Monthly Archives: January 2018

 THE PRACTICE OF INNOVATION

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The first step to understanding entrepreneurship is realizing that it is futile without innovation. Innovation is the means by which an entrepreneur exploits change as an opportunity for a new or different business or service. As such, innovation is very much a discipline that can be learned and should be practiced.

Learning the discipline of innovation starts with the seven sources of innovative Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.28.41 pmopportunity. While they could be considered symptoms, they are actually highly reliable indications that changes are happening in any given industry.

Source #1: The Unexpected

Perhaps the richest of opportunities for innovation success comes from unexpected success. This is the path by which entrepreneurs meet the least amount of risk and least arduous pursuits. More often than not, unexpected success appears in an existing company’s blind spot. Currently, management teams are trained to comb through reports that highlight expected results, so that unexpected success is left unexplored and vulnerable for exploitation. Drucker advises that reports must be revamped to include all results so that people can analyze their businesses properly and, more importantly, look for innovative opportunities.

Unexpected failures rarely go unnoticed; however, they are seldom seen as symptoms for opportunity. Executives typically call for more reports and more studies to analyze failures, but instead should be stepping out to investigate possible situations. Understanding customers’ experiences (i.e., the true reality of a product) is how to exploit opportunities of an unexpected failure.

Source #2: Incongruities

Stemming from unexpected failures, the second source, incongruities, appears when there is a dissonance between what is and what “ought to be.” It invites innovators to investigate why results are not lining up with expectations and what can be done to exploit opportunities. The only major downside to this source of innovation is that it is largely only apparent to industry insiders. Someone from the outside is not likely to spot or understand any type of incongruity, no matter which form it takes. Incongruity appears in several different ways, including:

*Incongruity between the economic realities of an industry.

*Incongruity between the reality and the assumptions about an industry.

*Incongruity between the efforts of an industry and the values and expectations of its customers.

*Internal incongruity within the rhythm or the logic of an existing process.

Of all the incongruities, that between perceived and actual reality may be the most common due to the fact that producers and suppliers almost always misinterpret what customers actually buy and why.

Source #3: Process Needs

New and existing businesses alike can lead innovation in their industries using process needs as a source for opportunity. Here, existing processes are perfected, replaced, or redesigned around newly available knowledge. Sometimes it gives light to a whole new process by providing “missing links” for different industries. Drucker, however, advises that the most common place to look for process needs are not missing links, but demographics and incongruities–both of which give ample opportunity and are largely overlooked.

Innovators seeking to exploit process need opportunities must understand that they will not be successful unless their processes are self-contained, there is only one missing or weak leak, clear objectives and solutions are defined, and there is a widespread belief that there could be a better way to do business. Without a thorough analysis and strategy of all these criteria, innovations are likely to be unsuccessful.

Source #4: Industry and Market Structures

Next, Drucker moves onto the sources of opportunity that can be seen by industry outsiders–the most critical of which are the structures that comprise industries. Indeed, industry and market structures appear so solid to people within specific industries that they are likely to consider them certain to endure forever. However, Drucker points out that most industry structures are actually quite brittle. To most outsiders, industry structures are highly visible and predictable and can innovate under the radar quickly and with relatively low risk. Meanwhile, insiders continue to assume their positions are permanent. There are four near-certain indicators of industry structure changes that individuals must keep an eye out for:

  1. Rapid growth of an industry.
  2. Changes in the way the services or products are perceived in the market.
  3. Convergence of technologies that before had seemed distinctly separate.
  4. Rapid changes in the way business is conducted.

Innovators must always scan for these four indicators if they want to be at the forefront of their industries’ structural revolutions.

Source #5: Demographics

Demographics are part of the external changes that lead to innovative opportunities. Of all the external changes, demographics are the most unambiguous. They include any changes in population, including its size, age structure, composition, employment, educational status, and income. Executives in any industry typically do not pay close attention to demographics because they have the most lead time; that is, they occur over such a long time span that they appear to be of little concern.

Source #6: Changes in Perception

Changes in perception include any shift in public opinion. While the facts often do not change, their meaning to the public does. This can lead to innovative opportunity, but Drucker warns that it is a dangerous source because it is hard to distinguish between a genuine change and a short-lived fad. However, done correctly, this can be an excellent source of innovation for entrepreneurs.

Source #7: New Knowledge

New knowledge is perhaps the flashiest of all innovation as it gets the most publicity. While most sources for opportunity have overlapping themes with one or more other sources, new knowledge differs greatly from the rest. First, it has the longest lead time because innovations are essentially started from scratch. Secondly, knowledge-based innovations are almost never based on one factor, but on the convergence of multiple knowledge sources. Not until these sources of knowledge are analyzed and understood will innovations be successful.

