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A self-service guide to getting results and building value through creativity By Kevin P. O’Connor.

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Presentation on theme: "A self-service guide to getting results and building value through creativity By Kevin P. O’Connor."— Presentation transcript:

1 A self-service guide to getting results and building value through creativity By Kevin P. O’Connor

2 Hypothesis The ability for any business, organization or entity to grow and increase its market share is largely dependent on its ability to adapt to the world around it. In order to grow, such entities must understand what is happening around them, learn from it, and use it to build on existing value, thus increasing market share and maintaining an edge over competitors. Lack of vision, planning and imagination by such business entities dooms them to eventual failure.

3 Question: Using only four straight lines, is it possible to connect all nine of these stars together?

4 Problems and Solutions A problem is an obstacle that keeps you from attaining your goal. A problem is merely a series of smaller component problems. A problem is solvable by breaking down the component parts, and adjusting your view and your thinking. Finding a solution to a problem requires creativity.



7 Solution Development What do you hope to accomplish? Is there an already existing solution to your problem? Is your chosen solution the only way, or the best way, to overcome the problem? Are existing solutions viable/applicable to your particular problem? What resources are available? Are needed? What barriers to success exist? How to overcome them?

8 Component Pieces Every problem contains a series of components. By removing or lessening influence of one or more of those components, the problem can be bypassed, reduced or eliminated.

9 Component Pieces The component pieces of a problem are much like bricks in a pyramid or tower. Remove some of the key components, and the problem can be bypassed, reduced, or eliminated altogether. Study carefully to determine which components are the best to attack, lest new problems be created by the destruction of the original problem.

10 Problem A tractor-trailer truck became stuck beneath a highway overpass. Traffic was backing up, and emergency vehicles could not get through to assist. A passing motorist made a suggestion that allowed the truck driver to quickly move the truck without damaging the overpass or the truck. What did the motorist suggest?

11 Solution Let some of the air out of the tires. Yay!

12 Adjust Your Thinking Tell yourself “It can be done.” Imagine your success, and believe in it. Change your point of view. There are no barriers. Think outside of the box. Teamwork: Get an outside perspective

13 Get a GRIP Goal Research Imagination Planning

14 Goals Begin with the end in mind. How will you know when your goal has been achieved? What is needed? What is expected? Is your goal realistic? If the goal is too large, can it be broken down into smaller goals, that will help you reach your ultimate goal? If you alone cannot achieve the goal, are there others who can assist you?

15 Case Study Henry Ford was an American inventor who became the father of the automobile manufacturing system we know today. Henry was also very interested in the environment, and renewable materials sciences. In 1942, Ford designed and patented an automobile made almost entirely out of synthetic plastics, derived from soybeans. Operated on grain alcohol instead of gasoline. 30% lighter in weight than the average automobile of its day. Body material could withstand impact 10x greater than traditional automobiles of its day. The product never caught on, because the public was “not ready for a car that ran on grain alcohol and was made out of soybeans.”

16 Case Study Today, economically sound “smart cars” and “hybrids” are manufactured largely from recycled materials, with reduced weight and greatly improved gas mileage, resulting in lower costs for the consumer. Commercially available engine components now allow certain types of cars to run on vegetable oil (a renewable fuel supply). These vehicles produce fewer greenhouse gases and other pollutants into the atmosphere. “Going Green” is an accepted catch-phrase which encompasses any plan or idea that results in improvements to the ecology. Hybrids, smart cars and other green technologies are, in 2009, some of the largest growth industries in the United States.

17 Research What has been tried before? Was it successful? What are your parameters for success? Are there possible solutions that have been ignored or bypassed because they were “too radical”?

18 Case Study In the mid-1930s, Chester Carlson and Otto Kornei discovered that a black powder they were experimenting with would adhere to paper when subjected to intense light and photostatic charge. They demonstrated the process for a number of photo labs and processing companies. Every company dismissed Carlson and Kornei’s idea as trivial and without any potential for business. Every company, that is, except for one…

19 Case Study In 1950, the Haloid Xerox Company invested in the idea, making Carlson and Kornei quite wealthy. In a few years, Xerox introduced the first commercially available photocopy machine. The “Xerox process” has continued to be refined, being integrated into advanced copier machines, laser printers, fax machines, scanners, and countless other technologies. Today, Xerox is a Fortune™ 500 company, holding numerous patents and licensing the technology to a plethora of other companies. The word “xerox” has become interchangeable with “photocopy.”

20 Imagination Visualize success. Believe in your ideas. Exercise the right side of your brain. Try something new. Share. Help and inspire others. How to exercise your creative side: Dream Ask “What if…?” Tinker Explore Discover Draw Write Invent

21 Case Study Mayor William Donald Schaeffer spent the first two terms in office working at improving the image and quality of life for the citizens of the City of Baltimore, MD. One day, Schaeffer saw an abandoned car on the street. He sent out a Mayor’s Action Memo (MAM) for the public works department to have the car removed. After a week, the car had not been removed.

22 Case Study Schaeffer sent another memo to his public works deparment: “I found an abandoned car, but I’m not going to tell you where it is.” Over the next 48 hours, more than 600 abandoned cars were removed from the streets of Baltimore. Largely because of his imaginative management style and vision, Schaeffer went on to win subsequent re-elections with a “modest” 90% of the popular vote.

23 Planning Organize and plan your vision. Gain insight and feedback from outside. Share your vision and get others excited about it. Design and create. Test and gain feedback. Refine and perfect your idea. Share and market your final product. Reap your rewards.

24 Case Study Ocean Spray Coop manufactures cranberry-based food products; most notably canned cranberry sauce. In 1959, two weeks before Thanksgiving, the US Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare announced that cranberries were infected with a powerful weed-killer, which could result in serious health risks to the American Consumer. Ocean Spray sales dipped dramatically, and nearly bankrupted the company. It was revealed in 1960 that the bulk of the US cranberry crop was not contaminated, but the damage was already done…

25 Case Study Ocean Spray embarked on a multi-year campaign to: Promote the health benefits of their products. Expand their markets to include 100% fruit juices, snacks, waters, drink mixes and other fruit/produce-based products. Shift the focus away from 4-5 centralized seasonal product offerings, to a full product niche with dozens of offerings. Today, the Ocean Spray brand is recognized all over the world as a market leader in packaged foods, with substantial market share and still majority owned by its cooperative growers.

26 Question: Using only four straight lines, is it possible to connect all nine of these stars together?

27 Question: YES. Provided you know how to think outside of the box. Using only four straight lines, is it possible to connect all nine of these stars together?

28 Final Thoughts… You are the only person on earth who can use your ability. The man who has no imagination is like the bird that has no wings… Do not build your life on the expectations of others. Do not follow where the path may lead… Instead, go where no one has walked, and leave a trail. If there is no wind, row. If opportunity does not knock, build a door. You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you do not try. A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. Make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks. It’s easier to go down a hill than to go up, but nobody descends a hill for the view. If you think you are too small to make a difference, you have never been attacked by a mosquito.

29 Final Thoughts… And above all…

30 Kevin P. O’Connor

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