text Ads. 1. What Are Expanded Text Ads? Expanded Text Ads are 2x bigger than current text ads. The new ads are designed to maximize your presence and performance on mobile search results with a bigger headline and an extra long description. (And with a mobile-first mindset, whatever works on mobile is going to get applied to desktop too.) Expanded Text ads will show across all devices — desktop and mobile — and will wrap automatically based on device size. Google began testing Expanded Text ads in Q2 of 2016. 2. Why Is Google Making This Change? Google is calling this the biggest change to text ads since AdWords launched 15 years ago. Several months ago, Google began thinking about what an AdWords ad would look like if they created AdWords in today’s mobile-first world, where more than half of the trillions of searches conducted on Google per year are done via a mobile device. Google’s first move toward creating a unified experience across devices came in February when they  killed off right side ads on desktop. Now with the constraints of desktop right-side ads gone, this change seems like a natural progression from the super-sized headlines introduced in 2011 . 3. How Much Bigger Are These Expanded Ads? Expanded text ads are 2x bigger (math nerd alert: technically 47 percent bigger) from today’s AdWords text ads. You now have a total of 140 characters of ad copy space to use, marking the end of the current 25-35-35 limits. No comment from Twitter as yet about their thoughts on Google adopting a 140-character limit. Here’s a little more info on the changes from the AdWords blog : So make all those extra characters count. Create eye-catching and emotional ads that searchers can’t resist clicking on. 4. What Do The New Expanded Text Ads Look Like? Here’s a before and after of what the ads will look like on mobile and desktop: And here’s what Expanded Text Ads will look like in the AdWords interface : 5. How Much Are Headlines Expanding? Advertisers will have two 30-character headlines when Expanded Text Ads become available later this year. Advertisers currently are limited to a 25-character headline. That’s means our headlines will soon increase by 140 percent! 6. How Much Will Descriptions Expand? Advertisers will have one 80-character description line. Advertisers currently are limited to two 35-character description lines. That means descriptions will increase by 14 percent. 7. What’s Changing With Display URLs? AdWords will automatically extract the domain from the final URL. Advertisers can then add up to two paths to enhance the display URL (using up to 15 characters). 8. Will This Improve CTR? Yes! More text means greater visibility. Early reports indicate that Expanded Text Ads are seeing CTR increase by as much as 20 percent. At WordStream, we’ve observed CTR increase by around 12 percent by adding ad or call extensions to mobile text ads — so we expect increasing the character counts of headlines and description should result in more clicks. Regardless, you can bet we’ll be closely tracking the performance of this new ad format as it becomes more widely available. 9.  When Will The New Ads Roll Out? Google hasn’t officially revealed when all advertisers will have access to Expanded Text Ads. Keep an eye out and we’ll update when we know more details. 10. What Should You Do To Prepare for Expanded Text Ads? Raise your Quality Scores now ! Quality Score is already the most important metric in your AdWords account, but it’s about to become even more important. Businesses that occupy the top spots will take up the most valuable SERP real estate – especially for commercial queries. It could make anything below position 2 or 3 on mobile devices irrelevant! Here is some helpful reading on Quality Score: Hacking AdWords: Winning at AdWords the Weird Way. Additionally, you’ve got a lot of ad text optimization ahead of you. You’ll need to make sure your text ads are all rewritten to take advantage of this new format. Google is giving you 2x more space with Expanded Text Ads – so be ready to use it to your advantage! Republished by permission. Original here . Images: WordStream via Google This article, ” What You Need to Know About Google’s Expanded Text Ads ” was first published on Small Business Trends

[via Small Business Trends]

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How to Effectively Conduct ‘Voice of the Customer’ Research

For today’s finicky consumers, seeking feedback with customer satisfaction surveys is no longer enough. Ascertaining your customers’ wants and needs might compare to assembling a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle with a few pieces missing. It requires a multi-layered process that includes both qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as a structure that prioritizes customer wants and needs. The Voice of the Customer (VOC) is such a process. An effective VOC result produces a detailed list of customer wants and needs, organized by priority and analyzed in the context of competing alternatives. When it comes to Voice of the Customer (VOC) experts, there are few that match the expertise of Gerry Katz. He is the author of several published papers on the topic, a contributor to professional books, a guest lecturer at MIT, Harvard, and other top schools. Today, he consults with hundreds of companies and trains even more practitioners on the … Continue reading →

For today’s finicky consumers, seeking feedback with customer satisfaction surveys is no longer enough. Ascertaining your customers’ wants and needs might compare to assembling a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle with a few pieces missing. It requires a multi-layered process that includes both qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as a structure that prioritizes customer wants and needs. The Voice of the Customer (VOC) is such a process. An effective VOC result produces a detailed list of customer wants and needs, organized by priority and analyzed in the context of competing alternatives. When it comes to Voice of the Customer (VOC) experts, there are few that match the expertise of Gerry Katz. He is the author of several published papers on the topic, a contributor to professional books, a guest lecturer at MIT, Harvard, and other top schools. Today, he consults with hundreds of companies and trains even more practitioners on the … Continue reading →

[via Innovation Excellence]

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Three Lessons in Leading Innovation from the LSI

Three lessons from the LSI for those leading innovation and change within organisations Continue reading →

Three lessons from the LSI for those leading innovation and change within organisations Continue reading →

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Why Values are Very Important for Innovation

Would you know what things matter to your employees? This post explores why this matters, especially for innovation. Continue reading →

Would you know what things matter to your employees? This post explores why this matters, especially for innovation. Continue reading →

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How to Adopt the Innovative Mindset

Innovation is an iterative process. You can create a detailed plan for how to innovate, but these strategies rarely survive their first contact with the market. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face,” said boxer Mike Tyson. Success comes when you learn to adapt. It is more important to have the right people and mindsets in place than to have a perfectly crafted plan. Continue reading →

Innovation is an iterative process. You can create a detailed plan for how to innovate, but these strategies rarely survive their first contact with the market. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face,” said boxer Mike Tyson. Success comes when you learn to adapt. It is more important to have the right people and mindsets in place than to have a perfectly crafted plan. Continue reading →

[via Innovation Excellence]

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