China Plans to Trump Innovation from Outer Space

China Plans to Trump Innovation from Outer Space

First, let me say that this is not a political article, but instead an article about a potential innovation crisis looming just over the horizon thanks to brinkmanship between China and the United States.

Second, let me say this article is not about killer satellites being launched into orbit by the Trump administration or the People’s Republic of China.

Instead this article is about the psychology of a country being backed into a corner, the measures China is likely to take to fight back when they can’t match the United States dollar for dollar in a tariff fight, the current state of the rare earth metals market and its impact on the future of innovation.

Now, some of you might be asking yourself – What the heck are rare earth metals?

Well, as the name might suggest they are metals that are not often found in dense quantities on earth. Some hypothesize that some of the best rare earth metal finds have an extraterrestrial origin. So, some might say that rare earth metals are literally alien, brought to our planet not by little green men (and women) but by blazing hot meteors smashing into the earth. Rare earth metals are so valuable to collectors and to high tech manufacturers that there are groups of modern day Indiana Jones clones out there racing around the world to be the first to claim the next meteor strike before someone else does (see article) and the Chinese government made a conscious choice to invest in trying to corner the market.

Why?

Because rare earth metals are CRUCIAL to all of the technology that empowers the innovation economy.

Here is a 60 Minutes segment from three years ago that CBS recently refreshed and re-aired now that it is again timely given the United States vs. China trade war. It provides a great introduction to rare earth metals and the role they play in the innovation economy:

(updated 60 minutes video available here)

About the only substantial change in the video is that China’s dominance has dropped from 90% of global production to 80% of global production.

Here is a chart showing the production of rare earths in 2018 in the world (data source):

Rare Earth Data

As the chart shows, China has about 40% of the world’s rare earth metals, but is responsible for 75% of the world’s production of rare earth metals. The military machine of the United States relies on rare earth metals to operate, along with green energy, high technology, electric cars, you name it – nearly every innovation direction we’re trying to go in – relies on rare earth metals.

China has cut off countries from rare earth metals before, most notably Japan, and now they are threatening to do it again to the United States (one article highlighting the threat not just to the United States, but to Europe as well). China is also threatening to begin blacklisting individual technology companies not sympathetic to its cause in the battle of egos and stare down between these two economic superpowers. You have to imagine this would include being cut off from rare earth metals.

So, is the innovation train, this pace of unrelenting technological advance and change, about to come a grinding halt?

I guess we’re all about to find out…

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Top 10 Benefits of the Change Planning Toolkit™

Top 10 Benefits of the Change Planning Toolkit™

Some of the smartest people and organizations in the world are learning how to use the Change Planning Toolkit™ to change how they plan and execute change and to undertake the transformation work necessary to thrive in the experience economy. Who wouldn’t want to beat the 70% change failure rate?

It’s super easy to get started with the Change Planning Toolkit™.

But, before I tell you WHERE to start, let’s start with WHY…

Top 10 Benefits of the Change Planning Toolkit™

  1. Transparency
  2. Alignment
  3. Engagement
  4. Collaboration
  5. Accountability
  6. Speed
  7. Agility
  8. Adoption
  9. On-Time Delivery
  10. On-Budget Delivery

There are lots of great ways to get started with the Change Planning Toolkit™. Personally I would start by getting a copy of my latest book Charting Change because it was written the toolkit in mind AND because book buyers can get access to 26 of the 50+ tools in the toolkit when they contact me. This includes the powerful Change Planning Canvas™, the keystone designed to sit at the center of all of the other tools and keep everything on track.

Not ready to commit to reading the book?

Then, go ahead and get comfortable for free with some of the frameworks, tools and this more visual, collaborative and kinesthetic way of working by downloading the 10 free change tools, which include a combination of frameworks from the book and powerful tools like:

  1. The Visual Project Charter
  2. The Eleven Change Roles™
  3. A visualization of the ACMP Standard for Change Management®

I’ve invested decades and millions of dollars worth of time into putting this toolkit together for you (this is my 10,000 hour project for those Gladwell fans out there). The crazy part is that your annual investment in the Change Planning Toolkit™ will be less than the cost of hiring a change consultant for even 30 minutes.

You can learn more about the Change Planning Toolkit™ by checking out this short 25-minute introductory webinar.

I hope you’ll consider thinking differently about change, and I encourage you to consider about joining the change revolution at whatever starting point above that feels comfortable for you.

Get started with the Change Planning Toolkit™ here

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Innovation, Change and Transformation in London – Part One

Innovation, Change and Transformation in London - Part One

I’m off to London tomorrow for my London Business School class reunion. And, while I’m looking forward to reuniting with my LBS classmates, I’m also looking forward to connecting in person with some of the smartest innovation, change and transformation professionals, academics and entrepreneurs on the planet.

