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Posts Tagged ‘Innovation’

And it’s unbelievably cheap too while yielding immense safety benefits!

From an article (and clips) here by Christoph Roser, brought up by Gopalakrishna Sunderrajan:

Look at this short clip (49 secs):

What is the train driver pointing at and what is he saying?

The technique of ‘Point and Call‘ is practiced by the Japanese railway companies from around 1900, and it is now widespread throughout Japan. And to a little extent, however not with the same rigor, outside of railways too.

With Japanese railroads, anything that has to be looked at is usually confirmed using point and call. First and foremost, this is for observing railroad signals that indicate whether the train is allowed to proceed, whether there are speed restrictions, or whether the train needs to stop. For example, when a speed limit starts in 500 meters, the train driver points at the sign and says, “Limit 75 Distance 500.

The technique is also used to verify the timetable. At every stop, the driver points to the corresponding line in the timetable to verify the target arrival and departure times. For example, when leaving the station, the driver points at the timetable and says, “Three o’ clock 12 minutes 15 seconds depart Shibuya station.

While the train stops, the speed is verified by pointing at the speedometer. Platform attendants and conductors also point along the platform to check if the train is clear, often also pointing at additional surveillance monitors for this purpose. For example, the conductor points at the doors after closing and states, “Good Closure,” then points at the monitors and states, “Good monitors for departure.

Pointing and Calling combines looking at something, pointing at it, calling out the observation, and listening to your own voice, giving co-action and co-reaction among the operator’s brain, eyes, hands, mouth, and ears. Not only looking but also pointing and sometimes stating the observation avoids sloppiness and helps keep focus and attention. For simple tasks (and most of these tasks are reasonably simple), this technique reduces errors by almost 85%. Some companies use only pointing, or only calling, but the technique is most effective when combined.

Here’s another clip on the subject (3.55 mins):

The article appeared in the beginning of 2014. Surprisingly for some reason this easy-to-implement innovative practice does not seem to have caught on yet outside of Japan.

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We all know about one of the most-talked-about routes to take to innovation: ‘value disruption’.

For example:

1 Who Killed The Business

(from Who Killed The Business?)

But “it’s not always an easy situation to deal with, simply because it often creates discomfort and pain.  This usually results in a sense of uncertainty and instability, which we, as people, are neurologically wired to react to and move away from.”

Janet Sernack puts her finger on two important attributes that enhances the ability to disruptingly innovate. While the basic idea may not be new, its articulation certainly is, giving us a handle for building these up – some food for performance coaches’ thoughts and action:

It’s all about ‘gumption and grit.

Gumption is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “the ability to decide what is the best thing to do in a particular situation, and to do it with energy and determination.”  

 And grit in the context of behavior is defined as “firmness of character; indomitable spirit” according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, adapted (by Angela Duckworth, in her TED talk) to include “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” 

 Sernack explains:

This requires people to let go of being “nice” worrying about being politically correct, to develop innovation and collaboration, by being intentionally and safely contrary, provocative and disruptive involving:

  • Gumption; deeply cleansing people’s minds, to let go of old fixed, conventional and avoidance mindsets, risk adversity, fear of failure, complacency and other normal & habitual resistance factors to change they might have, without making them “wrong.”
  • Grit; passionately persevering being contrary, provocative and safely disruptive to achieve innovation goals and outcomes.

necessary to survive, achieve and thrive in VUCA times (situations or environments that engender high levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity).

She goes on to combine these two into a single skill-set ‘being provocatively competent’ and identifies its key characteristics in her post here.

 

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This mantra comes from here:

Innovation Mantra

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Mike Shipluski

 

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Source: shipluski.com

 

 

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An interesting example of how a ticklish situation was turned into an opportunity to impress and gain business advantage.

Udaivilas Oberoi

From HBR March/April 2017:

M.S. Oberoi and the front-line obsession

Successful founders understand the economics of customer loyalty. In their early days they know every customer by name. Keeping that up becomes impossible as they grow, but nevertheless they remain obsessed with making sure that someone is looking out for every customer at all times.

