InnovaBuzz Podcast Episode 100
Yes, we’ve reached the magic 100 milestone! I want to begin by thanking you, my wonderful audience, who have been on this journey with me. I also want to thank the 85 or so guests that I’ve had on the podcast. It’s been a privilege to interview accomplished entrepreneurs from around the world on the InnovaBuzz podcast and spending often more than an hour with each one, learning about their keys to success – every one of them has been very generous with their time, their knowledge and I’ve learned a lot and been inspired by each of them!
I look forward to talking with many more awesome people on the next 100 episodes and we already have a number of fantastic interviews recorded and scheduled for future publication.
In this special anniversary episode, I’ll revisit the Innovation round from some of those interviews. Our innovation round, we call it the Buzz, is a series of five questions, the answers to which will inspire everyone and help them do something awesome!
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Highlights from The Buzz – Our Innovation Round
- #1 thing to be innovative – listen to your customers and find ways of delivering them value in a more efficient way.
- Best thing for new ideas – listen to your customers and create amazing user experiences.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Infusionsoft
- Keep project / client on track – Contact your customer before they contact you. Do everything for them!
- Differentiate – if you want extraordinary results, do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Training across disciplines, bringing in insights from different disciplines is something that I would really recommend as a spur to innovation and creativity.
- Best thing for new ideas – Read lots of good books and articles.
- Favourite tool for innovation – books!
- Keep project / client on track – A good project management tool if you are tracking something that is complicated, that has multiple people, that has multiple deadlines.
- Differentiate – Content creation – put your ideas out there and communicate them to other people. You have to be talking about them, giving speeches, doing webinars, doing podcasts, writing blogs.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Sell less to more people. Selling fewer things allows you to focus on getting it right with just a couple of things.
- Best thing for new ideas – Keep asking “What would make this better?”.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Evernote.
- Keep project / client on track – Creating a subscription model where a customer agrees upfront to a set of services in advance with a very clear set of deliverables in return for an amount of money. When you publish that and you commit to that, then you’ll stay on track, they’ll stay on track.
- Differentiate – You need to focus on something that both makes you different as well as something that customers care about.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Be entirely focused on what problems your clients need to solve.
- Best thing for new ideas – Constantly listening to your audience and clients and getting feedback.
- Favourite tool for innovation – In terms of productivity, Contactually. Another one is from Neen James who gave a powerful piece of advice saying, “Every day, the first task that you should do is on a post-it note, write down the three most important things that need to get done that day. And don’t get distracted with other things. Don’t do anything else until those are done.”
- Keep project / client on track – Have the results in mind. By focusing on the results, you can make sure the everyone is on the same page.
- Differentiate – Know what problems your solve: be hyper-focused and be incredibly specific on the problems that you solve.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Be a good observer – what’s happening, what questions are being asked?
- Best thing for new ideas – Interactive communication with prospects – get them to tell you how they feel and what they need.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Hubspot. Also constantly analyse your lists for behaviour, remembering that 20% of the activity gives 80% of the results.
- Keep project / client on track – Incredibly honest conversations – establish a rapport of equality.
- Differentiate – Be an amazing teacher, say what you are for and against and who is not a good fit.
- #1 thing to be more innovative –Have a culture of ideas in your organisation – give permission to create ideas and make time for it.
- Best thing for new ideas – Surround yourself with ideas people and be and ideas machine. Constantly exercise your idea muscles! Also learn about areas unrelated to your business.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Audio books and podcasts, Evernote, Getting Things Done system
- Keep project / client on track – Pick the right client in the first place! Deliver what you say you will. Communication.
- Differentiate – Always be learning and learn faster than everyone else.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Just show up.
- Best thing for new ideas – Implementing. Every time I implement, I learn something.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Podcasting.
- Keep project / client on track – Calendar. Accountability works for me. I love simplifying things.
- Differentiate – Dr. Seuss – “No one is youer than you.” The only thing that differentiates you, is who you are and what you can bring to the table.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Ask: What is missing in this picture? This question should be alive in you all the time. And Critical is to have a picture of the Outcome in your mind. Innovation is improving what IS. Creativity is pursuing the unknown.
