Home' New Zealand Printer Magazine : December 2012 Contents 42
Innovate points the way to
AUCKLAND once again hosted
the New Zealand leg of Fuji
Xerox's Innovate conference
last month. Neil Whittaker,
managing director of Fuji Xerox New
Zealand, welcomed the visitors and
partners to the day. He said, "This is
obviously around innovation. Without
innovation, your business doesn't have
a future. You have keep re-inventing
yourself and your business.
"In New Zealand, we have a close
community and we can build off
each others' ideas and we are not too
precious about that. We like to share.
With that in mind, we take great delight
in welcoming everyone to this year's
Delegates at last month's Innovate event learned businesses that innovate have a much greater chance
of thriving, especially when the economy tanks like it did in the past four years
KEYNOTE Nigel Latta,
psychologist, author and
host of television shows such
as Beyond the Darklands,
delivered a snappy
presentation titled The
Psychology of Success.
He says, "You see topics
like this and you must cringe.
The self-help industry has
made a fortune from selling
success. An Wang, founder
of Wang Computers, said:
'Success is more a function of
consistent common sense that of genius.' Often what we
are after is the one big secret and that's why the self-help
industry is so successful. People love that kind of stu but
it's not necessarily true."
Optimism is the engine of capitalism but that
optimism can drive you over a cli . While you need
optimism, it gives you the illusion that you can control
things. You are far more likely to improve your chances of
doing well by taking the outside view because the world
has a random and unpredictable face. The simplest thing
you can do is have a pre-mortem. Rather than sit around
after a catastrophe doing a post-mortem, try pretending
that you are sitting around in a year's time trying to gure
out how things went wrong.
So, part of being successful is making good decisions;
the other part is being good at something. There is
a di erence between automatic skills and deliberate
practice. To become good at something you have to
invest 10,000 hours practice at it, notable examples being
Bill Gates, the Beatles and Mozart. What most people do
is that they do something until they get okay at it, then
they stop practicing. There is more than that. People can
put 10,000 hours into it and they are still not any good
at it. It's what you do during the 10,000 hours that that
makes you good.
"People who persevere also do better. The SAS is a
classic example of that. The SAS run their trainees ragged
until they are knackered. The trainers say that inside
everyone is a little man who will either say, 'Keep going'
or 'Give up.' They select the soldiers whose little man
says, Keep going.' Now you don't have to be superhuman
to succeed but you need to not give up. Generally, the
people who achieve outstanding success learn to put up
with discomfort and put aside di culties and they don't
"Lastly, make people's lives better. When you brain
scan people doing good things for others, the happy
centres of their brains get a much bigger buzz than
for any other stu . There is a lot of research to show
that people are more productive when they do that."
MICHAEL MCQUEEN's background for
the last 18 months has involved looking
what is changing in society. He brought
that to Innovate.
He says, "Why is that some of the
world's most successful brands are now
dropping like ies. What can we learn
from focusing on those brands?
"From a print industry perspective,
how can you be sure you won't join
those brands? If you look at every brand
business or industry over time, it follows
a pattern: the relevance curve. In the
early stages your relevance is pretty low.
You're still trying to gure out who you
are and who your target market is.
"As time goes on you become more
relevant and you reach the tipping
point and momentum kicks in and you
become very relevant. At this point, on
the outside things are ne. Sales are
still good. You are winning awards, on
the money and people are ripping o
your ideas. But this is the single most
"Now, there is a huge temptation
to throttle back at this point. But at this
point, if you don't take deliberate steps,
you will pass a second trigger called the
second turning point. You will know
when you have passed that because you
will notice your momentum has slowed.
Typically, you then reach a crisis point.
At rst, you have a bad month, a year, a
decade and new players come. A crisis
is a terrible thing to waste because a
crisis is a gift. When you have a crisis, if
you the right things you can turn things
around. But if you do nothing you slide
past the tanking point and you will
become obsolete. This cycle doesn't just
apply to businesses or products. Every
empire has followed this cycle.
"Now, where are you on this
curve? Shift is happening. The world
is changing and evolving and we have
to keep up with that. What worked
last week isn't working today. We see
business and revenue models falling
McQueen advocates deliberate
action to stop businesses from
becoming irrelevant; this involves
He suggests four steps:
l Deconstruct your processes
l Evaluate the steps and ask, 'Is this the
smartest way to do this?'
l Innovate, ask, 'How can we do this
l Put it all back together again
What I nd with most of my clients
is the hardest part of what they do is to
innovate. Thinking of new ways of doing
things, which leads us into the next step
after re-engineering: reframing.
To reframe, the most valuable asset
you have is the set of freshest eye.
People with fresh eyes have no trouble
thinking outside the box because they
have no idea of what the box looks like.
Encourage those people to ask why?
The other challenge, of course, is to ask,
'When was the last time you looked at
your own business with fresh eyes?'"
The third thing to do is to reposition,
change with the marketplace as times
evolve. One thing you cannot a ord to
do is to ignore generation Y, that part
of the population aged from about
13 to 31. In New Zealand, generation
Y represents half of the population's
purchasing power. Don't gear your
business around baby boomers.
Change is happening. You can't
ignore it and you can't ght change but
you can adapt. In yachting, the only way
to sail into a head wind is to tack; it's the
same in business.
No secret for success
Stay relevant to thrive
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