Author Archives: Paul Sloane

Take a Direct Line to your Customer


In the early 1980s, if you wanted to take out motor insurance in the UK then you went to a high street insurance broker who took down all your details on various forms and sent them off to insurance companies to get quotes. The insurance broker insisted that it took all his skill and experience to eventually get you a ...

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Reach Your Customers in Innovative New Ways

In the late 19th century people living in rural America had to go into town to their local store to buy the goods they needed. The selection was poor and the items were expensive. A young railway company agent, Richard Sears, decided to try a new approach. Together with a watchmaker, Alvah Roebuck, he set up a mail order catalogue ...

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A Night at the Innovation Improv


I often use improv theater techniques in my workshops on creativity and innovation. They are little plays in which people have to spontaneously handle unexpected situations in front of an audience. Usually delegates approach these challenges with some caution but after a little training and practice they find them entertaining and liberating. The methods can be amusing icebreakers. But they ...

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5 Best Sources of Future Trend Information


How can you keep up to date with the latest trends and directions in your industry? There are so many sources of potential information that you can be overwhelmed. You should certainly watch, listen and learn from the following: 1. Your customers 2. Your frontline staff (sales, marketing and customer service in particular) 3. Your competitors 4. Your trade magazines, ...

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Different Thinking is Needed


We Should Develop Our Skills at Divergent and Convergent Thinking by Paul Sloane We are creatures of habit. Each day we wake up on same side of the bed. We put on the same type of clothes we wore the previous day, we eat the same type of breakfast, we sit in the same car and we take the same ...

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Rotate Your Mental Crops


Draw on the Expertise of Someone Who Works in a Completely Different Field by Paul Sloane If you are planning a creative thinking session around a particular topic then one way to help displace your thinking and inspire ideas is to bring in an expert from an entirely unrelated business. A company had an issue with its sales force. Morale ...

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Pain and Slack – Two Innovation Drivers


If you want innovation then think about these two words – pain and slack. They can lead you to innovation success. Wherever there is a pain there is a need for innovation. So if you are looking to create new products or services look for the pain points. Study your customers and their everyday activities. Where do they have difficulties ...

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Using Virtual Failure to Help Build Success


I heard this story from creative thinking expert Jurgen Wolff. Steve Loranger, CEO of ITT Industries, shared this technique with Business 2.0: ”If you’re working on an important contract, a ‘must-win’ program, give your team a much shorter deadline than actually exists. Afterward you tell your team, ‘I just got a phone call from the buyer today and he told ...

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