Developing habits can drive positive and negative behavior. The Power of Habit written by Charles Duhigg provides multiple examples of how habits can drive benefits - individually or organizationally. Focusing on a three step cycle, Duhigg illustrates how cues-routine-rewards drive positive and negative habits.
Is your organization on auto-pilot? Does your company do the same thing year after year? Does your company announce new products at the same time, attend the same trade shows, use the same marketing tactics, engage with customers the same way you did in 1998, or use the same software that you bought from the 1990s? If your answer is yes to these questions, you need to wake up!
Product managers need to interact with multiple departments and work with cross-functional teams. We are required to understand a multitude of skills, tools, and techniques to successfully perform day-to-day job requirements. Our skill-set balances marketing, engineering, information technology (IT), and manufacturing. We move from understanding nuances of customer insights to ensuring products are equipped with features that deliver high-valued benefits. Then, our winning features and benefits need to be clearly communicated to customers.
A great method to drive innovation throughout the organization is to constantly search for alternative ways of doing business. A key part of the de Bono Thinking Systems is the use of alternatives. Creativity is about finding alternatives, different ways of doing things. Too often we are satisfied with the current state and avoid any effort for improvement. Before we realize it, our sales are declining and customers are moving to our competitors. We should always be looking for new ways to improve a product, process, or business operation. Not just when problems occur or during special situations, but always, every day!
In this era of instant stardom, YouTube and Instagram celebrities, and reality TV “stars” more and more people expect success to just happen. The problem with the expectation versus reality is that success most often comes from hard, ongoing work – working at your craft so when opportunity arrives, you are ready to take advantage. Sitting around and dreaming will not result in success. Success comes from continuous learning, ongoing practice, and failure. Successful comedians are an excellent example how hard, consistent work equates to success.
Parallel thinking. Lateral thinking. Random word. Six thinking hats. These are just a few of the theories and tools developed by Dr. Edward de Bono. Dr. de Bono is one of the foremost authorities on creative thinking. He was born in Malta in 1933 and is a PdD in medicine. After practicing and researching medicine, he moved to how humans think and create new ideas.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but brainstorming is not very effective for developing new ideas. Most research on idea generation has shown brainstorming typically does not result in valuable ideas (Schirr, 2012). Most brainstorms are usually just a group of people haphazardly sharing ideas (Jones, 1995). Even with all the research on the flaws of brainstorming, it is still widely used in most organizations (Sutton & Hargadon, 1996).
The following is a speech from Abraham Lincoln. It is probably a good idea for everyone to revisit Abraham Lincoln's words from January 27, 1838. Lincoln was presenting this speech before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois. As times are pretty crazy, it is always a good idea to go back and study a little history form one of the U.S.’s greatest presidents.
Ants do it. Bees do it. Wolves do it. Even German U-boats in WWII did it. Swarming. Swarming is a great tactic to overwhelm competitors. The use of small units which simultaneously attack competitors from multiple directions is at the heart of swarming. There has been long history of swarming within various military campaigns. However, swarming can be a highly impactful sales and marketing strategy to dominate markets.