But I need your help…

I’m trying to organize a meetup of London innovation, change, and transformation professionals on Friday afternoon, 3 May 2019 in central London, but I’m still looking for someone to provide a space to facilitate this cross-pollination of ideas.

If you would like to host me and a dozen or so amazing innovation, change and transformation professionals, academics and entrepreneurs to empower some great conversations and information sharing, please contact me.

I will be returning to London in June/July, but more about that later. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: I was able to secure a room at the Oracle office in Central London near Moorgate for Friday afternoon from 1pm-4pm. Please contact me if you’re interested in attending as I’m finalizing the attendee list and I have a maximum capacity for 25 people. I’ll send final details by email once the attendee list is finalized.

UPDATE: We had a great turnout at this innovation, change and transformation meetup at the Oracle office in Central London. It was a great opportunity to meet some great Innovation Excellence contributors in person, to make a lot of great connections between people and to share information and inspiration. For those of you unable to make it, sorry, but you really missed out! Maybe next time…

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Are You Prepared to Run a Digital Business for the Digital Age?

Are You Prepared to Run a Digital Business for the Digital Age?

In our digital age, all companies must change how they think, how they interact with customers, partners, and suppliers, and how their business works on the inside. Customer, partner, and supplier expectations have changed, and a gap is opening between what they expect from their interaction with companies and what those companies are currently able to deliver. Companies must immediately work to close this expectation gap, or their entire business is at risk.

If digital natives attack, they will do it with a collection of digital strategies that utilize the power of the digital mindset to more efficiently and effectively utilize the available people, tools, and technology, and to design better, more seamlessly interconnected, and automated processes that can operate with only occasional human intervention.

To defend your company’s very existence, you must start thinking like a technology company or go out of business. Part of that thinking is to fundamentally re-imagine how you structure and operate your business. You must look at your business and your industry in the same way that a digital native startup will if they seek to attack you and steal your market. To make this easier, ask yourself these five foundational questions:

  1. If I were to build this business today, given everything that I know about the industry and its customers and the advances in people, process, technology and tools, how would I design it?
  2. From the customers’ perspective, where does the value come from?
  3. What structure and systems would deliver the maximum value with the minimum waste?
  4. What are the barriers to adoption and the obstacles to delight for my product(s) and/or service(s) and how will my design help potential customers overcome them?
  5. Where is the friction in my business that the latest usage methods of people, process, technology, and tools can help eliminate?

There are, of course, other questions you may want to ask, but these five should get you most of the way to where you need to go in your initial strategic planning sessions. What questions do you think are key for enterprises to ask themselves if they are to survive and thrive in the digital age?

Digital Strategy vs. Digital Transformation

How much appetite for digital change do you have?

Understanding how your management and your enterprise is likely to answer this question will help you identify whether your business should pursue a digital strategy or a digital transformation. The two terms are often misused, in part by being used interchangeably when they are in fact two very different things.

A digital strategy is a strategy focused on utilizing digital technologies to better serve one group of people (customers, employees, partners, suppliers, etc.) or to serve the needs of one business group (HR, finance, marketing, operations, etc.). The scope of a digital strategy can be quite narrow, such as using digital channels to market to consumers in a B2C company; or broader, such as re-imagining how marketing could be made more efficient using digital tools like CRM, marketing automation, social media monitoring, etc. and hopefully become more effective at the same time.

Meanwhile, digital transformation is an intensive process that begins by effectively building an entirely new organization from scratch, utilizing:

  • The latest best practices and emerging next practices in process (continuous improvement, business architecture, lean startup, business process management, or BPM, crowd computing, and continuous innovation using a tool like The Eight I’s of Infinite Innovation™)
  • The latest tools (robotics, sensors, etc.)
  • All the latest digital technologies (artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, BPM, etc.)
  • The optimal use of the other three to liberate the people who work for you to spend less time on bureaucratic work and more time creating the changes necessary to overcome barriers to adoption and obstacles to delight through better leadership methods, reward/recognition systems, physical spaces, collaboration, and knowledge management systems, etc.

It ends with a plan of how to transform from the old way of running the business to the new way.

The planning of the digital transformation is all done collaboratively on paper, whiteboards, and asynchronous electronic communication (definitely not email) powered by a collection of tools like the Change Planning Toolkit™.

The goal is to think like a digital native, to think like a startup, to approach the idea of designing a company by utilizing all the advances in people, process, technology, and tools to kill off the existing incarnation of your company. Because if you don’t re-invent your company now and set yourself up with a new set of capabilities that enable you to continuously reinvent yourself as a company, then a venture capitalist is going to see an opportunity, find the right team of digital natives, and give them the funding necessary to enter your market and reinvent your entire industry for you.

