#Likeminds – Innovation and Opportunity – How to best lose your customers! – Great ideas, insight and time to reflect.


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Like Minds: Innovation + Opportunity

Creative Commons License photo credit: Adam Tinworth

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Likeminds conference in Exeter. If you haven’t heard of Likeminds then do check them here out as they are dong some great things.

I first came across Likeminds when I heard Scott Gould, one of the organisers of Likeminds, when he spoke at a London Blog Club event back in October 2010 and was also able to interview Scott for this blog back in February of this year in Leadership, social media, community and other stuff.

I missed their conference last year but was excited to be able to go this year as the focus was Innovation & Opportunity.

There were some fantastic speakers that are too many to mention. However, a couple of the stand out moments for me were:

  • Gabrielle Laine-Peters talking about her experience living through the events of 9/11 in New York. She lived in an apartment in the World Trade Center complex and told an incredibly moving story about how she saw the 2nd plane hit one of the towers and what happened next. The story felt so real that when she was speaking I felt like I was watching a film of her life in that moment it was so real and vivid. She then went onto tell her story of how she recovered from a series of injuries and what has happened to her since then. Finally, Gabrielle has also done a great job in creating a Storify storyline about the conference here.

then there was

  • James Poulter who started his talk with a poem, which was both dramatic and incredibly thoughtful, and then went on to talk about how recommendations are reprogramming society. The poem alone is worth a read. Check it on James’ blog here.

It was a great 3 days and I spent last weekend with too many ideas buzzing around my head.

After letting the dust settle in my head, so to speak, I have been thinking a lot about what was said and thought I’d go back through my notes and share with you some of the things that I wrote down in my notebook over the course of the three days and that are of relevance to readers of this blog.

Here goes.

Molly Flatt (@mollyflatt) of 1,000 heads, the word of mouth specialists, on what to think about when considering Innovation:

  1. Do you opportunities fit with your aims?
  2. Are you creating or just being creative? (Genius is always in the execution)
  3. Will this really change anything?
  4. Are you willing to kill your ‘babies’? (Molly explained that often when we innovate or change things we have to first destroy or stop doing things before we are able to create something new).

Aren Grimshaw (@arengrimshaw) on Maximising Potential and Minimising Risk said:

“Invest in your people, brand and community and you’ll reap the rewards”.

Kaihaan Jamshidi (@kaihaan), Strategy Director at Method Inc talked about how creating a prototype of something new is a great way to break down communication, silo and ‘been there, done that’ barriers to innovation. Make it real.

Chris Griffiths, Author and CEO, ThinkBuzan said something really interesting when he talked about business and thinking about getting more customers. He suggested turning it around and thinking about ‘How to best lose your customers’. Doing that can give you some real insight about what not do and what you should stop doing in your business right now.

Molly Flatt (@mollyflatt) again and James Whatley (@Whatleydude) of 1,000 heads on Making Word of Mouth Work For You shared some great insights but the one thing that stood out for me was this quote:

“word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions”

from a recent McKinsey article.

Chris Barez-Brown, Author and Founder, Upping Your Elvis, reiterated Kaihaan’s point about using prototyping to make innovation real. In his experience working on innovation for some of the olds major brands, if you do so then people are more likely to ‘get it’ (emotionally) and once that happens they’ll help you build it.

Delphine Remy-Boutang, (@DelphineRB) World Wide Social Media Marketing Manager, IBM, and blogger at Social Business Strategies talked about turning IBM into a social business. There’s a lot of talk about what a ‘social business’ is and Delphine came up with a really straightforward definition that I like:

“A social business is one that listens to its customers and those around it, responds, takes action and transforms”.

Finally, some of the over riding thoughts and themes of the conference for me were:

  • Innovation does not come from being busy….take time out to think
  • Create something
  • Start small
  • Make it real
  • As the old saying goes ‘ Actions speak louder than words’.

That’s the way to make great things happen.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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