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TUESDAY NOVEMBER 6, 2012                                                    A WEEKLY E-NEWSLETTER COMPILED BY SAM GEIST


I've had cause to think about the relationship of disruption and innovation this past week.

Personal story:
As I was about to begin my presentation in California over the weekend, the AV refused to co-operate. No microphone, no slides, no AV company in sight. To me that's a disruption. While my introducer tried to keep the audience engaged, several tech minded people quickly used all the know-how at their disposal, and then some, to solve the problem. They got my program going.

Lesson: Disruption motivates innovation.

New York story:
Last week was horrific for the residents of the eastern seaboard. Sandy disrupted their lives right to the roots. While Sandy still disrupts, volunteers innovate. The disaster has brought out a raft of tech-based aid. Two mapping-based sites sprang up yesterday connecting volunteers with people in need of help; while a co-working map shows office space available for anyone whose work life has been disrupted. And a Facebook group distributed aid to victims in Staten Island and Queens last weekend.

Lesson: Disruption rallies innovation.

Business story:
Box founder, Aaron Levie argues that during these chaotic business times we should disrupt ourselves even before we get disrupted since this is where the opportunity for innovation lies. He says, Steve Jobs was able to instill an entrepreneurial approach, and innovate rapidly enough to remain ahead of the upstarts.

Lesson: Disruption (even your own) starts innovation faster (than the competition).


"Create your own disruption-innovation connection... and execute it." 
--Sam Geist 

Are smaller teams or larger teams more efficient? A study of the correlation of team size and both its speed of task completion and estimating that completion time found some interesting results. 
  • Two-person teams took an average of 36 minutes to assemble 50 Lego pieces into a human figure.
  • Four-person teams took an average of 52 minutes to assemble the Lego pieces.
  • Members of larger teams consistently underestimate completion time by a larger margin than smaller teams.
  • Forecasting errors grow larger as teams get bigger.
  • Researchers conclude that increasing a team's size can hamper coordination, diminish members' motivation, and increase conflict.        

--University of North Carolina/B. R. Staats, Wharton/K. L. Milkman, UCLA/Craig R. Fox  


In a survey just released 85% of consumers say it is important or very important to them to do business with a company for which they have strong emotions. That connection is more important in some industries than others, and appears to matter more in industries where products are more complex and less of a commoditized nature.

Importance of Emotional Customer Connections by Industry:
  • Healthcare - 76%
  • Banking - 63%
  • Professional services - 62%
  • Travel - 56%
  • Insurance - 55%
  • Auto - 52%
  • Tech - 44%
  • Food - 44%
  • Beauty - 19%
  • Apparel - 18% 
--rbb Public Relations/MarketingCharts
"Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things."
--Theodore Levitt, (1925-2006), American economist and professor

"I came in the day after I became CEO, and gathered the people. I told them 'tomorrow when you come to work, you do not work for me or for a boss. You work for your customer. I don't pay you. They do. Every customer has its own factory now. You do what is needed for the customer.' "

--Jean-Francois Zobrist, CEO, FAVI

To read the article that contains this quote see second SITE SEEING link below.


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"Doing More With
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A New Program on Managing in
Challenging Times

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Interesting article about hiring employees who have the right balance of intelligence and social connectivity from an innovation perspective.

A management idea worth thinking about from the French auto components maker, FAVI.
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From "QuickBites," by Sam Geist.  (800) 567-1861 

Sam Geist lectures, facilitates workshops and conducts training seminars on sales & marketing, the changing marketplace, leadership, differentiation, customer service and staff motivation.  His three books, "Why Should Someone Do Business With You... Rather Than Someone Else?" "Would You Work for You?" and "Execute... or Be Executed" are available in bookstores everywhere, published by Addington & Wentworth Inc.