Community Networking: It’s Not Just About The Candy
I recently attended the Maine Biz Momentum Convention in Augusta, ME. This was the third year we’ve exhibited at the convention. Usually, I spend my down time dropping my business cards at other booths to win prizes, and then raid them of their best candy and giveaways. That’s not to say I’m proud of it, but when you’re standing on your feet for 10 straight hours, it’s the little things that get you through the day.
After doing the above mentioned things, and doing them well I might add, (for the non-believers out there: I ate 6 Snickers, 3 Reese’s cups, and countless Starbursts - all miniatures, of course) I was lucky enough to win an Ipad 2 from the great folks at Dead River. Then, I stumbled upon a stress doll that talked to me. For the record, not everything out of his mouth is appropriate - but I’ve grown fond of the little guy.
With all these highlights, none of them were the best part of the convention. That came during the keynote presentation at lunch time. On a recommendation from a colleague, I attended Eric James’ (business growth facilitator and coach, author, and comedian) presentation on Innovation Engineering. For those of you unfamiliar with Innovation Engineering, it is a management system, with a scientific method for accelerating more profitable products, services, customers, markets and processes.
Erik’s presentation was an eye opening experience for me and many others in the room. Not only was the topic extremely fascinating and timely, but also Eric was engaging, entertaining, and knowledgeable.
Successful companies realize innovation is the way to increase wealth. Innovation can be expensive and risky, but, through the Innovation Engineering Management System, it becomes a fail fast, fail cheap system available to all companies. Innovation Engineering increases innovation speed while decreasing risk.
Erick James and his mentor, Doug Hall (professional inventor, adjust faculty, researcher, author, and entrepreneur), define innovation as meaningful uniqueness. In today’s world, “If you’re not meaningfully unique you better be cheap.” Meaningful uniqueness is far more profitable. A Georgia Tech Study found that businesses focused on innovation make more than twice as much as those focused on cost savings. Employees are earn 60% more as well!
Another way to get you and your team through a long day, is to be open to learning. Truly learn how to innovate, learn how to make products and services that are meaningfully unique to your customers. Why? Companies with innovated products have proud & motivated employees, optimistic management, and everyone has greater opportunities and more money in their pockets. Or, get through the day on 6 Snickers, 3 Reese’s Cups, and countless Starbursts (all miniatures, of course).
We’d love to hear from you!
Timothy J. Thornton
Manager, Professional Development Programs
USM Professional and Continuing Education