The coronavirus (COVID-19) has inflicted untold pain and disruption on individuals, families, businesses and economies all around the world.
But, now that we all are obtaining a clearer understanding of what it means to live and work amongst the reality of COVID-19, people are going back to work (even if still remotely) and companies are turning their attention increasingly back to the future.
Now is the time for event producers and innovation leaders to restart their content pipelines to inspire and empower audiences and employees to stoke their innovation bonfires, plan their transformation journeys, or chart their course for change.
People are more ready than ever to engage with virtual content, and you can save on travel expenses at the same time. Whether we’re speaking about inspirational keynotes or empowering workshops that create new capabilities in the audience or bring teams together to co-innovate using design thinking and other tools, frameworks, and methods.
I would be more than happy to create and deliver a customized keynote or workshop to any audience anywhere in the world, on any of these broad topics:
Or if want to do your own workshops inside your organization but need a little help transitioning these to the virtual world, I would be happy to assist you with this as well.
Unfortunately there will always be bad actors in this world, people who don’t restrain themselves from trying to steal from others or to harm them. Because of this we need to accept the fact that hacking is here to stay and enhanced security measures will be required to protect ourselves from theft in our digital lives that can impact our real lives.
Some of my recent research in the hospitality industry identified that fraud is a large and increasing problem for hotels, resulting in unfilled inventory, credit card chargebacks, and loyalty point thefts from customers.
Personally, my Starbucks card account has been hacked – twice.
“The percentage of cyber attacks targeting loyalty and rewards accounts nearly tripled from 2016 to 2017, with 48% of businesses being hit by ATO (Account Takeover) attacks. This has cost companies more than $2.3 billion worldwide.”
The most recent hack was foiled by a 24 hour cooldown period, preventing (or discouraging) thieves from being able to move about $25.00 off my Starbucks card onto theirs. But as I was setting up dual-factor authentication on my account and changing my password to keep the thieves from getting back into my account I noticed that the system was not set up well for a simple nuclear family – let alone a complicated family. Users are only able to enter a single phone number for the dual-factor authentication code to be sent to. I assume this is to make the system simple but it then makes it so that my wife can’t access the account.
Dual-factor authentication is going to become a mandatory requirement for logins to financially-linked accounts (including any site where you store your credit card details) and companies need to design their systems to accommodate spouses and potentially even children.
Companies should consider incorporating biometric methods of identity verification as the primary or secondary method of authentication as well, not just for security reasons but for ease of use/customer experience reasons too.
So, protect your customers folks, but remember how people live their lives as you’re designing your systems to keep them (and their money) safe.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed our world with the subtlety of a sledgehammer and now billions of people around the world are under ‘stay at home’ orders. In many communities restaurants and bars are closed or only allowed to deliver meals or make them available as ‘to-go’ or takeaway orders.
But, even with the plethora of food delivery services in the United States and elsewhere, people still prefer drive-thru to food delivery when they choose not to dine in. But what are you to do when your restaurant isn’t configured with a drive-thru window?
You can create lockers for warm food and lockers for cold food. Before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began spreading across the globe some companies were experimenting with food lockers combined with mobile ordering at ballparks:
And, Pizza Hut was experimenting in Hollywood with Pizza Lockers to eliminate interactions with employees (picture top of article).
One could imagine that as Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdowns stretch from weeks from months, and the virus lingers for the next 12-24 months, and fears of individuals linger potentially even longer, restaurants may want to re-imagine how they configure and leverage their physical space.
Is it worth redeploying an external wall of the restaurant to optimize to go or takeaway orders?
The idea isn’t that difficult for an individual restaurant to adopt as there are companies manufacturing food lockers already, and they can be combined with PIN’s to unlock them that can be delivered by email or mobile platforms and reset after each use.
During a virus outbreak (or on an ongoing basis) sanitizing wipes could be provided or if the lockers are on the street, then one employee could be staffed for delivering food from the kitchen to the lockers and then sanitizing the lockers on the outside of the restaurant.
