Our Job is to Invent the Future

If we are trying to innovate, what is our actual job?

According to Mark Earls in Welcome to the Creative Age, our job is to invent the future.

Seems reasonable to me. Here is how he build that argument:

…opinions are what you get back from customers once you’ve done something, so they are largely irrelevant to you. They aren’t the precondition for customers doing something or a good guide to what you should do. At all.

So don’t waste your time with ask/answer research and opinions. Throw away the reassurance of quoting the consumer or stats garnered from opinion polls. Watch your customers, observe them, live with them, but don’t expect them to tell you much themselves. Because they can’t.

Instead, recognize:

* It is your job to invent the future – you are the inventors.
* It is not the customer’s job – they are not good at the future but they might buy your invention if you get it right (or not).

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If we are trying to innovate, what is our actual job?

According to Mark Earls in Welcome to the Creative Age, our job is to invent the future.

Seems reasonable to me. Here is how he build that argument:

…opinions are what you get back from customers once you’ve done something, so they are largely irrelevant to you. They aren’t the precondition for customers doing something or a good guide to what you should do. At all.

So don’t waste your time with ask/answer research and opinions. Throw away the reassurance of quoting the consumer or stats garnered from opinion polls. Watch your customers, observe them, live with them, but don’t expect them to tell you much themselves. Because they can’t.

Instead, recognize:

Following Some Lines of Thought

Posted by Tim in innovation

I’ve run across a number of things that relate to recent posts, so I thought I’d put together a quick grab-bag selection today.

* Yesterday I talked about Naomi Simson and innovation at RedBalloon. One thing that I forgot to mention is that in addition to growing incredibly quickly and being very successful financially, RedBalloon is also consistently rated by employees and outside evaluators as being a great place to work. I was reminded of this when I read a post this morning by Matt Perez called Creating a Great Place to Work. Matt’s firm NearSoft was just named one of the Top 20 Great Places to Work in Mexico, which is a great achievement.

Being a great place to work is critically important when we are trying to make our organisations more innovative. As Dan Pink says in his book Drive, if we want creative (innovative!) work from people, we have to empower them, and give them the autonomy they need to come up with great new ideas. Compare that idea with NearSoft’s goal:

we just aim to create a culture that people want to be part of and an environment that people want to be work in. And we (all) work hard at improving and innovating on it every day.


Posted by Tim in innovation

we just aim to create a culture that people want to be part of and an environment that people want to be work in. And we (all) work hard at improving and innovating on it every day. Leer más “Following Some Lines of Thought”

How To Harness Influence

Time100landingimage “Influence is not something done by certain people to other people. It’s the result of those people we call The Influenced doing something in response to those we call Influential.” [Mark Earls]

Influence is not something that is done to people. Public relations professionals work on identifying the people they’d like to reach and crafting messages that appeal to them in order to get the word out and sway publics.

To understand why your PR pitches may strike out, we’ll take a look at the three main components and six drivers of influence through a PR lens.


Time100landingimage “Influence is not something done by certain people to other people. It’s the result of those people we call The Influenced doing something in response to those we call Influential.” [Mark Earls]

Influence is not something that is done to people. Public relations professionals work on identifying the people they’d like to reach and crafting messages that appeal to them in order to get the word out and sway publics. Leer más “How To Harness Influence”