Monday
Apr072014

Innovative Service from Mexico

Hola (hi in spanish),

 

I've recently come back from spending some time working in Mexico and the USA and kept my innovation research skills active. There were a number of innovative businesses and ideas I saw in Mexico.

 

I often talk about adding value to an existing touch point, be it for a process or service. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how much extra value was added in various businesses around mexico. One of the most notable 'value adds' was that which was experienced in the gas stations. While in Australia we like to call our petrol stations  'service stations' it's interesting to note how little service there actually is.

 

In Mexico they really know how to deliver service in their gas stations. Many of the gas stations I experienced had great music playing from speakers across the station. It felt like going to a fiesta versus going to fill up your tank. Every service station had people to fill up your car for you and at least one or two to work on your car for you. I filmed one service station where we had a guy painting on some tyre black paint on the tyres to make them look new, one guy under the hood checking the battery, water level and oil levels, one guy cleaning the windscreen and another attendant filling the tank. It was service to the max. Nils Vesk from Innovation Blueprint travels to Mexico and discovers innovation from the other continent

 

While it's obvious that labour costs are cheaper in a developing nation, it's still obvious to see the opportunity of adding to the experience of getting fuel in a service station.

 

I found some other interesting trends, such as having a 'brand new' Volkswagen on display in the service station as part of a fuel lottery. Everyone who buys fuel gets a lottery ticket for a chance to win a car.

 

While we're on the topic of cars, a road safety trend I found really useful were the use of hazard lights. If a car saw trouble up ahead (say for example a stray dog on the road) they would turn on their hazard lights and every other car behind would do the same. It was a very effective warning to other drivers on the road to watch out. This little technique really increased the safety for some dubious roads.

 

An innovative thing the police were doing on the roads is rather than look to book everyone on the road on the busy weekend traffic. They saw their job to be highly visible in dangerous areas. To do this they would have their lights flashing and park in a very visible area, as one of the locals explained to me it works to remind people to slow down and drive safe. I've never seen so many police anywhere in the world and their road presence really worked on those heavy traffic days.Nils Vesk from Innovation Blueprint travels to Mexico and discovers innovation from the other continent

 

What elements can you add value too in your world?

 

Happy innovating!

Cheers,

Nils 
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For those interested in more innovation support, you might consider our world's first 12 month
Commercial Innovation Program. Feel free to call us at the studio for more information on 1300 139 272or email us at support@InnovationBlueprint.com.au

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My innovation book "Ideas with Legs" paperback is selling like hotcakes to organisations, I knowNils Vesk from Innovation Blueprint travels to Mexico and discovers innovation from the other continent morepeople are looking for an eBook version for their kindle, ipad etc. So we've responded and is now available on your favorite ebook downloaders.
Hurry! check it out now.

 

 

Nils Vesk is an innovation architect who applies the process of design thinking to the business of generating and realising ideas. Click here or the image of the book to find out more about his book Ideas with Legs. 

 

 

 

Friday
Jun142013

31 BENIFITS OF HUMOUR TO BUSINESS

In this little blog I wanted to share with you a colleague of mine who really knows the power of humour. Some of you may have heard me talk about 'humoufication' before and the value it can bring in making the mundane more manageable and fun! Well here's some 'golden insights' into the benefits of humour from a master comedian Rodney Marks.

-Nils Vesk

 

The 31 Benefits of Bringing Humour to Business: by Rodney Marks

innovation blog top tips from Innovation Blueprint by Nils Vesk

 