Have you seen this type of solution growing in your part of the world?
Now that the United States and other countries squandered the two month advance notice they received of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in China, we should be all be accelerating our efforts to learn from each other.
From South Korea, the country that gave us the idea of Drive-Thru Coronavirus testing, comes this new idea for protecting both healthcare workers and patients, while also reducing the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) that healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, etc.) will need as we struggle to cope with this crisis and severe supply shortages:
Please share this idea far and wide around the globe and post other great ideas that people can learn from below in the comments.
NOTE: Nothing on this page is intended as medical advice. My only goal is to make information available so that people can get involved with co-innovation efforts and share resources that can be leveraged in crisis situations.
Calling all doctors, nurses, designers, engineers and designers…
Join one of the amazing Open Source Ventilator Projects to contribute your passion, creativity, time and expertise to help develop low-cost ventilators to fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Here are some ways of getting involved and some inspiration and some cheaper ventilator options:
Here is a video showing a DIY ventilator solution:
And here is a video from vacuum manufacturer Gtech in the United Kingdom (UK) showing a prototype they are working on to be entirely powered by the hospital oxygen supply in as simple a way as possible so they can hopefully meet the UK government’s call to make 30,000 ventilators in two weeks:
Just added another video highlighting an improvised design experiment the University of Minnesota is working on with some design partners:
Here is an open source ventilator project out of Germany – The CORESPONSE – COvid19 RESPirator (Open Source):
Cost is about 75 Euros per unit and all of the details of this 3D printed open source project are available by clicking here.
Here is an article (click here) and a video detailing how to turn a snorkeling mask into a non-invasive ventilator:
AgVa Healthcare has produced a low cost ventilator starting at under $700 (according to the video) that leverages an app on the user’s smartphone to control its functions. Another great example of Indian ingenuity that was originally submitted as a comment on this article:
UPDATE: Just found this video showing how to use one ventilator to save FOUR people – video from the United States’ Center for Disease Control (CDC) – all the details health professionals might need:
CAUTION, this from a doctor in Italy about risks of co-ventilating to be kept in mind as you group people to co-ventilate in a crisis situation:
“This is unfortunately not as good of an idea as it seems. In trauma and shootings, it’s one thing because lung compliance is unlikely to change quickly. However, in ARDS (and COVID19), we expect to have dramatic changes in lung compliance. When one patients lung compliance changes, there is a significant risk of underventilating the patient with lowest compliance and overventilating patients with highest compliance – both potentially deadly. I worry that instead of saving one person, you create a situation where you increase the odds of losing both (or all 4) patients“
VESper™ is a unique ventilator expansion device that allows a single ventilator to support up to four patients under emergency use authorization by the FDA during times of acute equipment shortages such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Hospitals can apply to receive the free source code and printing specifications for the device, produced using 3D printing technology, the device is developed with material already in use for medical devices and produced at minimal cost:
designed to work with ISO standard respiratory connections;
allows for appropriate filtering of bacteria and viruses in the ventilator tubing;
does not impact the care of other patients connected to the same machine.
SPECIAL BONUS for anyone facing a shortage of protective face shields.
Doctors and Nurses in Spain and other countries are already having to do this.
And, here is a picture of an ingenious idea of using a headband and buttons to save the ears of healthcare workers from chafing of wearing a mask 13-14 hours a day. Thanks Natasha Smith!
And, here is an interesting article about a surgical and N95 mask design that uses salt to help kill viruses like Coronavirus (COVID-19) on masks to improve their effectiveness in protecting the wearer against getting sick
If you know of other efforts working on creating low cost, quick to produce ventilators, please post as a comment!
Amazon Go is going big – grocery store big. Today it was revealed that Amazon has opened up a new Amazon Go that is four times (4x) bigger than previous Amazon Go stores. What’s new?
Well, this new Amazon Go store has produce, packaged meats, an expanded frozen food section, sundries like paper towels, and more!