Knowledge-based innovations also carry great risks. They must be solid both in product and business structure when they hit the market, otherwise a company will have introduced a new technology which other, more stable businesses will couple with their strengths to render the new business obsolete.

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Customer Delight @Shangri-La

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Customer Delight @Shangri-La

I am extremely delighted to share my amazing experience with Shangri-La Bangalore during my Training at SixSigma Yellow belt on 20th Jan 2018 with QLS team leaded by ShivKhera Sir. Customer experience is the experience that I had with a brand of reputed 5star property started moment I landed at airport. It included many different areas, such as airport pickup, ease of sharing, and speed of delivery. We hear “Customer service experience focuses on service” but I experienced with Chauffeur -Adam, Chef – Wasim Reja and Service staff – Tarani. Started with smile; smile of welcome, smile of love; smile of honour; smile of happiness; and smile of making me part of them. Like customer experience as a whole, must appreciated first level call by Adam to Security (we are 5 mins away), Conscious call from security  to Guest relation and than room service and this made me realised it is an important part of ongoing business growth which was evident in aura.

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Six Sigma Certification program at Shangri-la Bangalore with QLS leaded by ShivKhera Sir

Having 21 countries travel experience in best of properties; I realised  “customer service” covers a massive range of support options. But felt WOW in India with Bangalore Shangri-la. I sensed they all had in them “Our customers want a good customer service experience, and we need to deliver with SMILE”

Customer service experience connects everything. It’s the connection of all the service interactions. Must visit destination.

Project Oxygen

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Convincing high-achieving, independent, autonomous engineers that managers are valuable assets that can improve the work environment is a daunting task, but Google set out to do just that with its multi-year Project Oxygen research initiative. Based on the belief that the best way to win the hearts and minds of knowledge workers was through scientific methodology, the initiative was heavily data-dependent and constructed to test assumptions.

Project Oxygen sought to identify the behaviors representative of good managers and provide actionable guidance for managers so they could improve going forward. According to the data, the most effective managers:

  1. Are good coaches.
  2. Empower their teams and do not micromanage.
  3. Express interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being.
  4. Are productive and results oriented.
  5. Communicate well, including listening and sharing information.
  6. Help with career development.
  7. Have clear visions and strategies.
  8. Possess key technical skills that enhance advisory capabilities.

The program has won great favor with both employees and managers, convinced skeptics, and yielded significant and measurable improvement results.

TIME EFFECTIVENESS

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Time is a precious and scarce resource. Once it is spent it cannot be replaced. However, time is routinely squandered in the business world thanks to excessive emails, unnecessary meetings, and unjustified initiatives.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 6.02.40 pmBecause time is such a valuable commodity (and can be quantified monetarily), business professionals must learn to manage their time as carefully as they manage their money. The following eight practices can go a long way toward making the time a company and its employees spend worth the investment:

  1. Make sure there is a clear and selective agenda for every activity.
  2. Create a time budget that resets at zero.
  3. Insist that every initiative have a compelling business case before approval and implementation.
  4. Standardize and simplify processes and share management across all business units.
  5. Identify the proper authority for approving time investments and treat those investments like financial investments.
  6. Create standardized decision-making processes.
  7. Improve the quality of meetings by requiring clear, objective-based agendas, advance preparation, an on-time start, and an early ending whenever possible.
  8. Monitor and measure time spent across the organization to understand where time is wasted.

Contextual Intelligence

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In today’s global economy, companies routinely expand into new geographies, applying their successful business and operational models to new locales. Routinely, many of these businesses fail. By operating from the principle that what works well in one place should work just as well in another (with minor tweaks), companies frequently do not recognize how much context matters.

There are numerous contextual factors at play (including government regulations, infrastructures, and cultural norms) in various geographies that can derail even the most successful operational models. Understanding and adapting business and operational models to these new contexts is not a simple matter. But it can be done.

The first step in overcoming this problem is developing contextual intelligence — the ability to recognize knowledge limits and adapt them to new environments. Contextual intelligence enables an entity to gain deep insight to the contextual differences between geographies and then make the best decisions about how to alter, redefine, deconstruct/reconstruct, or completely abandon a business model in order to successfully expand into a new environment. Sometimes the best decision is to not expand at all.

Common practices in acquiring contextual intelligence include hiring cultural natives, creating local partnerships, and conducting cross-disciplinary training. Additional suggestions for improving contextual intelligence are:

*Researching a country’s institutional context.

*Recognizing that not all countries will migrate to a free-market economy.

*Understanding that geographic differences are often multi-layered, complex, and not easily generalized.

*Experimenting with new models and taking an entrepreneurial approach.

*Learning to distinguish between the general and the specific.

*Realizing that change can take a very long time.

*Creating data in-house rather than relying on others’ data.

*Being patient.