Update: I am posting live from the IIeX conference happening in Philadelphia this week. Instead of hoping for the time later to capture my notes into a short, pithy, insightful post. Let's see if I can do short and insightful on the fly.
Morning keynotes: Charles Trevail, of Communispace
Charles is talking about that old myth of the genius CEO -- he points out that most organizations don't have a genius leader, so need systemic innovation structures inside the organization.
We are all trying to build temporary monopolies. We can't keep them for long. The question is, how do we find these temporary monopolies, when there are so many fast followers?
For consumers, feelings ARE facts, and are the drivers of most of the decisions in our lives. Consider our families -- we know their facts, but don't always understand their feelings, and it is the feelings that are the critical element in successful relationships.
There is so much noise in the environment that it is challenging to keep up. Charles says, "We are becoming progressively more ignorant."
His big advice about how to find breakthroughs: stop talking about our products and services, and start listening to what is going on with our customers.
His top tips:
Create real relationships with your consumer: approach them with empathy, curiosity, respect. What we need to know more about is what is going on in people's lives.
Example: Henry Ford hospital, has a community restaurant. The guy who started it went out and had dinner with people in their homes "for weeks and weeks and weeks."
Another example, the first flat seats in British Airways, which got them a five year temporary monopoly. However, there was tremendous internal resistance to the concept, because the traditional formula was that smaller seats lead to higher profitability.
Invent together. Involve your customers in the creation of the future.
Do it by playing and dreaming. Discover where people keep their dreams. Live events, they call their Big Talk workshops, with customers and non-customers. [We call ours Discovery Labs, but it's the same idea]