This is a big step forward for Amazon and will be stretching its technology to the breaking point as Amazon looks not only to explore what’s possible, but to prove its technology to the point where its collection of technology could become another revenue pillar that it can build by licensing its technology to other convenience store and grocery store chains.
The Amazon Go approach, should it expand, also puts even more of the 3 million grocery store jobs in the United States at risk. This 3 million jobs number is already declining because of self checkout and Walmart’s robotic inventory systems, among other pressures.
Is the Amazon Go approach a good thing?
Do we really all want to live in a world where packages show up at the door or food can be obtained in a grocery store without talking to anyone?
Americans are becoming increasingly lonely and isolated. I could include dozens of supporting links to back this up, but here is a good one:
The grocery store has become one of the last remaining places where someone will actually speak to you, but self checkout and technologies like Amazon Go look to stamp out this human interaction too!
But even though there are still humans in the grocery store, the level of human interaction seems to be fading there too as younger, non-unionized workers replace older unionized workers in grocery stores. Has this been your experience?
Join me from 10:15-11:00 AM EST on March 3, 2020 to learn about “Building a People-Centric HR” from a panel of talented and knowledgeable professionals including myself.
The Hacking HR Innovation Conference is a virtual event that is FREE to the public and takes place over multiple days.
Day 1 (March 3) will be dedicated to “HUMANS”. This day’s content includes: diversity/equity/inclusion/belonging, employee experience, innovation, agility, design thinking, culture, leadership, among other topics.
The latest Bloomberg Innovation Index is out (2020 edition), and Germany has risen to first place, breaking South Korea’s six-year winning streak, while the U.S. fell one notch to No. 9.
“Innovation is a critical driver of growth and prosperity. China’s move up the rankings, and the U.S. drop, is a reminder that without investment in education and research, trade tariffs aren’t going to maintain America’s economic edge.” –Tom Orlik, Bloomberg Economics chief economist
The rankings are based on dozens of criteria centered around seven metrics:
For patent activity
For research personnel concentration
For tertiary education
For technology company density
For manufacturing value added
For research and development expenditures
The Bloomberg Innovation Index tries to measure and rank countries on the ability of their economies to innovate, which will be a key theme at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland taking place Jan. 21-24.
While spending on research and development continues to be important, shifts in productivity and education effectiveness (among other factors) will continue to encourage significant changes in the index from year to year.
What do you think?
Does Bloomberg get it right or are there other innovation rankings or indexes that do a better job?
Which is more important to the relative innovativeness of a country, efforts by the government or by industry?
Which countries do the best job of achieving successful public/private partnerships to encourage innovation?
Is it really possible to travel back in time? What about traveling into the future, have we finally figured out how to do that? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out…
But before we explore whether someone has finally figured out how to successfully time travel and recruit you to join me in investing in their pre-IPO startup, I’d like to introduce one of the most important visualizations from the world of innovation that many of your have probably never seen – Neri Oxman’s Krebs Cycle of Creativity from January 2016.
If you’re not familiar with this incredibly important visual artifact from the work of Neri Oxman from MIT’s Media Lab, you should be because it does an amazing job of capturing the interplay between Art, Science, Engineering and Design in the creation of innovation. It builds on John Maeda’s Bermuda Quadrilateral from 2006:
And Rich Gold’s Matrix, also from 2006:
While Rich Gold’s visualization builds on the logical bones of John Maeda’s Bermuda Quadrilateral and introduces the concepts of speculative design, speculative engineering, and the contrast between moving minds & moving molecules, it lacks the depth of Neri Oxman’s Krebs Cycle of Creativity visualization. But the Krebs Cycle of Creativity does lose Maeda’s expression of the linkages between science & exploration, engineering & invention, design & communication, and art & expression. But even without these assertions of Maeda, the Krebs Cycle of Creativity still captures a number of other powerful tensions and assertions that can benefit us in our pursuit of innovation.
Time Marches On
The Krebs Cycle of Creativity can be viewed from a number of different perspectives and utilized in a number of different ways. But, one way to look at it is as if it were a watch face. In this context as time moves forward you’re following the typical path, a technology-led innovation approach.