What do you want to re-invent?

Our team at Oracle was created to use design thinking, innovation and transformation tools and methods to help Oracle customers tackle their greatest business challenges, to re-imagine themselves for the digital age, and to discover and pursue their greatest innovation, transformation and growth opportunities.

We call this human-centric problem-solving and together we create plans to make our customers’ solution vision real in just weeks. And along the way, this new Oracle approach helps increase collaboration across business functions and accelerate future decision-making.

Find out more about how to protect your business from digital disruption, building upon these five foundational questions with additional questions and frameworks contained in my latest success guide Riding the Data Wave to Digital Disruption.

This article originally appeared on Innovation Excellence

–> CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SUCCESS GUIDE

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Innovating at Cloud Speed

Innovating at Cloud Speed

Innovation in the software industry continues unabated. No longer do we have to program computers directly in ones and zeroes, with cumbersome paper punch cards, or even to craft every line of code by hand. We have entered a new era of technology capability with modular software, code libraries, autonomous databases that maintain themselves, finance applications with artificial intelligence and machine learning that enhance experiences and outcomes, and even software that can write other software.

But it is not just technology that is advancing. At the same time, we have created advances in process optimization and how we manage people, while also creating new tools that help us be more efficient and effective in our work. This intersection of improvements in people, process, technology and tools, has allowed us to create a steady stream of innovation and make it possible for the nimblest organizations to continue to meet or exceed ever changing customer expectations.

A new research report, Agile Finance Unleashed: The Key Traits of Digital Finance Leaders, finds that the most advanced finance teams are moving toward a more agile operating model, powered by software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and emerging technologies. AI, machine learning, digital assistants and chatbots, predictive analytics, and other innovations are automating routine tasks, freeing up finance talent to analyze new business opportunities and change course quickly.

“CFOs are driving cloud migration because it just makes sense,” said Oracle CEO Mark Hurd to an audience of finance executives during a 2018 event. “It reduces expenses, increases efficiency and creates more opportunity to truly innovate.”

Click here to continue reading on the Oracle Blog

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What is the Cost of a Failed Change Initiative or Innovation Project?

What is the Cost of a Failed Change Initiative or Innovation Project?

It seems like a simple question.

One that you would expect to lead to some risk mitigation behavior, but it doesn’t.

And when you consider that companies are spending an increasing amount of their budget on technology and working to transform their operations to be more digital in order to provide a better experience for customers, employees, partners and suppliers while simultaneously creating a more efficient and effective business, you would think that companies would do everything possible to make sure that these projects succeed, but they don’t.

Everyone knows that a lot of technology projects fail to achieve their intended objectives, timings, and budgets. This fact and the increasing investment levels should cause more executives to look for ways to de-risk these technology investments in digitizing the business, but they’re not.

Why is that?

Are we really so afraid of learning new ways of doing things that would dramatically reduce the risk and expense of project failures that we will continue using the old ways even though we know they don’t work?

Even though there are incredibly inexpensive and easy ways of reducing both the risk of project failures and the cost of project execution, patterns of behavior are not changing…

Perhaps you see the world differently.

Perhaps you’re fed up with project failures and want to increase the speed of both change execution and change adoption.

Consider answering these five simple questions before spending a single minute on your next innovation project, change initiative, or digital transformation effort:

  1. How much is an hour of your time worth to the company you work for? (multiply this by the number of hours you expect to invest in this project or initiative)
  2. What is the fully-loaded monetary value of the time that employees are going to spend on this project or initiative?
  3. How much do you pay to a single contract project manager to spin up a project before the first minute of actual work begins? Over the life of the project?
  4. How much are you planning to spend with consulting companies on this project or initiative?
  5. How much are you planning to spend on contractors to staff this project or initiative?

Get access to the Change Planning Toolkit for less than $100Have you got the numbers in your mind?

Now, are any of these numbers $100 or more?

I’m sure they are, unless of course you’re going to do the project yourself in less than an hour and don’t value your time very much.

So, what if I told you that for less than $100 you could plan and execute your change initiatives, innovation projects and transformation investments in a much more visual and collaborative way and simultaneously reduce the chances of project failure and the cost of executing your project?

Well, you can. You just have to be willing to challenge orthodoxies and use a new set of tools, a new approach, that will feel very natural and empowering if you’re already comfortable with the Business Model Canvas, Lean, Design Thinking, or the Lean Startup.

All you need to get started is a copy of my latest book Charting Change and a $99.99/yr license for the Change Planning Toolkit™ (which comes with a QuickStart Guide). In exchange you’ll get tools worth more than $1,200 and will help to support the creation of the Disruptive Innovation Toolkit™.

It’s as simple as that.