Few business leaders have developed this attention to the front line as effectively as M.S. Oberoi, the founder of the Oberoi Group, a chain of luxury hotels in India. Oberoi obsessed about every detail in his hotels that might affect the customer experience. Even in his eighties he kept visiting his hotels to make sure employees were getting everything right, and in doing so he established a culture by which all employees shared in his obsession.

Poornima Bhambal, the assistant manager of the front office at the Oberoi Udaivilas, in Udaipur, described for us the company’s empowerment program, which encourages all employees to do what it takes to delight customers and even gives them access to small amounts of money in order to do so. “We love to surprise and delight guests with little gifts and niceties,” Bhambal said, “and the empowerment program allows this to happen.”

One example, related to us by Vikram Oberoi, a grandson of M.S. Oberoi who now serves as the group’s CEO, was what happened when the staff at one hotel discovered that an American family occupying two rooms was taking all the toiletries — twice a day. This seemed a bit much to the housekeeping staff, and the manager’s first instinct was to go to the family and politely point out that they probably had enough toiletries.

But instead, says Oberoi, after some coaching, “He created a basket of soaps and shampoos and oils used at the hotel’s spa, and wrote a note that was signed by the housekeeping staff. The note said, ‘We notice you like our toiletries and wanted to give you a supply you can take home and share with friends.’ The family loved this. They wrote us after, saying that we were the most fantastic hotel and that they would tell all their friends to visit. That’s a wonderful business result from the investment of a box of lotions!”

Image of Oberoi Udaivilas from theholidayindia.com

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From Inc. (lightly edited):

Walmart Just Created a Side Hustle for Its 1 Million Employees

By Chad Perry, Senior Sales Leader 
walmart-02-2017_222426

These days, you’ll be hard pressed to find an individual who isn’t working a side gig or side hustle.

In the old days, it was paper routes and second jobs. Today, many side hustlers aspire to be the next internet star or consulting guru. But most are simply looking to make an extra buck or two.

Don’t believe me?

Look around your company and you’re sure to find more than one individual hustling on the side. And that’s from the front lines all the way to the executive suite.

In a brilliant move, Walmart just tapped into the “make money on the side” desire of its employees.

The Walmart Associate Delivery Program

In a Walmart blog post Thursday, Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. e-commerce, announced the testing of an associate delivery concept.

The model is pretty simple: Associates are able to opt in to deliver groceries on their way home from work.

Associates can choose how many packages to deliver, along with the size and weight, and also which days they want to deliver.

(Some sources report that Walmart will limit the number of associate deliveries to 10 a day. The remaining deliveries will be handled by carriers like UPS and FedEx.)

Walmart then uses technology to match deliveries and associates. The technology will never take an associate too far out of their way home.

Here’s why the move is brilliant.

The Hunter Becomes the Hunted

Walmart was once considered the unbeatable juggernaut, gobbling up anything in its path. Today, Amazon has grown to two times the size of Walmart, and threatens to devour it.

Amazon has built a delivery network of over 40 cargo jets, truck fleets, drivers, and, in the not-too-distant future, drones. Many have speculated that this network will be the downfall of Walmart.

But, in one single action, Walmart tapped into the latent needs of more than a million employees, and now has a home delivery force to rival that of Amazon. For little to no extra cost (certainly less than Amazon spent).

The Lesson of Latent Employee Needs

Walmart knows that many of its employees are no doubt working side hustles. We all have employees and co-workers who are doing the exact same thing.

Why not keep it in the family? Why not build greater employee loyalty and improve the customer experience (because your employees are more loyal)?

Why not make the side hustle an on-the-way-home hustle? Why not be both the employer and the side hustle?

And that is the brilliant lesson we can learn from Walmart: There are latent needs in every employee. Tap into them, and you’ll find yourself with an increase in bandwidth, productivity, and skill-sets.

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Source: Inc.com

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A Simple How To For Innovation

 

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