1. It’s fun. We’re all dead a long time, especially in the afternoons. 

2. It anchors your message, sometimes by sending it to the bottom of the harbour. 

3. An emotional catharsis that results from laughter is better than a budget meeting tantrum. 

4. The superiority/inferiority fulcrum swings both ways. Hierarchies are comedy’s natural enemy. 

5. Juxtaposing incongruous ideas results in humour, insight and transferable disruption. 

6. By lampooning weasel words and waffle, participants’ energy can be focused on real goals. 

7. It keeps a meeting audience awake. Otherwise, your meeting may resemble a wake. 

8. It humanises the organisation, populating the abstraction. 

9. Better to having the bubble of bulldust pricked by a professional, than by every employee. 

10. Tell a joke, make a point.innovation blog top tips from Innovation Blueprint by Nils Vesk

11. People remember humorous episodes - and associated messages. 

12. Promoting a sense of humour means promoting different ways of thinking, creating and doing. 

13. People will take you more seriously if you take yourself less seriously. 

14. Entertaining the troops enhances morale and productivity. And that’s just from the comedian. 

15. Humour is often the explosion of bringing disparate ideas together ... good role modelling. 

16. Having a comedian say what everyone is thinking clears the air, deflating unhelpful tension.

17. When people are laughing the organisation chart evaporates and the team appears. 

18. Work/life balance. innovation blog top tips from Innovation Blueprint by Nils Vesk

19. Funny and serious are interdependent. 

20. Subtle humour can show the difference between organisational power and expertise. 

21. The in-house clowns may be encouraged to lift their game ... or bow out gracefully. 

22. It sugars the pill. 

23. It stimulates conversation, breaks the ice, sets the tone - and allows clichés to be mocked.

24. It shows confidence in the resilience of your organisation and its people. 

25. It makes your people memorable ... in a good way. 

26. It’s a happier genre than tragedy – and leads to more optimism. 

27. Laughter is the best medicine. Except for penicillin. 

28. It’s a tool for qualitative research ... the laugh-o-meter indicates what’s truly important. innovation blog top tips from Innovation Blueprint by Nils Vesk

29. Even the wisest person likes a little nonsense now and then. 

30. It keeps clean comedians away from stand-up comedy venues, raising the tone of both places.

31. Humour questions the status quo in an acceptable way, ventilating new ideas to open minds. 



Rodney Marks, 
Comedian
www.comedian.com.au
rodney@comedian.com.au 

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My innovation book "Ideas with Legs" paperback is selling like hotcakes to organisations, I know more people are looking for an eBook version for their kindle, ipad etc. So we've responded and is now available on your favorite ebook downloaders. Hurry! check it out now.

IDEAS WITH LEGS | INNOVATION EBOOK

Nils Vesk is an innovation architect who applies the process of design thinking to the business of generating and realising ideas. Click here to find out more about his book Ideas with Legs

Cheers,
Nils
Nils Vesk
Innovation architect (p)1300 139 272

Friday
Jun142013

Fail-Safe Rapid Innovation Techniques

When time is short, but your looking for some rapid innovation, use one of the following fail-safe innovation techniques.

ADAPT

  •  Spot an interesting invention, business or process outside of your world
  •  Identify & record the attributes (the components that make is good)
  •  Force yourself to incorporate these attributes on a process or project you have

SOLVE

  • Find a problem and define what the problem is, who and how it affects people?
  • Determine the cause of the problem
  • Identify the key attributes (parts of the problem)
  • Solve the problems part by part

INVENT

  •  If you could start what you are doing from scratch what would you differently?
  •  How can you get other people to help collaborate on the project?
  •  Think of what prototype could you create to represent the idea?
IMPROVE
  • Map the touch points/steps of what you are doing already (list them or mind map the steps)
  • Identify just one touch point to work on (insignificant ones can be good)
  • Apply one of the following promotes to the touch point. Speed up, slow down, reverse, modify, substitute, strengthen, combine
CHALLENGE
  • Identify the key touch point element of your process
  • If you had to remove the key touch point what would you need to do to survive?   
  • If you really couldn't remove it what could you substitute it with?

___________________________________________________________________

My innovation book "Ideas with Legs" paperback is selling like hotcakes to organisations, I know more people are looking for an eBook version for their kindle, ipad etc. So we've responded and is now available on your favorite ebook downloaders. Hurry! check it out now.

IDEAS WITH LEGS | INNOVATION EBOOK

Nils Vesk is an innovation architect who applies the process of design thinking to the business of generating and realising ideas. Click here to find out more about his book Ideas with Legs

Cheers,
Nils
Nils Vesk
Innovation architect (p)1300 139 272

Friday
Jun142013

MAGNIFICATION REVISITED

From tacos to tachometers, in my last rant I spoke about the Australian Mexican restaurant chain of Guzman y Gomez. The innovation skill of magnification is also in play at one of the worlds greatest car manufacturers- Volkswagen.  The VW car manufacturing plant in Dresden Germany is a classic example of 'magnification'.

