Friday, April 24, 2009

Soap Box Friday: Are You As Stale As Old Crackers Or Always Looking For Something New?

Good Morning Everybody,
Yesterday we wrapped out visit to SLC with a quick tour of Temple Square which is beautiful in the springtime. Flowers abound everywhere and it is quite the site. I have to say - the stroll through the grounds is a great way to recharge your batteries and a recharge we needed.

We hit the road early today getting back to the Kentucky side of Cincinnati, Ohio about 6 p.m. this evening - just in time to catch a Cincy sunset with a refreshment in hand. Tomorrow I wrap the final edit on my book, "Captured By The Light." I hear it should be on bookshelves mid-July. I'll keep you posted.

Next week we start my Digital Master Class which is always fun. Again, I'll keep you posted as the week progresses. That's said, how about we move on with Soap Box Friday - hope you enjoy it - here we go...

Are You As Stale As Old Crackers Or Always Looking For Something New?
You must know the choice is yours. Your choice also determines your success or failure in business - yes, even for our little "mom and pop" business. Innovate or die - words each and everyone of us should have on our lips especially in these ever-changing days, recession or not. It's the same mantra that has been heard from forward thinking businesses and governments over recent years and we must do the same.
I was recently reading an article in business week in which they interviewed CEO, A. G. Lafley. Here is the link to the article. Innovation fuels about 20-25% of what Procter and Gamble does. Without constantly innovating the company would not be enjoying the success it's had over it's many long years. P&G is fuelled by innovation - sure, they've got to please their stockholders with "return on investment" and keeping the stockholders happy definitely fuels their need to succeed.

But our need to succeed should also fuel our motivation to innovate. We too should constantly strive to smother our own complacency and constantly strive to manage our business for success. And, innovation is one of the most powerful tools we can use to drive our success.

Ask yourself the question, "What have I done lately to build my business?" Have you developed any new products, new services, new packaging - anything? Or are you still doing the same ol' thing? Those that stand still will be run over by the innovators. It's been happening for the last several years in our digital photography world. To many of the old film shooters have failed to innovate and are sadly "dieing on the vine" - it's a sad state of affairs for many.

Where do you stand? How important is it for you to succeed? How important is it for you grow your business? Here is another reality - if you fail to work towards innovation, you will tire of what you are doing. Life will become boring and you will want to quite. If you want to keep life exciting - then innovate.

Spend time each week with yourself, with your staff, with your peers, and challenge each other for new ideas in how to innovate your business. Put some forethought into these meetings so you are a prime contributor to the "idea pool" and not just a taker. I happen to be one who never listens to the radio while I'm driving - even on a five hour trip from Cincinnati to Chicago.

It's my "thinking time" - it's the best and most creative time I spend with myself. I keep a little personal recorder with me to record my thoughts along the way on these long trips. These days, you can buy programs like "Dragon Dictate" that will even transcribe your notes. That's sometimes how I keep this blog on schedule.

The main thing is this - you've got to put some "think time" into the creative process of innovation. It's up to you to make the choices you need to be successful and happy in your endeavors. It takes more than just wanting it. Start making innovation part of your business planning now so your business will be around tomorrow and you are enjoying every minute of it!

P.S. You can catch a thought provoking discussion from top business leaders at CNBC. Here is the link. This presentation is important because it represents global ideas that apply to businesses - large or small alike. Give it a peek.

End of rant #26.

Hey everybody, we are jumping the plane back to good ol' KY in just a few hours. My book is in the final stages of editing with Kelby Media and my Master Class starts next week. It will be a busy few days, but I'll still see you on the flip side of the weekend, all the pixels willin'. See ya' then, -David


  1. P&G's innovation?
    a constant new and improved of the
    same old thing-now this smell, now this color-change
    the label-show a housewife just so darned mad about
    dirt on the floor-kids & pets tracking through the just-cleaned floor.
    We can't build good cars and high-tech stuff like cameras, LCD screens, etc in the USA but we can sure innovate with our soap!
    My rant for the day!

  2. That's an interesting point... sometimes innovation (at least in reference to P&G) might just be a core product cast in a new light.

    Kind of like the digital mats David mentioned a couple of posts ago...

    Thanks for the insight on this one Jay!