Using the Krebs Cycle of Creativity Canvas in a clockwise direction will help us explore:
What information do we have about what might be possible?
What knowledge needs to be obtained?
What utility does the invention create?
What behavior do we need to modify to encourage adoption?
It begins with the invention of a new piece of technology created by the usage of existing information and a new perception of what might be possible within the constraints of our understanding of the natural world, or even by expanding our understanding and knowledge of the natural world using the scientific method.
You’ll see at 3 o’clock in the image above that it at this point in time that most organizations then hand off this new knowledge to their engineers to look at this new understanding of nature through the production lens in order to convert this new knowledge into new utility.
Engineers in most organizations are adept at finding a useful application for a new scientific discovery, and in many organizations this work is done before designers get a peek and begin to imagine how they can present this utility to users in a way that drives behaviors of adoption in a way that the behaviors of using the product or consuming the service feel as natural as possible and as frictionless as possible.
And unfortunately the artists in any organization (or outside via agency relationships) are called in at the eleventh hour to help shape perceptions and to communicate the philosophy behind the solution and the to make the case for it to occupy space in our collective culture.
Pausing at the Innovation Intersection
The way that innovation occurs in many organizations is that Science and Engineering collaborate to investigate and confirm feasibility, then Engineering and Design collaborate to inject viability into the equation, and then Design and Art (with elements of marketing and advertising) collaborate to create Desirability at the end. This may be how it works in many organizations, yet it doesn’t mean that it is the best way…
Traveling Back in Time
But as we all know, water can run uphill, the moon can eclipse the sun, and yes time can run in reverse. Viewing the Krebs Cycle of Creativity in a counter clockwise direction and pushing the hands of the watch backwards will have you following a user-led innovation approach instead.
Using the Krebs Cycle of Creativity Canvas in a counter clockwise direction will help us explore:
What information do we have about what is needed?
What behavior should we observe?
What would create utility for customers?
What knowledge must we obtain to realize our solution vision?
It begins with the identification of a new insight uncovered by the investigation of existing information and a new perception of what might be needed within the constraints of our understanding of our customers, or even by expanding our understanding and knowledge of our customers by using ethnography, observation, behavioral science and other tools to enter the mind of your customers, employees or partners.
You’ll see at 9 o’clock in the image above that it at this point in time that user-driven organizations after having their business artists use their perception skills to investigate the culture and philosophy underpinning this new understanding of behavior and pass it off for their designers to look at through the production lens in order to convert it into new utility.
Designers in many organizations are adept at finding a useful application for a new behavioral understanding, and in user-driven organizations this work is done before engineers get a peek and begin to imagine how they can build this utility for users in a way that creates new knowledge in a way that will differentiate the products or services of their organization from those of the competition.
And in user-driven organizations scientists are called in as needed to help overcome any barriers engineers encounter in realizing the solution that best satisfies the users’ identified needs, while leveraging new scientific perceptions that help shape our understanding of nature and empower new philosophical beliefs about what’s possible.
While we haven’t torn any worm holes through the fabric of the space-time continuum with this article, hopefully we have expanded your repertoire with some new tools to facilitate conscious choices around whether you are going to pursue technology-led innovation (clockwise) or user-led innovation (counter clockwise).
Hopefully we have also shown you a better way of visualizing where you are in your innovation journey and where the turning points in your innovation pursuits lie as you seek to take a quantum leap and transform your past into a bright, shiny future.
So now it is time to answer the question you had at the beginning of this article… Is time travel possible?
Well, nearly a decade ago NASA ran an experiment that proved elements of Einstein’s theory of relativity, specifically that the fabric of space-time warps around the earth in response to gravity. Read about it here
And yes, time travel is theoretically possible, or at least time is not theoretically constant as described in this NASA article.
Neither of these indicate that it is possible to travel backwards in time (despite what Superman physics says), only to affect how time advances, but if anyone wants to invest a million dollars in my time travel startup, I’ll cash your check. Because who knows, maybe your check is what will finally make time travel possible!