- Best thing for new ideas – Read Mystery Novels, frees my mind to follow various paths and ideas come to me. I practice creating all the time and ideas come to me, things happen that I never anticipated.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Other people are better than me at that – as long as they make it easy for me. I’ll make it easy for others to build a great company. OR – (metaphor alert!) Take your thumb out of your ear!
- Keep project / client on track – Keep reminding them why they are doing it, and have a system for doing that. I call it the System of Five Essential Functions: Inspiration, Education, Application, Implementation and Continuous Improvement. There is a methodology and mindset that is critical to all this.
- Differentiate – Don’t focus on how YOU differentiate, focus on YOUR CUSTOMER, that will differentiate you. And be GOOD!
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Stop making assumptions. Think like a child and ask lots of questions. Become curious as individuals and organizations.
- Best thing for new ideas – Don’t do things on your own. Share the problem with others and get their help.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Design Thinking is a different way to approach idea generation and problem solving. Trello and Slack are our favorite apps for productivity.
- Keep project / client on track – Proactive communication and active listening. Don’t assume anything, keep asking questions to clarify, and share issues as well as ideas.
- Differentiate – Make a point, every time, to deliver to your customers what you promised to do.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Read every day. Read something that teaches you something new.
- Best thing for new ideas – Read a book a day! I’m smarter today than I was yesterday and it’s been like that for over 3 decades!
- Favourite tool for innovation / productivity – Hootsuite to schedule social media posts, which gives me freedom to connect and be present with people.
- Keep project / client on track – Don’t fix their problems – ask open ended questions instead, and empower them.
- Differentiate – Find out who you really are. Ask – who are you being?
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Be curious and REALLY listen.
- Best thing for new ideas – Be curious and listen. Curiosity is the greatest thing anyone can have to be innovative.
- Favourite tool for innovation / productivity – List making. Making a list every day liberates us from thinking and worrying about our daily tasks and somehow allows us to think of more creative things to do.
- Keep project / client on track – Be a constant listener to clients and team. Regularly checking in and communication will keep us aware of what’s going on.
- Differentiate – Celebrate your uniqueness and be confident about it. Own who you are and your experiences; value what you have and believe in it.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – One of the things that help me think differently is consistent travel. It forces me to come to a different angle to see things from a different perspective.
- Best thing for new ideas – New ideas is not a problem for me – execution is critical. Act upon an idea quickly and keep it alive.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Upwork. Outsourcing as much as you can to people who are world class in that area. Delegate as much of the work to others.
- Keep project / client on track – Have other people hold you accountable! Involve other people, make public announcements.
- Differentiate – Look to where you spend your time when you think you are not working as an indicator of where you’re true distinctiveness lies.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Take action. Without action, there is nothing.
- Best thing for new ideas – Look at the problems and solutions the way people see it and try to reverse engineer it. Create content around what others have created.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Your best productivity tool is YOU, that you don’t get sucked in to the next new shiny thing. Discipline yourself. Be a part of group where you can trust and share ideas with, so you have more information.
- Keep project / client on track – Document stuff by making a blueprint. Treat a project like building a house by making some architectural blueprint.
- Differentiate – Take action to differentiate yourself. Get yourself out there, join networks and be the authority in your niche.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Actively engage with your audience, encourage, embrace and act on the feedback they give you. Your #1 role is to solve their problems.These people will point you in the right direction, to understand their problem.
- Best thing for new ideas – Set up a Facebook group; build the community.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Asana to manage projects.
- Keep project/client on track – Asana and using their template system. In terms of keeping things on track, we developed our own hybrid customized version of a combination of Kanban and the Eisenhower Decision Matrix. This is our means of prioritizing things we need to work on.
- Differentiate – Be laser focused on your niche. Maintain that unflinching focus.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Shut off your brain and move – get out and walk, take a ride, shut off the phone and exercise.
- Best thing for new ideas – Hop on the bike, go for a walk, when you get an idea record it or write it down on the notes, then map it out on the whiteboard.
- Favourite tool for innovation – I love Teamwork project management software! Teamwork reminds me of the details of my task so that my brain can be free of the details and allows me to think a bigger picture.
- Keep project / client on track – Clear communication and giving clients an understanding of what’s at stake if we don’t stay on track because that puts skin in the game for them as well. Help clients understand what you are doing.
- Differentiate – Just be authentic. Don’t try to emulate others. Don’t be afraid to show up and embrace who you really are.
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