 

innovation blog top tips from Innovation Blueprint by Nils VeskWhile every car manufacture needs to manufacture their cars somewhere, most manufacturing plants would look boringly industrial, and very unsightly. That is except for the VW manufacturing plant. VW realised that if there's something we are doing (like manufacturing cars), there is a benefit in 'magnifying it'.  

 

The innovative result that VW came up with way back in 2002, was to build a world class manufacturing plant that looks from the outside more like the ultra modern glass building corporate headquarters of a cool company. While in reality on the inside a visitor would find a state of the art, robotic manufacturing process and automobile assembly line.

 

innovation blog top tips from Innovation Blueprint by Nils VeskWhat VW have done in the design of their manufacturing plant is 'magnify' the quality of their manufacturing by enabling people to actually see and experience the manufacturing process. People are curious creatures and would love the idea of seeing how things are built. VW turn auto manufacturing plant into emotional anchoring.

When someone can see their car being built along the production line, fascination turns into emotion which in turn leads to the motication for a purchasing decision. The more the customer is involve in the process the more this leads to a brand obsession.

 

While creating a transparent manufacturing plant is not necessarily something that all businesses could do, the thinking behind it is there for the taking. Is there a part of your organisation or business that you could 'magnify' to reveal the quality, while increasing the experience and adding value to what you do?

 

Magnification leads to worl class innovation.

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The lifestyle book "Life's Little Toolbox" is a blast from the past, so I've made an ebook version absolutely FREE! While my innovation book 'Ideas with Legs' paperback is selling like hotcakes to organisations that help kick start people's innovation, I know more people are looking for an ebook version for their kindle, ipad etcetera. So we've responded and created the "Ideas with Legs" at a great price of $4.99.

What are you waiting for? Download a copy of the ebook now, hurry click the link below!

                             
                    IDEAS WITH LEGS | INNOVATIVE EBOOK

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Nils Vesk is an innovation architect who applies the process of design thinking to the business of generating and realising ideas. Click here to find out more about his book Ideas with Legs

Cheers,
Nils
Nils Vesk
Innovation architect (p)1300 139 272

Friday
Jun142013

MAGNIFICATION

Magnify the process to magnify the impact.

The simpler a technique is, the more effective it can be. The innovation skill of  'magnification' while only being ranked as a 'one light bulb level difficulty' (meaning it's a simple skill), the impact of it can be massive.

innovation blog top tips from Innovation Blueprint by Nils Vesk
We use the innovation skill of 'magnification' when we are looking at creating a 'value add' to either our product, a process or service. Applying the 'magnification' skill is also about improving the user experience whether that it is for a customer, stakeholder or employee.

The business that I'd like to unpack to demonstrate this innovation skill is Guzman Y Gomez. Guzman Y Gomez is a Mexican Taqueria (Spanish for taco shop) that was set up by Steven Marks an expat American in Australia in 2006. His concept was simple - create great authentic Mexican food at a great price. To do this he would need to magnify one thing lacking in Mexican food in Australia (which was authentic flavour).

 

Burritos | Guzmanygomez | Nilsvesk | Innovation
The 'magnification' started to take place, by hiring chefs from Mexico to come out and teach the team how to cook more authentic tasting Mexican food. Over time, the business magnified not just the authentic Mexican taste but also magnified the authenticity to the branding and restaurant design. The result has been over 12 stores since the first conception with an estimated growth of 200% forecast in the next year as they expand across Australia. 


 

 

If a Mexican restaurant can 'magnify' its authenticity to create remarkable success, what are you going to magnify in your world to become a world class innovator?  
Feeling hungry? Check them out click here.

Magnification leads to world class innovation.

Nils Vesk is an innovation architect who applies the process of design thinking to the business of generating and realising ideas. Click here to find out more about his book Ideas with Legs

Cheers,
Nils
Nils Vesk
Innovation architect (p)1300 139 272