Recently I received an advance copy of “The CEO’s Innovation Playbook” – the latest white paper from Mastercard and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. For the effort they interviewed a dozen CEO’s highly innovative companies including Citigroup, Lyft and Coca Cola.
The paper spends most of its real estate on captured quotes straight from the mouth of CEO’s, distilling their inputs into a few key themes, several data points from their broader research effort “Innovators Become Leaders” and some key insights for leaders to consider.
So, what should be in the innovation playbook of a CEO?
Well, the subtitle says it’s 50 actions to spark innovation accelerate growth.
Here are some of the highlights:
Five Distinct Traits Foster Successful Innovation
Data-Driven Decision Making
Relentless Focus on the Customer
In the introduction Ajay Banga, the President and CEO of Mastercard, argues for a sixth trait – Diversity.
I think most of our community would agree that moving at the speed of innovation is important, and their research found that:
“96% of innovation leaders say their organizations bring new ideas and solutions to market quickly.”
Whether you believe in first-mover advantages or not, I think nobody would disagree that once you’ve proven that a potential innovation is desirable, feasible and viable YOU MUST be able to quickly scale it, BUT NOT BEFORE. They don’t speak to the fact that going big too soon is a problem, but it is definitely something that can burn through millions of dollars needlessly.
2. Data-Driven Decision Making
The key point here is that smart companies make use of data to better understand where opportunities lie with their customers and use data to understand which opportunities are most promising and worthy of scaling. The research highlight for this section was that:
“Nearly three-quarters of innovation leaders use multiple internal and external data sources and advanced analytics to inform decisions around innovation.”
The key thing to remember of course is that you only can leverage the data that you choose to collect, so choose wisely. You need data that can be turned into useful information that can be turned into valuable, actionable insights.
3. Leadership Commitment
According to the report, three-quarters of leaders agree that innovation is a contributor to their financial performance.
“CEOs interviewed for this report demonstrate their commitment to innovation in ways that would be hard for their employees to miss, from providing tangible rewards for innovative behaviors to expressly voicing the idea that failure, within boundaries, is not a loss but a learning opportunity.”
4. Entrepreneurial Culture
Successful innovation leaders recognize the importance of encouraging productive conflict, creating a culture of curiosity and courage, and building a management team that is comfortable with employees challenging the status quo.
“84% of innovation leaders say their organizations test a broad pipeline of ideas with the expectation that many will fail.”
5. Relentless Focus on the Customer
Because innovation is all about identifying and delivering new sources of value that are unique and capable of replacing the existing solution. In order to understand what new sources of value are needed or how to increase existing sources of value in a meaningful way, you must also understand your customers sometimes better than they understand themselves.
“72% of all the executives surveyed agree that consumer insight is a vehicle for innovation.”
Knowing your customers is different than asking them what they want. Innovators always walk this delicate line successfully without falling off.
Let’s close with a series of questions for your to ponder:
Is your organization running fast enough to keep pace with the innovation expectations of your customers?
Are you gathering the right data to help you find the right insights to create the right range of potential innovations and select the right ones to scale?
Are you as a leader signaling clearly your commitment to innovation not just with your words, but reinforcing them properly with your actions and the actions of your team?
Are your demonstrating that an entrepreneurial culture is necessary, valued and supported in your organization?
When was the last time that you spent time with a customer? Do you catch yourself when you start to pretend that you’re the customer WHEN YOU ARE NOT?
And finally, are you injecting the right level of diversity in people and perspectives throughout your innovation process?
If you’re serious about building a continuous innovation structure, you can read all about how to do it in my first book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire, available at libraries and fine booksellers everywhere.
And also co-founded the world's most popular innovation web site:
"I help organizations increase their organizational agility and accelerate their speed of innovation and organizational change.
If you're looking to create a culture of continuous change, tackle some of your innovation barriers, train your employees to be more innovative change agents, or to build a more profitable, more social business -- let's talk."