He is the founder of Delphi Group, a 20-year-old Boston-based thought leadership firm providing advice on leading edge technologies to global 2000 organizations and government. And he has been praised by his mentor, Peter Drucker and colleague Tom Peters who called his writing, “a brilliant vision of where we must take our enterprises to survive and thrive.” His latest book is “The Innovation Zone: How Great Companies Re-Innovate for Amazing Success.”
After spending an evening with Tom eating bar-b-q at the famous Memphis restaurant, The Rendezvous, before his talk to the Breakfast Club, I began really thinking about how technology has impacted my life. Tom says for an invention to be innovative it must change behavior and provide value.
The other day, we were talking in our office about when we first went to work. I know I used computers from the very beginning of my work experience in 1983 at a medical technology company. I worked in the customer service department where I took orders from hospitals and doctor’s offices. But it would be at least another 10 years before I had a computer in my home.
And cell phones? I got a “car phone” in 1994 after a car accident that left me alone with my infant daughter. My mom bought the phone and paid for the installation. Of course, my husband and I were stuck with the monthly bill. Which we have paid for the rest of our lives!
Having these inventions isn’t what’s important. The way they changed my behavior and provide value is what makes them innovative.
Social media must be the most innovative change in my life. It’s where I keep up with friends, old and new. It’s where I read the news, get weather alerts, share stories, read cheap show business gossip and keep up with the happenings of my now teen-age daughter’s life.
And it’s been even more so for businesses. Blogs, audience engagement, Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles, twitter feeds, YouTube channels. All of these have created a new environment where businesses can interact with customers. It is quite an innovative change as you see more and more businesses embracing engagement versus the old way of posting a website and walking away.
This innovation is here to stay and will continue to change behavior while adding value. Businesses must embrace social media as they seek to survive and thrive.