Better Business Focus – February 2020

You can now download the February issue of HERE.  Please feel free to share Better Business Focus with your friends or colleagues.

Better Business Focus is the essential key for business owners and managers. It achieves that by focusing on the way in which successful businesses compete and manage their organisations.  It focuses on how people are recruited, coached and developed; on how marketing and selling is undertaken in professional markets as well as in markets with intense competition; on how technology and the Internet is reshaping the face of domestic and home business; and on how people are being equipped with new skills and techniques. In short, it offers expert inspiration for a better business.

This Month’s articles include:

Jesse Nieminen
The zero challenge – becoming climate neutral: For as long as humanity’s been around, innovators have always been creating the future. As a result, we’ve made tremendous progress and changed our world for the better in so many ways.

Soren Kaplan
The future of smart cities: I’m sitting here in a large convention center in Los Angeles about to deliver the closing keynote at the Southern California Public Power Authority annual conference. It’s basically a gathering of the top municipal utilities in Southern California that serve more than 5 million people and deliver 16% of all power used in the sunny state.

Mike Shipulski
How to Innovate within a successful company: If you’re trying to innovate within a successful company, I have one word for you: Don’t.

Alexander Kjerulf
10 simple questions to be happier at work in 2020: The beginning of a new year is a great time to take stock of your work life. Are you happy or unhappy at work? What would you like to change?

Tom Koulopoulos
Jeff Bezos $100 Billion bet for Amazon’s future: Bezos has announced an out of this world initiative that may well eclipse everything else Amazon has done so far and may turn out to be one of humanity’s most ambitious technological achievements.

Grant Leboff
Should you embrace Co-Opetition? When Google and Apple are such fierce rivals, why would Apple make Google the default search engine on its iPhone? In this Vlog, Grant explains why embracing your rivals can make good commercial sense.

Tamara Ghandour
The push pull of Innovation: Do you remember playing tug-of-war as a kid? It was a game of two teams holding on to either side of a rope, and each team had to try to pull the other over a line down the middle. When it comes to change and innovation, that’s exactly what happens individually, in our teams, and in our organizations – it’s a constant tug-of-war between the resistors and drivers of change.

Paul Sloane
How artificial intelligence spurs corporate Innovation: In the 1990s John Koza, a professor at Stanford University carried out a series of experiments involving new ways to create electrical circuits. He designed a programme which created thousands of random circuit designs. These were measured against desired outcomes. Most were terrible and were eliminated. Those closest to a solution were combined and rerun. This process was repeated many times with the poor performers being eliminated at each stage.

Braden Kelley
Time Travel Innovation: Is it really possible to travel back in time? What about traveling into the future, have we finally figured out how to do that? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out…

Sunil Bali
Don’t get even, get odd….. When Walt Disney was six years old, he drew some flowers with faces in art class.

Dee Blick
How small firms can get real results with CRM: Small businesses need CRM (customer relationship management) solutions that are quick and easy to use and deliver results fast. Rachel Miller finds out what CRM can do for SMEs.

Nigel Collin
Great Leaders – are they superheroes or villains? I remember rocking up to my dad’s office as a young kid during school holidays and asking to see his films. He didn’t work in the film business; he was in advertising. His secretary (I don’t think they had executive assistants back then) would amuse me by setting up a 16mm projector in a spare room and bringing out a pile of Dad’s advertisements. I would sit there for hours, just watching the ads and promo reels, playing them again and again and again.

Greg Satell
How IBM is driving the future of blockchain: On Halloween day 2008, a mysterious paper entitled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System appeared on a cryptography mailing list. Its author, Satoshi Nakamoto, was a pseudonym and, to this day, no one is absolutely sure of his or her true identity. Nevertheless, the revolution the paper unleashed was all too real.

John Carter
Lean product development processes for Innovation and Speed: Through our hands-on work with clients, we have developed a lean product development process. It is a methodology that depicts key milestones but supersedes specific engineering models such as waterfall or Agile. However, we have incorporated selected practices from the agile toolkit to enhance innovation and speed products to market.

Lolly Daskal
How successful leaders build trust with their people: As a leader, you earn trust the same way anyone else does: by making a conscious effort to walk your talk, keeping your promises and aligning your own behaviour with your expectations of others. When you keep up that core, you’re constantly growing your team’s trust. The most trusted leaders add on to the basics with an additional set of trust-inducing behaviours.

Barry Urquhart
Higher deals are rewarding: “Hi, service” – Interesting salutation. An introduction to good, positive service is a new experience to many consumers in the current price-discounting driven marketplace, in which a race to the bottom is common.

Michael Graber
Start with feeling: People ask me often about Innovation. No one has a clear definition. Innovation is one of those words that mean something different to anyone who hears it. Similar to other words that are filled with misunderstanding, such as creativity or strategy, innovation, requires a refining conversation to demystify and better understand.

Drayton Bird
The world’s richest man and the old tin of sardines joke: How can this help your business? After World War II there was food rationing here in Britain. Because I’m 365 years old I remember it well: there was a huge black market, often in very dodgy products, as this story reveals.

Janet Sernack
Dare to think differently: As many of my colleagues are aware, I am at heart, a maverick, an unorthodox or independent-minded person. Who is curious and inquisitive, and finds change and challenging the status quo exciting, fascinating and stimulating. I am also, considered, by some, as a misfit, someone whose behaviours and attitudes sets them apart from others in an uncomfortably conspicuous way, that often rocks the boat. There is a range of consequences for people like me, who dare to maximize diversity and difference, by thinking differently.