And to get you started if you’re still unsure, go ahead and grab the 10 Free Downloads and the poster-size Visual Project Charter™ and the poster-size Experiment Canvas™ from the under-construction Disruptive Innovation Toolkit™.

Let’s change change and keep innovating – together!

Get the Change Planning Toolkit from Braden Kelley

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Genius of Rewarding Customers for Eating Other People’s Pizza

Genius of Rewarding Customers for Eating Other People's Pizza

Dominos is riding the creativity train yet again, with their latest creative marketing idea.

Following on the heels of Dominos Hotspots and Dominos Zero Click Ordering, they now have come up with a great idea for getting people to download their app onto their phones and to ultimately order their pizza.

When it comes to ordering pizza, the phone is on its way to being replaced by the app. But which app?

When ordering pizza by phone at least you could still use the same phone, but just dial a different number if you wanted to order a different pizza.

But if you want to order a different pizza using an app you have to download and install and configure a completely different app. NOT as easy switching to a different pizza place when ordering by phone. So, if an app helps to lock people into reordering pizza from you instead of trying the pizza from some other pie place, what do you have to do?

You HAVE to get people to not only download your app and install it, but you’ve got to get them to start using it.

A lot of places try to overcome this inertia by offering a discount on the first order made using the app, but this isn’t always a strong enough incentive.

Domino’s solution to this problem?

What if we rewarded people just for eating pizza, even if it’s not ours?

Sounds crazy, right?

Well, that’s exactly what they’ve done with their latest Points for Pies promotion. Now, if you download the Dominos Pizza app onto your phone AND join their rewards program AND take a picture of any pizza once a week for six weeks using the app you’ll earn enough points to get a free medium two-topping pizza. But, to add a sense of urgency, you must earn your 60 points before the 100 million points run out, which probably works out to about 2-3 million people participating before the points run out.

Supposedly the app uses artificial intelligence to detect pizza in the photo, but I have a sneaking suspicion it will give you points for taking a picture of just about anything. I don’t eat Dominos Pizza, so let me if you can take a picture of anything funny and still get your points. 😉

So, what do you think? Will this promotion drive app downloads, and more importantly, rewards program signups and app usage and pizza purchases?

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8 Design Thinking Flaws and How to Fix Them

8 Design Thinking Flaws and How to Fix Them

by Braden Kelley and Adam Radziszewski

Design Thinking attempts to extract the mindset of a designer, an artist, a creator, or even a child into a series of steps that can be applied to any discipline (even business or politics) to solve human-centered problems. Its steps are so logical that we can’t imagine anyone opposing them.

  • Why wouldn’t you speak with customers and observe them?
  • Why wouldn’t you collect diverse perspectives and research before choosing a problem to solve?
  • Why wouldn’t you come up with lots of ideas, prototype the most promising and test those prototypes?
  • If you’re selling to people, to humans, why wouldn’t you use a human-centric approach?

Because people can quickly understand the power (or promise) of Design Thinking, companies, consultants, and universities have latched on to the methodology and quickly accelerated it to the top of the hype curve. This has created a lot of problems for both expert Design Thinking practitioners and for the methodology itself.

So, let’s look at eight Design Thinking flaws and how to fix them:

Click here to continue reading on CustomerThink.com

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7 Steps to Building Stronger Sales Relationships with Human-Centric Problem Solving

7 Steps to Building Stronger Sales Relationships with Human-Centric Problem Solving

by Braden Kelley and Adam Radziszewski

Building strong sales relationships is all about trust and demonstrating how the product/solution will make the customer’s life better. But is traditional selling getting you where you want to go?

If you’re looking to close more business and feeling stuck, try injecting some human-centric problem solving into your sales process.

What is human-centric problem solving?

Human-centric problem solving goes beyond what people say they do. Instead, it looks for what people actually do.

The approach helps you investigate the distinctly human elements that go beyond what sales tools can tell you about a prospect. It can also help you discover the true problem worth solving for the prospect.

Sometimes, you’ll even find a new problem the customer doesn’t even know they have.

Click here to continue reading on Sales Hacker

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Get My Latest Digital Transformation Success Guide

I’m excited to announce the availability of my latest Digital Transformation Success Guide.

It’s titled Riding the Data Wave to Digital Disruption.

Click to access the "Riding the Data Wave to Digital Disruption" success guide

In our digital age, all companies must change how they think, how they interact with customers, partners, and suppliers, and how their business works on the inside. Customer, partner, and supplier expectations have changed, and a gap is opening between what they expect from their interaction with companies and what those companies are currently able to deliver. Companies must immediately work to close this expectation gap, or their entire business is at risk.

This success guide provides questions and frameworks for companies to use to plan and execute successful a Digital Transformation.

Click to access the "Riding the Data Wave to Digital Disruption" success guide

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